Ask A Wench – One Special Book

Stencil.blog-post-image (1)Nicola here, introducing the July Ask A Wench. This month we’re talking about a book that is special to each of us, whether it’s something that was recommended to us, or a book that was given to us a child, or something we came across on our own that sparked a new reading interest. The results are fascinating and varied, funny and poignant, and we hope you will enjoy them and contribute a special book of your own to the discussion! As you might imagine, choosing just one book was a real challenge to such a bunch of avid readers and the horrified response was "One book only?" We hope you don't find the task as hard as we did but we think you just might…

Mary Jo writes:

Georgette Heyer, the gateway drug

When Regency addicts gather, the topic of "My First Heyer!" often comes up. I found my first Sylvester 1 Heyer when I was in college and browsing for cheap books in the bargain basement of the Economy Bookstore in downtown Syracuse, NY.  I didn't know it was illegal to sell stripped books, but as a poor student, five cent books were appealing and they had a lot by this Heyer person.

 After much perusing, I walked out with Sylvester, or The Wicked Uncle, which looked like an interesting parody of the Gothic romances. 

 And that day, I changed my future, because that led me to fall in love with Regency romances.  Heyer's voice and wit and characterizations and plotting appealed to me in a way that the historical romances of the day didn't. I read and reread my favorites, and in the process developed something of a Regency voice myself.

Which is why years later, when I got my first computer and learned how to use the word processing program and decided to find if I could write the stories that were always jumbling in my head, I started writing the book that became The Diabolical Baron

 By sheer chance, I'd found the genre niche where I fit during a time when the romance genre was expanding and editors were looking for new voices. And in the process, I found a career as a writer that had once been only the vaguest of dreams.

 I've written a whole lot of books since then, including fantasy, Georgian, Victorian, contemporaries, fantasy, and Regency fantasy YA.  But by and large, I've stayed true to Regencies because it's such a great period to work in.

 And it all started with a five cent stripped novel by Georgette Heyer…

Pride and prejudice Andrea:

I was a senior in high school, and I don’t remember how the topic came up, but my Mother and I began discussing books. Now, my mother was an avid reader, but her tastes ran to The New Yorker and non-fiction books. She didn’t read a lot of novels. However, she had once told me that she polished her English when she first came to this country (she was from Switzerland and came to NYC to attend Pratt Institute, an art college) by going to the public library and asking the librarian to give her some of the classic works in English literature. So, when I started talking about books we were reading in English class and what I was really enjoying, she asked in an offhand sort of way what I thought of Pride and Prejudice.

I paused for a moment and said, “Umm, I’ve never read that." Her eyebrows shot up in shock. “You’ve never read Austen?” (I was ashamed to say I hadn’t.) “You must!” she intoned, in a tone that was more of an order than a suggestion. “Get it tomorrow at the library. I think you’ll like it.”

Well, I did . . . and I did (like it, that is—or rather, loved it.)  Of course I immediately ran out and read all the others, and fell in love with the Regency romance. it took me a little longer to discover Heyer, and then the Signet Regencies, so it was P&P that ultimately changed my life.  That I was drawn into writing by the classc Regency romance tropes is all because of Austen. And as footnote, our local library has a well-known summer sale of used books (it’s huge, and people come from all around New England to browse through the huge tents set up on the lawns) and next time it came around, my Mother bought me a lovely multi- volume set from the 1920s of Austen’s novels. I still have it, and it's one of my special book treasures.

Christina:

I get very fed up/bored/annoyed with people who denigrate romantic fiction, as if it’s some kind of lesser type of reading material, IMG_0906 so I retaliate by being biased against so called literary fiction. That means I don’t normally buy Booker Prize winners or anything recommended by the posh literary reviewers in papers like the Sunday Times. However, a friend once gave me Possession by A S Byatt (which had just won the Booker Prize) and told me I had to read it. I said thank you, of course, without actually having any intention to do so, but eventually I figured I’d better in case my friend asked me what I thought of it. And OMG, I was completely blown away! Yes, it was very literary, with incredible prose and long Victorian style poems, but the actual story (or stories plural as it’s a dual timeline novel) were fantastic. I was totally spellbound and later watched the film of the same name as well, which I thought was a wonderful adaptation of the book. So I guess this taught me to be less judgemental in my choice of reading material and that you never know where your next great read is going to come from. I would recommend Possession to anyone who wants a truly epic love story. Here is a photo of my copy – I bought myself the first edition as a treat.


Anne:

PigletThis is such a hard question — I have so many special books that I simply can't make up my mind. But if I narrowed it down to childhood beloved books, I'd have to say The House at Pooh Corner and Winnie the Pooh, by AA Milne, which I knew chunks of by heart, well before I could even read. My parents and older siblings used to read the stories aloud, and it taught me that books could make me laugh. Those books are full of wonderful humor and gentle wisdom. I've never grown out of reading them — they speak to adults as well as children.

Many years later, when I was teaching adults how to read, I remembered the lesson of those AA Milne books — that reading could be fun. So much of the curriculum was about serious practical reading and writing, and it never occurred to my adult students that books and reading could be anything other than work. So I did my best to find things to make them laugh, or take their breath away, so that reading was not just something hard and boring they had to do, but was something that could also be a pleasure. Thank you AA Milne, and Pooh and Piglet and Eeyore and Wol and all the rest of the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood. And thank you to my family who read those stories aloud, over and over.

Pat here:

Since I’m normally surrounded by less experienced readers, I spend more time recommending books than having people mentioning Flame and flower them to me. Although, I once had an elderly neighbor recommend the Pollyanna books. She brought me a stack of them when I was twelve. By that time, I was reading the likes of ATLAS SHRUGGED, and Pollyanna was more than a wee bit twee for cynical me. But I was desperate for reading material back then and would read cereal boxes if handed one.

 My one great story recommendation—which was great at the time and wouldn’t be so great now—was way back in the late 70s. I was a young mother, a fan of literary and historical fiction, with a limited book budget. The library generally provided what I needed, but I liked having a paperback when we traveled. So as I stared at the array of colorful covers at our local Kmart, a little blue-haired old lady pointed at one historical, but slightly spicy cover, and whispered, “Get this one. It’s really good.” So I bought it. That book was the FLAME AND THE FLOWER.

 I had never read anything other than classic literary romance before, so I was captivated—and a bit wide-eyed at the graphic scenes. I went on from there to grab every historical romance I could find, learned which ones I liked, and when I couldn’t find them—started writing them for myself. There was no turning back after that. So there was one recommendation that made a difference!

(and the image is of that original copy that set my career in motion!)

Susan writes:

51qcMMmazlLI'll pick just one among the many books that I have found unforgettable, books that have had a profound impact on me as a person and as a writer — I could go way back to Pippi Longstocking (hey, I was six, that book turned my life around!) or Jane Eyre (in high school, I read it over and over, literally would close it and start it again). Those and more are on a special keeper shelf that I'll tote around with me until I'm, well, not around anymore. Today I'll choose a more recent read from that shelf: Alice Hoffman's The Dovekeepers was a profound reading experience for me. It is the story of four women among the 900 Jews on Masada just before the Romans arrived to place them under siege. The power of the story, the characters, the writing, spoke deeply to me–I've rarely been so completely immersed in a novel. The story is vibrant, gritty, whole cloth, the characters walking that landscape so strong and real that the book displaced the world around me. Part of its impact for me is that it not only pulled me in, but demanded something of me, the little reader in her safe little world — I came to love these characters, cared about them, felt dread and hope for them. Hoffman weaves such a tight net of reality with language, image, and historical authenticity that I was in awe–and more than that, I realized the story was asking courage of me. The Dovekeepers is a powerful reading experience and I found it unforgettable. I will one day draw up my courage again and give it another read. It will be worth it. 

 

Nicola: I've mentioned before that my grandmother had a big collection of romance books hidden away at the back of the wardrobe IMG_2700 in her spare room which I discovered at about the age of eleven. One of the books on the shelf was Madam, Will You Talk, by Mary Stewart. I'd already discovered the Regency genre via Nanna's collection of Georgette Heyer books and now it was the turn of Romantic suspense. As you might imagine, this opened up a whole new world for me. Glamorous and exciting stories with danger and adventure, set in places like the South of France, Corfu and Greece that were impossibly exotic to me! It was amazing! I was transported all over the world through my reading, and the books were so romantic too!

I was lucky enough to find almost all Mary Stewart's books in my local library and grabbed them one after another, detouring from romantic suspense into the Arthurian world of The Crystal Cave and its sequels, which also enchanted me. Eventually I tracked down every one of Mary Stewart's books and created my own collection, but one evaded me – the novella The Wind off the Small Isles which had been published in the UK only in 1968 and never re-published. I looked for that book in every secondhand shop I came across which in the days before the internet and online shopping was a life's work! Eventually I tracked it down to the famous Barter Books in Alnwick, Northumberland, and couldn't believe it! I snapped it up and here it is. Inside it's inscribed "To Pat, with love and best wishes, Feb 1969, from Eve and James." I hope Pat enjoyed as much as I still do!

So now it's over to you – please share with us the one special book that means a lot to you and tell us how it came into your life!

235 thoughts on “Ask A Wench – One Special Book”

  1. Fascinating discussion!
    Like Nicola I was captivated by Mary Stuart’s Arthurian books but the one book that really sparked my interest in fantasy was William Hope Hodgson’s ‘The Night Land’.
    It describes a distant future when the sun has expired. A young man leaves the pyramid which is the last refuge of mankind, in search of his soul mate whose existence he has experienced in a dream. He embarks on a journey into the darkness, where terror stalks at every turn.
    The book is written in a flowery prose which I like and in that regard is somewhat reminiscent of William Morris’s fantasies, which I also love. I think that the book has now been rewritten for modern readers by James Stoddard as ‘The Night Land a story retold’ and both versions are available in audio.

    Reply
  2. Fascinating discussion!
    Like Nicola I was captivated by Mary Stuart’s Arthurian books but the one book that really sparked my interest in fantasy was William Hope Hodgson’s ‘The Night Land’.
    It describes a distant future when the sun has expired. A young man leaves the pyramid which is the last refuge of mankind, in search of his soul mate whose existence he has experienced in a dream. He embarks on a journey into the darkness, where terror stalks at every turn.
    The book is written in a flowery prose which I like and in that regard is somewhat reminiscent of William Morris’s fantasies, which I also love. I think that the book has now been rewritten for modern readers by James Stoddard as ‘The Night Land a story retold’ and both versions are available in audio.

    Reply
  3. Fascinating discussion!
    Like Nicola I was captivated by Mary Stuart’s Arthurian books but the one book that really sparked my interest in fantasy was William Hope Hodgson’s ‘The Night Land’.
    It describes a distant future when the sun has expired. A young man leaves the pyramid which is the last refuge of mankind, in search of his soul mate whose existence he has experienced in a dream. He embarks on a journey into the darkness, where terror stalks at every turn.
    The book is written in a flowery prose which I like and in that regard is somewhat reminiscent of William Morris’s fantasies, which I also love. I think that the book has now been rewritten for modern readers by James Stoddard as ‘The Night Land a story retold’ and both versions are available in audio.

    Reply
  4. Fascinating discussion!
    Like Nicola I was captivated by Mary Stuart’s Arthurian books but the one book that really sparked my interest in fantasy was William Hope Hodgson’s ‘The Night Land’.
    It describes a distant future when the sun has expired. A young man leaves the pyramid which is the last refuge of mankind, in search of his soul mate whose existence he has experienced in a dream. He embarks on a journey into the darkness, where terror stalks at every turn.
    The book is written in a flowery prose which I like and in that regard is somewhat reminiscent of William Morris’s fantasies, which I also love. I think that the book has now been rewritten for modern readers by James Stoddard as ‘The Night Land a story retold’ and both versions are available in audio.

    Reply
  5. Fascinating discussion!
    Like Nicola I was captivated by Mary Stuart’s Arthurian books but the one book that really sparked my interest in fantasy was William Hope Hodgson’s ‘The Night Land’.
    It describes a distant future when the sun has expired. A young man leaves the pyramid which is the last refuge of mankind, in search of his soul mate whose existence he has experienced in a dream. He embarks on a journey into the darkness, where terror stalks at every turn.
    The book is written in a flowery prose which I like and in that regard is somewhat reminiscent of William Morris’s fantasies, which I also love. I think that the book has now been rewritten for modern readers by James Stoddard as ‘The Night Land a story retold’ and both versions are available in audio.

    Reply
  6. What a wonderful, thought provoking post! The one book that I loved and that made me think and feel so deeply is, believe it or not “Winter Solstice” by Rosamunde Pilcher. Her main character is a woman of 62 and she finds love and fulfilment late in life. The first part of the book made me cry and then builds towards such happiness. Pilcher also does animals, particularly dogs, very well which is always a good thing. This book led me to other romances and adventures and fantasy books and a life long love of reading.

    Reply
  7. What a wonderful, thought provoking post! The one book that I loved and that made me think and feel so deeply is, believe it or not “Winter Solstice” by Rosamunde Pilcher. Her main character is a woman of 62 and she finds love and fulfilment late in life. The first part of the book made me cry and then builds towards such happiness. Pilcher also does animals, particularly dogs, very well which is always a good thing. This book led me to other romances and adventures and fantasy books and a life long love of reading.

    Reply
  8. What a wonderful, thought provoking post! The one book that I loved and that made me think and feel so deeply is, believe it or not “Winter Solstice” by Rosamunde Pilcher. Her main character is a woman of 62 and she finds love and fulfilment late in life. The first part of the book made me cry and then builds towards such happiness. Pilcher also does animals, particularly dogs, very well which is always a good thing. This book led me to other romances and adventures and fantasy books and a life long love of reading.

    Reply
  9. What a wonderful, thought provoking post! The one book that I loved and that made me think and feel so deeply is, believe it or not “Winter Solstice” by Rosamunde Pilcher. Her main character is a woman of 62 and she finds love and fulfilment late in life. The first part of the book made me cry and then builds towards such happiness. Pilcher also does animals, particularly dogs, very well which is always a good thing. This book led me to other romances and adventures and fantasy books and a life long love of reading.

    Reply
  10. What a wonderful, thought provoking post! The one book that I loved and that made me think and feel so deeply is, believe it or not “Winter Solstice” by Rosamunde Pilcher. Her main character is a woman of 62 and she finds love and fulfilment late in life. The first part of the book made me cry and then builds towards such happiness. Pilcher also does animals, particularly dogs, very well which is always a good thing. This book led me to other romances and adventures and fantasy books and a life long love of reading.

    Reply
  11. How lovely, Donna. I always thought that Rosamunde Pilcher wrote books that go straight to the heart of human emotions. I remember Winter Solstice too and still have some of her others on my shelf because I loved them. I hadn’t noticed the way she writes dogs, though. I must go back and re-read them!

    Reply
  12. How lovely, Donna. I always thought that Rosamunde Pilcher wrote books that go straight to the heart of human emotions. I remember Winter Solstice too and still have some of her others on my shelf because I loved them. I hadn’t noticed the way she writes dogs, though. I must go back and re-read them!

    Reply
  13. How lovely, Donna. I always thought that Rosamunde Pilcher wrote books that go straight to the heart of human emotions. I remember Winter Solstice too and still have some of her others on my shelf because I loved them. I hadn’t noticed the way she writes dogs, though. I must go back and re-read them!

    Reply
  14. How lovely, Donna. I always thought that Rosamunde Pilcher wrote books that go straight to the heart of human emotions. I remember Winter Solstice too and still have some of her others on my shelf because I loved them. I hadn’t noticed the way she writes dogs, though. I must go back and re-read them!

    Reply
  15. How lovely, Donna. I always thought that Rosamunde Pilcher wrote books that go straight to the heart of human emotions. I remember Winter Solstice too and still have some of her others on my shelf because I loved them. I hadn’t noticed the way she writes dogs, though. I must go back and re-read them!

    Reply
  16. Boy, I had to really think about this one. Finally decided to look at what books I re-read the most. That led me to Barbara Metzger and Mary Balogh.
    Metzger’s books are sort of therapy for me. They make me laugh and laughing makes me feel good- especially when I’m feeling down.
    So I think I’ll go with Mary Balogh’s SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS. It was the perfect ending to the Slightly Series. She really made you wonder about the character of Wulfric. But I would actually recommend starting with the prequels to that series (ONE NIGHT TO LOVE and A SUMMER TO REMEMBER) to truly appreciate the last book of the series. I have the public library to thank for introducing me to Ms. Balogh.

    Reply
  17. Boy, I had to really think about this one. Finally decided to look at what books I re-read the most. That led me to Barbara Metzger and Mary Balogh.
    Metzger’s books are sort of therapy for me. They make me laugh and laughing makes me feel good- especially when I’m feeling down.
    So I think I’ll go with Mary Balogh’s SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS. It was the perfect ending to the Slightly Series. She really made you wonder about the character of Wulfric. But I would actually recommend starting with the prequels to that series (ONE NIGHT TO LOVE and A SUMMER TO REMEMBER) to truly appreciate the last book of the series. I have the public library to thank for introducing me to Ms. Balogh.

    Reply
  18. Boy, I had to really think about this one. Finally decided to look at what books I re-read the most. That led me to Barbara Metzger and Mary Balogh.
    Metzger’s books are sort of therapy for me. They make me laugh and laughing makes me feel good- especially when I’m feeling down.
    So I think I’ll go with Mary Balogh’s SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS. It was the perfect ending to the Slightly Series. She really made you wonder about the character of Wulfric. But I would actually recommend starting with the prequels to that series (ONE NIGHT TO LOVE and A SUMMER TO REMEMBER) to truly appreciate the last book of the series. I have the public library to thank for introducing me to Ms. Balogh.

    Reply
  19. Boy, I had to really think about this one. Finally decided to look at what books I re-read the most. That led me to Barbara Metzger and Mary Balogh.
    Metzger’s books are sort of therapy for me. They make me laugh and laughing makes me feel good- especially when I’m feeling down.
    So I think I’ll go with Mary Balogh’s SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS. It was the perfect ending to the Slightly Series. She really made you wonder about the character of Wulfric. But I would actually recommend starting with the prequels to that series (ONE NIGHT TO LOVE and A SUMMER TO REMEMBER) to truly appreciate the last book of the series. I have the public library to thank for introducing me to Ms. Balogh.

    Reply
  20. Boy, I had to really think about this one. Finally decided to look at what books I re-read the most. That led me to Barbara Metzger and Mary Balogh.
    Metzger’s books are sort of therapy for me. They make me laugh and laughing makes me feel good- especially when I’m feeling down.
    So I think I’ll go with Mary Balogh’s SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS. It was the perfect ending to the Slightly Series. She really made you wonder about the character of Wulfric. But I would actually recommend starting with the prequels to that series (ONE NIGHT TO LOVE and A SUMMER TO REMEMBER) to truly appreciate the last book of the series. I have the public library to thank for introducing me to Ms. Balogh.

    Reply
  21. Donna, I LOVE WINTER SOLSTICE. So much so that I bought a second copy to take on vacation when I couldn’t find the first copy in time before I left. Powerful emotions, wonderful characterizations, and deeply satisfying ending for most of the characters. Wonderful. Probably time for a reread!

    Reply
  22. Donna, I LOVE WINTER SOLSTICE. So much so that I bought a second copy to take on vacation when I couldn’t find the first copy in time before I left. Powerful emotions, wonderful characterizations, and deeply satisfying ending for most of the characters. Wonderful. Probably time for a reread!

    Reply
  23. Donna, I LOVE WINTER SOLSTICE. So much so that I bought a second copy to take on vacation when I couldn’t find the first copy in time before I left. Powerful emotions, wonderful characterizations, and deeply satisfying ending for most of the characters. Wonderful. Probably time for a reread!

    Reply
  24. Donna, I LOVE WINTER SOLSTICE. So much so that I bought a second copy to take on vacation when I couldn’t find the first copy in time before I left. Powerful emotions, wonderful characterizations, and deeply satisfying ending for most of the characters. Wonderful. Probably time for a reread!

    Reply
  25. Donna, I LOVE WINTER SOLSTICE. So much so that I bought a second copy to take on vacation when I couldn’t find the first copy in time before I left. Powerful emotions, wonderful characterizations, and deeply satisfying ending for most of the characters. Wonderful. Probably time for a reread!

    Reply
  26. MJ all of yourbooks are special tome because of our family relation. Loved every one I have bought and the Rose which you signed and sent to me. Some times Loren would pick up one especialy the one about the Detective one

    Reply
  27. MJ all of yourbooks are special tome because of our family relation. Loved every one I have bought and the Rose which you signed and sent to me. Some times Loren would pick up one especialy the one about the Detective one

    Reply
  28. MJ all of yourbooks are special tome because of our family relation. Loved every one I have bought and the Rose which you signed and sent to me. Some times Loren would pick up one especialy the one about the Detective one

    Reply
  29. MJ all of yourbooks are special tome because of our family relation. Loved every one I have bought and the Rose which you signed and sent to me. Some times Loren would pick up one especialy the one about the Detective one

    Reply
  30. MJ all of yourbooks are special tome because of our family relation. Loved every one I have bought and the Rose which you signed and sent to me. Some times Loren would pick up one especialy the one about the Detective one

    Reply
  31. I too have a ‘keeper shelf’ with books that I read every year and that I will have until I’m not here anymore either. And on that shelf, I have Charlotte’s Web. I was reading far above my grade level when I started school and came across the book in…first grade, I think. I kept checking it out over and over because there was no money to buy books, until the librarian finally convinced me I had to let someone else read it. I was devastated so with a little money I’d gotten for Christmas, I walked to the used bookstore a couple of miles away and bought a copy. I’ve had it ever since. And I tend to read that one when I need that bittersweet, but life affirming ending that life goes on, it just changes.
    I could give you three or four more, but Charlotte’s Web had the biggest impact on me and still does.

    Reply
  32. I too have a ‘keeper shelf’ with books that I read every year and that I will have until I’m not here anymore either. And on that shelf, I have Charlotte’s Web. I was reading far above my grade level when I started school and came across the book in…first grade, I think. I kept checking it out over and over because there was no money to buy books, until the librarian finally convinced me I had to let someone else read it. I was devastated so with a little money I’d gotten for Christmas, I walked to the used bookstore a couple of miles away and bought a copy. I’ve had it ever since. And I tend to read that one when I need that bittersweet, but life affirming ending that life goes on, it just changes.
    I could give you three or four more, but Charlotte’s Web had the biggest impact on me and still does.

    Reply
  33. I too have a ‘keeper shelf’ with books that I read every year and that I will have until I’m not here anymore either. And on that shelf, I have Charlotte’s Web. I was reading far above my grade level when I started school and came across the book in…first grade, I think. I kept checking it out over and over because there was no money to buy books, until the librarian finally convinced me I had to let someone else read it. I was devastated so with a little money I’d gotten for Christmas, I walked to the used bookstore a couple of miles away and bought a copy. I’ve had it ever since. And I tend to read that one when I need that bittersweet, but life affirming ending that life goes on, it just changes.
    I could give you three or four more, but Charlotte’s Web had the biggest impact on me and still does.

    Reply
  34. I too have a ‘keeper shelf’ with books that I read every year and that I will have until I’m not here anymore either. And on that shelf, I have Charlotte’s Web. I was reading far above my grade level when I started school and came across the book in…first grade, I think. I kept checking it out over and over because there was no money to buy books, until the librarian finally convinced me I had to let someone else read it. I was devastated so with a little money I’d gotten for Christmas, I walked to the used bookstore a couple of miles away and bought a copy. I’ve had it ever since. And I tend to read that one when I need that bittersweet, but life affirming ending that life goes on, it just changes.
    I could give you three or four more, but Charlotte’s Web had the biggest impact on me and still does.

    Reply
  35. I too have a ‘keeper shelf’ with books that I read every year and that I will have until I’m not here anymore either. And on that shelf, I have Charlotte’s Web. I was reading far above my grade level when I started school and came across the book in…first grade, I think. I kept checking it out over and over because there was no money to buy books, until the librarian finally convinced me I had to let someone else read it. I was devastated so with a little money I’d gotten for Christmas, I walked to the used bookstore a couple of miles away and bought a copy. I’ve had it ever since. And I tend to read that one when I need that bittersweet, but life affirming ending that life goes on, it just changes.
    I could give you three or four more, but Charlotte’s Web had the biggest impact on me and still does.

    Reply
  36. When I was young, reading was a chore. Being dyslexic made it much worse. In 10th grade English we did not have very many assigned books, so when we could pick our own books to make a book report I read. One of the books I chose was James Herriot’s “All Creatures Great and Small.” It opened a whole new world for me of reading for pleasure.

    Reply
  37. When I was young, reading was a chore. Being dyslexic made it much worse. In 10th grade English we did not have very many assigned books, so when we could pick our own books to make a book report I read. One of the books I chose was James Herriot’s “All Creatures Great and Small.” It opened a whole new world for me of reading for pleasure.

    Reply
  38. When I was young, reading was a chore. Being dyslexic made it much worse. In 10th grade English we did not have very many assigned books, so when we could pick our own books to make a book report I read. One of the books I chose was James Herriot’s “All Creatures Great and Small.” It opened a whole new world for me of reading for pleasure.

    Reply
  39. When I was young, reading was a chore. Being dyslexic made it much worse. In 10th grade English we did not have very many assigned books, so when we could pick our own books to make a book report I read. One of the books I chose was James Herriot’s “All Creatures Great and Small.” It opened a whole new world for me of reading for pleasure.

    Reply
  40. When I was young, reading was a chore. Being dyslexic made it much worse. In 10th grade English we did not have very many assigned books, so when we could pick our own books to make a book report I read. One of the books I chose was James Herriot’s “All Creatures Great and Small.” It opened a whole new world for me of reading for pleasure.

    Reply
  41. I too loved Winter Solstice – it’s my favourite of her books! Such a lovely story and it’s great to be reminded of it.

    Reply
  42. I too loved Winter Solstice – it’s my favourite of her books! Such a lovely story and it’s great to be reminded of it.

    Reply
  43. I too loved Winter Solstice – it’s my favourite of her books! Such a lovely story and it’s great to be reminded of it.

    Reply
  44. I too loved Winter Solstice – it’s my favourite of her books! Such a lovely story and it’s great to be reminded of it.

    Reply
  45. I too loved Winter Solstice – it’s my favourite of her books! Such a lovely story and it’s great to be reminded of it.

    Reply
  46. It is a difficult choice, isn’t it, Mary, but your selection of Mary Balogh’s series is a wonderful one – I enjoyed those books so much! As for the public libraries, they play such an important role in introducing us to significant and special reads, don’t they!

    Reply
  47. It is a difficult choice, isn’t it, Mary, but your selection of Mary Balogh’s series is a wonderful one – I enjoyed those books so much! As for the public libraries, they play such an important role in introducing us to significant and special reads, don’t they!

    Reply
  48. It is a difficult choice, isn’t it, Mary, but your selection of Mary Balogh’s series is a wonderful one – I enjoyed those books so much! As for the public libraries, they play such an important role in introducing us to significant and special reads, don’t they!

    Reply
  49. It is a difficult choice, isn’t it, Mary, but your selection of Mary Balogh’s series is a wonderful one – I enjoyed those books so much! As for the public libraries, they play such an important role in introducing us to significant and special reads, don’t they!

    Reply
  50. It is a difficult choice, isn’t it, Mary, but your selection of Mary Balogh’s series is a wonderful one – I enjoyed those books so much! As for the public libraries, they play such an important role in introducing us to significant and special reads, don’t they!

    Reply
  51. Oh Theo, I love to imagine you checking that book out time and again until they stopped you! What a lovely story! I can feel simply from your description how special that book is to you.

    Reply
  52. Oh Theo, I love to imagine you checking that book out time and again until they stopped you! What a lovely story! I can feel simply from your description how special that book is to you.

    Reply
  53. Oh Theo, I love to imagine you checking that book out time and again until they stopped you! What a lovely story! I can feel simply from your description how special that book is to you.

    Reply
  54. Oh Theo, I love to imagine you checking that book out time and again until they stopped you! What a lovely story! I can feel simply from your description how special that book is to you.

    Reply
  55. Oh Theo, I love to imagine you checking that book out time and again until they stopped you! What a lovely story! I can feel simply from your description how special that book is to you.

    Reply
  56. That series is so wonderful, isn’t it, Pamela! I’m so happy you found it and that it opened up the pleasure of reading for you.

    Reply
  57. That series is so wonderful, isn’t it, Pamela! I’m so happy you found it and that it opened up the pleasure of reading for you.

    Reply
  58. That series is so wonderful, isn’t it, Pamela! I’m so happy you found it and that it opened up the pleasure of reading for you.

    Reply
  59. That series is so wonderful, isn’t it, Pamela! I’m so happy you found it and that it opened up the pleasure of reading for you.

    Reply
  60. That series is so wonderful, isn’t it, Pamela! I’m so happy you found it and that it opened up the pleasure of reading for you.

    Reply
  61. My love of books goes back to infancy; my mother read to me from the very first. So perhaps my starter book is a book of poems which could all be sung to a single tune published at the back of the book. (The book disappeared during a move, but until then, it was always on my keeper shelf.)
    One poem/song remains: I heard them say my hair would curl/I cried upon the spot …”

    Reply
  62. My love of books goes back to infancy; my mother read to me from the very first. So perhaps my starter book is a book of poems which could all be sung to a single tune published at the back of the book. (The book disappeared during a move, but until then, it was always on my keeper shelf.)
    One poem/song remains: I heard them say my hair would curl/I cried upon the spot …”

    Reply
  63. My love of books goes back to infancy; my mother read to me from the very first. So perhaps my starter book is a book of poems which could all be sung to a single tune published at the back of the book. (The book disappeared during a move, but until then, it was always on my keeper shelf.)
    One poem/song remains: I heard them say my hair would curl/I cried upon the spot …”

    Reply
  64. My love of books goes back to infancy; my mother read to me from the very first. So perhaps my starter book is a book of poems which could all be sung to a single tune published at the back of the book. (The book disappeared during a move, but until then, it was always on my keeper shelf.)
    One poem/song remains: I heard them say my hair would curl/I cried upon the spot …”

    Reply
  65. My love of books goes back to infancy; my mother read to me from the very first. So perhaps my starter book is a book of poems which could all be sung to a single tune published at the back of the book. (The book disappeared during a move, but until then, it was always on my keeper shelf.)
    One poem/song remains: I heard them say my hair would curl/I cried upon the spot …”

    Reply
  66. I love that your special book is poetry, Sue, which can be so memorable and thought-provoking. Clearly this song has remained with you! What a lovely choice.

    Reply
  67. I love that your special book is poetry, Sue, which can be so memorable and thought-provoking. Clearly this song has remained with you! What a lovely choice.

    Reply
  68. I love that your special book is poetry, Sue, which can be so memorable and thought-provoking. Clearly this song has remained with you! What a lovely choice.

    Reply
  69. I love that your special book is poetry, Sue, which can be so memorable and thought-provoking. Clearly this song has remained with you! What a lovely choice.

    Reply
  70. I love that your special book is poetry, Sue, which can be so memorable and thought-provoking. Clearly this song has remained with you! What a lovely choice.

    Reply
  71. What an enjoyable post! Thank you all for sharing.
    I was dithering about what to choose and decided on
    The Cheerleader by Ruth Doan MacDougall. I have a rather poor memory in general, but I’m pretty sure I bought this from the spinner rack in a gas station in the mid seventies in Texas while going hither and yon somewhere with my parents.
    As a teen, I absolutely loved this story about a girl growing up in the fifties in small town USA; her life was very different from my own. Two things I took from this book: first, always wash the butter dish after finishing a stick and second, the friends you make at college can last a lifetime.
    I loaned this book to my daughter’s teenage babysitter thinking she might love it as much as I did. It never came back to me, so perhaps she found it irresistible. I bought another copy, but I’m admittedly afraid to reread it as I fear it won’t live up to my memories.

    Reply
  72. What an enjoyable post! Thank you all for sharing.
    I was dithering about what to choose and decided on
    The Cheerleader by Ruth Doan MacDougall. I have a rather poor memory in general, but I’m pretty sure I bought this from the spinner rack in a gas station in the mid seventies in Texas while going hither and yon somewhere with my parents.
    As a teen, I absolutely loved this story about a girl growing up in the fifties in small town USA; her life was very different from my own. Two things I took from this book: first, always wash the butter dish after finishing a stick and second, the friends you make at college can last a lifetime.
    I loaned this book to my daughter’s teenage babysitter thinking she might love it as much as I did. It never came back to me, so perhaps she found it irresistible. I bought another copy, but I’m admittedly afraid to reread it as I fear it won’t live up to my memories.

    Reply
  73. What an enjoyable post! Thank you all for sharing.
    I was dithering about what to choose and decided on
    The Cheerleader by Ruth Doan MacDougall. I have a rather poor memory in general, but I’m pretty sure I bought this from the spinner rack in a gas station in the mid seventies in Texas while going hither and yon somewhere with my parents.
    As a teen, I absolutely loved this story about a girl growing up in the fifties in small town USA; her life was very different from my own. Two things I took from this book: first, always wash the butter dish after finishing a stick and second, the friends you make at college can last a lifetime.
    I loaned this book to my daughter’s teenage babysitter thinking she might love it as much as I did. It never came back to me, so perhaps she found it irresistible. I bought another copy, but I’m admittedly afraid to reread it as I fear it won’t live up to my memories.

    Reply
  74. What an enjoyable post! Thank you all for sharing.
    I was dithering about what to choose and decided on
    The Cheerleader by Ruth Doan MacDougall. I have a rather poor memory in general, but I’m pretty sure I bought this from the spinner rack in a gas station in the mid seventies in Texas while going hither and yon somewhere with my parents.
    As a teen, I absolutely loved this story about a girl growing up in the fifties in small town USA; her life was very different from my own. Two things I took from this book: first, always wash the butter dish after finishing a stick and second, the friends you make at college can last a lifetime.
    I loaned this book to my daughter’s teenage babysitter thinking she might love it as much as I did. It never came back to me, so perhaps she found it irresistible. I bought another copy, but I’m admittedly afraid to reread it as I fear it won’t live up to my memories.

    Reply
  75. What an enjoyable post! Thank you all for sharing.
    I was dithering about what to choose and decided on
    The Cheerleader by Ruth Doan MacDougall. I have a rather poor memory in general, but I’m pretty sure I bought this from the spinner rack in a gas station in the mid seventies in Texas while going hither and yon somewhere with my parents.
    As a teen, I absolutely loved this story about a girl growing up in the fifties in small town USA; her life was very different from my own. Two things I took from this book: first, always wash the butter dish after finishing a stick and second, the friends you make at college can last a lifetime.
    I loaned this book to my daughter’s teenage babysitter thinking she might love it as much as I did. It never came back to me, so perhaps she found it irresistible. I bought another copy, but I’m admittedly afraid to reread it as I fear it won’t live up to my memories.

    Reply
  76. What a challenge! I’ve read and loved everything Jane Austen published and even introduced her books to my then seventeen year-old son, who also loved then so much he started rereading the first one he’d picked up, Emma, as soon as he finished the last. Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt are also authors I started reading in my early teens, and then there’s Georgette Heyer. She’s the author that moved me from childhood books by authors like Enid Blyton and into the more sophisticated world of adult reading, a place where I could immerse myself in fascinating worlds filled with dashing heroes, clever heroines and lots of fabulous adventure. My first Heyer was The Black Moth. I fell in love with dashing and swoonworthy Jack Carstaires and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Reply
  77. What a challenge! I’ve read and loved everything Jane Austen published and even introduced her books to my then seventeen year-old son, who also loved then so much he started rereading the first one he’d picked up, Emma, as soon as he finished the last. Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt are also authors I started reading in my early teens, and then there’s Georgette Heyer. She’s the author that moved me from childhood books by authors like Enid Blyton and into the more sophisticated world of adult reading, a place where I could immerse myself in fascinating worlds filled with dashing heroes, clever heroines and lots of fabulous adventure. My first Heyer was The Black Moth. I fell in love with dashing and swoonworthy Jack Carstaires and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Reply
  78. What a challenge! I’ve read and loved everything Jane Austen published and even introduced her books to my then seventeen year-old son, who also loved then so much he started rereading the first one he’d picked up, Emma, as soon as he finished the last. Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt are also authors I started reading in my early teens, and then there’s Georgette Heyer. She’s the author that moved me from childhood books by authors like Enid Blyton and into the more sophisticated world of adult reading, a place where I could immerse myself in fascinating worlds filled with dashing heroes, clever heroines and lots of fabulous adventure. My first Heyer was The Black Moth. I fell in love with dashing and swoonworthy Jack Carstaires and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Reply
  79. What a challenge! I’ve read and loved everything Jane Austen published and even introduced her books to my then seventeen year-old son, who also loved then so much he started rereading the first one he’d picked up, Emma, as soon as he finished the last. Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt are also authors I started reading in my early teens, and then there’s Georgette Heyer. She’s the author that moved me from childhood books by authors like Enid Blyton and into the more sophisticated world of adult reading, a place where I could immerse myself in fascinating worlds filled with dashing heroes, clever heroines and lots of fabulous adventure. My first Heyer was The Black Moth. I fell in love with dashing and swoonworthy Jack Carstaires and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Reply
  80. What a challenge! I’ve read and loved everything Jane Austen published and even introduced her books to my then seventeen year-old son, who also loved then so much he started rereading the first one he’d picked up, Emma, as soon as he finished the last. Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt are also authors I started reading in my early teens, and then there’s Georgette Heyer. She’s the author that moved me from childhood books by authors like Enid Blyton and into the more sophisticated world of adult reading, a place where I could immerse myself in fascinating worlds filled with dashing heroes, clever heroines and lots of fabulous adventure. My first Heyer was The Black Moth. I fell in love with dashing and swoonworthy Jack Carstaires and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Reply
  81. Actually, for me it’s not a romance per se – it’s Tolien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. I had picked up this Ace paperback off the market racks, slotted between the Georgette Heyers and the science fiction paperbacks. I had vaguely heard of it but my budget then was only for paperbacks and this book had, up until then, never had a paperback edition in the US. It had a Jack Gaughan cover which made it look sort of like an Andre Norton fantasy.
    Never has 75 cents been better spent. I fell asleep reading it late that night and took it to work with me to read at lunch. I was sitting in the old STATS restaurant at Wilshire & San Vicente, on the LA/Beverly Hills borderline, when Gandalf fell at the Bridge. Fly, you fools! I must have made some sort of screamish noise because everyone near turned and looked at me. It’s my book, I said. There was head shaking.
    Never before or since has a book got that much of a hold on me, to where I forgot where I was when I was reading it. I still have that set, which fans refer to as the Cursed Ace Bootlegs (which they weren’t exactly) and I treasure them. I have of course reread or listened to it many times. I never tire of the beauty of the language, the heroism of the characters, great and small, and the idea that being brave and resisting evil is important even for seemingly unimportant people, because you never know.
    I am fond of the romance elements in it as well – the woman who has to do her bit where she is, and the girl who has to change her goals after the fighting is over. Strong role models.

    Reply
  82. Actually, for me it’s not a romance per se – it’s Tolien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. I had picked up this Ace paperback off the market racks, slotted between the Georgette Heyers and the science fiction paperbacks. I had vaguely heard of it but my budget then was only for paperbacks and this book had, up until then, never had a paperback edition in the US. It had a Jack Gaughan cover which made it look sort of like an Andre Norton fantasy.
    Never has 75 cents been better spent. I fell asleep reading it late that night and took it to work with me to read at lunch. I was sitting in the old STATS restaurant at Wilshire & San Vicente, on the LA/Beverly Hills borderline, when Gandalf fell at the Bridge. Fly, you fools! I must have made some sort of screamish noise because everyone near turned and looked at me. It’s my book, I said. There was head shaking.
    Never before or since has a book got that much of a hold on me, to where I forgot where I was when I was reading it. I still have that set, which fans refer to as the Cursed Ace Bootlegs (which they weren’t exactly) and I treasure them. I have of course reread or listened to it many times. I never tire of the beauty of the language, the heroism of the characters, great and small, and the idea that being brave and resisting evil is important even for seemingly unimportant people, because you never know.
    I am fond of the romance elements in it as well – the woman who has to do her bit where she is, and the girl who has to change her goals after the fighting is over. Strong role models.

    Reply
  83. Actually, for me it’s not a romance per se – it’s Tolien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. I had picked up this Ace paperback off the market racks, slotted between the Georgette Heyers and the science fiction paperbacks. I had vaguely heard of it but my budget then was only for paperbacks and this book had, up until then, never had a paperback edition in the US. It had a Jack Gaughan cover which made it look sort of like an Andre Norton fantasy.
    Never has 75 cents been better spent. I fell asleep reading it late that night and took it to work with me to read at lunch. I was sitting in the old STATS restaurant at Wilshire & San Vicente, on the LA/Beverly Hills borderline, when Gandalf fell at the Bridge. Fly, you fools! I must have made some sort of screamish noise because everyone near turned and looked at me. It’s my book, I said. There was head shaking.
    Never before or since has a book got that much of a hold on me, to where I forgot where I was when I was reading it. I still have that set, which fans refer to as the Cursed Ace Bootlegs (which they weren’t exactly) and I treasure them. I have of course reread or listened to it many times. I never tire of the beauty of the language, the heroism of the characters, great and small, and the idea that being brave and resisting evil is important even for seemingly unimportant people, because you never know.
    I am fond of the romance elements in it as well – the woman who has to do her bit where she is, and the girl who has to change her goals after the fighting is over. Strong role models.

    Reply
  84. Actually, for me it’s not a romance per se – it’s Tolien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. I had picked up this Ace paperback off the market racks, slotted between the Georgette Heyers and the science fiction paperbacks. I had vaguely heard of it but my budget then was only for paperbacks and this book had, up until then, never had a paperback edition in the US. It had a Jack Gaughan cover which made it look sort of like an Andre Norton fantasy.
    Never has 75 cents been better spent. I fell asleep reading it late that night and took it to work with me to read at lunch. I was sitting in the old STATS restaurant at Wilshire & San Vicente, on the LA/Beverly Hills borderline, when Gandalf fell at the Bridge. Fly, you fools! I must have made some sort of screamish noise because everyone near turned and looked at me. It’s my book, I said. There was head shaking.
    Never before or since has a book got that much of a hold on me, to where I forgot where I was when I was reading it. I still have that set, which fans refer to as the Cursed Ace Bootlegs (which they weren’t exactly) and I treasure them. I have of course reread or listened to it many times. I never tire of the beauty of the language, the heroism of the characters, great and small, and the idea that being brave and resisting evil is important even for seemingly unimportant people, because you never know.
    I am fond of the romance elements in it as well – the woman who has to do her bit where she is, and the girl who has to change her goals after the fighting is over. Strong role models.

    Reply
  85. Actually, for me it’s not a romance per se – it’s Tolien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. I had picked up this Ace paperback off the market racks, slotted between the Georgette Heyers and the science fiction paperbacks. I had vaguely heard of it but my budget then was only for paperbacks and this book had, up until then, never had a paperback edition in the US. It had a Jack Gaughan cover which made it look sort of like an Andre Norton fantasy.
    Never has 75 cents been better spent. I fell asleep reading it late that night and took it to work with me to read at lunch. I was sitting in the old STATS restaurant at Wilshire & San Vicente, on the LA/Beverly Hills borderline, when Gandalf fell at the Bridge. Fly, you fools! I must have made some sort of screamish noise because everyone near turned and looked at me. It’s my book, I said. There was head shaking.
    Never before or since has a book got that much of a hold on me, to where I forgot where I was when I was reading it. I still have that set, which fans refer to as the Cursed Ace Bootlegs (which they weren’t exactly) and I treasure them. I have of course reread or listened to it many times. I never tire of the beauty of the language, the heroism of the characters, great and small, and the idea that being brave and resisting evil is important even for seemingly unimportant people, because you never know.
    I am fond of the romance elements in it as well – the woman who has to do her bit where she is, and the girl who has to change her goals after the fighting is over. Strong role models.

    Reply
  86. What a wonderful story, Kareni, and two great life lessons right there! Sometimes perhaps we don’t need to re-read special books as they have already given us their gifts and the memory of them is the important bit.

    Reply
  87. What a wonderful story, Kareni, and two great life lessons right there! Sometimes perhaps we don’t need to re-read special books as they have already given us their gifts and the memory of them is the important bit.

    Reply
  88. What a wonderful story, Kareni, and two great life lessons right there! Sometimes perhaps we don’t need to re-read special books as they have already given us their gifts and the memory of them is the important bit.

    Reply
  89. What a wonderful story, Kareni, and two great life lessons right there! Sometimes perhaps we don’t need to re-read special books as they have already given us their gifts and the memory of them is the important bit.

    Reply
  90. What a wonderful story, Kareni, and two great life lessons right there! Sometimes perhaps we don’t need to re-read special books as they have already given us their gifts and the memory of them is the important bit.

    Reply
  91. It’s tough to choose, isn’t it, Shelagh! All of those books are special in their different ways and the ways they lead us down guide our interests for the rest of our lives!

    Reply
  92. It’s tough to choose, isn’t it, Shelagh! All of those books are special in their different ways and the ways they lead us down guide our interests for the rest of our lives!

    Reply
  93. It’s tough to choose, isn’t it, Shelagh! All of those books are special in their different ways and the ways they lead us down guide our interests for the rest of our lives!

    Reply
  94. It’s tough to choose, isn’t it, Shelagh! All of those books are special in their different ways and the ways they lead us down guide our interests for the rest of our lives!

    Reply
  95. It’s tough to choose, isn’t it, Shelagh! All of those books are special in their different ways and the ways they lead us down guide our interests for the rest of our lives!

    Reply
  96. What a wonderful memory, Janice! I love the thought of you making a screamish noise and people shaking their heads – a lot of us can identify with that reaction when we’re deep into a book and no one understands how important that is! Yes, there are such strong role models in that book and wonderful storytelling. I came to it later but was swept away when I did.

    Reply
  97. What a wonderful memory, Janice! I love the thought of you making a screamish noise and people shaking their heads – a lot of us can identify with that reaction when we’re deep into a book and no one understands how important that is! Yes, there are such strong role models in that book and wonderful storytelling. I came to it later but was swept away when I did.

    Reply
  98. What a wonderful memory, Janice! I love the thought of you making a screamish noise and people shaking their heads – a lot of us can identify with that reaction when we’re deep into a book and no one understands how important that is! Yes, there are such strong role models in that book and wonderful storytelling. I came to it later but was swept away when I did.

    Reply
  99. What a wonderful memory, Janice! I love the thought of you making a screamish noise and people shaking their heads – a lot of us can identify with that reaction when we’re deep into a book and no one understands how important that is! Yes, there are such strong role models in that book and wonderful storytelling. I came to it later but was swept away when I did.

    Reply
  100. What a wonderful memory, Janice! I love the thought of you making a screamish noise and people shaking their heads – a lot of us can identify with that reaction when we’re deep into a book and no one understands how important that is! Yes, there are such strong role models in that book and wonderful storytelling. I came to it later but was swept away when I did.

    Reply
  101. Oh, Theo, I can so relate to this! At least you were able to walk to a used bookstore. I was limited to the drugstore a mile away, when I’d saved enough quarters to buy a 99c book. Might explain my reading habits today.

    Reply
  102. Oh, Theo, I can so relate to this! At least you were able to walk to a used bookstore. I was limited to the drugstore a mile away, when I’d saved enough quarters to buy a 99c book. Might explain my reading habits today.

    Reply
  103. Oh, Theo, I can so relate to this! At least you were able to walk to a used bookstore. I was limited to the drugstore a mile away, when I’d saved enough quarters to buy a 99c book. Might explain my reading habits today.

    Reply
  104. Oh, Theo, I can so relate to this! At least you were able to walk to a used bookstore. I was limited to the drugstore a mile away, when I’d saved enough quarters to buy a 99c book. Might explain my reading habits today.

    Reply
  105. Oh, Theo, I can so relate to this! At least you were able to walk to a used bookstore. I was limited to the drugstore a mile away, when I’d saved enough quarters to buy a 99c book. Might explain my reading habits today.

    Reply
  106. We related to books so much more when we were young, didn’t we? I didn’t meet Tolkien until I was much too old to have that kind of reaction, although I do remember stomping about when they didn’t do what I wanted them to do. Another most excellent reason to get our kids reading young, so they can experience this enthrallment.

    Reply
  107. We related to books so much more when we were young, didn’t we? I didn’t meet Tolkien until I was much too old to have that kind of reaction, although I do remember stomping about when they didn’t do what I wanted them to do. Another most excellent reason to get our kids reading young, so they can experience this enthrallment.

    Reply
  108. We related to books so much more when we were young, didn’t we? I didn’t meet Tolkien until I was much too old to have that kind of reaction, although I do remember stomping about when they didn’t do what I wanted them to do. Another most excellent reason to get our kids reading young, so they can experience this enthrallment.

    Reply
  109. We related to books so much more when we were young, didn’t we? I didn’t meet Tolkien until I was much too old to have that kind of reaction, although I do remember stomping about when they didn’t do what I wanted them to do. Another most excellent reason to get our kids reading young, so they can experience this enthrallment.

    Reply
  110. We related to books so much more when we were young, didn’t we? I didn’t meet Tolkien until I was much too old to have that kind of reaction, although I do remember stomping about when they didn’t do what I wanted them to do. Another most excellent reason to get our kids reading young, so they can experience this enthrallment.

    Reply
  111. I loved those stories and was glued to the TV series too! I’m still in love with the little Pekingese Tricky Woo 😀

    Reply
  112. I loved those stories and was glued to the TV series too! I’m still in love with the little Pekingese Tricky Woo 😀

    Reply
  113. I loved those stories and was glued to the TV series too! I’m still in love with the little Pekingese Tricky Woo 😀

    Reply
  114. I loved those stories and was glued to the TV series too! I’m still in love with the little Pekingese Tricky Woo 😀

    Reply
  115. I loved those stories and was glued to the TV series too! I’m still in love with the little Pekingese Tricky Woo 😀

    Reply
  116. For me I think it would have to be The Blue Castle by L M Montgomery with Anne’s House of Dreams by the same author a very close second. They are both beautifully written stories that affected me deeply and I have reread both of them many times. They are wonderful books, one being a stand alone and one being part of the Anne of Green Gable series. Highly recommend!

    Reply
  117. For me I think it would have to be The Blue Castle by L M Montgomery with Anne’s House of Dreams by the same author a very close second. They are both beautifully written stories that affected me deeply and I have reread both of them many times. They are wonderful books, one being a stand alone and one being part of the Anne of Green Gable series. Highly recommend!

    Reply
  118. For me I think it would have to be The Blue Castle by L M Montgomery with Anne’s House of Dreams by the same author a very close second. They are both beautifully written stories that affected me deeply and I have reread both of them many times. They are wonderful books, one being a stand alone and one being part of the Anne of Green Gable series. Highly recommend!

    Reply
  119. For me I think it would have to be The Blue Castle by L M Montgomery with Anne’s House of Dreams by the same author a very close second. They are both beautifully written stories that affected me deeply and I have reread both of them many times. They are wonderful books, one being a stand alone and one being part of the Anne of Green Gable series. Highly recommend!

    Reply
  120. For me I think it would have to be The Blue Castle by L M Montgomery with Anne’s House of Dreams by the same author a very close second. They are both beautifully written stories that affected me deeply and I have reread both of them many times. They are wonderful books, one being a stand alone and one being part of the Anne of Green Gable series. Highly recommend!

    Reply
  121. Thank you very much for the recommendations,Janet. I hadn’t heard of The Blue Castle and will look out for that. I love books that are so affecting that they stay a part of you always.

    Reply
  122. Thank you very much for the recommendations,Janet. I hadn’t heard of The Blue Castle and will look out for that. I love books that are so affecting that they stay a part of you always.

    Reply
  123. Thank you very much for the recommendations,Janet. I hadn’t heard of The Blue Castle and will look out for that. I love books that are so affecting that they stay a part of you always.

    Reply
  124. Thank you very much for the recommendations,Janet. I hadn’t heard of The Blue Castle and will look out for that. I love books that are so affecting that they stay a part of you always.

    Reply
  125. Thank you very much for the recommendations,Janet. I hadn’t heard of The Blue Castle and will look out for that. I love books that are so affecting that they stay a part of you always.

    Reply
  126. I love the screamish noise! I once cried while reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Unfortunately, I was sitting in a small plane experiencing turbulence (which I hardly noticed) and when I emerged from the story I found the lady next to me was praying aloud because she thought I was crying with fear!

    Reply
  127. I love the screamish noise! I once cried while reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Unfortunately, I was sitting in a small plane experiencing turbulence (which I hardly noticed) and when I emerged from the story I found the lady next to me was praying aloud because she thought I was crying with fear!

    Reply
  128. I love the screamish noise! I once cried while reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Unfortunately, I was sitting in a small plane experiencing turbulence (which I hardly noticed) and when I emerged from the story I found the lady next to me was praying aloud because she thought I was crying with fear!

    Reply
  129. I love the screamish noise! I once cried while reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Unfortunately, I was sitting in a small plane experiencing turbulence (which I hardly noticed) and when I emerged from the story I found the lady next to me was praying aloud because she thought I was crying with fear!

    Reply
  130. I love the screamish noise! I once cried while reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Unfortunately, I was sitting in a small plane experiencing turbulence (which I hardly noticed) and when I emerged from the story I found the lady next to me was praying aloud because she thought I was crying with fear!

    Reply
  131. My Mother had all the Heyer books in her bookcase and she started me on them at about ten (I also would read cereal packets if they were in front of me). I still have them and my daughter read them as a teen. But my highlight is when she returned from an 11 month student exchange (agony for me) and introduced me to Mary Balogh, Mary Jo Putney and Jo Beverley books. I loved them of course and introduced my mother to them. There is nothing like three generations of women sitting together, discussing characters as if they are real people and surmising on where the story line would go next. I’m so grateful that you ladies have given me those moments as my mother is gone now. Phooey to those that think romances, especially Regency Romances, are meaningless.

    Reply
  132. My Mother had all the Heyer books in her bookcase and she started me on them at about ten (I also would read cereal packets if they were in front of me). I still have them and my daughter read them as a teen. But my highlight is when she returned from an 11 month student exchange (agony for me) and introduced me to Mary Balogh, Mary Jo Putney and Jo Beverley books. I loved them of course and introduced my mother to them. There is nothing like three generations of women sitting together, discussing characters as if they are real people and surmising on where the story line would go next. I’m so grateful that you ladies have given me those moments as my mother is gone now. Phooey to those that think romances, especially Regency Romances, are meaningless.

    Reply
  133. My Mother had all the Heyer books in her bookcase and she started me on them at about ten (I also would read cereal packets if they were in front of me). I still have them and my daughter read them as a teen. But my highlight is when she returned from an 11 month student exchange (agony for me) and introduced me to Mary Balogh, Mary Jo Putney and Jo Beverley books. I loved them of course and introduced my mother to them. There is nothing like three generations of women sitting together, discussing characters as if they are real people and surmising on where the story line would go next. I’m so grateful that you ladies have given me those moments as my mother is gone now. Phooey to those that think romances, especially Regency Romances, are meaningless.

    Reply
  134. My Mother had all the Heyer books in her bookcase and she started me on them at about ten (I also would read cereal packets if they were in front of me). I still have them and my daughter read them as a teen. But my highlight is when she returned from an 11 month student exchange (agony for me) and introduced me to Mary Balogh, Mary Jo Putney and Jo Beverley books. I loved them of course and introduced my mother to them. There is nothing like three generations of women sitting together, discussing characters as if they are real people and surmising on where the story line would go next. I’m so grateful that you ladies have given me those moments as my mother is gone now. Phooey to those that think romances, especially Regency Romances, are meaningless.

    Reply
  135. My Mother had all the Heyer books in her bookcase and she started me on them at about ten (I also would read cereal packets if they were in front of me). I still have them and my daughter read them as a teen. But my highlight is when she returned from an 11 month student exchange (agony for me) and introduced me to Mary Balogh, Mary Jo Putney and Jo Beverley books. I loved them of course and introduced my mother to them. There is nothing like three generations of women sitting together, discussing characters as if they are real people and surmising on where the story line would go next. I’m so grateful that you ladies have given me those moments as my mother is gone now. Phooey to those that think romances, especially Regency Romances, are meaningless.

    Reply
  136. Indeed! And yes, what a lovely image of three generations of the family enjoying the books together! That was one of the reasons I loved reading with my grandmother.

    Reply
  137. Indeed! And yes, what a lovely image of three generations of the family enjoying the books together! That was one of the reasons I loved reading with my grandmother.

    Reply
  138. Indeed! And yes, what a lovely image of three generations of the family enjoying the books together! That was one of the reasons I loved reading with my grandmother.

    Reply
  139. Indeed! And yes, what a lovely image of three generations of the family enjoying the books together! That was one of the reasons I loved reading with my grandmother.

    Reply
  140. Indeed! And yes, what a lovely image of three generations of the family enjoying the books together! That was one of the reasons I loved reading with my grandmother.

    Reply
  141. Hello Janice,
    I have a soft spot for Tolkien too. My brother began reading the Hobbit to me over Christmas break when he was home from college, while I had the flu. It started me on a lifelong love of fantasy and science fiction.
    I also liked that the main character was not the traditional 6’ foot swordman like Conan the Barbarian. Bilbo was a plump, short hobbit who really liked to eat and shared his fears openly, but went out and had amazing adventures anyway.
    One of my other first loves that I still reread is Anne of Green Gables. I could really identify with the bright, socially awkward and overly wordy girl with the Curious George tendencies who finds her family.

    Reply
  142. Hello Janice,
    I have a soft spot for Tolkien too. My brother began reading the Hobbit to me over Christmas break when he was home from college, while I had the flu. It started me on a lifelong love of fantasy and science fiction.
    I also liked that the main character was not the traditional 6’ foot swordman like Conan the Barbarian. Bilbo was a plump, short hobbit who really liked to eat and shared his fears openly, but went out and had amazing adventures anyway.
    One of my other first loves that I still reread is Anne of Green Gables. I could really identify with the bright, socially awkward and overly wordy girl with the Curious George tendencies who finds her family.

    Reply
  143. Hello Janice,
    I have a soft spot for Tolkien too. My brother began reading the Hobbit to me over Christmas break when he was home from college, while I had the flu. It started me on a lifelong love of fantasy and science fiction.
    I also liked that the main character was not the traditional 6’ foot swordman like Conan the Barbarian. Bilbo was a plump, short hobbit who really liked to eat and shared his fears openly, but went out and had amazing adventures anyway.
    One of my other first loves that I still reread is Anne of Green Gables. I could really identify with the bright, socially awkward and overly wordy girl with the Curious George tendencies who finds her family.

    Reply
  144. Hello Janice,
    I have a soft spot for Tolkien too. My brother began reading the Hobbit to me over Christmas break when he was home from college, while I had the flu. It started me on a lifelong love of fantasy and science fiction.
    I also liked that the main character was not the traditional 6’ foot swordman like Conan the Barbarian. Bilbo was a plump, short hobbit who really liked to eat and shared his fears openly, but went out and had amazing adventures anyway.
    One of my other first loves that I still reread is Anne of Green Gables. I could really identify with the bright, socially awkward and overly wordy girl with the Curious George tendencies who finds her family.

    Reply
  145. Hello Janice,
    I have a soft spot for Tolkien too. My brother began reading the Hobbit to me over Christmas break when he was home from college, while I had the flu. It started me on a lifelong love of fantasy and science fiction.
    I also liked that the main character was not the traditional 6’ foot swordman like Conan the Barbarian. Bilbo was a plump, short hobbit who really liked to eat and shared his fears openly, but went out and had amazing adventures anyway.
    One of my other first loves that I still reread is Anne of Green Gables. I could really identify with the bright, socially awkward and overly wordy girl with the Curious George tendencies who finds her family.

    Reply
  146. I’ve been known to cry on planes, too, Mary. The first time, it was an Elizabeth Lowell category romance. Fortunately, there was no turbulence!

    Reply
  147. I’ve been known to cry on planes, too, Mary. The first time, it was an Elizabeth Lowell category romance. Fortunately, there was no turbulence!

    Reply
  148. I’ve been known to cry on planes, too, Mary. The first time, it was an Elizabeth Lowell category romance. Fortunately, there was no turbulence!

    Reply
  149. I’ve been known to cry on planes, too, Mary. The first time, it was an Elizabeth Lowell category romance. Fortunately, there was no turbulence!

    Reply
  150. I’ve been known to cry on planes, too, Mary. The first time, it was an Elizabeth Lowell category romance. Fortunately, there was no turbulence!

    Reply
  151. For some reason this post didn’t show up in my emails and I’m so sorry I missed it. I’m probably too late with my comment but here goes anyway.
    I have loved reading since I could string words together. l had quite a lonely childhood so books were a life line to me. We had no libraries or bookshops near us and no money so any books I got were through school or a friend I had who passed on books to me that she was finished with.
    An absolute favourite of my childhood books was Jane’s Adventures in and out of the book by Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy. It was fabulous!! It gave me my life long love of books that had a travel element in them. And I don’t mean ordinary travel!!
    As an adult one that clung to my heart was Half Hidden by Emma Blair. It’s about the occupation of Jersey in World War 11 and is heart rending stuff.
    A wonderful post and I agree Pat, it would be nice to do it again.

    Reply
  152. For some reason this post didn’t show up in my emails and I’m so sorry I missed it. I’m probably too late with my comment but here goes anyway.
    I have loved reading since I could string words together. l had quite a lonely childhood so books were a life line to me. We had no libraries or bookshops near us and no money so any books I got were through school or a friend I had who passed on books to me that she was finished with.
    An absolute favourite of my childhood books was Jane’s Adventures in and out of the book by Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy. It was fabulous!! It gave me my life long love of books that had a travel element in them. And I don’t mean ordinary travel!!
    As an adult one that clung to my heart was Half Hidden by Emma Blair. It’s about the occupation of Jersey in World War 11 and is heart rending stuff.
    A wonderful post and I agree Pat, it would be nice to do it again.

    Reply
  153. For some reason this post didn’t show up in my emails and I’m so sorry I missed it. I’m probably too late with my comment but here goes anyway.
    I have loved reading since I could string words together. l had quite a lonely childhood so books were a life line to me. We had no libraries or bookshops near us and no money so any books I got were through school or a friend I had who passed on books to me that she was finished with.
    An absolute favourite of my childhood books was Jane’s Adventures in and out of the book by Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy. It was fabulous!! It gave me my life long love of books that had a travel element in them. And I don’t mean ordinary travel!!
    As an adult one that clung to my heart was Half Hidden by Emma Blair. It’s about the occupation of Jersey in World War 11 and is heart rending stuff.
    A wonderful post and I agree Pat, it would be nice to do it again.

    Reply
  154. For some reason this post didn’t show up in my emails and I’m so sorry I missed it. I’m probably too late with my comment but here goes anyway.
    I have loved reading since I could string words together. l had quite a lonely childhood so books were a life line to me. We had no libraries or bookshops near us and no money so any books I got were through school or a friend I had who passed on books to me that she was finished with.
    An absolute favourite of my childhood books was Jane’s Adventures in and out of the book by Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy. It was fabulous!! It gave me my life long love of books that had a travel element in them. And I don’t mean ordinary travel!!
    As an adult one that clung to my heart was Half Hidden by Emma Blair. It’s about the occupation of Jersey in World War 11 and is heart rending stuff.
    A wonderful post and I agree Pat, it would be nice to do it again.

    Reply
  155. For some reason this post didn’t show up in my emails and I’m so sorry I missed it. I’m probably too late with my comment but here goes anyway.
    I have loved reading since I could string words together. l had quite a lonely childhood so books were a life line to me. We had no libraries or bookshops near us and no money so any books I got were through school or a friend I had who passed on books to me that she was finished with.
    An absolute favourite of my childhood books was Jane’s Adventures in and out of the book by Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy. It was fabulous!! It gave me my life long love of books that had a travel element in them. And I don’t mean ordinary travel!!
    As an adult one that clung to my heart was Half Hidden by Emma Blair. It’s about the occupation of Jersey in World War 11 and is heart rending stuff.
    A wonderful post and I agree Pat, it would be nice to do it again.

    Reply
  156. Pamela I watched and loved the series when it was first out but I only recently started reading the books. I LOVE them!!

    Reply
  157. Pamela I watched and loved the series when it was first out but I only recently started reading the books. I LOVE them!!

    Reply
  158. Pamela I watched and loved the series when it was first out but I only recently started reading the books. I LOVE them!!

    Reply
  159. Pamela I watched and loved the series when it was first out but I only recently started reading the books. I LOVE them!!

    Reply
  160. Pamela I watched and loved the series when it was first out but I only recently started reading the books. I LOVE them!!

    Reply
  161. Once I learned to disregard the male propaganda that only male writing is Important and Of Lasting Value, I learned to love romance writing.
    I used to pass on my regencies to my mom too. I was happy to at last have something we could share. She loved reading as an escape too but our tastes didn’t often coincide.
    I think she regarded the perfect love relationships in romance as an ideal, not what one should expect in real life. It’s good to have ideals. I have heard that battered women’s shelters often have a stash of romances around, there to show how a woman should expect to be treated, for women who have only seen the negative side of relationships.
    My mother has been gone for many years, but I do remember and treasure those shared moments.

    Reply
  162. Once I learned to disregard the male propaganda that only male writing is Important and Of Lasting Value, I learned to love romance writing.
    I used to pass on my regencies to my mom too. I was happy to at last have something we could share. She loved reading as an escape too but our tastes didn’t often coincide.
    I think she regarded the perfect love relationships in romance as an ideal, not what one should expect in real life. It’s good to have ideals. I have heard that battered women’s shelters often have a stash of romances around, there to show how a woman should expect to be treated, for women who have only seen the negative side of relationships.
    My mother has been gone for many years, but I do remember and treasure those shared moments.

    Reply
  163. Once I learned to disregard the male propaganda that only male writing is Important and Of Lasting Value, I learned to love romance writing.
    I used to pass on my regencies to my mom too. I was happy to at last have something we could share. She loved reading as an escape too but our tastes didn’t often coincide.
    I think she regarded the perfect love relationships in romance as an ideal, not what one should expect in real life. It’s good to have ideals. I have heard that battered women’s shelters often have a stash of romances around, there to show how a woman should expect to be treated, for women who have only seen the negative side of relationships.
    My mother has been gone for many years, but I do remember and treasure those shared moments.

    Reply
  164. Once I learned to disregard the male propaganda that only male writing is Important and Of Lasting Value, I learned to love romance writing.
    I used to pass on my regencies to my mom too. I was happy to at last have something we could share. She loved reading as an escape too but our tastes didn’t often coincide.
    I think she regarded the perfect love relationships in romance as an ideal, not what one should expect in real life. It’s good to have ideals. I have heard that battered women’s shelters often have a stash of romances around, there to show how a woman should expect to be treated, for women who have only seen the negative side of relationships.
    My mother has been gone for many years, but I do remember and treasure those shared moments.

    Reply
  165. Once I learned to disregard the male propaganda that only male writing is Important and Of Lasting Value, I learned to love romance writing.
    I used to pass on my regencies to my mom too. I was happy to at last have something we could share. She loved reading as an escape too but our tastes didn’t often coincide.
    I think she regarded the perfect love relationships in romance as an ideal, not what one should expect in real life. It’s good to have ideals. I have heard that battered women’s shelters often have a stash of romances around, there to show how a woman should expect to be treated, for women who have only seen the negative side of relationships.
    My mother has been gone for many years, but I do remember and treasure those shared moments.

    Reply
  166. Teresa, I haven’t heard of Jane’s adventures in and out of the book but it sounds intriguing and I’m going to try and get hold of it. Lovely that it gave you such a great love of reading for life!

    Reply
  167. Teresa, I haven’t heard of Jane’s adventures in and out of the book but it sounds intriguing and I’m going to try and get hold of it. Lovely that it gave you such a great love of reading for life!

    Reply
  168. Teresa, I haven’t heard of Jane’s adventures in and out of the book but it sounds intriguing and I’m going to try and get hold of it. Lovely that it gave you such a great love of reading for life!

    Reply
  169. Teresa, I haven’t heard of Jane’s adventures in and out of the book but it sounds intriguing and I’m going to try and get hold of it. Lovely that it gave you such a great love of reading for life!

    Reply
  170. Teresa, I haven’t heard of Jane’s adventures in and out of the book but it sounds intriguing and I’m going to try and get hold of it. Lovely that it gave you such a great love of reading for life!

    Reply
  171. Thanks for replying Nicola. If you do track down the book I’d love to know what you think of it. I’ve actually read it again since I read this post.

    Reply
  172. Thanks for replying Nicola. If you do track down the book I’d love to know what you think of it. I’ve actually read it again since I read this post.

    Reply
  173. Thanks for replying Nicola. If you do track down the book I’d love to know what you think of it. I’ve actually read it again since I read this post.

    Reply
  174. Thanks for replying Nicola. If you do track down the book I’d love to know what you think of it. I’ve actually read it again since I read this post.

    Reply
  175. Thanks for replying Nicola. If you do track down the book I’d love to know what you think of it. I’ve actually read it again since I read this post.

    Reply

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