Hello friends! We’ve bought you all a really fun post today – following today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) Clare and I are going to be discussing a few books we loved growing up. Reading has been a huge part of our lives, so this post is bound to be fun and kind of personal, so buckle up, friends, and put on comfy shoes – because we’re taking you all on a walk down our bookish memory lanes!
Believe it or not my Mum actually hugely struggled to convince me to learn to read because, and I quote, “there’s always someone to read to me” (I may have been a tad spoiled?). But as soon as my Mum managed to get me reading it was over. Reading was everything and I was in love with books. Basically, Mums are geniuses and you should definitely listen to them more. Or I should listen to mine more anyway! I’ve chosen books that I read over and over until they fell apart and had fully left their imprint on me.
ALICE IN WONDERLAND BY LEWIS CARROLL
The book that started it all. When I was just 3 years old someone bought me a gorgeous illustrated copy of this and my Mum (the aforementioned genius) refused to let anyone read it to me. Desperate to learn the story I finally agreed to learn to read and was rewarded with this slice of nonsense! Since then I’ve read the story over and over, I even managed to write a whole essay about it for my University course (I was studying Children’s Literature so it was at least relevant). I love this story.
A TRAVELLER IN TIME BY ALISON UTTLEY
If you know me then you’ll know I love History, I studied Tudors and Stuarts in College and this is the book that began my obsession with them. I started reading because, even as a kid, I was fascinated by anything supernatural and then got completely hooked on the Tudor drama. I have strong memories of child-Clare demanding visits to some of the locations in the book (and luckily living near them anyway).
ANNE OF GREEN GABLES by L.M. MONTGOMERY
Picture tiny ginger Clare getting bullied for her hair and you’ll probably understand why I love red-haired inspiration Anne Shirley. She stayed so true to herself throughout, something I haven’t always managed, and I super admired everything about her. She remains one of my favourite literary characters of all time but remains notable, to me, because it was the first time I didn’t hate my hair colour. I now love my hair, which as a child I would never have been able to imagine.
I CAPTURE THE CASTLE BY DODIE SMITH
I’ll be honest, I’m not sure that child-me actually understood this book. In fact I’m 90% certain I had no idea what was going on. But there’s something to be said for reading it like that the first time. Even the main character doesn’t really understand what’s going on around her so as I read this multiple times growing up and discovered something new every time this became a story that grew with me. Or vice versa. Either way, the emotions and impact of this book linger in a big way.
SONG QUEST BY KATHERINE ROBERTS
OK so I remember next to nothing about this series except that I loved it to death. You can see from my picks above that I had a classic-heavy upbringing (as a result of a family that loved classics). This was one of the first books I chose entirely for myself and it was fantastical and original and just brilliant. I remember the vague outline of the world itself but not the details of the plot and I think I’ve just convinced myself to re-read this series now.
Growing up, I’ve always adored reading. Like most, I learnt how to read in first grade, and from that point on I was rarely seen without a book. I annoyed the heck out of my family by following everyone around and reading to them. Tiny me thought it’d make everyone’s day if I read my picture books aloud to them… and it didn’t. 😂 Shocker, I know! But they were a good sport about it, and I only realized it as a much older kid that actually, I wasn’t as impressive as I thought. 😂
MULTIPLE NOVELS BY JACQUELINE WILSON
I’m not sure how well known Jacqueline Wilson is at other parts of the world, but I absolutely adored her novels when I was a kid. She wrote contemporary novels about kids, or pre-teens, and I remember absolutely adoring her characters. As far as I remember, a lot of the times they featured themes of friendship and family, and these are two topics I cherish in novels to this day.
A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS BY LEMONY SNICKET
I’m forever thankful to my elementary school librarian for introducing me to this series, as well as other novels I loved as a kid. Our school library was tiny, and I mean TINY, but she still always managed to pull something cool out whenever I asked her for recs. Back when I was a kid, most of the books published or translated to Hungarian for kids were contemporaries – meanwhile I wanted something darker, and I got it with A Series of Unfortunate Events. Sadly, only the first half of the series was published in Hungarian at that time, so I never finished the books – I did watch the whole series on Netflix, though! – but this series was still a huge part of my childhood.
WIND ON FIRE TRILOGY BY WILLIAM NICHOLSON
Another series recommended to me by my elementary school librarian, and one I adored at that time. The Wind Singer, first in a series, was the first dystopian novel I’ve ever read, so it obviously left a huge impression on me. It’s so rare and precious when I can recall particular scenes from my childhood favorites, and this series is a great example of that. I obviously don’t remember the plot in detail, but even as I’m typing this, more and more is coming back – and so are the emotions I felt while reading the series, or experiences I have tied to these books, which is so special, and exactly what childhood favorites are about for me.
VARIOUS NOVELS BY MEG CABOT
Meg Cabot has been a massive favorite of mine for a loong time – in fact, that’s what Ruzi (our third co-blogger for those who’re new here!) and I have bonded over. Cabot’s books were such a huge part of my pre-teen and teen years – I’ve reread many of her works multiple times, like Mediator, 1-800-Where-R-You, Princess Diaries and Queen of Babble, and Ruzi and I even set out to reread the whole Princess Diaries a few years ago. Fun fact: Meg Cabot is probably the author I’ve read the most novels by, as I’ve read 53 books by her altogether.
VAMPIRE BOOKS OF THE TWILIGHT ERA
I’m incredibly, and I mean INCREDIBLY, critical of Stephenie Meyer, but I have super-fond memories of the vampire era. This is the only trend I remember that made me read series after series about a certain topic (vampires) and I still wasn’t bored – I always wanted more. I read YA series like Twilight, House of Night, Evernight, Cirque du Freak, Vampire Diaries and then I turned to adult series as well – which definitely weren’t age-appropriate but shh – like Anita Blake, Sookie Stackhouse and Night Huntress. I was reading nothing but vampire books for a while there, and I had so much fun haha.
When did you get into reading? What were your favorite novels as a kid, or teen? Do you think you’d still enjoy them? Have you read anything we mentioned?