Week #23 – Books. What was your favorite book, or who was your favorite author from your childhood? What do you like to read now? Books or other formats?
Hands down, there is no question what my answer is to this one. My favorite author was Beverly Cleary! From Henry Huggins and his dog Ribsy, Ramona and her big sister Beezus, and Ralph the Mouse and his Motorcycle my entire childhood was wrapped up in her books. One of my favorite parts in a book to do this day are when little Ramona starts kindergarten. She can’t find a seat in class, and her teacher tells her to “Sit here for the present.” She sat there all day and still never got a present! I loved Ralph’s adventures on the motorcycle. They were filled with mystery and magic in the simplest of places, all due to the tiny size of little Ralph.
Another book that struck a major chord with me is The 79 Squares by Malcolm J. Bosse. I picked it up at the library for a mandatory book report (groan) but I ended up liking it quite a lot. It’s about a troubled boy who got involved with the wrong crowd of friends. To the surprise of his juvenile probation officer, 14-year old Eric ends up befriending a cranky old neighbor who talks him into spending his time observing the world in the back yard garden – one square foot at a time. The concept of starting at one square foot of earth every day for an entire summer was (and is) fascinating to me.
My Grandma Cole gave me a book called Daphne’s Book by Mary Downing Hahn when I was about 9 or 10 years old. She said she purchased it because the lead character’s name was Jessica. I read the book, and I loved it! It’s about Jessica’s horror in realizing she is paired with the class freak for a very important project. The story goes through their journey together during the project, and they become great friends in the process. It’s a beautiful story about assumptions, discrimination, and overcoming misconceptions about people.
I loved these books so much as a child that I bought a few of them used as an adult, just so I would have them available. After middle school, I pretty much stopped reading for fun until Harry Potter came out, with the exception of poetry (mostly by Theodore Roethke). I’ve read the HP series at least four times. I followed that up with Twilight Saga, reading it once, mostly so I could understand the pop culture references to it.
Reading is tough for me. I don’t retain information when I read it, so by the time I get to page 21 I forgot what happened on page 18 and everything before it. I’m an audible and tactile learner. If I hear it, I remember it – no problem! I think that’s why I’m a poor test-taker. Reading was always frustrating for me because it meant I was going to be tested on it, which made me anxious. I never grew out of that.
Today I read blogs and online articles, but you won’t ever see me with a book in my hands except on extremely rare occasions. I read magazines sometimes, like Photoshop Creative and Consumer Reports.
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