Tag Archives: Philip Pullman

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten TuesdayCreated and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme for those who love lists and want to get to know their fellow bloggers. Each week features a new theme, and anyone may participate. This week’s theme is…

Top Ten Favorite Books from My Childhood

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. My parents gave me a hardcover copy of this book when I was maybe five-years-old, which started my dad reading the entire series to me aloud, chapter by chapter, book by book, until one day, when I was six, I got impatient, and finished These Happy Golden Years while he was at work. I remember this clearly because it was the first chapter book I ever read on my own.

Meet Molly by Valerie Tripp. Sure, I read the other American Girl Doll books, but Molly’s were always my favorites. I can’t speak for the newer books, but those that accompanied the Molly and the other original dolls are incredibly well-written, especially when you consider that they were essentially accessories, and I have no doubt they laid the foundation for my ongoing love of U.S. history.

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. Even though I can no longer recall every specific of its plot, I continue to love this book. I went through a brief city planner phase as a result of Harriet’s habit of playing Town with Sport. And I can’t be the only one to have read this book and immediately start my own spy notebook, right? That’s what I thought.

Anastasia Krupnik by Lois Lowry. Before I was old enough to appreciate just how good The Giver is, I loved Lowry’s Anastasia Krupnik books. I remember copying her idea of listing likes and dislikes in her journal (sadly, I do not remember what I included in said lists!), and for some reason, I think she is one of the more precocious heroines from my childhood favorites (which is saying something).

Martin the Warrior by Brian Jacques. I wish I could remember how I discovered the Redwall books, because I think they are the very first large scale fantasy I ever loved. I think I’ve read at least the first ten books, but I know that Martin the Warrior has always been my favorite. I’ve always had a thing for prequel stories, and Jacques is possibly the first author I read who was willing to kill a likable character, thus introducing me to bookish sadness.

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede. All those in favor of Cimorene, say aye! She’s a wonderful protagonist, and this is a wonderful book. I read my local library’s copies of it and the rest of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles over and over again, and in many ways, Wrede paved the way for my longstanding love affair tongue-in-cheek genre parodies and high(er) fantasy featuring kick ass female protagonists.

Matilda by Roald Dahl. Frankly, everything Roald Dahl has ever written (exception: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, etc.) belongs on this list, but out of all his books, Matilda is my all-time favorite. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Matilda Wormwood is every bookish child’s soulmate. She reads voraciously, in defiance of a family too stupid to keep up with her, and she’s smart to the point of psychic abilities.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi. One of my all-time favorite works of historical fiction, and with a swashbuckling heroine, to boot! I read and reread this book, in particular around the time that my homeschool group participated in a living history sleepover on a tall ship in the San Francisco Bay. (Getting to do things like that is just one of the many reasons that I loved being homeschooled.)

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce. This wasn’t the first Tamora Pierce book I ever read. That honor belongs to Wild Magic. All the same, it wouldn’t be right for anyone other than Alanna to represent Tamora Pierce on this list. Having recently (re)read all 17 Tortall books, I know they stand the test of time, and at the end of the day, I can’t wait to share these books with a daughter of my own. I just hope she loves them as much as I do.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. I put this list together with a rough chronology in mind, beginning with the books my parents read aloud to me, and ending here, with the book that had the most impact on me as I transitioned from child to young adult. Ironically, I had little interest in reading it when my dad first bought me a copy. I had other new books that I was more interested in, that I read first. I don’t remember what they were, and anyway, it was my first copy of The Golden Compass that lost its cover from love and endless readings. To this day, it and its sequels are some of the best and most important books that I have ever read.

What about you? What are your favorite books from childhood, and why?

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten TuesdayCreated and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme for those who love lists and want to get to know their fellow bloggers. Each week features a new theme, and anyone may participate. This week’s theme is…

Top Ten Authors I’d Invite over for Thanksgiving

Philip PullmanPhilip Pullman. To be honest, meeting Philip Pullman in any capacity would be a dream come true. Of all the thousands of books that I’ve read, Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy has has the most formative effect on my life, and I’m convinced he’d be an amazing conversationalist on almost any subject.

James BaldwinJames Baldwin. Giovanni’s Room was assigned to me for a basic survey of American literature course, yet it wound up being one of the most important books I read in college. It’s not YA, but it deals heavily with what is possibly the most important YA theme—identity—and Baldwin’s writing is simply beautiful.

Tamora PierceTamora Pierce. Earlier this year, I realized that I’ve been reading books by Tamora Pierce for more than 15 years. I’ve since (re)read all 17 Tortall books, and I can now say that no other author has such longstanding effect on me as a reader, a woman, and a feminist.

Kristin CashoreKristin Cashore. Fire was the very first book I read in 2011, and it continues to rank as one of my favorites of the year. In lieu of more books about Fire and Brigan, I would gladly accept dinnertime conversation about women, feminism, and what inspired her to write about Monsters and the Dells.

Madeline L'EngleMadeline L’Engle. I always associate Madeline L’Engle with reading in the loft bed at my grandparents house, probably because all of L’Engle’s books are there, left on the shelves by my aunt after she grew up and moved away. L’Engle is a true queen of YA literature, and though it’s been a while since I read any of her books (tsk), she’ll always stand out as a favorite.

Brian JacquesBrian Jacques. I was struggling to come up with a tenth author, but then I read i swim for oceans’s Top Ten Tuesday post, and my choice became clear: of course Brian Jacques is invited! Martin the Warrior is one of the first books I remember crying over (Rose!), and, please, just look at that cheery smile!

Laura Ingalls-Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder. My parents gave me a copy of Little House in the Big Woods when I was 5? 6? And These Happy Golden Years was the first chapter book I ever read on my own—my dad had been reading it aloud to me, but one day, I got impatient and finished it on my own. I think Laura is responsible for my love for stories of westward expansion, and how amazing would it be to listen to her stories during dinner?

Patricia C. WredePatricia C. Wrede. One of the first book reviews I ever wrote was of Dealing with Dragons (as a home-schooler, this is what I did with my spare time), and this past summer, I read both of Frontier Magic books, which makes me think it’d be fascinating to listen to Wrede talk to Wilder*.

Sarah DessenSarah Dessen. Surely you didn’t think I’d leave off my favorite contemporary YA authors, and of those, Sarah Dessen is #1. This Lullaby is my all-time favorite of hers, but ultimately I love everything she writes, and I buy each new book immediately upon release. From what I’ve seen of public appearances, she is an absolute darling. I want to be her BFF.

Megan McCaffertyMegan McCafferty. Bumped may have been less than expected, but Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie will be amazing forever. I love McCafferty’s taste in pop culture, so I know we’d have a lots to talk about, and I would use her presence at my Thanksgiving dinner to shamelessly lobby for Aubrey Plaza to be cast as movie adaptation Jessica.

What about you? Which authors would you invite to your Thanksgiving dinner?

*I am so frustrated that I couldn’t find a black and white picture of Patricia C. Wrede!