KJ (owlmoose) wrote,

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Influential books

heyheyrenay asks about the books that influenced people's early reading habits. I am ganking it rather than commenting in her journal, because I'm interested in what my flist might have to say on the subject. There are two questions: what were the first novels you read as a kid, and which were you most attached to as a teenager?

1. The first novels I ever read were the Oz books by L. Frank Baum. I had read my way through the kids section at the library, I loved the movie, and so I picked up The Wizard of Oz. I devoured the whole series and read them all many times. I also read and re-read the Little House books, Beverly Cleary, Nancy Drew, Judy Blume, the Narnia books, and Trixie Belden. Also From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Little Women, Harriet the Spy, and Lewis Carroll. And, of course, the book I always cite when I have to pick a favorite book: The Westing Game.

2. As a teenager, I devoured teen romance and fantasy about equally. Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume were my gateway into the romance genre -- anyone remember Jean and Johnny? Or Foverver? In fifth grade I got sucked into Sweet Valley High and got terribly addicted. I also devoured books in the Sweet Dreams and Cheerleaders series. (I still maintain that the Cheerleaders books had actual literary merit, at least the first few.) Norma Fox Mazer was good, too. Also Lois Duncan; I started with Stranger with my Face and quickly followed that up with everything she had ever written. I tried others in the supernatural thriller genre, but the only one I particularly liked was Christopher Pike.

As for fantasy, particular favorites were Terry Brooks's Shannara books (and yes, I know they are considered pale imitations of Tolkein, but I tried to read The Hobbit in fourth grade and gave up because it was dense and boring, so Brooks was more my speed at that age. I did finally read Tolkein in college), Alan Dean Foster, Piers Anthony (I got bored with Xanth before long, but some of the Incarnations of Immortatilty books are really good), Roger Zelazy's Amber series, and Robin McKinley (whom I still love). I know I read science fiction too, but no authors are coming to mind right now. Maybe I'll remember later. Oh no, I'll have to write more posts about books.

So, how about you?
Tags: books

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