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Where there be dragons...

Congrats to wendyb_09 for winning the Robin Hood gift set! Email me at marjoriemliu@gowebway.com, and I'll get that out to you.

There was an article in the NY Times the other day, called I Wish I Could Read Like a Girl. I have several small problems with the piece (the title being one of them -- and not out of a sense of political correctness), but she does make some interesting statements, like this:

"I miss the days when I felt that way, curled up in a corner and able to get lost in pretty much any plot. I loved stories indiscriminately, because each revealed the world in a way I had never considered before. The effect was so profound that I can still remember vividly the experiences of reading “Little Women”...[a]nd a thousand others. After each, I would emerge a changed person."

I'm sure there are boys who find themselves just as easily immersed in books -- but that's a pretty excellent summary of how I feel about reading: the delight and mystery; a peculiar reincarnation for the mind, where you remain you, but live again and again, in different lives and adventures.

So, here we have another drawing, my friends -- a small sampling of books, new and old, that have taken me away; and that I hope do the same for you: FRECKLES by Gene Stratton Porter, THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND by Elizabeth George Speare, INTO THE WILDERNESS by Sara Donati, INTERRED WITH THEIR BONES by Jennifer Lee Carrell, THE MAGICIANS AND MRS. QUENT by Galen Beckett, and FORESTS OF THE HEART by Charles de Lint.

Share the books you love, or just leave your name to be entered in the drawing. I'll pick the name from the hat on Friday.

PS: I forgot to mention that NYX #5 is on sale today!


( 38 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 7th, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC)
There are a few books that shaped my adolescence -

Beauty: A Retelling of Beauty & The Beast by Robin McKinley
The Blue Sword - also by Robin McKinley
The Harper Hall trilogy by Anne McCaffrey (as well as her Dragonriders of Pern trilogy)

Jan. 8th, 2009 12:49 am (UTC)
Yay you're my book-buddy! :D I love Robin McKinley and Anne McCaffrey

The Blue Sword - First book I ever really read and went *WOW* over - Horses + Magic + Swords + Strong Heroine. My first 'real' introduction to fantasy and it's shaped my love for the genre ever since.

Garth Nix's Abhorsen Trilogy - Sabriel in particular I adored.

Dragon Sword and Wind Child - Japanese mythology and a splendid fantasy setting - I took it out so many times the librarians would just shake their heads at me.
Jan. 8th, 2009 03:15 am (UTC)
I'm happy to be your book-buddy! Robin McKinley and Anne McCaffrey have totally shaped fantasy/sci fi for me. AC wrote/writes some of the most accessible sci fi out there. And her storytelling is superb.

Japanese mythology, hmm? I'm going to have to check out those two books. And I've never read Garth Nix. Tell me more...
Jan. 8th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
Garth Nix's Abhorsen Trilogy is really good. The first book 'Sabriel' is my favorite. Very strong world-building, interesting use of magic and its conventions. Main character is a Necromancer-type and the supporting cast is much fun :)
Jan. 8th, 2009 03:40 am (UTC)
'Dragon Sword and Wind Child' is the name of the book :) it's apparently a trilogy but the second and third books have never made it over to the US. Recently been re-published/available in print again so I'm not sure if the rest of the trilogy will follow suit for publication. Either way it stands alone perfectly as its own novel.
Jan. 7th, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC)
Anna Karenina is one of my favorites. (I'm on the internet too much and don't read as much as I used to)
Jan. 7th, 2009 11:09 pm (UTC)
Darn! I coveted that Robin Hood gift set pretty hard :P

Hmmm... Would have to say that Wuthering Heights, Pride & Prejudice, and Beauty changed my girlhood life pretty significantly... But books that made me furious, like 1984 also affected me profoundly. There are many, many others but these are a few that I can name off the top of my head at the moment :)
Jan. 8th, 2009 01:26 am (UTC)
I was assigned 1984 in high school. It was one of the very few assigned reading books that I absolutely ADORED! I wanted to read it again as soon as I finished, my head was still reeling. The teacher actually asked me what I used to study (Cliff's Notes, was the implication) because I did so well on the reading test. Best in all the years he'd taught the book, because I was writing paragraphs of discussion on short-answer questions. I told him I didn't cheat, I just really loved the book.
(consequently, I don't remember what the other summer reading book had been, but I know I did atrociously on *that* reading test.)

~ Mitch
Jan. 8th, 2009 12:46 am (UTC)
I see Naomi already beat me to mentioning The Blue Sword! *g*

L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables and the way Anne Shirley views the world was a huge influence on me in middle school.

Jane Eyre was the first book I stayed up all night reading and I still vividly remember how surprised I was when I realized it was light outside as I finished the last page!
Jan. 8th, 2009 03:12 am (UTC)
Hehe! You're totally my book twin and I'm so thankful the Blue Sword means as much to you as it does to me. *g* Hmm, up for a reread?

I totally forgot Anne of Green Gables. I loved LM Montgomery as a child and reread her books in college. There was such wonder and passion in those books.
Jan. 8th, 2009 12:32 pm (UTC)
Yes! It's been over a year since I've reread The Blue Sword- I'll email you this weekend! *g*

BTW, I love reading everyone's favorite books; I have all sorts of books to add to my TBR pile now!
Jan. 8th, 2009 01:20 am (UTC)
I still remember the experience of reading certain books when I was very young. The Rats of NIMH and Harriet the Spy were two of my favorites, and The Great Rescue Operation which was read to me before I could read.
One of the most memorable books I've read lately (last few years) has been A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers, because it captures the complexity and confusion of life and emotions in simple scenes that steal your breath and stir your soul. (or at least my soul, at any rate)

~ Mitch
Jan. 8th, 2009 01:20 am (UTC)
So many to choose from! Here are a few, in no particular order, that I've lost myself in over the years:

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
Too Deep for Tears by Kathryn Lynn Davis
Paint It Black by Janet Fitch
Need by Carrie Jones (the latest!)
Jan. 8th, 2009 01:55 am (UTC)
Some of my favorite books over the years have been Girl In Buckskin by Dorothy Gilman, The Velvet Room by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Swiss Family Robinson by Johan Wyss, Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and The Serpent's Shadow by Mercedes Lackey.
Jan. 8th, 2009 02:07 am (UTC)
Oh, my gosh I loved The Witch of Blackbird Pond! I must have read it about a hundred times. That and a story about a pampered young (12 or so) girl who ran away from home and joined a merchant ship as a cabin boy or something. I can never remember what that was called.

But a book that always takes me far, far away (in the best way) is The Star King by Susan Grant. I like her other stuff, but none are nearly half as good as this one.
Jan. 8th, 2009 02:10 am (UTC)
Was it The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi?


If so, I LOVED that book.
Jan. 8th, 2009 03:42 am (UTC)
I LOVED that book! Haven't thought about it in years! My Junior High library had a really good selection for its teensy size. Need to dig that book back up again :)
Jan. 8th, 2009 05:03 am (UTC)
Oh, my gosh, THAT'S IT! That's amazing! I've been lamenting for years that I will probably never remember enough of the vital information to ever find it again, but one mention on your site and there it is!

Ladyshiin, my jr high library had it, too, and I borrowed it about a hundred times in eighth grade. For some reason I always remember the part where one of the men grabs her hand, looks at the palm, and states, "Like cream." Why do I always remember that line?

OK, I'm going to have to get a copy now. And an extra to send to my niece in a year or two. Yay! Thanks, Marjorie!
Jan. 8th, 2009 02:07 am (UTC)
The Ramona series of books by Beverley Cleary, my favorite as a child. Also The Giving Tree.
Jan. 8th, 2009 03:09 am (UTC)
The one that seems to stick out for me (today anyway) is "Daughter of the Forest" by Juliet Marillier...
I liked the celtic folklore and fairy tale type story... and it was one I didn't put down until I was done.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 8th, 2009 05:31 am (UTC)
A Light In The Forest by Conrad Richter and The Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.
Also Kidnapped by R.L.S.
Jan. 8th, 2009 06:01 am (UTC)
Thanks Marjorie! email with snail mail info was just sent.

Keep my hat out of the ring on this one, give Vasha_Kat and the others a chance.

but, my childhood favorites were-
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Black Stallion Series by Walter Farley
Sue Barton, Student Nurse series by by Helen Dore Boylston
The Last Space Ship by Murray Leinster - This is the first science fiction book I ever remember reading when I was a kid and borrowed it from the library constantly! When searching for the correct spelling of the author's name now, discovered that after decades out of print, Wildfire Press reissued it a couple years ago.
Jan. 8th, 2009 10:14 am (UTC)
JACOB HAVE I LOVED by Katherine Paterson is the one that's leaping to mind right now. I still love that book. :) I loved WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND, too. *happy sigh*
Jan. 8th, 2009 02:15 pm (UTC)
Favorite books
I'dlove to be entered in this. You've named 2 of my favorites that I hadn't thought of in a while Witch of Blackbird Pond and Freckles. But I really love The Harvester by Gene Stratton Porter more than Freckles. I first read it when I found it on the shelf at my grandparents house-I was staying for a month in the late 1960's for summer and read each afternoon while my grandmother napped. It is still a book I read when I want to totally curl up and escape.
Jan. 8th, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC)
McKinley has already come up a few times, fairy tale junkie that I am I also love Patricia Wrede's Enchanted Forest books. They live on the comfort reads shelf to this day. Especially the first two Dealing With Dragons & Searching For Dragons.

I fell for Cameron Dokey's fairy tales more recently. After reading Sunlight and Shadow I (for the first time in my life) voluntarily went out and watched real opera because I had to see what had inspired it. And I adore the twist she gives the 100 year sleep her version of Sleeping Beauty called Beauty Sleep. I'm waiting with bated breath for her take on the Mulan story to come out this year.

I remember being truly wowed the first time I picked up Daughter of the Blood the first in Anne Bishop's Black Jewels series. I had it out from the library as an experiment, the next day I was at the book store and bought it along the with the next 2 so as not be caught without book #3 when I was done with #2.

There are more, but those are some of the main residents on the Desert Island Keeper list. -Gail
Jan. 8th, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
Favorite books
The first novel I ever read was Nancy Drew's The Secret Staircase, a whodunit for young readers. My all-time favorites that I go back to again and again are Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden and Lady Chatterley's Lover (you think I have a thing for books with the word Secret in the title??? (LOL!) I also keep going back to your A Dream of Stone and Shadow in the Dark Dreamers anthology. Although it's short, it packs a punch that resonates with me. All of these books have an immersion-type plot, so I can relate to that NY Times imagery of a growing girl immersed in a story that, in a way, contributes to her growing up.
Jan. 8th, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Favorite books
I'm not really anonymous. The dang computer did that to me. My name is Susan and I've been buying and reading all of Marjorie's books since Tiger Eye. Just grown-up stories for my inner fairy tale junkie!
Jan. 9th, 2009 12:48 am (UTC)
Some of the books I love are StarDoc-S.L.Viehl, Little Lady Agency-Hester Browne, Touch the dark-Karen Chace, Grimspace-Ann Aguirre, Iron Kissed-Patricia Briggs and Iron Hunt-by you
Jan. 9th, 2009 03:46 am (UTC)

Some of my very favorites are Beyond Varallan by S.L. Viehl and To Kill a Mockingbird.
Jan. 9th, 2009 03:49 am (UTC)
Need to read Star Doc first.
Jan. 9th, 2009 04:50 am (UTC)
Thanks for the quote! It's nice to think back to when I was young and remember how picking up a book was like entering another word, or more aptly, another state of mind. And once the book was done, had to pause and take a 'whoa' moment. As an adult that happens, but not so often. (which is why I'm a fan of Dirk and Steele!)

Books that made a big impression on me were The Black Stallion books, stories by Edgar Allen Poe, Rudyard Kipling and Truman Capote. Of course, the biggies such as Lewis and Tolkien that are a given. I was also a huge fan of The Little House on the Prairie books. It was fun to see how many others loved The Blue Sword. Oh, and can't forget Ursula K. LeGuin and the Earthsea series - huge impression on me.

Nowadays there are the Harry Potter and Artemis fowl books series - I've read them as an adult and they were also nifty.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 9th, 2009 08:52 am (UTC)
I remember when I was little Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski and Caddie Woodlawn by Carol R. Brink.
Jan. 9th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC)

I loved the Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury and The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.
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