Books, Books, Books!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Yes, I am FINISHED with my parenting-related series. (I linked to the first one. Feel free to take it from there, if you’re new or just interested.) Since then, I got inspired to do something a little more fun (or so I hope!).

Recently read a blog post by author, NYTBSA and indie publisher Bob Mayer. (His background is far more extensive and impressive than the little I listed here, lol. He ties all his experience in when giving one of his lively and informative workshops, which I was fortunate enough to participate in just last weekend.) When my comment to his post started going over the two-paragraph mark, I realized I’d been inspired to write one of my own.

In his post, Bob asked a lot of questions regarding reading, but these two spoke to me the most:

(1) What turned me on to reading, and (2) which is the first book that excited me?

Can’t remember what turned me on to reading: maybe my interest in almost anything or inner restlessness? (That would include reading bottles of cleaner in the bathroom, etc.)

I probably read EVERYTHING that passed my hands after the skill was established thru the Dick and Jane readers. Not that I claim those as the first to make my heart go pitter-patter. That questionable honor goes to the book that got me in trouble, to which I refer below.) The Little House Books are my all time favorites.

Little House on the Prairie cover

Aside: My kids and husband are S.I.C.K. of Laura Ingalls references to life then v. now, lol.

We had a great main library a few miles from home. My dad was really proud of my reading and brought me almost any time I asked. I’d check out the max amount of books every time.

Another aside: I rarely  brought everything back on time. Once, my mom forked over $21 or so in fines on one trip. That’s a lot of $$ for that time—and I was sworn to secrecy. She was afraid my dad would flip. Being Daddy’s li’l girl and how much he supported my passion, I’m sure he would have gotten over it soon enough.

The Poseidon Adventure was the first novel I read AFTER seeing the movie. That taught me to watch first, read later—the written version ALWAYS beats a screenplay, with no disappointment either way. That tenet held true for John Jakes North and South. (Of course I read the second part before the second ABC miniseries and was seriously disappointed. Not even Patrick Swayze and/or James Read made up for the differences from novel to the small screen.)

Recommending the first explicit romance novel I picked up got me in trouble with my older cousin and confirmation sponsor about the “literature” I was reading. (Talk about a heart going pitter-patter, lol, especially since I wasn’t quite sure what I was reading in some of those scenes. What did I know? I thought it was great and recommended it. The librarian had no business checking that stuff out to a 13 y/o, lol.)

Loves Avenging Heart cover(Wow. This many years later I recognized this cover immediately, lol.)

As a young adult, I came across Kathleen Woodiwiss’s Ashes in the Wind. That probably sparked my love of romance, and got me started on ALL of that author’s books (and maybe a deeply buried desire to emulate her sweeping love stories). BTW, that’s where the Aislinn in my nome-de-plume originated, from The Wolf and the Dove. Never had a daughter—nor would that lovely name have paired with what would have been her Italian surname. BUT: my debut novel was my baby and my dream. Since Aislinn is Gaelic (?) for vision or dream it seemed fitting.

Ashes in the Wind   wolf and dove

If I HAD to pick ONE book as a favorite: maybe I’d have to go with a tie between Lynn Austin’s Hidden Places and Daniel Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon. (I’ve only read the latter three times. Last round, I bawled. Not sure I could do it again.)

Hidden Places  Flowers for Algernon

So, let’s open this up. How would you answer Bob Mayer’s questions and how has (or does) your reading influence you in little (or big) ways?

Have a great day and week all,

Joanna

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7 thoughts on “Books, Books, Books!

  1. I was reading at a very young age so I don’t really remember not reading. And like you, I read everything I could get my hands on including the cereal box. In fact, I still read the cereal box! I think I’ve always loved thrillers and mysteries. I devoured the V.C. Andrews series (before she died and someone else wrote them) I remember reading Amityville Horror way before I should have been. I suspect I hid that book from my mother under the jacket of Charlotte’s Web. I think I’ve read almost every book by Mary Higgins Clark and met her twice. I could go on forever about books, but my love of all things a little spooky definitely shaped my desire to write fantasy adventure. I’m grateful books. They have been a constant friend.

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    1. Writers read. That’s all there is to that. I remember being advised to NOT read The Amityville Horror at night. As things got creepier I made sure it was daytime, but closed the blinds and curtains and turned off the lights to keep the room darker while I finished it, lol. (Not that I remember anything, except the story not being that scary! Maybe I killed the effect by reading during the day?)

      I enjoy a good mystery or thriller. Not into horror. Have read lots of Nancy Drew and quite a few Hardy Boys. These days I enjoy Eloisa James for romance. And as long as a book is WELL-written, I’m good. My tolerance for a lousy story–especially if it’s paired with poor editing–is pretty much zilch. Too little time and too many books out there.

      Thnx, Stacey.

      Hmmm. Should I have skipped this response and simply posted separately, lol?

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  2. The Little House series was my childhood favorite, too. I devoured those books and then later devoured the television show. I used to have the whole book collection, but my mom was never much of a saver, and I have no idea what happened to it. Then again, I’m not much of a saver either, so I harbor no ill will. 🙂

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    1. You’re funny. I’ve read each Little House book 10x minimum each, except for The First Four Years, which never had the spark of the others since Almanzo passed away sometime while Laura was editing or writing it. Can you believe I never bought the series? I had a copy of the second book, but God knows what happened to that.

      I do, however, have all almost the Woodiwiss books I read. I gave up after a while. And once I started writing and learning craft, I couldn’t take the head-hopping. I still love the ‘enduring’ romance/love Kathleen wrote about.

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  3. I don’t know how I found the library when I was eight, I believe. We didn’t have a library at school like these days so I was enthralled to see so many books in one place. The librarian laughed by my reaction.
    I wasn’t allowed anywhere because my Mom tied me to her apron strings even though we lived in a small town. I started with Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, The Bobbsey Twins and a series of Australian or New Zealand or maybe they were English origin: two boys, a girl and a parrot.
    Anyway, I have read the same as mentioned above but not Laura Ingalls.

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    1. Now that you mention it, I guess my schoolteachers mentioned the library in town. Once I was old enough to go on my own, it was that much better! Thanks, Tess!

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