Lying awake in the middle of the night is my best thinking time. I got to thinking about the books that I remember from my childhood.
First were the Little Golden Books: Saggy Baggy Elephant (thank you LBC&M for sending me the flair), Little Black Sambo (how different the world was) and Toot the Tugboat. My mother and I sat next to the radiator in our living room, me in a little red chair with a straw seat, and read and read and read. I owe my love of reading to my mom. (Not too long before she died, and out of the clear blue sky, she said, "I always hated reading Dr. Seuss but you loved him." Wonder how long that had been on her mind....)
My favorite book was Little Women. I had a cheap hardcover book which I read until it fell apart (literally). My sister and her husband gave me a Tasha Tudor illustrated copy when I was confirmed...I still have it.
I read The Secret Garden which lead to a lifelong fascination with India. (I went to India in 1999 and loved it...thinking that I've actually seen the Taj Mahal still sends a shiver down my spine). It was one of my mom's favorite books when she was growing up, too.
Then there were the Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace. How could I not love all of Betsy's friends, her clothes, her boy worries? Plus she was from Minnesota. And Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery which I wanted desperately for my own library but they were Canadian, for heaven sakes and unavailable at the B. Dalton Booksellers at Brookdale. I just about did back flips when I discovered them for sale at the Windsor (Ontario) Public Library in their Friends' store! (This was the 70s and the publishing world wasn't as international as it is now...no Amazon then either.)
In sixth grade I read Gone with the Wind and I remember rushing up to my friends, breathlessly exclaiming, "Scarlett married Rhett!" and being so surprised that none of them cared. Hmph.
I remember discovering the Whiteoaks of Jalna books by Mazo DeLaRoche and reading obsessively until I'd finished every one of them.
In Junior High, I waited endlessly for my chance to read this wonderful little book about Peggy Shippen's Quaker seamstress. I've been trying to remember the name of it for lo, these many years. Anybody else read it back in the late 60s? I'd be eternally grateful if someone could refresh my memory.
I only wish I'd had all the fabulous choices young readers have now. I would have had even more fights with my mother about getting fresh air and moving around a bit. My answer to her demands was to lie in the hammock in the backyard, reading my eyes out and breathing deeply!