Top 10 Childhood Books

Today’s Tuesday Top 10, brought to you by The Broke and The Bookish 

 So, on to my Top Ten Childhood Book choices (not in order): 

  1. The Giving Tree — Shel Silverstein
  2. The Golden Treasury of Children’s Literature — a compendium of many stories
  3. The Dark Is Rising (whole series)– Susan Cooper
  4. The Outsiders — S.E. Hinton
  5. The Book of Tall Tales & The Velveteen Rabbit (Margery Williams) — Mom read these to me
  6. The story of Ruffian — this ignited a 3-fold plan for college and career when I was about 8 — most of which was solved by others by the time I got to high school
  7. Disney’s Storybook Albums — over and over and over
  8. Mother Goose Rhymes — Pop read these to/with me…still quote them
  9. Nancy Drew Mysteries & Hardy Boys Mysteries — ND by Carolyn Keene, HB by Franklin W. Dixon (pseudonym for a slew of ghostwriters)
  10. The Black Stallion series — Walter Farley

A Poem from 5th Grade

This poem is entitled Hope, and was written by Mary O’Neil.  It was in our language arts reading book in 5th grade. I’m pulling it out of memory, so the stanzas may not be perfect.  4 of us memorized it and recited it in sections after the morning announcements one day.  I remember the 4th grade reader was entitled “A Lizard to Start With”…and no one ever batted an eye at the dangling preposition…which had the poem “Ladies and Jellyspoons”.


Hope is a climber, a brimming cup
The elevator that only goes up —
A chair lift over the drop, swinging you to the mountain top
Sunlight at the tunnel’s end
Broken spirit on the mend

Hope is the stretch you make to reach the branch that holds the perfect peach
Hope is a bird learning to fly, wobbling after many a try,
Then taking off to the giddy high
Windy blue silk summer sky

Hope is the strain beyond your strength
That adds an inch to your inward length
Hope is the moment when you jump
Up from the tumble, out of the slump

Hope is the light in the awful dark
The clear, bright-blazing, beckoning spark
That sets your feet to a runnig pace
For one little look at Her beautiful face

Last week, Ilona Andrews released Fate’s Edge — third in the The Edge Series.  For probably the first time in years, I made myself NOT read the whole book in one night.  Seriously, I think that puts me in line for a minor sainthood.  There are a few authors I will buy straight out of the gate, no questions.  The team that is Ilona Andrews is one of them.  I haunt my local B&N store to the point that their own salespeople will come ask me for recommendations…which is pretty cool, and I’ve sold lots of books for them (ahem, a nice free coffee beverage would not be unwelcome recompense).  🙂

Back to the book!  I set a personal record in that it took me 3 days, only reading at home before bed, to finish the book.  I thought I was going to go nuts.  Okay, and I also blew off a website I was supposed to frame out last week, too.  Yeah, I know, bad bookworm!

The Edge series involves 3 different worlds within one reality…the Weird, the Edge, and the Broken.  Characters emerge into and out of each book from all three segments.  Their strengths as individuals only grow as they evolve across the books, with new, equally strong characters introduced into that evolution.  If you are looking for a new author to add to your addiction, check out Ilona Andrews — either series (Kate Daniels or The Edge) — will find a happy place on your shelves.

A Conglomeration of Thoughts

I write today to vent the adrenaline rush on which I’ve run for the past 18 hours or so.  Yesterday, while on the phone with one of my best friends, there was an awful crashing/clattering sound and the call died.  Repeated calls back to him through the evening yielded no response.  I was borderline to deciding to drive up to the house (4 hours away) and make sure he was okay.  This morning, I called again…”oh, yeah,” he says, “the call died and I didn’t get around to calling you back.”  Yep, I almost reached through the phone to strangle him.  I (somewhat gently) explained to him the drama that ensued the evening before, and he laughed and replied, “Nope, I’m not dead or injured.”  I may have to re-invest in some Clairol or something for the extra platinum I now sport in my hair!!

In other random flickers of thought, I was caught today by a sidebar headline referencing a 67-year-old mystery involving the Hartford Circus Fire of 1944.  The story struck me hard for some reason…it felt like I could suddenly see the flames, smell the circus and the burning, feel the heat of their race up the Big Top’s body…and yet I cannot think of any time, in any classroom, where this subject was discussed.  It’s like a ground-based Hindenberg disaster.  I have never been to a circus of any kind, either…in fact, I avoid them and always have.   The stories told by the survivors are chilling.  The circus facts are interesting in their own right, too.  For instance, in US, ALL circuses use the same “emergency! all hands on deck!” signal…it’s the playing of Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever”…it is the ONLY time that tune is played in a circus environment, and it alerts the entire circus family without inciting panic in the guests.  There are several articles about the fire online, as well as images.  There is also a BEAUTIFUL memorial on the site of the fire, detailed here .

And, in the evil world that is my addiction to books, B&N sends out their lists of “suggested titles”…and I have coupons…and now I have several more books to pick up for people for Christmas…and if I pick them up quickly, I can read them before I send them!!  Now, on to browse sites for the best prices vs hitting the store(s) with my coupon stash.

This Tuesday’s The Broke and The Bookish Top 10…Books To Be Read this Winter — and. because I am notorious for building  giant piles of books, these are more 10 SETS of books!

 So, on to my Top Ten Tomes:  

  1. The “Fever” series (counts as one book, really, it does!) by Karen Marie Moning
  2. WWII writings of James D Hornfischer
  3. Web Design in an Nutshell, 3rd Edition — O’Reilly Books
  4. Everything written by Octavia E. Butler
  5. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  6. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
  7. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
  8. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (b/c I re-read it at least once a year)
  9. “Virals” series by Kathy Reichs 
  10. Pale Demon by Kim Harrison
  11. The “Otherworld” series by Kelley Armstrong

App envy is a terrible thing.  Most of my extended family has gone the way of the Apple and taunt me with their Siri-enabled geekdom.  I remain loyal to Android, and am in search of a voice-control application to compete with theirs, especially since I spend much of my time in the car. My search […]

Okay, this is just fun…The folks over at The Broke and The Bookish do this every Tuesday…I’m a little late to the dance, but it sounds like fun.

 So, on to my Top Ten Turkey Table choices: 

  1. David Baldacci for writing the kinds of books my parents and I can discuss ad nauseum
  2. Gini Koch for supporting Aerosmith, Def Leppard, and the pursuit of comfortable heels
  3. Madeline L’Engle for getting me into sci-fi/fantasy
  4. Jane Yolen &
  5. Anne McCaffery for proving dragons are real
  6. Patricia Briggs for developing heroines with attitude, strength, and automobile knowledge
  7. Ilona Andrews for “Here, kitty kitty” and chicks who unabashedly kick ass
  8. Nalini Singh for creating real-world angels
  9. Orson Scott Card for Ender’s Game and the all-night discussions that followed after
  10. George Orwell for Animal Farm and 1984

 There are OODLES of other authors, living and “ghost writing”, who would be MOST WELCOME at my table…these are the first 10 I thought of.

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