Emlyn Chand, author of Farsighted and all around rad individual has come up with a great reading challenge for the year 2012. She has proposed her readers and friends revisit old favorites, those books that you read as a kid and loved, or even in high school, and see what all the fuss was about back then. It's a lovely (and fun!) idea, so I've decided to throw in with the others.
Admittedly, it's hard for me to list favorites. A lot of the books I enjoyed throughout childhood were books my parents "assigned" me outside of the school stuff. I was one of those kids that knew how to write her name before kindergarten, could color within the lines and speak in both English and Spanish around the time I got into the first grade.
Needless to say, one or two of my picks throughout this year are going to be books in Spanish, and the rest will likely be a really wide array from the likes of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and The Little Prince to Babysitters Club (I loved that one of the characters was called Kristy - with the same spelling as my name), Matilda or some of those "turning 13," "sweet 16s" or other sort of coming-of-teenage books. I remember those being pretty funny.
I'm lucky that a lot of these books are probably sitting in an airtight box in the garage since I am a pack rat. I'll probably sit with that box and just pull out books until I have a nice healthy stack of what stands out, then go from there. I've always loved reading, but I don't remember getting into picture books before I was reading Winne the Pooh and Precious Moments (yes, books exist for those). I had my hands on Aesop's Fables relatively early, and by high school I was reading full-on collections of fantasy novels (like those cheesy dragon books by Irene Radford).
Now, I enjoy nonfiction and autobiographical books alongside fantasy and science fiction. I'm into comics, too, so my shelf is a nice potpourri of tastes. I'm not so much into romance or crime fiction, though I like some mystery, so go figure.
I grew up reading stuff that had that little Nobel Prize sticker on the cover because that was my parents' go-to shelf at the bookstore or library when it was time for me to start a new book. Since they didn't read a lot of that stuff in their childhood, they had no idea what I was supposed to be enjoying. They just hit that shelf and picked books that were aged a couple above mine so I'd have a challenge. Thus, by the time I had to read some books in middle and high school for class, I'd probably already read them.
I'm excited about this challenge, which is also a contest, and if you folks who read me think it'd be fun I'd love to see you join up, too! I'll be continuing normal operations with this blog, of course, since a lot of the books I'd pick up for this challenge are probably pretty short. It's just one book per month throughout the year. I'm also interested in hearing about other books that you found interesting in childhood, so feel free to comment!