I have lots of favorites! Now, the actual reading of them, well with small ones in the house it’s hard to find the time and place. When I found out I was pregnant the first time I started what’s going on a 5+ year spending spree on books. I buy books routinely for “the children” (read because I want them in the house) and regular trips to the library happen for both the kiddos and myself. I was fortunate enough to grow up around a lot of books, and even more fortunate to find a box of those childhood favorites on my screen porch one day when my mother decided to send them our way. The thing is, I find myself overly protective about what the children are exposed to. And not in any way I could have predicted.
Take Beatrix Potter for example. I started reading a story to Zuzu while I was nursing early on. The next thing you knew, a fox had stolen some duck eggs. a rabbit was being called bad and I didn’t want those associations with our tender moments. I was surprised. As Zuzu got older I brought home videos of Charlie Brown and The Muppet Show- some of my favorite childhood fictional characters. When Snoopy morphed into the World War 1 Flying Ace I had to cut off the gun fire for my two year old. Then that same 3 year old asked me a year later why the pig kept hitting the frog and I was at a bit of a loss to explain why it was ok or funny. I think for some children they wouldn’t be so bothered. Certainly plenty of our friends are well versed in Disney, but each time I try, I end up cringing away deciding once again they are too young for some of the life lessons presented. So, it’s back to Winnie-the-Pooh, Sandra Boynton, Little Hoot, Pea and Oink for us. I still have a collection of “classics” and maybe someday they’ll feel appropriate, but not yet.
As for myself, I’m drawn to fiction that is character developed rather than plot driven. I tend to be fond of regional characterizations as well. Midwestern writers and Southern in particular. A. Manette Ansay, Jane Hamilton, Chris Bohjalian, Anne Tyler, Anne Lamott, Barbara Kingsolver, Jodi Piccoult, Eudora Welty, Rebecca Wells, Michael Cunningham…and I have to say, I really enjoyed the characters in Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series. I don’t know if it was because my brain was fried from just having had a baby when I read them- and maybe all I could process at the time was the a level of tween sophistication.
But mostly what I like about fiction, what I really crave, is to have it read to me. It must be some sort of flashback to a childhood memory of being content in storytime at the library and having my mom read to me I’m sure. The main reason I’m glad that I commute to work is because I get an hour of unadulterated being read to with books on CD in the car. I’ve found that I’m much more interested and find it easier to get into a novel that is being read to me rather than one I’m trying to focus on and read myself. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver for example, I tried for weeks to get into it with the book itself and could not buy in. Then within days in the car I was hooked. I find that once I read one set book based on a given character I crave more and find myself going back looking for that author’s voice and story. Like with Jodi Piccoult. Although with her I swear I end up in tears with the stories on the way into work more often then not. For a while I was doing mystery novels which is very unlike me. I can’t tolerate television shows that have any violence or action in them. Of course I have been known to miss my turn off when the murderer walks into the room at the peak of the novel. A hazard I’ll have to live with!
Corner view is a weekly Wednesday post hosted originally hosted by Jane, currently by Francesca.. A topic is given and you can see impressions; be it in photographic or poetic in form from around the world:
Jane, Dana, Bonny, Joyce, Ian, Francesca, Theresa, Cate, Kasia, Otli, Trinsch, Isabelle, Janis, Kari, jgy, Lise, Dorte, McGillicutty, Sunnymama, Ibb, Kelleyn, Ninja, Sky, RosaMaria, Juniper, Valerie, Sammi, Cole, Don, WanderChow, FlowTops, Tania, Tzivia, Kristin, Laura, Guusje, Susanna, Juana, Elsa, Nadine
yes. ha, someone reading it to me, too… now there’s a point.
Oh, I’ve discovered Anne Tyler. I like also very much.
I like what you like in books, especially Barbara Kingsolver. Great stuff.
I think we are sisters in mind, at least in terms of reading! It’s one of the essences of life! 🙂
How lovely to be read to! My girls’ home school teacher just finished Jane Eyre, and she read to them.
I know exactly what you mean with the children’s literature. I read things as a child that my own did not have a comfort zone for, at the same age. Disney was especially difficult. “Cinderella” was the only one that could be watched without tears!
We’ve had little luck with audio books. My boys loved being read to, but did not like to listen to tapes/dvds, and I like the feel of paper – but then I don’t commute …