Reading & Books

My Personal Canon: The Childhood Years

I love books. I mean reeeally love books. I don’t remember a time when I haven’t been an avid reader. Somewhere in the depths of family boxes, there may be a cassette tape with me ‘reading’ Dr. Suess books I’d memorized. My mother spent hours reading to my brother and me and so much of my personality, tastes, and dreams have been shaped by the books I’ve read over the years.

I was recently tagged by a friend on Twitter to put together a personal canon – the books that have made the most impact in my life, helped define who I am and I can go back to over and over again. I’m going to do this a little differently by dividing my canon in 3 parts – the childhood years, the teen years, and the adult years. You’ll see how my reading has changed over the years!

For now, let’s take a look at the books I loved as a child/pre-teen.

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Little Women

I so identified with tomboy, aspiring writer Jo March. I wanted to be her. Well, I wanted to be her up until it came to choice of men. Cause I also wanted to marry Laurie. *sigh* I’m not sure many of us ever truly got over that. I wore my first copy out reading and re-reading favorite chapters.

Movie Note: Favorite version – 1994. Second favorite – 1949. But also check out 1933 and TV mini series 1978.

Anne of Green Gables

How can you help but love Anne Shirley? My mother introduced me to the movies first and then I read the books – an order of operations I don’t recommend. The books are sweet and homey and lovely and of a time when life was simpler. I never get tired of them!

Movie Note: Avonlea loyalties will always stay with the Megan Follows series but I am sloooooowly considering watching the new Netflix series ‘Anne with an E’.

Little House on the Prairie Series

I have lovely memories of mom reading these books to me and both of us so enjoying Garth Williams’ beautiful illustrations! The stories of daily life, love, and hardship of the Ingalls family are heartwarming and inspirational.

TV Note: With all the junk on TV they call family programming, it’s really nice to go back to some of the classics ^.^. Now you can relive it all on DVD. I’m working on collecting the series for my library :).

All-of-a-Kind Family Series

Another series mom read to me. The homey adventures of turn-of-the-century Jewish family in New York City. We enjoyed these so much and I’m currently almost done piecing the collection together for my personal library.

Sarah, Plain, and Tall

I remember reading this library book on the front steps of my house. And then I remember listening to the audiobook on cassette read by Glenn Close, who plays Sara in the movie series. The story, her voice – sometimes they play in my mind. And it’s like a cup of cocoa and a cozy blanket.

Movie Note: Watch them. Period. They’re lovely :).

Betsy-Tacy Series

I think Mom read through the first few books and I finished them myself as the girls in the books grew up. If you can’t sense the theme yet, we’re talking simpler times, close families, and heart-warming stories. I’m currently working through them as a part of my Classics Club list.

I read so many wonderful stories as a little person but these are some of my absolute favorites. As you can tell, I was quite the old-fashioned girl even as a child.

This quote from You’ve Got Mail sums it up perfectly.

“When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.” Kathleen Kelly

That’s exactly how I feel about the books on this list!

What are your favorite stories from childhood?

Happy reading!


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