The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you the knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination
Reading was what I loved the most as a child and I was hardly ever seen without a book in my hand. I haven’t changed that much; I always have a book I am reading nearby and when I travel, I either pack an extra book or buy another one while on the road, in case I finish the one I am reading. The ones I list below are a few that left an impression. I listed them in a loose order; from my childhood, my teens and on into adulthood. I have not written book reviews, per se, only brief impressions.
The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
This was the first book that made a lasting impression on me as a little girl. I was transported into another world, a magical world. There was a whole series of the Baum books, the Oz series and I loved each and every one of them. They were large, thick books but I lugged them home two or three at a time from our local library where my Great Aunt Lela was the librarian. Back in those days the library cards were stamped and filled out by hand.
Even when “Oz, the Great and Terrible” was exposed as a farce I still loved the characters and the creatures of the Land of Oz. I could relate to Dorothy, of course, and her little pet, Toto. The wicked witch, oh yes, how wicked she was. The goodness of Glinda was almost too much to bear, too much to believe, but she was the necessary counterpart to the wicked witch, someone to give us hope. Then of course there was The Cowardly Lion, the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, the Munchkins, and the Emerald City…what child wouldn’t be fascinated?
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
I am not sure what attracted me to this book but I was absorbed into its pages and into the life described by Dickens. London back then was both attractive and repelling. In retrospect I think that reading Dickens may have been a bit daunting for a sixth grader, but not for me; I was a born reader.
The Trilogy by J.R. Tolkien
I was thrilled when they made the movie of the hobbits and the search for the Ring. What an adventure. I hope, someday, to acquire a good set of this trilogy for my personal library.
The Chronicles of Narnia
What person, child or adult would not be fascinated by these stories? Again, I was excited that a movie was made of these books, and I hope for more movies of this series.
Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
This was also a series and truly a delight. I loved the magic of Mary Poppins and the lives of the Banks children.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Ah yes, the girls, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy! Each with her own quality, her own character. There was a lot I liked about the book. I loved the goodness of Marmee, and the playfulness of Laurie, the next door neighbor. I love the fact that they put on plays, and wrote their own newspaper. I alternated identifying with Jo, the tomboy, the awkward girl, the writer, and Beth, who was so shy and quiet. It was terrible that Beth died. I always cried at that part.
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
I have read this one several times and I cry every time I read it. This is an epic of epics and a profound love story. As a woman I love romance, historical romance in particular.
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
This is the story of King Arthur written from a feminine point of view and it is fantastic. The Mists of Avalon, for me was part of my awakening of the Sacred Feminine and to a different way of thinking about spirituality and Christianity.
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
What can I say? A book that has stirred controversy and has the traditional churches/religions up in arms. I can understand why. I liked this book, personally. I think it presented a very plausible and believable scenario. I know it goes against the grain of a very strong training but in my mind I am open to the idea. But I digress.
There you have it, only a few books in my Bookworm Life, books that I loved, books that have changed my life in so many ways. Now that I have some perspective in life I am certain I will keep discovering new insights and more books to read.