Wednesday, June 15, 2011

First Five Books (The Chronological List)

Here's a little game for anyone who needs inspiration for a blog post.  List the first five books you remember reading and comment on each.

1.  The Talking Eggs by Robert D. San Souci and Jerry Pikney

I didn't actually read this book first, but it was the first book I remember being read TO ME.  In grade school, actually.  In today's world, it'd probably be considered too dark for MG (*snicker*), but I enjoyed it and the lesson stuck with me.

Virtue isn't always rewarded, but vice is always punished.

Can I insert an evil grin right here?

2.  The Little Red Hen (Little Golden Book) by Diane Muldrow and J.P. Miller

 A classic story and one of the few books my grandmother kept around her house.  I can't say how many times I read it as a kid.

The hen is diligent and the other animals aren't.  They don't help in making bread, yet they all want to partake of the finished product.  The result?

If you don't work, you don't eat.
Hrm...  I'm starting to see where some of my personality came from.

3.  The Odyssey Done into English Prose

I don't know if the version I linked is the same one I remember, but it looks similar.  Now, before you say 'everyone reads the Odyssey in school', I want to say I checked this book out of the school library in the second (?) grade WITHOUT it being assigned.  Hell, I didn't even know the Odyssey was a poem until junior high since the version I read was a narrative.

Anyway, I read the story and fell in love with it.  Then I cried when I moved and my new school library didn't carry it AT ALL.  I'm still looking for "just the right" hardback version to add to my book collection--the same version I read as a kid.

4.  Star Trek: TNG: Reunion by Michael Jan Friedman and Dave Stern

Let me take you back to fourth grade (?).  I put a question mark since I know it was middle school or grade school, but it's hard to tell which specific one since I changed schools so much as a child.  (Army brat + post-divorce mother who didn't settle down.) I only remember the inside of the library where I bought it.

Yes, I said bought it.  I got it at a book faire when I was in grade school.  At the time, I only saw "Star Trek"....  *blush*  I was already obsessed with TNG and Wil Wheaton's unitard, although Worf was my favorite character.  That's probably not so special, but let me tell you something that IS special...

I still own the same copy.  The paperback cover has been laminated in tape, but I have it on my shelf with the words 'Property of..." written on the inside cover.  This book was a real turning point in my reading habits.  It's over three hundred pages long--a true novel--with a murder mystery hidden among the science fiction.  And I picked it despite all the more 'age appropriate' novels offered.  And I read it.  And I talked my teacher into letting me do a book report on it, even though it meant I first had to PROVE it wasn't a televised episode.

Tee Hee...  I remember that for the report, we had to dress up like a character and present the book in-character.  I dressed up like the chick on the cover (Cadwallader) because she had freckles, just like me!

5.  Die Softly by Christopher Pike

I didn't add a picture to this one since the version I remember had a different cover.  How do I know?  Well, because I still own a copy of this, too.  Do you see a trend?  I'm a book hoarder.  I hate not owning a book because the information seeps out of my brain and I dislike being unable to 'brush up' on the story when I recall small details.

This particular novel has it's own story, though.  It was my first experience with choosing reading material based on author and brand.  How do I say this...?  From sixth through the seventh grade, I adored Christopher Pike novels and Goosebumps novels.  I chewed through every volume in my school library until they ran out of new material for me.

Not that I minded.  After seventh grade, I grew up and found adult fantasy.  It was more my speed and I found a reason to REALLY start hoarding novels.    ;)


So there's my first five memorable reads.  There were probably more books in there, but these are the first five I actually remember.  Ironically enough, it's also a short history of my reading development.  I hope you enjoyed!

And if you're looking for a topic to blog about, be sure to let me hear about your first five!

Edit:  I did some math.  The Star Trek novel was published in 1991.  Assuming it would have been a new release to have shown up at a book fair, that means I bought it and read it 10 years before my graduation.  It had to have been second grade, not fourth....

And that makes me goggle at myself because I sincerely remember reading the narrative version of the Odyssey BEFORE I found Star Trek: Reunion.  

Now I think I understand why my parents never--never, never, never--questioned the things I was reading.  I bet they threw their hands up in the air and said,  "Who would want to curb that enthusiasm?"


Riley Redgate said...

Ack! The Talking Eggs would be one of mine, too. Dang, that story was so creepy and awesome.

Eli Ashpence said...

It IS awesome! I just find it hilarious that it got a seal of approval, but there's a warning in one of the reviews on the amazon page saying it has parts that are too horrific for the target age group.

"If you have a sensitive child, this may not be the right book for you to acquire. The treatment of Blanche can upset some children. The magic involves creatures having two heads, and the old woman being able to take her head on and off again. In one scene, Rose takes the woman's head as a ploy to get some talking eggs, too. You can see how this might be a bit much for a sensitive four year old. Children who are able to suspend their sense of reality will probably have no problems with the story."

Things like that make me ask the question:
What age IS appropriate?

Riley Redgate said...

XD There's some ridiculous review for the Disney movie Mulan on iTunes or something. She rants about how this is SO not appropriate for kids, how there's a battle scene with "more than ten warriors" (HA, there are probably several thousand, don't know where she got ten from), how any decent parent should shelter their child from this blasphemy.

My reaction? Snickering. I snicker at this warning, too. Having read books like this as a child has made me infinitely more creative today. *sage nod*