I though I’d tell you about the book series that influenced me growing up. I did tend to read in series a lot. Also I would read the same authors over and over again. I was always hesitant to read something knew nothing about.
- Little House on the Prairie
- Sugar Creek Gang
- Swallows and Amazons
- The Famous Five
- Sisters in Time
- The Secret Seven
- The Chronicles of Narnia
- The Borrowers
- The complete Elsie Dinsmore Classics
- The Silver Brumby Books
I believe my mother first read these to us. I’ve always like any kind of pioneer story and this may have contributed to that. Later on I read the Rose years, and whichever of the Caroline years I was able to get from the library or borrow from friends.
These would probably be called ‘ boys books’. There are very few girls who appear. It’s all boys having adventures and getting into trouble. But the first one or two were required reading for school work. After that I didn’t stop. I suspect some of my scenery and action is unintentionally inspired by these books. And in theory it would be a good resource for writing male characters. And they’re good Christian books.
These books were written by Arthur Ransome. They have lots of sailing and children having imaginative adventures. And of course real adventures. I still like them. The children are resourceful, and mostly responsible. They respect their parents even though they’re not around a lot.
You’re probably starting to see that I read a lot of adventure books. I like the simplicity of older books and the way children make their own fun. I realized pretty quickly that it was unrealistic for the same kids to all be having adventures, but I still liked them. I would like to imagine that if I found myself in a similar situation, I would know what to do.
Historical fiction about different girls through time. In the past a lot of my knowledge of American history came from these. The series is written by a lot of different authors and each book covers a year. I especially like how in most of the books the girl have a brother or a male cousin who was a main character. In a couple of books I think it was more his book than hers. Many of the characters are great role models, and many of them are more mature than kids these day. Even though I’m older than the 12 or 13 of the main characters I can still relate to their situations.
Yes, more Enid Blyton. I read a lot of her books back in the day. I have fond memories of some of the silly passwords of the Seven, the trouble they kept bumping into and the word ‘delumptious’. And I liked how this series fitted in with their ever day lives. It wasn’t just about things that happened in the school holidays. Or like some other series of hers, a boarding school story. I actually like her boarding school storied though.
We read these as a family. Then we listen to the audio dramas as a family and watched the movies as a family. It’s a series we all know and love and can reference. Narnia was the only fantasy I read when I was younger.
This series is about the little people who live secretly in parts of old country houses. They are why you always loose small items, such as bobby pins paper clips. Those items have been borrowed. I think my imagination was stimulated by these books. For a time I was even friend with a few imaginary borrowers. And just think of the possibilities. If you were only a few inches tall how would you cook, what would you eat, what would you wear, how would you protect yourself? The questions are endless and one you have to ask in constructing any imaginary world.
I used to love these books and the accompanying Mildred Keith books. They were a huge part of my life. I read them so many times and made a very detailed and complex family tree. (I could give a link to anyone who is interested.) Though I could still tell you exactly what the family connection between Lulu Raymond and Percy Landreth is, I’m rather tired of them now. I see some of the faults in the series that I didn’t see when I was younger. And I’ve realized that her view of history isn’t the only one out there. I still love a couple of Martha Finley’s other little known books though.
These are Australian classics about brumbies,wild horses. There are very few humans in these books, so it gives a picture of a completely different society, Families work differently with horses. Instead of the term father and mother, you have sire and dam. I made a bit of a family tree for this too. These books along with some others by Elyne Mitchell that do have humans, were one of the main things that made me consider writing Australian historical fiction instead of fantasy. The terrain is so amazing. There is lots of hiding from other horses and from the brumby hunters going on. And that would fit well with Girl of the Rumours.
So that’s what I read. I also read a lot of standalone books, and probably a few other series that I’ve forgotten to mention. Is there anything here other people have loved? Or something you’re surprised that I didn’t read? Tell me.