The Books I Grew Up With

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International Children’s Day is just around the corner. So I thought I’d share about the books that have been my trusted companions growing up.

I don’t remember much about the books I read as a child, but here are three names that have defined my teenage reads. There are links for places where you can find these books for free.

Jules Verne

I could not tell you exactly how many Jules Verne books I read. Loads.

His books always took me on an adventure.

My favourite book of his is probably The Mysterious Island. This is partly because of the characters and partly because of the geeky stuff. His characters are smart, courageous and resourceful – and I admired them greatly. By geeky stuff, I’m referring to the fact that he imagined and wrote about the elevator, the submarine in another book and came up with technological innovations, that later became part of our everyday life.

I don’t read Jules Verne anymore and I wonder why. Still, I am just as big of a fan, for the sake of all the wonderful adventures he took me on as a kid.

You can find some of his books for free on The Gutenberg Project. 

O. Henry

The best book I found in my grandfather’s library was a collection of O. Henry short stories. Few have heard of the author, but many have heard his stories, in some form or another. The Last Leaf is a popular one, and The Gift of the Magi.

My personal favourites are Mammon and the Archer, and Lost on Dress Parade.

What I liked best about O.Henry’s stories are the endings. All throughout the story you think you know what’s going on, only for things to take an unexpected twist at the end and leave you flabbergast. I always wondered how he came up with these surprising endings. It is pure genius and incredibly fun.

O. Henry’s novels are not actually for kids – I am enjoying them even more now as an adult. If interested, you can find some on The Gutenberg Project.

Sherlock Holmes

I’m aware Sherlock Holmes is not an author – Arthur Conan Doyle is – but his name says it all, doesn’t it? How I liked to read detective stories growing up, and how nothing measured up to the cases and adventures of our man Sherlock and his faithful Watson!

The Hound of the Baskervilles was the first English book I have read in it’s entirety, and many followed. The mystery, suspense, and most particularly Sherlock’s detective genius had me holding my breath until the murderer was caught, the thief arrested and the case closed.

My husband bought me two collections of Sherlock Holmes stories recently, and I’m planning to give them another read, to revisit my old friends.

My reading habits and tastes have changed some. But I have fond memories and I look forward to introducing my children to my friends, when the time comes.

Do you remember the books you read as a child/teenager? What are the books you grew up with?

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3 thoughts on “The Books I Grew Up With

  1. The highlights of my childhood in terms of books were the Gulliver’s Travels by Johnathan Swift and the Children’s Bible. I don’t remember which of them I finished first, but they were the first books I have read cover to cover and loved. The Children’s Bible took me about four months to finish, when I was in third grade.

    Thank you for sharing, it also made me think and remember about my childhood reads. Also thank you for introducing me to O’Henry. I loved the few stories we have read together.

    Your blog reads like a breeze! Please keep the posts coming.

    Like

    1. For some reason, I didn’t like Gulliver’s Travels much – but I did like Robinson Crusoe. And I really liked reading the Little Samaritan’s Little Keys for Kids books, too – probably even more than my Children’s Bible 🙂

      Like

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