Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Top 10 Tuesday: Childhood Faves

Top 10 Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and The Bookish. This feature was created because we're particularly of lists here at The Broke and The Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top 10 lists!

This week: Top 10 childhood favourites, or, take a look how many series I read as a kid!

1. Harry Potter by J.K Rowling
I'm pretty sure this will be on everyone's list this week, so I doubt I need to expand. I mean...Harry Potter! It's simply the greatest YA ever written!

2. Roald Dahl
I really couldn't pick just one. As a kid I used to read all his books continuously, but the ones on constant rotation were The Twits, James and the Giant Peach, George's Marvelous Medicine, The Witches and The Magic Finger (which was this fantastic 1970s edition handed down by my mum). They were such charming books that bewitched my mind and set my imagination racing.

3. The Hobbit by J.R. R Tolkien
I didn't pick up LOTR until the first film came out because my mum scared me with her description of Gollum (he'd terrified her as a child) but I absolutely adored The Hobbit as a kid. It was my first foray into fantasy and classic literature and I think it made a great introductory text!

4.The Baby-Sitter's Club by Ann. M. Martin
I'm pretty sure I read every single one of these when I was a kid. I always wished I could be as fashionable as Stacy, as creative as Claudia, as free spirited as Damn and as sweet as Mary-Anne. I never really liked Kirsty, she was too brash and abrasive for my tastes, but I did always want to start a business of Baby-Sitters with a group of best friends like them.

5. Goosebumps by R.L. Stine
This was the other mass-produced series that I loved. I actually joined a Goosebumps club which sent out three books, a pack of stickers and some other related toy once a month. I only stopped reading these creepy tales when I found R.L Stine's Fear Street and Christopher Pike's books, which were a little better suited for my 13 year old desire for horror.

6. The Chrestomanci Series by Diana Wynne Jones
An absolutely amazing fantasy series that involves parallel world, men with multiple lives, dream walks, magic, dragons, mermaids etc etc. I received The Lives of Christopher Chant for a birthday present and immediately fell in love with the book's creativity and fun and rushed out to read all the rest in the series and convince all my friend's to read them immediately.

7. The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys by Chris Fuhrman
One of my all time favourite books, this novel deals with a gang of 13 year olds' last hurrah before they're all shipped off to different high schools. It's set during the 1970s and deals with some pretty tricky and risqué issues like death, sex and incest. The earnestness of the novel absolutely captured my heart as a 12 year old and now, 12 years later I still read it at least once a year and laugh and cry at the same places.

8. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Unlike the other books on this list, I didn't read this series until my first or second year of high school. A friend recommended it and then, by coincidence, I received the first book for my birthday shortly afterwards. While I'm sure much of the religious allegory passed over my head, I absolutely loved the story and the complexity that abounded the narrative. Plus, how awesome would it be to have a daemon that can turn into any animal it wants (for awhile anyway)?!

9. Enid Blyton
As a wee little one my mum used to read to me from a collection of Blyton books she had which included things like The Wishing Chair Again, The Magic Faraway Tree, The Famous Five and The Enchanted Forest. I especially loved The Magic Faraway Tree, I always loved Moonface and the idea of the top of the tree being a new world each time they visit. They also seemed to always be eating the most amazing food, treacle tarts and cream pies. I used to think this was what life was like for everyone in England, I was most envious.

10. Fairy-tales
This isn't any one book in particular, but fairy-tales in general. I had a couple of beautiful books of fairy-tales (which I've had mum store away for the day I have kids of my own) which told the traditional versions of the Disney fairytales and some others which were never turned into Disney movies, but were equally amazing. I also had a book (I wish I could remember it's name) which told a traditional fairy/pixie/elf tale from a variety of countries. Thanks to that book I was introduced to the magical creatures of Ireland, Norway, England, Denmark, Russia and many, many other countries. I think, perhaps more than any other book/series on this list, this early introduction to fantasy and creativity was a huge influence for not only my reading preferences, but my outlook of life and general attitude.


  1. I almost didn't recognize your blog. I like the redesign. :)

    I think we had pretty much the same childhood in terms of reading material. That doesn't really surprise me.

  2. Wow... I guess being an old fart means I have totally different books that I read as a kid.

    Here's Mine!

  3. Thanks Gabe!

    I know, it's just more evidence that you're my twin separated at birth/ American and male doppelganger/ robot duplicate (potentially evil)!

    @Kate, that just makes it more interesting to read the different lists!

  4. I'd never heard of Enid Blyton until I started trying to read all the 1001 Children's Books You Must Read list. (And I call myself a children's librarian!)

    Here's my Top Ten!

  5. Aaah the Gooosebumps books! That brings back memories of trading those creepy covers with friends back in elementary school :)

  6. It's amazing how many people have never heard of Enid Blyton - she's an institution in the UK. I wish life in England really was like that though!

  7. Excellent choices!
    Here’s my Top Ten Tuesday post. :)

  8. Dude, I totally read all of these as a kid (or at least stuff by all of the authors) except His Dark Materials trilogy which I read when I was older and was all like omfgeasifj`enfaekwbfraw` ITS SO AMAZING! about.

    Also, Goosebumps books kept me up at night (and keep me scared of ventriloquist dummies...)

  9. Love love love Roald Dahl!! I always felt like anything was possible after reading one of his stories.

    Top Ten Tuesday @ Radiant Shadows. Don't forget to check out my 100 Followers Giveaway! - there's only 2 days left to enter!

  10. @Deb, but I bet you're all over her now right?!

    @Sophia, or life anywhere for that matter! She'll definitely be the first author I introduce my kids too.

    @Kat, I used to love collecting the special edition covers which had the holographic pictures, I had one which was called something like 'Attack of the Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich'. It was brilliant!

    @Laura, Ventriloquist dummies still creep me out. Those were the books, more than any other in the series, that freaked me the hell out!

    @Kelly, that's definitely the best thing about Mr Dahl. His books are so wonderful.

  11. It's really kind of true. We should probably never be on the same continent together because it'd be a sign of the apocalypse or something. Or it would be like Escape to Witch Mountain...except we'd be evil.

    And now I really want to read Escape to Witch Mountain. I haven't done that in, like, fifteen years.

  12. Oooh we do have a lot in common! You had awesome taste in childhood reads ;) I also read The Hobbit when I was pretty young (11 or 12 I think) and had a bit of an R.L Stine phase as well.



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