At the suggestion of sundry commenters, Troppo is pleased to present a poll on books that you read as a kid that had a great impact on you. It’s quite a nice exercise in nostalgia and reflection, and seems appropriate to me because today’s my birthday! Please nominate ten. If you want to be specific about books that you read before the age of 13 and between 13 and 17, that’s fine, but I’m happy to give people free rein to post what they like. I’ll leave the thread open for a week and then collate the results.
I loved Asterix and Tintin when I was in Primary School, the first “literary great” I read was Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, and I devoured science fiction and fantasy books through High School, including some by authors whom I still love such as Michael Moorcock, Mervyn Peake, Ursula LeGuin and Philip K. Dick. My first published work was a letter to the editor of the venerable science fiction mag Analog in 1981… I lost my copy, but it was really excellent to find it by chance in a second hand book shop late last year!
One of the neat things about Asterix and Tintin was that they were both available in French, which I started learning in Grade 7 – Asterix also in Latin! I also loved Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s Little Prince, and later in High School, Camus and Baudelaire. Reading the New Testament in French was also profoundly fascinating for a kid.
NOTE: Image source – Montreal Extreme.
ELSEWHERE: Georg has some interesting reflections on kids’ books (including the politics of children’s literature) over at her book blog, Stack.
UPDATE: I might leave the post open for a few more days, because I’m too tired tonight to compile the results, and because I think it’s been an extremely interesting thread and I’d like to give any latecomers the chance to add their thoughts.