Butterflyblue

金曜日, 7月 09, 2004

Favorite Books in Childhood

1) Watership Down
    Richard Adams

   My favorite book since age 10.

2) The Chronicles of Narnia
    C.S. Lewis

   My favorites were "The Magician's Nephew," "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," and "The Silver Chair."

3) The Westing Game
    Ellen Raskin

   This book rocks.

4) The Adventures of Pinocchio   Read it online!
    C. Collodi

My favorite book when I was very young (pre-Watership Down and Narnia).

5) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland     Read it online!
    Lewis Carroll

6) Through the Looking-Glass (And What Alice Found There)     Read it online!
    Lewis Carroll

    Everyone knows Alice, but have you read the originals lately? It's worth reading for the puns alone. I also really like the nonsense verse, particularly Jabberwocky and the poem about talking to an aged man sitting on a gate (see next post). I've read the Japanese translation, and unfortunately most of what I like so much about Alice is untranslatable. How can you translate Jabberwocky? I can't even give a coherent explanation for "slithy toves" or "mome raths." But somehow it's brilliant.

7) Bridge to Terebithia
    Katherine Paterson

    This contains a reference to teaching English in Japan. Do you remember it? The author must have had a JET-like experience way back when.

8) The Changeling
    Zilpha Keatley Snyder

9) The Headless Cupid
    Zilpha Keatley Snyder

10) Ratha's Creature
    Clare Bell

11) Clan Ground
    Clare Bell

   These are two unusual fantasy novels about prehistoric wildcats who discover fire.
We named one of our cats Fessran after a character in Ratha's Creature.

12)The Phoenix and the Carpet     Read it online!
    Edith Nesbit

   Also enjoyed Edith Nesbit's other books, especially the others in this series about time-traveling siblings. Was quite impressed that they are all available online through the Gutenberg Project.

13) The Little Princess     Read it online!
    Frances Hodson Burnett

    This is so much better than you might expect. The movie versions do it no justice.

14) Searching for Shona
    Margaret J. Anderson

   Love this book.

15) Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
    Robert C. O'Brien

   Love this one too. This makes a good pair with Flowers for Algernon, on my adult favorite book list.

16) To Nowhere and Back
    Margaret J. Anderson

   A beautiful, poignant book, now out of print.

17) Daughter of the Empire
    Raymond Feist and Janny Wurts

   Loved this book with its intelligent heroine outwitting powerful rivals in an awesome fantasy setting.

18) Baby Island
    Carol Ryrie Brink

   The author of Caddie Woodlawn also wrote this delightful desert island adventure story.

19) Of Nightingales that Weep
    Katherine Patterson

    Set in Japan in the 12th century during the Genpei wars, this is the only book about Japan that I read as a child. It didn't exert any influence on me to study Japanese, but I enjoyed the story and the characters. Paterson, who is best-known for her award-winning Bridge to Terebithia, wrote a few other young adult historical novels set in Japan, such as The Master Puppeteer and The Sign of the Chrysanthemum. This is the only one of her East Asian novels I related to though. The scene when the young emperor is drowned is particularly memorable, and I appreciate the fact that it's real Japanese history. The ending was a bit puzzling to me as a child, but when I re-read it when I was a little older, I thought it was cool that it was not the typical romantic ending.
    I don't enjoy Japanese historical fiction too much usually. It almost always bores me, whether it's in Japanese or English. The fact that Paterson succeeded in making the topic interesting-- in English --for young readers --is pretty remarkable and you've got to give her credit for trying to make a difficult subject accessible.

20) The Egypt Game
    Zilpha Keatley Snyder

21) Lizard Music
    Daniel Manus Pinkwater

22) Animal Farm     Read it online!
    George Orwell

23) King Solomon's Mines     Read it online!
    H. Rider Haggard

This thrilling adventure story was great escapist reading.

24) Mara, Daughter of the Nile
    Eloise McGraw

    I read this at about the same time as Daughter of the Empire. They both have main characters named Mara and "Daughter" in the title, so I sometimes got confused when I remembered them later. Anyway, they are both exciting books with good female protagonists.

25) Figgs and Phantoms
    Ellen Raskin

    This is a bit bizarre and readers should probably start with The Westing Game instead. I enjoyed all of Raskin's books, though, and this one deals with some deep issues (namely, death). There are some witty, charming touches once you get used to all of the obscure family lore.

4 Comments:

  • At 6:49 午後, Blogger Matt said…

    My favourite pun in the Alice books is the one about Anglo-Saxon attitudes. I didn't get it until I was in my teens and had already read the books who knows how many times, but once I did get it, I was snickering all day.

     
  • At 9:36 午前, Blogger butterflyblue said…

    I found the part--

    'Not at all,' said the King. 'He's an Anglo-Saxon Messenger--
    and those are Anglo-Saxon attitudes. He only does them when
    he's happy. His name is Haigha.' (He pronounced it so as to
    rhyme with 'mayor.')

    --in Through the Looking Glass. But the pun escapes me! Would you please explain it?

     
  • At 2:14 午後, Blogger Matt said…

    Well, the characters in the scene are using the physical meaning of "attitudes", but "Anglo-saxon attitudes" is itself one of those racialist catchphrases like "the Asian mind" that people use to make sweeping generalisations (positive or negative) based on genetics. I like to think Carroll was making fun of people like that, but maybe he just dug the pun.

     
  • At 2:36 午後, Blogger butterflyblue said…

    Ah! I see. I think you're right.

     

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