From Parul’s blog who reminded me of all the devouring of Enid Blyton I did as a tween.
In the chronological order I read them.
1. Darrell Rivers
Malory Towers was the first book I read. And I fell in love. Mischievous Alice, loyal Sally, pompous Gwen, timid Mary Lou. The midnight feasts and the lacrosse matches. The pranks and the performances. Oh how I wanted to be Darrell Rivers and go to the boarding school on Cornish seaside. I read St.Clare’s as well but the O’Sullivan twins couldn’t hold a candle to dear Darrell. Anyone who missed this as a tween, now is as good a time as any. Yes JK Rowling has just “magicked” Malory.
2. Nancy Drew
Nancy with her loyal friends Bess and George hadn’t dealt with a mystery she couldn’t crack. She was smart, plucky, and pretty with a nose for adventure.Much later in life I found out Carolyn Keene wasn’t one author but the pen name for many authors the publishers engaged. In fact since Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys had the same publisher and probably the same authors as well cross overs were common. As we entered tweens Nancy Drew mysteries became Nancy Drew files where Bess and George slipped into background as passionate kisses with boyfriend Ned Nickerson took forefront. One novel had Nancy and Ned breaking up and I remember Sugandh and I discussed this quite seriously in a lunch break!(Sug don’t know if you remember!)
3. Rhett Butler
I actually read the sequel “Scarlett” before “Gone with the wind” and of course both Scarlett and Rhett were mere shadows of their previous avatar. Then I read Gone with the Wind and hated, loathed, empathized and felt sorry for Scarlett in that order. On one hand she raised repulsion through her blatantly manipulative ways and on the other hand she was this strong person you can admire. But darling Rhett with you it was lurve lurve and lurve all the way. If you were a person I would have flung myself at your feet and begged for acceptance.
I needed one Victorian heroine with bellowing gowns, evening teas and conspiracies. I never quite appreciated the charm Darcy had over women, so I choose my favorite bumbling matchmaker who was hell bent on setting up her friends with completely wrong people all with a good intention of course. She reminded me of no small measure of self with misguided good intentions. And of course she had no clue what her own heart desired.
5. Sherlock Holmes
With Dr.Watson in his Baker Street home Holmes cracked mystery with a precision forensics cant match even today. My love affair with him began with “The hound of Baskervilles” and can claim proudly that I have read each and every Sherlock mystery available. It’s the Sherlock hangover that has me watch CSI,CSI:NY,CSI:Miami and previously New Detectives on Discovery.
I read a whole lot of the Bards plays in school but my favorite was the morose, revenge-seeking Prince of Denmark. The first tragedy I read I empathized with the prince who couldn’t decide whether he wanted to be or not to be.
7. Harry Potter
When I laid my hands on the first book by JKR, the cover advised that it was suitable upto age of 12.I was 18.And I was hooked, line and sinker. But I seriously doubt if as a 12 year old how much of the sub-plots, the intricate details I would have understood and enjoyed. It was like a big Bollywood drama. And the books became heavier and heavier and more and more expensive. And I read the seventh in e-book format, considering I hate e-books (the enjoyment in a book lies in reading lying down, stuffing your mouth with junk food and smelling the freshly printed pages; not squinting at the screen) this shows my total, utter dedication in knowing did Ron and Hermione hook up?
8. Sonny Corleone
I know the whole world finds the younger-scarfaced Michael sexy. But I loved the older, philandering, hot headed Sonny. So much so after the chapter of his massacre, I put the book down and resumed after a couple of days. This book also was my introduction to sex in fiction…oh wait that would be the trashbacks from Sidney Sheldon.
From the Kite-Runner whose childhood betrayal of Hassan to his redemption in a war torn Afghanistan as he battles ghosts from the past and the ruthless Taliban to save Shohrab. Khalid Hosseini captures an Afghanistan lost so beautifully that I have had to re-read paragraphs to live them over and over again and read them slowly so that book doesn’t come to a finish too quickly. And can anything beat that magical line-‘for you a thousand times over’.
10. Anne Frank
She wasn’t a fictional character but she really influenced the way I looked at the world and her Diary inspired me into maintain one of my own and this blog is nothing but an offshoot of that desire to maintain a record of my own life.
I have realized most of my favorite characters come from reading I did in school. It isn’t surprising considering though I have bought a ton of books this year I have left all of them incomplete. So have kind of promised to finish all the backlog this weekend and have earnestly restarted with “The namesake”.
As for the tag.Anyone who loves books is free to pick it up!