I was tagged by Wholly Burble to do an "8 random things about me" meme. In honor of Day to Read, January 10, 2008, I decided to choose 8 random books/authors that mean something to me, instead:
1. Age 4: The Little Engine That Could. I loved the old-fashioned illustrations from this book and even thought that milk might not be evil after seeing the happy children getting their bottles of milk. I also took the message to heart, and during various times in my life, thought of that little engine. I've been a lifelong fan of underdogs, and I think that started here.
2. Age 9: Harriet the Spy. She wrote everything down in a notebook. (So did I). She lived in New York City. (So did I). She spied on people from dumb waiters (I didn't, but I wished I could). She had social issues at school. (So did I). I loved Harriet for her flaws and her strengths, and I sympathized with her sometimes bizarre family life. And growing up in NYC can, indeed, be weird sometimes. And it was good to remember that writing can get you in trouble.
3. Ages 14 - 17: The Godfather and anything by Judith Krantz or Sidney Sheldon. They taught me about sex. (Or so I thought). Who needs bad info from friends when you can get it from 70s trash authors? 'Nuff said.
4. Age 15 - 18: Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Shakespeare, D.H. Lawrence, Emile Zola, James Joyce, Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald. I discovered classics and fell deeply, deeply in love. While junk may have fed my loins, these writers (and others of their ilk) fed my heart and mind and soul.
5. Age 17: On the Road by Jack Kerouac. And, of course, I had to take a road trip myself. Which I did, crossing the country at age 19 to see what there was to see.
6. Age 33: ALL of Jane Austen. I became pregnant. I apparently craved Regency England. I read her books over and over through the pregnancy.
7. Age 33: Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott. After giving birth, I took care of C and read this wonderful, tender book. And cried throughout both experiences with the joy and wonder and tragedy of life.
8. Age 37 (?): Discovering the Harry Potter series. J.K. Rowling brought sheer anticipation back to my reading. I was able to gobble up each and every book. And I still wonder whether she'll be seen as ground breaking 200 years from now.