The Mountains of Instead

Championing fiction as an escape from pandemics, politics and bad TV.

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Childhood/Teen Books that I'd like to Revisit.

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme run by The Broke and The Bookish.  It involves lists of, well, top tens. We like lists.  This week's Top Ten on the Mountains of Instead is brought to you by Splendibird.

The problem with loving to read is that there are so many, many books in the world and so very little actual time in which to read them.  This means that while I most certainly am a re-reader, I don't often get the opportunity to revisit the books that I would like to, including those that I re-read repeatedly as a child and teenager.  This was by far the easiest top ten I've taken part in yet because these books lurk constantly, tempting me to turn away from the endless TBR pile and towards the past.

Gone Away Lake by Elizabeth Enwright

This was a book that I read a lot at about the age of eight. Until recently I couldn't remember what it was called but managed to track down the title with the help of the brilliant site What's That Book  When I think of this book I have images of butterflies over a swamp, a rock inlaid with garnets and a hot and dreamlike summer filled with all the very best kind of things.  I remember it so fondly that I am almost scared to return to it and ruin the memories I have of a halcyon read.

Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer

I've always been a sucker for time travel, for which I blame Doctor Who and also for boarding school stories for which I blame the Chalet School series.  However, perhaps I should be laying the blame elsewhere as Charlotte Sometimes, a much beloved read of my childhood, contains both. When Charlotte heads off to boarding school she inadvertently heads off to the past at the same time where she appears to be an entirely different person. If you haven't read it, this is all you need to know.  Head off and get a copy now.  Really.  Off you go.

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen

This is cheating as I actually revisit this one all the time.  I have always loved the story - it is absolutely my favourite fairytale.  However, it is the specific edition that I had as a child that I particularly love, entirely due to the absolutely stunning and frighteningly magical illustration by Errol le Cain.  Google them, they're beautiful.

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

Because who doesn't want to have a boat and no parental supervision and an island and pirates and general shenanigans.  I mean, seriously.

Remember Me by Christopher Pike

When I was a teen, there wasn't much in the way of Young Adult literature and what there was, from my hazy memories,  revolved largely around the Point Horror stable of horror-lite, Caroline B. Cooney and Christopher Pike - all of whom I adored.  Remember Me was my very favourite Pike book (although Weekend gave it a decent run for its money) what with the dead girl and the MURDER and the twist.  I'd like to see how it stands up to the YA titles of today.

The Dark Half by Stephen King

In lieu of a large YA section in my library, I floated (like so many teens in the '90's) towards Stephen King.  While I don't think The Dark Half was the first King title that I read it was absolutely the one that captured my imagination the most and I've been meaning to re-read it for years.  The idea of a fictional character becoming an enraged reality still fascinates me and, to this day, I happily admit to getting creeped out by sparrows.  Especially if they are flying.  Again.

The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico

I have only very vague recollections of this story but what I have are enchanting and also sad.  I remember feeling utterly transported as it was read to me, possibly because it was one of the very last books read aloud to me before I insisted on reading to myself.  I'd like to see how it would make me feel now.

The Chronicles of Pantouflia by Andrew Lang

I could actually revisit this right now, as I bought it recently for my daughter.  It's a wonderful selection of stories that includes seven league boots and a princess who attracts bees because she wears flowers in her hair and many other wonders.  Also, I loved that cover as a small girl - I can remember just gazing at it because I thought it was so beautiful.  I might read this tonight, actually. I have no doubt that it will be just as good as it was thirty years ago.

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