Monday, 12 February 2018

Ordinary People



I think I was around sixteen when I read Judith Guest's Ordinary People. The book resonated with me more than any other at that time.
What book resonated the most with you?  And why?
I'd be interested to know

166 comments:

  1. The movie was better, Mary Tyler Moore made my skin crawl. Book wise, LOTR since I'd never read anything like it before, or after.

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    1. I enjoyed both . It was a tour de force for Tyler Moore

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    2. The movie was brutal. Great performances.

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  2. I read the Kon-Tiki book when I was about 10, and thought it the most wonderful adventure. If I still had it, I'd read it again.

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    1. We read that at school...true boys own adventures......

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  3. I'd say it was Stig of the Dump as it was the book that sparked a lifetime of love for books.

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    1. I loved books when I was a child and a teen, I want to revisit my reading now

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  4. I could name a score or more. Just one of them, and it's a rather obvious choice (it would also be my predictable 'Desert Island Disc' selection) is 'War and Peace' which I've now read six times (or is it seven?) in three different translations. For sheer breadth of vision from the microcosm to the macrocosm, each time I encounter it it's never been less than utterly astonishing. Okay, considered 'opinion' is that 'Anna Karenina' (which I've read at least four times) is even superior, and in a sense I wouldn't argue with that. (I also love the same author's 'Resurrection'). But for sustained quality of imagination and style, albeit second-hand from another language, I always find W & P just un-put-downable. High time for another assault on it, the 'Everest' of all novels.

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    1. I've never read it raymondo ...perhaps I was put off by the movie which was miscast and dreadful

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    2. Most who haven't read it have been put off by its formidably 'challenging' length, JayGee, as I guess you may have been. I can well understand that, though I have read books/novels even longer. It's true that it does take quite a chunk out of one's life, but it's a price worth paying for the returns of pleasure it affords.

      The only film I've seen which does some of the justice to the written work is the 1967 Russian film (subtitled) of Sergei Bondarchuk who is Director and also plays one of the main characters (Pierre Bezukhov). The release to British theatres at the time was a mere 8.5 hours long (shown in two parts) but I'd still love to see the UNCUT original Russian version at several hours longer. However, even in the 'shorter' version it was highly impressive.

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    3. I'm lucky enough to have been taught Russian, so have read them in the original. War and Peace is indeed an enjoyable page turner. Anna Karenina drives me around the bend. I want to slap her for being so stupid.
      Jane Eyre was my favourite book for years. No idea what it is now!

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    4. Yes! Thank you! Slapping Anna Karenina is one of my life missions (I love the book though) I also want to slap Mélisande (Maurice Maeterlink). And most women and some men in Shakespeare’s plays. And Emily Bronte’s Catherine in Wuthering Heights.
      Thank you Raybeard for reminding me that the best film experiences are not always the easiest.

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    5. Anna was a real foolish lady as I remember

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    6. That IS impressive, Karen, to have read W & P in the original Russian. You must have got so much more out of it than I managed, which itself was a tremendous lot, hence it being my choice. I've read a couple of novels in German and a few short stories in French, but they take AGES, so reading W & P in Russian, if I could manage that language (which I actually did study for two years - all well forgotten now) would take me a full year or more!

      Anna K. is a strange 'downer' of a character but I do like the subtleties of light and shade in the novel - even if the 'lighter' parts are mere momentary flickers in the gloom. It does have some intriguing subsidiary characters too.

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  5. Arthur Schopenhauer "Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung" (The World as Will and Representation). In tandem with Nietzsche's "Zarathustra". My father was horrified.

    U

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    1. You may need to explain that

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    2. You mean "explain" why my father was horrified? He thought it most unsuitable reading material for a sixteen/seventeen year old. Maybe he thought Schopenhauer was screwing with my mind. Considering that my father is an extraordinarily intelligent and learned man, and I mean extraordinarily, he was and is, on occasion, somewhat blinkered.

      U

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  6. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the second time I read it. I just loved the colloquial style (several colloquial styles, actually), and the way Twain captured a particular society at a particular moment in time, but, as a writer, was clearly able to stand apart from it.

    Other books that resonated with me. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut, Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, Myron by Gore Vidal (sequel to Myra Breckenridge, but I read it first) and Answered Prayers by Truman Capote (yes, it's an uncompleted novel, but what exists of it was sold as a book in the 1980s)

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    1. I have not read Huck Finn but I have listened to a talking book version on holiday and was quite captivated by it

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  7. Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath when I was 17. Until then I'd only read Enid Blyton and Barbara Cartland.

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    1. The grapes of wrath was another favourite read of mine ,

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    2. Mine too. It was the first Steinbeck I'd read and it just about knocked me out.

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    3. I grew a little older when Rose of Sharon breast feeds the starving man

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  8. My husband used to talk about Zarathustra all the time, having read it ... thank goodness he never told me I should read it lol
    I saw Ordinary People on tv a while back .. it was a tearjerker ..that is all I remember. I have decided to only see films that do not make me cry. Some days it would be nice not to feel like crying .. over anything .

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  9. Right now I want to cry because I cleaned the cookies off my computer and something else happened to and I have lost or cannot access blogs that I follow and all sorts of irritating things.
    <3

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    1. I know what you mean!! I made the mistake of cleaning cookies the other day and i lost soo much!! Won't be doing that again for a looong while.. lol

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    2. I actually thought you had dropped biscuits on you computer... duh Sol. Duh...

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  10. I can't concentrate to read for long but have lots of books.Most recently Keith Richards,Chrissie Hynde,Hidden life of trees,Monty Don & Nigel-oh & Bruce Springstein.A few years ago I read the Celestine Prophecy which to me I understood that people who we encounter during our lives have different energy which we can learn from-positive or negative.This has stayed with me x

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    1. Autobiographies can be lovely
      I enjoyed Olivia de havillands and Shelley winters greatly

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  11. "Charlotte's Web" has always been a favorite. My 5th grade teacher read it to us the first time and I remember putting my head down on my desk at the end when Charlotte quietly died, alone. I could imagine myself in Fern's place, sitting in the barn listening to the animals talk among themselves. Recently I re-read it in Spanish and it's just as good, maybe more so by seeing it from a different perspective.

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    1. What was the cultural difference
      ?

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    2. I guess it was just the feelings that were evoked by reading the descriptions of the barn, the animals, and the farm in a different language than what I was used to. Seeing those things through the eyes of another culture.

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    3. I have a friend who reads PROUST IN FRENCH

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    4. "Proust in French"? Is that by Jilly Cooper?

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    5. I've read the Proust ('A la Recherche....' mais naturellement!) three times to date i.e. all seven volumes, and another venture of the same is upcoming. If I was 20 years younger I'd love to give it a go in the original but my time remaining is probably not long enough to accomplish it - helas!

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  12. I'am an avid reader John ... But there is truly one book series that made me cry when it ended and i was not a child when i read it. Lord of the Rings... When it ended and they were all going their separate ways i bawled like a baby.. i hate goodbyes... Ofcourse my bookshelves are full of books i love.. Hugs! deb

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    1. I never quite got into LOTR. I ordered WATERSHIP DOWN Which is thevrabbin version

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    2. I too have never been able to see why LOTR is so revered - though it's yet another of those must-reads which I've waded through at least half a dozen times, the last time being 1992 - so a further assailing is overdue (drat it!)

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  13. The one I remember is Lord of the Flies. It was so different to anything I had read before. Given to me to read by an English teacher who was just the best. I remember her saying to me -aged 11 - this is what the 6th form are reading, see what you make of it.

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    1. I remember reading this at school. It scared me. We also read Catcher in the rye . Which I hated

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    2. We did 'Flies' at school also (for Eng Lit 'O; level).
      Only caught up with 'Catcher' about eight years ago - and must say was rather shocked at the (married) 'flitty' character at the novel's end who makes a pass at Holden who then runs away in disgust. If it's still near-compulsory reading in American schools there's nothing like giving schoolkids a 'good' grounding in homophobia! (Never trust a queer!)

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  14. For different reasons, lots of books have resonated with me through the years and so I find it impossible to pick out one.

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    1. Pick a few then

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    2. "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain
      "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding
      "The Magus" by John Fowles
      "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte
      "Jude the Obscure" by Thomas Hardy
      "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe
      "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck
      "The Virgin and the Gipsy" by D.H. Lawrence
      "Nostromo" by Joseph Conrad
      "Metamorphosis and other stories" by Franz Kafka
      "The Bone People" by Keri Hulme
      "Beautiful Losers" by Leonard Cohen
      "Confession of a Window Cleaner" by Timothy Lea

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    3. Saving the best till last x

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    4. The first time I read 'The Magus' (which must have been around 1978, I think) I was totally bowled over by the twists and turns. I'd never read anything like it. But I've re-read it two, or maybe three, times since, and the original magic had disappeared, never to return.

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  15. The History Man by Malcolm Bradbury. I was taught it at A level and thought it would be boring and old fashioned. Our teacher made it come alive, He taught us to challenge ourselves in our reading choices and to explore new ideas and different and alternative lifestyles to ours. Still one of my favourite books, Sadly the teacher died last year at a relatively young age x

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    1. We read A Kestral for a knave

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    2. I was working as his PA when he wrote it. He was a lovely man

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    3. How brilliant is that
      !!

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    4. It was based on academic life at the University of East Anglia and very, very true. It was later made into a very successful tv series. Malcolm died a few years ago and he had the most splendid funeral I have ever been to in Norwich Cathedral.. Many of his creative writing students like Ian McEwen spoke. He had an awful wife.

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    5. What was wrong with her ?

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    6. Wow that's amazing Rachel!

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    7. His wife was a nagging hag of a woman, He came to work to escape her. He finished the History Man on his own in a cottage he rented in Driffield, Yorkshire. It is a major chapter in my life, and the people I met through him of which I have rarely written on blogs.
      Thank you Lisa. I was his PA because his own PA was on maternity leave, which was a totally new thing too, maternity leave!

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    8. Now that would certainly make an interesting blog

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  16. Anonymous5:08 pm

    As a child I was very influenced by stories about close and loving families. I'm from a big family (5 children) but in no way could we have been considered close (I haven't seen 3 of my brothers since mum's funeral 3 years ago). Little Women and the Little house series were favourites. I made sure that my children always knew they were loved and tried to engender a closeness as a family, hopefully I succeeded.

    Sue Foster

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    1. That's why ORDINARY PROPLE resonated with me. I identified with conrad

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  17. When I was small, I loved the Victorian stories like "The Secret Garden." As an adult, mysteries became me. This last month or so, I have been ensnared by Louise Penny's mysteries.

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    1. Love Penny's books. Read them one after another, didn't get anything doe for weeks!

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    2. I'm off to check penny's books right now ..thank fuck for google

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    3. I third that, Louise enny books are amazing. I think John that you will love Armand Gamache. He reminds me of you.

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    4. Add me in as another Louise Penny fan. I've read them all and can't wait for the next! -Jenn

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  18. I have been a reader all of my life. I started with Nancy Drew. My Latin teacher suggested LOTR and I have read them over and over again.As others have said "Watership Down" stayed with me for a long time. I still go to the library every week.

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    1. When I was in 5th grade, I got in trouble at school for reading too much, lol! I was addicted to Nancy Drew read every single one numerous times...

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  19. I read 'To Kill A mocking Bird' at school. I would love to read it again with adult eyes

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    1. It's one I reread every ten years or so

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  20. So many books have, authored by the likes of Wallace Stegner, Jim Harrison, Ursula LeGuin (who recently died), and the like. Perhaps Stegner's 'Angle of Repose' resonates the most at my stage of life. I think I've finally reached that angle.

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    1. Legion wrote sIfy did she not...not a genre I follow much

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    2. Not scifi as you likely think of it, she had no interest in technology or rockets. 'Left Hand of Darkness' is the first book I ever read that dealt with gender issues. It imagines a world where the people are gender neutral for all except a couple days a month, when they could be either. It explores what it means for life when you take gender our of the equation. The others are not scifi at all.

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  21. As a grown up - The Grapes of Wrath; as a child Tales of Toyland by Enid Blyton with the runaways Tiptoe the fairy and Jolly the Sailor doll! :)

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  22. I have read so many books and at certain times of my life many have been significant although they are totally insignificant to me now. Many books during the 1970 had a habit of becoming cult reading/must reads like Catch 22, Robert Tressels Ragged Trousered Philsanthropists, Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance, anything by Kurt Vonnegut, The Dice Man by Luke Reinhart, and many more. I read all these at the time but apart from Kurt Vonnegut nothing particular sticks in my mind as being hugely important to me. I am now more staid in my reading and currently enjoying reading through the lives of men born around 1900 and the time my father was born and as he died very young and I was never able to speak to him about life in the 20s and 30s I am enjoying this reading trail very much and feeling in some gaps of the period. I am currently up to Bertrand Russell. My mother introduced me to DH Lawrence, JP Donleavy and Philip Roth. I have never read or heard of Ordinary People.

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    1. It's a better movie Rachel so look out for it.
      I used to devour wartime non fiction especially stories of the fall of Singapore and life for the civilians in the internment camps ( aka Tenko)
      I also have read many historical books of the seige of Peking

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    2. I remember sneakily buying 'Zen/Motorcycle Mtce' in the 1970s, but just a year or two after the initial craze about it had died down, and being very self-conscious about hoping no one had seen me buying it. Silly me!

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  23. I read 1984 as a teen, it scared the crap out of me. And For Whom the Bells Toll

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    1. 1984 depressed me.as did the dreadfully dull catcher in the rye...I think I needed glitter and glamour even when I was 13

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  24. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. I read it at 16 and many more times since then. I love the way it touches the heart and soul of life.

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    1. Let me whisper this, Bonnie, as John has put me under curfew: The Prophet sure does touch both "heart and soul". And reason.

      U

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    2. Curfew with arguing with others ursula , only with arguing

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  25. My love of books began with The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford, suggested to me by my school librarian. It was so amazing to my young mind at the time to have pets return to their people like that. Just the beginning of a major love affair with books, and worlds and people, and other places....

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    1. I did a blog on Sheila's book recently

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  26. Many books mean so much to me but when I could read, it would be Watership Down.

    cheers, parsnip and mandibles

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    1. It's an patronising children's book written as if for adults , I loved it too

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    2. Watership Down made me cry like a baby.

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  27. Your readers are very well read.

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  28. Lord of the Flies stuck in my mind for a long time. We read it at school for our English Lit exam and were lucky enough to go and see the original black and white film at the cinema. The book and the film gave me the new understanding that people can change in the blink of an eye from someone nice to someone truly terrible. It also gave a real hatred and fear of mob violence and the need to stick up for the 'little man' and the underdog, something I do to this day.

    So educational and memorable on many levels ... just like a good book should be.

    I also love 'Hovel in the Hills'. I first read it back in the 1980's when I was going through a really hard up time, and Elizabeth West's true account of how she and her husband scratched a living on a Welsh hillside stayed with me ... and then of course totally coincidentally I ended up living on the opposite side of the valley to where she lived doing exactly the same!!

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    1. I've got that Sue & the kitchen one x

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    2. Animal farm and lord of the files were great growing up books

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    3. When I was growing up the school growing up books were Far from The Madding Crowd and Pride and Prejudice. Lord of the Flies came later.

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    4. They are all not easy reads for children

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  29. 1. Animal Farm (Orwell)

    2. Animal Liberation (Singer)

    3. Men With The Pink Triangle (Heger)

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    1. I remember being incredibly moved by MEN WITH THE PINK TRIANGLE ...the true and best told story of gays in the nazi death camps

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  30. In my early twenties I read Gestalt Therapy Verbatim by Fritz Perls. It was amazingly perceptive about human psychology and how our minds work, and it greatly increased my self-awareness.

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  31. The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon is a wonderful book. It should be part of the national curriculum, in my opinion.

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    1. I had to look it up....interesting but hard work me thinks

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  32. I almost read a book a week across a wide range of subjects but the one book I instantly as THE book, is Wind in the Willows. As a child it took me into the world of wildlife and nature that I loved so much and brought animals to life. I don't think that there has been a year in my life that I haven't dipped into that book at least once.

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    1. I never got into it, talking animals , I believed it of Kipling and Adams but no one else

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    2. Derek, I loved it and so did my children .. it is a lovely book ..sweet and perfect for a child with a good imagination.

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  33. Forever Amber, but I was nine or ten, not sixteen. I took it out of the library on my mother’s card and read it under the bedcovers with a torch.....

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    1. A bodice ripper?

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    2. Total bodice ripper ... I wasn't allowed to read it until I was 13 lol .. funny what age our mothers thought was good for us to be able to read romance type novels ..

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    3. NotesFromAbroad - I often think that you and me would get on like a house on fire....

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    4. I read "Forever Amber" when I was a young teen. My dad had confiscated "Spartacus" from me because he thought it was too racy, but I guess this one passed under his radar. The chapters on the Black Death were real eye-openers.

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    5. I always thought it of the both of u
      ( with me)
      Candice a talker
      Wanda a laugher

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    6. How nice ! I am also a laugher, Wanda and I could just sit and giggle :)
      It is a lovely thought .

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    7. I've been reading this post and thinking I haven't read much and none of it made much impact but Wanda reminds me of how I read The Thorn Birds as a young teenager. Mum actually handed it to me and said i might like it

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    8. I was named after the character in Forever Amber - though my straight-laced ultra-religious Mother would deny it, lol. The Thorn Birds is still a fabulous read...

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  34. Ronald Blythe's Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village

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    1. Another on my list to do

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    2. I see to remember there were a number of animal deaths in it, which upset me. It may just have been one or two but it's things like that in particular (or am I thinking of another novel?) which my mind latches onto and distorts my memory of a whole book.

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  35. The first book I remember really enjoying was Alice in Wonderland. I can still recite all the poems. I read the LOTR series at least 7 times. Cried my eyes out reading Watership Down. The Wind in the Willows was sweet. Then I got into biographies for a while. Of course, there were all the famous required reading books which I mostly enjoyed. I thought I might die of boredom reading The Old Man and the Sea. (I was too young and impatient for it). Cried again reading To Kill a Mockingbird. Devoured lots of easy, trivial mysteries when my kids were small. It was the only thing I had time for.Of course, I read to them every night. A really good story to read to children is Abel's Island. Now I am going back and re-reading Hemingway and I am going to tackle lots of classics that I never got around too.
    Ordinary People (the movie) still gives me the shivers. It was so terrifying close to real life.

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    1. Yes Tyler Moore as the emotionally brittle and distant Beth was a standout

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  36. I read Ordinary People before it was made into a movie (I liked the movie, but I liked the book better). I was in high school, and I still remember (at age 53) some of my favorite lines (or paraphrases thereof). "Way to impress the third graders, Jarrett" is something Conrad thinks to himself after playing guitar for Jeanine Pratt's little brother. At some point Conrad sees or thinks of a bumper sticker that says "Christ is the Answer" and he thinks 'What was the question?' Nothing profound, but lines that really appealed to my 16-year-old self.

    It's funny what stays with you.

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  37. Often, what's most attractive about a person is that part they're trying hardest to conceal, that part they think is least likable. You find out about it and it becomes a secret bond between you, something you never talk about but hold close to your heart and are continually touched by"
    One of my favourite quotes from my fav book film
    The object of my affection

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  38. WHen young, The Ghosts by Antonia Barber, as a teen, The Mayor of Casterbridge, as an adult, Jane Eyre.
    Casterbridge was one I stayed up until 3am to finish, as I couldn't believe how a man could sell his wife.

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    1. I've never read it but because of this post I've just ordered it from amazon

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    2. It's a darned good read, JayGee.
      It took me quite a while to get onto the Hardy 'wavelength' for any of his books, but once there he's stayed and ever since the penny dropped he's been one of my favourite writers.

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    3. Let me know what you think of it John.

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  39. Lots over the years but as a child Rudyard Kiplings Rikki Tikki Tavi and other short stories because they seemed so exotic from a faraway land.

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    1. Kipling is another fav of mine I loved that mongoose

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    2. I have NEVER been able to 'get' Kipling - though, my God, I've tried and tried and tried!
      Joseph Conrad is another who just misses me by a thousand miles - and don't you DARE get me started on Walter Scott! (I'm warning you!)

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  40. Janet and John. It was the curriculum.

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    1. Have you heard terry wogans janet and John stories?

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    2. Tom try
      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5tKnsZCELD4

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  41. "The House at Pooh Corner". A little later, the complete Sherlock Holmes stories.

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    1. Pooh left me cold but I loved Sherlock ...I read them in 1995

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  42. The book, The Bridges of Madison County, changed my life. God Lord, not the movie though! I've never gotten all the way through the movie! I borrowed a copy and read the book one evening when I was almost 45 and cried all night long knowing I had wasted my life. I had always chosen the wrong type guys and after I read the book, I knew I wanted a Robert Kincaid. Once you know what you want, the universe sends it to you. The next month on a business trip I reconnected with an old friend, we've been together for 23 years. He's bought me several copies of The Bridges of Madison County over the years, which I display together on a bookshelf.

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    1. I read that he novel changed a lot....romance late in life ?

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    2. Yes, we are 68 and 70 now. Still hold hands wherever we go. Our first year of marriage (1997) we were college students on the weekend (at 47 and 50) getting a second Bachelors degree. You're only as old as you think you are!

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  43. "it's always something" - gilda radner. a friend gave me that book when I was going through my cancer hell in 1989 (the year gilda died).

    it took me 2 years before I could make it all the way to the end of the book. I would hit a point and just HAVE to put it aside as it brought up what was happening to me.

    but surviving that disease has made me stronger and I no longer take shit from anybody! 29 years clean now!

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  44. I think it might been 'How long Has This Been going On' by Ethan Mordden. It's sort of a story of gay history from the 40's and 50's through the end of the 20th century. i see myself and a great many friends in that book.

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    1. Not something I know..off to google again

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  45. My great grandmother was from England and used to read to me every evening.
    I grew up with a love of books thanks to her but I only like hearing a book read aloud by someone with a British accent lol
    I was taken to libraries and picked out books and loved summer vacation when I would go out in the garden and read all afternoon with a big glass of iced tea.
    Some memories are so clear and they just were just ordinary days..it’s been nice remembering and reading the memories of others.

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  46. Raised Catholic, the first time I read Isaac Asimov's The Foundation, my mind blew up. It wasn't a saying at the time, but I was totally WTF!!!!

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  47. I’m Canadian so of course raised on Anne of Green Gables and all the books that followed it. Remember reading the entire series of Chronicles of Narnia in about two weeks one summer while swinging in a hammock. I read a lot up until menopause and the internet stole my brain. As an adult belonged to a few book clubs that had me read outside my comfort zone. Love Guy Gavriel Kay fantasy books, Bernard Cornwell Sharp series because everyone needs an adventure now and then. Lillian Beckwith because someday I may need to live on a croft with all those crazy characters. James Harriet, Jane Austen, Edward Rutherford, Diana Gabaldon, Bill Bryson, Anne Rice, and so many others that have been my very best friends for the length of a book.

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  48. The Good Earth--Pearl S. Buck
    In This House of Brede--Rumer Godden
    Bless Me, Ultima--Rudolpho Anaya
    All the Light We Cannot See--Anthony Doer
    Clan of the Cave Bear--Jean Auel
    American Gods--Neil Gaimon

    I could go on all night!

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    1. American Gods-I forgot how good that was. After reading The Stand by Stephen King, I spent a lot of time thinking about it.

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    2. In This House of Brede, forgot that on

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  49. I have had the great good luck of having the Most Perfect Sister-in=Law. I married a man a few years older than I .. his family/sisters were a lot older than I .. but this sister is like my own , there is nothing "in law-ish" about her.
    She is a maniac reader ... she reads all day every day .. her husband , died ... she took the garage and converted it into a library . floor to ceiling shelves full of her books. She reads constantly and so many books that she forgets if she has read one and will read it again :)
    There are some that she loves and I can't stand .. those romances by people like Violet Winspear and Rosemary Rogers etc ..
    Give me a good old British who dunnit >

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  50. The books of my early childhood are particularly memorable - it was a happy time. Peter Rabbit - and other Beatrice Potter jems, The Just So Stories, All the AA Milne books (I can still recite many passages ... don't start me!), The Wind in the Willows, Mike Milligan's Steam Shovel (an American picture book - does anyone else remember it?). Then at boarding school I discovered Shakespeare and was told I wouldn't like it (I was probably 10 - or 11!) but, next to it on the shelf was the Charles and Mary Lamb Tales of Shakespeare, and with that in one hand and The Tempest in the other I fell headlong in love with The Bard!!

    We read all the classics - Jane Eyre (particularly suitable if you're in a RC boarding school!!) - was moving, and I enjoyed Dickens.

    As an adult, the books 'important to me' have changed regularly, but those childhood stalwarts formed me.

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  51. Jane Eyre, I read it again and again when I was young. Jane is such a strong character.

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  52. I read "A Separate Peace" when I was only about 11 years old. I was too young to fully understand and yet I felt like my soul had been scorched.

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  53. Food for thought, and memories with many of these books/authors listed, and some I've never heard of.
    I was maybe seven, no older, when my aunt gave me her well thumbed copy of Noel Streatfield's "Ballet Shoes", an old fashioned tale (to me), but a book which inspired my life-long love of ballet.
    My parents were keen readers and at six, I had a Junior Library ticket, and we'd go each Saturday to change our books. By the time I reached my teens I had read most of the popular children's classics, and the novels by author's like Enid Blyton, and all the books on the shelves at home. I was especially taken with Daphne Du Maurier - a firm favourite of my mother's. "Rebecca" will always be a favourite. Unfortunately school reading seemed tame after all those adult novels ! I have never seen the appeal of "Lord of the Rings", and similar sagas.
    Was I the only child on the planet who wasn't offended by receiving a book token as a Christmas or Birthday gift?

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    1. About Books as Gifts >
      This past Christmas, my son gave me Paris Chats for Christmas .. a huge "coffee table" sort of book with just fabulous photos of the cats in Paris ! most of them are from the 50's which makes it even better :)

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    2. Children and adults always get Books.

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  54. Never Call It Loving...about Parnell and Kitty.

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  55. "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau, really the message was to not let the burden of pursuing convenience, outweigh the benefit. Interestingly after Thoreau left Walden, he ran his families pencil factory for a couple of years.

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  56. I had always loved Anne of Green Gables. Going to Canada and actually seeing LM Montgomery's house just underlined what a lovely, moving book it is. On the surface an orinary story about an orphan girl being given a home - but underneath so much more than that. In times of distress or worry it is the book I still turn to for calming me down.

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  57. As a child I loved The Borrowers books by Mary Norton. I was a middle child but felt quite lonely at times and identified with Arrietty. At fourteen I read The Naked Island by Russell Braddon, telling of his capture at 21 by the Japanese and subsequent incarceration in Changi Jail. It made me realise how cruel humankind could be but also how defiant and resilient.

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  59. I read Brendan Behan's Borstal Boy at 14.

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    1. I bet u grew up quick

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    2. I read all my mother's books that she got from two brothers who ran a newsagents and used to get banned books for her. We used to call in after she picked me up from school. I was reading adult books from an early age.

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  60. Anonymous3:08 pm

    My favorite book is A Soldier of the Great War, a dramatic, beautifully written account of WW1 from the perspective of an affluent Italian soldier. I collect copies and gift them to others who love to read.

    Second- The Harbor, a wonderful in-depth telling of a sea-change in culture and civilization, written in 1918, but very timely.

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  61. When I taught sixth grade, I would read "A Day No Pigs Would Die" and end up crying through bits of it, along with each and every one of my students. Well, the girls cried...the boys teared up and hid their faces in their desks.

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    1. Oh my gosh. I never knew my granddad as he left my gran years before I was born. I was 18 when he and my mom got back in touch and I "inherited" all his books. I remember reading that book (probably an abridged version) from his collection and loved it. Anna

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  62. ...and "Johnny Got His Gun" by Dalton Trumbo profoundly affected me in high school. I was horrified by the story of a war victim trapped by 'locked-in syndrome.' Perfect book for a stroll on the dark side of life. I read it at one go.

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  63. I haven't read that book but the movie is FABULOUS, and devastating. Mary Tyler Moore does a great job with her dramatic role, and of course Timothy Hutton and Donald Sutherland are terrific. There are too many meaningful books for me to name!

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  64. Good Lord you lot are going to cost me a fortune. I have been hitting my Amazon wish list with so many of your recommendations. As I live in France I just hope at some time I can "borrow" kindle books in English. I do read in French but it just isn't the same. And as for my favourites - wow. I wouldn't know where to start. I have been reading since I was knee high to a grasshopper. I do think, though that those of us who love to read have been granted one of the greatest gifts of all. Anna

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  65. It is interesting so many of the books are childrens or read when we were young. My favourites as a child were the Narnia books - pure job. As an adult 1984 and Brave New World.

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  66. Some favs:
    A Confederacy of Dunces
    Lonesome Dove
    News of the World
    Pillars of the Earth
    Trinity
    King Rat
    The Great Gatsby
    A Thousand Splendid Suns
    Cider House Rules
    The Far Pavillions
    Call of the Wild
    White Fang
    The Yearling
    The Sojourner
    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
    Gone With the Wind
    Summer of Katya
    Pnin
    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
    The Fountainhead
    East of Eden
    Christy
    Stoner
    Everything by Georgette Heyer and Nevil Shute :)




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    1. Oh the yearling! Sob fest

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