It’s hard to imagine what could top the Pink Carnation meets Nancy Drew, via last week’s Mistletoe Monday. But thinking of Nancy Drew got me thinking about the books or series that leave an impression. You may not have read them for years, but they still resonate.
For me, those included Nancy Drew, L.M. Montgomery’s Blue Castle, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind, Johanna Lindsay’s Mallory series, Elizabeth Peters’ Vicky Bliss books, and many others, some of which I haven’t revisited for a long time, but which, in some way or another, will always be with me.
Which book–or series–has meant the most to you?
One person will be chosen at random to receive a Mistletoe calendar magnet. Winner to be posted on Wednesday– at least, theoretically, since I keep forgetting and posting on Thursday instead.
Thirteen Clocks, the prose and turn of phrase leads me back each year to a classic tale of good versus evil, a good princess, a prince in disguise, and a Golux.
I’ve been reading Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books since I was 9, so those are close to my heart.
The Lioness Quartet. It’s one of the first series I ever read.
LM Montgomery’s everything–Anne, Blue Castle, Along the Shore
Victoria Holt’s romantic suspense novels (love those)
Barbara Michaels’ The Master of Blacktower–because mysterious moody hot guy with castle and scar=fabulous.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your series, Lauren, as well as the Tea Rose series by Jennifer Donnelly.
However, I have to say that the Harry Potter series has meant the most to me. I did not necessarily realize what it meant while I was reading it – but definitely recognize it now. The first book was published/became popular around my 10th birthday so I literally was able to grow up with the characters. The fact that my friends and I experienced it together made reading the series all the more special.
It’s especially hitting home now that the final movie is coming out next month that the Harry Potter road is finally ending. I’m glad that I got to experience it and have no problem admitting that at age 23.
Harry Potter has meant a great deal to me in my adolescence and early adult years, but I have to say The Baby-Sitters Club was a HUGE part of my childhood. The series, by Ann M. Martin, got me hooked on reading. I spent countless nights staying up in bed reading the original series, mysteries, and “Super Specials.” This led to a diagnosis of myopia and huge plastic framed glasses at age 8, but it was worth it!
Oh, so many! When I was younger the American Girl (the original girls) books were great and then the Babysitter’s Club Books!
But some of my favorites have always been the Little House books and the Little Women trilogy. I still re-read these all the time!
I do agree with you Joni, that the Harry Potter books were wonderful, and I do love your series Lauren! I also love reading Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse books.
I went through the pre-teen horsey phase and fell in love with the Margarite Henry books, including the Misty of Chincoteague series. I think I can still quote some of them chapter and verse!
Everything by LM Montgomery, but especially her ‘Anne’ series and ‘Blue Castle’, which I adored. LMM remains one of the few authors who’s made me laugh out loud and cry like a baby and provided endless hours of entertainment and inspiration.
Everything by the immortal Jane Austen.
Also, the Narnia Chronicles and the Harry Potter books.
Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series is one that I have reread a number of times and continues to be a favourite of mine.
I love all the Harry Potter love! For awhile there I reread the series every Christmas because it made me so happy. I haven’t done that the last few years but I’m thinking I might resume that tradition this year!
‘The Silver Chair’ is the first book I remember being read to me at bedtime when I was three years old. I am now thoroughly convinced an early, ongoing love of ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ has resulted in my reading far more fantasy fiction than is strictly healthy. 😀
I also loved the Babysitters Club. In 1992, we took 2 buses from Staten Island to King’s Plaza in Brooklyn to go to a signing. Also the various Sweet Valley series, though I was very sad at what they did to my beloved Wakefields in the new Sweet Valley Confidential. I read the Amazon reviews and was completely appalled. I’m just going to pretend that book doesn’t exist. And of course, Nancy Drew.
It might not be a book that is typical for bringing back fond memories, but the book that had the most influence on me in my youth was my Encyclopedia of Greek and Roman Mythology. It was a treasure to my 10-year-old-self, and the stories of the Olympians sparked my imagination like no other. To this day it still holds a place of honour on my bookshelf.
Well you have me thinking back. First, I love yours, I count down from out 11 months out.
When my sons were young we read the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne.
Harry Potter series. My younger son and I read them together. It was amazing what he found in the books and what I did.
Amelia Peabody Series by Elizabeth Peters. I’m still hoping for another book from her.
Gideon Oliver Series by Aaron Elkins. Love them.
I’m going to go way back to my childhood when my favorite teacher read E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web to us….I still cry when I think about how much I love that book. And yes, when I became a teacher, I read it every year to my little class, and when I meet former students they tell me their favorite memory is when we read Charlotte’s Web! Makes me happy just thinking about it. 🙂
Sherlock Holmes, Lord Peter Wimsey and Amelia Peabody.
I my favorite is the Harry Potter series, but more recently I have read and loved The Parasol Protectorate series from Gail Carriger. I also love Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily books. I love a good series 🙂
I have so many books that have stuck with me through the years. I still remember my favorite picture book–Kay Thompson’s Eloise. On my first trip to NYC at age 20, I insisted on stopping at the Plaza Hotel to see her “portrait!” I also have fond memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books. I read and re-read the bindings right off my copies.
Harry Potter, Narnia, 23rd Psalm Mysteries, Percy Jackson, Little House on the Prairie, and Pink Carnation.
As a youth I loved the Alice series, Babysitters club series, and the Little House of the Prairie series.
The first series that really got me on reading adventure books was the Famous Five by Enid Blyton (well, actually, the French translation… I couldn’t read English at the time). I remember borrowing them 10 at a time. I was 6-7 years old when I started reading all the time and even though I’ve read many many good series after that (and still am), The Famous Five will always be for me my first smell of adventure… and I’ve always loved adventure books ever since!
I think the first series of books that I ever read as a kid were the Little House On The Prairie books. I remember thinking it was a bit of adventure. I also loved the Babysitters Club books, my friends and I actually made our own babysitting club based off the series.
Now I think I’m a bit infatuated with the Sebastion St.Cyr mystery books as well as the Royal Spyness Novels. Not only do I own them in paperback but I also got the kindle editions as well. Now I can read them anytime and anywhere!
The Three Musketeers, because the characters taught me the true meaning of honor and friendship.
The Williamsburg Series by Elswyth Thane…I found the series shortly after moving from Nebraska to Virginia and it helped me embrace the history of my adopted home and every time I read the series I’m taken back to when I first moved to Virginia.
Anything by Jane Austen still remains my best antidepressant.
Wow. Super tough question … Books have always been such a large part of my life ….
First of all – I can still close my eyes and see every detail of every page of Tasha Tudor’s counting book.
Second – I am so with several of the others who were profoundly effected by The Babysitters’ Club. I started a babysitters’ club with my friends based off of the books … dorky? Yes. Also awesome? Totally.
Third – (aside from the pure joy that your Carnation books bring me) I was beyond moved by the beautiful retelling of Hosea that Francine Rivers offered in Redeeming Love. I still get chills thinking about how well it was done …
And I’ll cut myself off there. Otherwise I could keep going all night long! 🙂
The Harry Potters. The My Friend Flicka books, The Hunger Games. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. Your series. I think I’m just a sucker for a good story. Oh, and Nancy Drew, of course.
The Little House on the Prairie books… I read them so many times that the covers are falling off. I wanted to be Laura so badly. 🙂
The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley was what got me hooked on reading. My mother also read older series to us, like the Thornton Burgess stories about woodland creatures like Danny Meadowmouse and Reddy Fox, and the Bobsey Twins. I also went through a Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Valley High craze that lasted a couple of years. And, as an adult, I’ve loved Harry Potter, the Spellman books by Lisa Lutz, and of course the Pink Carnations. There is something about a series that I can’t resist, and I become so sad when it comes to an end…
When I think of books and series that have meant the most to me, I think of:
-Charlotte’s Web was the first big book I read by myself
-Little Women was one of my first great reads
-Anne of Green Gables has always been one of my favorites since I first saw the movies when I was 5 and then read the books when I was older
-Then it has to be Jane Austen’s books and Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters, which both helped me through some really tough times I had in junior high and early high school
Strong impressions, in the order I read them — the first that I read only from an author.
1. C.S. Forester, “Commodore Hornblower”
2. H. Rider Haggard, “She”
3. “Pride and Prejudice”
4. Dorothy L. Sayers, “Gaudy Night”
5. George MacDonald Fraser, “Flashman in the Great Game”
6. Elizabeth Peters, “The Crocodile on the Sandbank”
7. “The Secret History of the Pink Carnation”
1. Anything by Montgomery
2. Little Women
3. Harry Potter
4. Gone with the Wind
7. Maud Hart Lovelace’s “Betsy” series and the companion books
If I have to pick one series (very difficult) I think it is the Lone Pine books for children by Malcolm Saville. They were old even when I read them (the earliest ones are set during WWII), but that was one reason I liked them – they evoked a time when children could go out for the day on their bicycles, and even camp on their own. The places where the books were set was also important, both for the action and the atmosphere, and it is because of this series that I have a fondness for several parts of England, especially Shropshire and for Rye and its environs. I suspect the series is also responsible for my liking of mysteries with a strong emphasis on the characters and the relationships between them – which brings me back to your books!
I’m so glad the other commenters reminded me of the Little House series. I haven’t re-read it in 20 years, but its scenes will pop into my head at the oddest times. When we were iced in this past winter, I thought “Well, at least it’s not as bad as in The Long Winter!”
– anything by L.M. Montgomery
– Elizabeth Peters
– C.S. Lewis (especially The Screwtape Letters)
– The King’s General by Daphne du Maurier
One thing my school did when I was in elementary (1-4th) was after lunch recess, the teachers would read for a half hour. In 3rd grade, it was the Sugar Creek Gang series, by Paul Hutchens. It is a Christian based series that I likened to Fat Albert..but these were country boys in the 40s/50s not city boys in the 70s. There was always an adventure or mystery.
In 4th grade, it was Little House on the Prairie. I’ve always related to Laura because I was also a tomboy, freckled face girl who was daddy’s girl. And I had a Nellie in my life too. I only wish I could have gotten away with some of the stuff Laura did. haha
But since my sophomore year, I became a Bronte sisters groupie. I LOVE LOVE Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve read them. My next favorite is Agnes Gray. I think the proposal at the end of the book is wonderful. Shirley and the Professor were a bit harder for me to read, but I still enjoyed them thoroughly and actually need to read again. 🙂
I didn’t have time to read for a few years when I was having babies, but then had a chance to read the first Harry Potter while on vacation. Then I devoured the rest of the series, which rekindled my love of reading.
Shortly after that I discovered the Pink Carnation series and loved that too.
A friend recommended The Spellman Files and I love that series.
There are a couple YA fantasy series that I am fond of as well. The Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale, and the DragonKeeper Chronicles by Donita K. Paul.
There are so many good ones that were mentioned here that I have read and been moved by,
The American Girl Doll series, Harry Potter and the Georgia Nicholson series were the ones that pop out in my mind most. Oh and the Chronicles of Narnia.
I’m going to have to reread some of these now.
One “mini”-series that I cannot get out of my mind and still leaves me with the feeling of just having read an amazing story and been lifted into another world is the one by Indu Sundaresan starting with “The Twentieth Wife” and continuing with “The Feast of Roses” and “Shadow Princess”. I am still gripped by the depth of the characters and the workings of the Mogul Court in India. Loved the mix of passionate love story, politics and historical detail.
I’ll always adore all of Jane Austen’s books. =D
So many memories …thanks especially to Amy for reminding me of Thornton Burgess. Two series got me hooked on historical novels as a little girl, and some of these volumes were old in the 50’s when I started going to the library. “Little Miss at …” wherever, about some very young girl at a historic event. Also “We were There…” always a pair of siblings og middle school age involved in great events. I especially remember the one about Bataan, which was quite harrowing. I also loved Little House, Louisa May Alcott, Nancy Drew and Cherry Ames. As an adult , I have reread Patricia Veryan”s linked together series at least three times.
The Magic Tree-house series. Those books were what got me into reading.
We were very transient when I was growing up, with my family moving at least every year, sometimes far more often. Books were my most constant and reliable friends. They were expensive to buy–and ship–but my parents indulged my love as much as they could.
I loved the Bobbsey Twins, the Boxcar Children, Little Women, Caddie Woodlawn, The Door in the Wall, The Little Princess, The Borrowers, Pippi Longstocking, the Swiss Family Robinson, Beautiful Jo, Black Beauty, all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, and so many others.
I do have special memories of Nancy Drew. I was telling my family just the other day about a lovely neighbor lady who gave me free access to a huge trunkful of Nancy Drew books in her attic one summer. It seemed like there was a vast quantity, but I went through them in no time. (Thank you, Mrs. Harper!)
But my most favorite childhood series was certainly the Narnia series. I remember the utter joy and magic of the first reading as clearly as if it was yesterday. I’ve reread those books countless times, both for myself and aloud to numerous young people, and the magic remains. Two of my nieces tell people that the Christmas I read A Horse and His Boy to them was the best ever. And so it continues. . .
I have to echo the Tamora Pierce sentiments. I was always a fan of the Immortals series.
Also Sharon Creech: Walk Two Moons and Ruby Holler. I have them on my bookshelf, even though I haven’t read them since elementary school.
And anything by Francescia Lia Block, but mostly “The Hanged Man.” The way that woman writes is just…otherworldly.
The Harry Potter series and this one definitely tops my list.
I have 3 great literary loves. My first (like many others here) is the ‘Anne’ series by LM Montgomery. I had always been an avid reader, but the Anne books were special – she wasn’t just a character, she was a friend and an idol. I wanted to be her so badly.
The second is Jane Austen. Her novels shaped the way I viewed other people, the was I viewed romance, and (oddly enough) my sense of humour.
The third is the great JRR Tolkien. The Lord of the Rings fueled and shaped my love of high fantasy, and the Silmarillion is one of my all-time favourite books. I bow in awe of his talent and scope.
My current obsession is the Song of Fire and Ice series. Almost as good as Tolkien, though rather more graphic!
As far as series, I absolutely love Johanna Lindsey’s Malory novels! And am actually just finishing up her latest edition, That Perfect Someone. A very cute read! I did enjoy the first 2 books in Philippa Gregory’s Wideacre trilogy, the third dragged for me. And of course the Pink Series!
My fav novels though would have to be Forever Amber, Through a Glass Darkly, The Other Boleyn Girl.
The scarlet pimpernel series by Baroness Orczy. By the way that is how I found out about Lauren’s books, via the Scarlet Pimpernel page on wikipedia.