Friday, June 26, 2009

What'd ya' read?

What did you read when you were in elementary school or jr. high?

Of the 7 days I spent in Daytona Beach, Sunday, June 14th, was the "night out." In other words, ETS gave the caterers the night off and gave each reader a $25 allowance for dinner. The idea, of course, is that folks could congregate with friends and splurge a bit on a nice meal. By Sunday I had made a few friends, but I was not really in the mood to go to one of the many crowded restaurants near the hotel. So, I just wandered around along Atlantic Blvd (aka Highway A1A).

Eventually I came across a small Domino's pizza place that had two tiny tables. There was hardly anyone there, so I ordered a small "extravaganza" (which has peppers, olives, sausage, onions, and a bunch of other stuff that no one in my family will eat). While they were baking my pizza, a fellow reader stopped in with the same idea. After she placed her order, she looked around for a place to sit. The other table was in use, so I offered her a seat at my table. And that, as they say, was the start of something wonderful.

My new friend is Linda Winrow. She teaches high school English. We spent more than an hour talking about books, reading, students, writing, and travel. It was a delightful way to spend the evening. One of the things we talked about was what we read, and what our children/grandchildren read, during those formative years-- say 8 to 18.

My facebook friends may have seen a note from Linda about a book series I recommended for her grandson. It's the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. Our 11 year old, Josh, has been devouring them.

I posted a reply to Linda about a series I read in jr high-- the John Carter of Mars books (by Edgar Rice Burroughs of Tarzan fame). I loved them when I first read them. Later, something like 10 years ago, I reread them and found them quite hokey-- amateurish and contrived.

Then, while looking around at what Pixar has been up to, I read that Andrew Stanton, of Pixar fame, is working on a movie version of parts of this story and of course I had to pull them off the shelf and give them another go. I guess the knowledge that Pixar is tackling this story, and that their past efforts have been quite good, is coloring my reading. I'm finding them interesting and fun all over again. I guess I still see the contrived parts and some things about it are still a bit hokey, but read through the lens of the age in which they were written, they're not too stinkin' bad*. Kinda good, in fact.

So, what did you read in your formative years? Besides Nancy Drew and/or Hardy Boys? Or Harry Potter? Let's give Linda some good reading ideas for her grandson. And me some good ideas for boys who are on the verge of saying "I'm bored. There's nothing to do."

*Hawkeye would say, "If you bring that sentence in to the shop, we can have it shortened for you by Tuesday."


Clark Draney said...

Okay. A clarification, and some more good news:

Andrew Stanton is indeed slated to direct John Carter of Mars, but Pixar is not apparently doing the special effects. Stanton has been "loaned" to Disney to do this film. Fair enough.

Further, Michael Chabon is working on the screenplay. This fact bodes well for interesting and rich dialogue.

2012 can't come too soon. Let's hope this one actually gets off the ground.

Peetiedy said...

I read the box car children, I also liked scary books for some reason. I read a lot of R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike. That was mostly JR. High. High school I loved the classical stuff. I bought and read most of the Complete works of Edgar Allen Poe and Shakespeare.