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Writer's Block: Timeless tales

What were your favorite books as a child, and why?

When I was too young to read, my parents bought me a new, hard cover edition of the Oz books, by L. Frank Baum. (They're now known as the "white cover" Oz books, and came out in the 60's.)  I can't say for sure why they picked the Oz books, which originally came out in the early 1900's.  I was fascinated with the Judy Garland version of "The Wizard of Oz" movie, but I don't know which was the cause and which the effect -- the movie only came on TV once a year, at the time.

From the time I was old enough to read, I read through those books over and over, in order: As soon as I finished "Glinda of Oz", I'd go right back to the beginning and read "The Wizard of Oz" again. I still have those books, although at the moment they're scattered around the house instead of together, as they should be.

I was carried away from my sometimes not-fun life to a world in which magic happened, all sorts of weird things were possible, and people became true friends no matter how different they were. Also, I fell in love with both Dorothy (blonde, dammit!) and Ozma.  Here's the cover to Baum's last book, although of course other writers put out dozens of Oz books after he passed away:


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 22nd, 2011 12:38 pm (UTC)
C.S. Lewis, Tolkein, and, slightly later, Howard for me.

Always loved the idea of worlds other than ours with brawny heroes, terribel enemies, and tales of swashbuckling daring.
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Jan. 22nd, 2011 04:02 pm (UTC)
Narnia totally rocked my world.
Jan. 23rd, 2011 05:56 am (UTC)
Keith, I'd never have imagined that you were into swashbuckling. ;-)
Jan. 23rd, 2011 09:39 am (UTC)
Lol. Not sure wether or not to take that as an insult or not.
Jan. 23rd, 2011 11:23 am (UTC)
Definitely not an insult!
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Jan. 23rd, 2011 05:58 am (UTC)
Exactly, the only difference is that yours was on TV and mine in a book series. And just as yours went on for decades, the Oz books kept going on and on -- more than 40 official ones, and Oz stories still being published 110 years later.
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Jan. 23rd, 2011 11:26 am (UTC)
Yes, but I didn't jump into the fandom until it was already over 65 years old!
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Jan. 23rd, 2011 05:59 am (UTC)
I'm not familiar with the Unicorn stories, although I certainly read lots of comics. My dad used to bring them home every week, and we'd read them together until I started collecting on my own.
Jan. 22nd, 2011 05:22 pm (UTC)
What do you think of the upcoming Witches of Oz film?
Jan. 23rd, 2011 06:01 am (UTC)
I just found out about that project. Outside of my usual bitterness over Dorothy not being blonde, I think it looks really interesting, and I'm happy that it incorporates a lot of characters from the book. In the end, I'm for anything that keeps an interest in Oz going!
Jan. 22nd, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC)
oooh! I've told you before I LOVED Ozma of Oz as a child. I didn't read any of the others, but I did remember reading that one a lot. It's the SAME type of cover though! Although mine was paperback, but I see Ozma right there, and it brings back all these memories....

Thanks Mark.
Jan. 23rd, 2011 06:07 am (UTC)
Ozma is so iconic, with those big flowers in her hair ... I hope you get a chance to read the other books, someday. They're far from all the same, though! Some are really great ... and some stumble a bit.
Jan. 22nd, 2011 06:41 pm (UTC)
Did you ever read Wicked ? That's a fantastic Oz related book.
Jan. 23rd, 2011 05:55 am (UTC)
Yes, I certainly have, although I haven't read the sequels yet. Wicked is a bit controversial among book purists, because it's so radically different from Oz as Baum conceived it, but I thought it was really well done. When a fandom develops alternative universes, you know it's still holding up!
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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