Challenge 12 – The First Novel You Remember Reading

Hi everyone

I’m still behind!  For some reason I thought that as I struggle to get posts out when I’m supposed to on this blog or read the ever growing pile of books I have stacked up around my home that it would be a great idea to start another blog as well.  So now I feel like I’m juggling both of them on a daily basis but hopefully it might make me a more disciplined blogger. We’ll have to see I suppose!

Now I’ve already mentioned this before, but when friends and colleagues start reminiscing about tv shows and toys and books from their childhoods I tend to just smile and nod as most of the time I have no memory of what they are talking about.  This is not because I had a very closeted childhood; I just have very little memory of the many tv shows, toys and especially books that I amused myself with when I was young.  I have been trying to remember for days now the names of any books I remember reading but I can only remember the following:

Some Roald Dahl books

Some Worst Witch books

I think I may have read the Narnia series

I’m sure I must have read some Winnie The Pooh?

That’s it, so unfortunately today’s blog will not be as interesting or as insightful as it could have been, but I have tried to be as imaginative as possible!

DannyDanny the Champion of the World – Roald Dahl

Now I have already included Matilda in this challenge so I would have preferred to have chosen a different author but my choices were very limited.  I chose this book in particular because (can you believe it!) I can actually remember this storyline pretty well despite not reading this book since I was little.  Well I don’t think I’ve read it since anyway but my memory can be pretty bad.  I remember receiving this book as a Christmas present from my Grandmother and staring in wonderment at the title as I couldn’t work out what this book could be about.  Even as I started reading this book I still didn’t understand the title.  Obviously it is only when you get to the end of the book that it (sort of) makes sense.  As an adult looking back at the storyline I’m not sure what sort of message this book was trying to send a young child.  At the time I found the book funny and felt as if I was living vicariously through Danny and his father which I suppose is the whole point of literature, to transport you to another world, but the fact that Danny’s father, William, regularly poached pheasants and that he taught Danny the tricks of the trade as well isn’t necessarily the most moral of teachings.  But then I suppose in the end the village all join together to teach the bully Mr Hazell a lesson through humiliating him, giving him a taste of his own medicine although I’m not sure if that is the best message either.  It is still a fun book though and definitely something a bit different to read.  This book is just another example of Roald Dahl’s wonderful imagination and I’ve just realised a book that I have read that pre-dates this one, George’s Marvellous Medicine. Oh well, I can write about that one next time!

Jennie

Ta Da!

Hi everyone

My eye has finally healed (well almost, still slightly demonic looking) and I’m back to work tomorrow.  I’m actually quite pleased to be going back as it can be quite solitary when you can’t drive a car and see people, so at least at work I will have human contact.  I’m going to try reading a book as well, I think I can manage it, but unfortunately that means attempting to finish On The Road.  I now detest this book and I still have exactly 100 pages to go.  However, my reward for reading this book will be The Twits.  I think I deserve the shortest book on my list after trying to get through On The Road for over 3 months now.  Hopefully this will be the last hiccup in my quest to read all of these books although as I’ve said before this is probably wishful thinking.  I would like to have read and reviewed On The Road and The Twits by next weekend but I’ll have to see what I can manage.  I have two humongous fantasy books to read next: Gormenghast and Magician.  I might have to sandwich a book or two in between them so that I’m not all fantasied out.

Whilst I’ve been off I’ve tried something new: audiobooks.  I’ve never really listened to audiobooks before; I prefer to read books or listen to the radio (or sometimes both but it’s not always advisable).  I had the Harry Potter series read by Stephen Fry so I thought I would give them a go to alleviate the boredom.  At first I was itching to grab my copy of Philosopher’s Stone from my bookshelf as it was so frustrating listening to it and not reading it, I think mainly due to my reading pace being quicker than Stephen Fry voicing it.  But after a while I got used to it although I soon realised that as soon as my mind becomes distracted (facebook, new blog posts on my email) I don’t take in any of what is being said and might miss a few pages whilst looking at my phone.  So it was a case of only doing menial tasks such as housework whilst listening otherwise I would miss crucial stuff.  I don’t think I would become a fan of audiobooks, the Harry Potter ones are great as Stephen Fry is amazing but I think listening to someone else’s interpretation would bias my view of the text if I ever read it myself.  I think maybe they would be good for my friends who can’t concentrate long enough to read more than a few pages of a book, but then the same amount of concentration might be required to take in everything when listening as well so maybe not.  It definitely made washing up more enjoyable.

Here’s hoping that I FINALLY finish On The Road this week!

Jennie