Joy the Baker

A Bit Of Book Nostalgia

January 26, 2014
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I’m loading my iPad up with books, audiobooks, and podcasts in preparation for my long flight to and from Uganda. Long long flight.  For one reason or another, I’ve downloaded a lot of personal classics: books that I take comfort in.  I guess it’s the literary version of comfort food like tater tots for me.  I feel so out of my element traveling this far from home and it feels good to be grounded in stories that remind me of growing up.  Here are a few of my favorites.  What did you read growing up?  My favorite part of book posts is when you share what you love.  Happy Sunday!

If you’ve ever driven through the center of California then you understand John Steinbeck.  He’s my boo.  He’s my everything.  Of Mice and Men •• sealed the deal for me when I was young then East of Eden destroyed me in the best way possible.

To Kill A Mockingbird •• There is not one piece of this story that is out of place.  It’s perfect.

Remember the first time you cried about a mouse in a book?  It was Flowers For Algernon ••.  Remember the first time you cried about a mouse in a movie?  Fievel in An American Tail.  Sorry.

If I ever have a daughter, I think I’m going to slip this book onto her desk when she’s 11 years old and quietly back away. Judy Blume says it all Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret  ••.  Also Freckle Juice might come in handy.

 Lafcadio •• Shel Silverstein had some major sparkle-magic in his day, boooy did he! I have a soft spot for his books because I learned how to read with them.  They stay feeling special.
Watership Down ••  Bunnies make us cry.
The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe •• This book gave me a whole new appreciation for my grandmother’s armoriors.  CS Lewis is one of my favorite authors on faith.  Till We Have Faces is beautiful.

A Light In The Attic •• The poems in this book are about being curious, being young, and being human.  It’s perfect.

The Witches •• I read Roald Dahl growing up and knew I wanted to be a writer.  His granddaughter Sophie Dahl is author to one of my favorite cookbooks.  Runs in the family, I see.

I still can’t believe that Memoirs of a Geisha •• was written by a man.

Flowers In The Attic ••  I’ve never been good at reading scary stories.  This book proved it.

A Widow For One Year •• John Irving knows how to create characters that we care about.  I still think about his people.  Crazy.

Have a happy Sunday, my friends!






50 Comments Add A Comment

  • Did you see the Lifetime remake of Flowers in the Attic? It was on again last night and omg so bizarre!!!

  • Heather Hoffart January 26, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Reading as a child brought me needed, wonderful escape. As an adult I happened on an obscure book in an antique store that I’d loved as a kid. That spurred me to collect books from that time and I’ve had a blast rereading them all as an adult. You’re so right…they are literary comfort food. My collection is at about 300 books. Some of the first ones I sought were: The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Sing Down the Moon, A Wrinkle in Time, Island of the Blue Dolphin

  • East of Eden is my favorite Steinbeck book ever! I read it every few years and am just as amazed each time.

  • I loved to read when I was young and my mom worked at the local library, so many summer days were spent hanging out there. Watership Down was a favorite, and then I read everything by S.E. Hinton – The Outsiders, Rumble Fish, That Was Then, This is Now…oh, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn…look what you started! And, if you have children, you will LOVE both old favorites and many of the new ones. Have a great trip, Joy!

  • What a great list! There’s a few I haven’t read — must change that! :)

  • I loved every one of the books on your list! Once I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I followed with all the other books in the series. I also adore the Tolkien series. And if you haven’t read The Phantom Tollbooth as the commenter above mentioned, it is a fun classic loaded with creative puns.

  • A great book to add to your list is State of Wonder. Great book!

  • I still cant believe that a book about rabbits could be so emotional. Watership Down is one of my favorites! I wish you safety on your trip. You are going to have an amazing time.

  • Joy I wish you a safe and inspirational trip…I loved all the books you posted. My favorite childhood books were the Judy Blume series, I loved The Outsiders, the Nancy Drew series , The Catcher in the Rye, Franny and Zooey and any teen love story out there…I wrote poems when I was young and still do…anyway although i still at my age love younger age books at this very moment I am obsessed with The Alchemist by Paolo Coehlo please read during your journey a must!!!!!!

  • When I saw your post, Flowers in the Attic immediately came to mind and then I thought I was weird for a minute but I guess I’m not! Or we’re both weird! Yay!

    I’d second the Steinbeck and Are You There God…I fell in love with The Perks Of Being A Wallflower in high school, and have read it multiple times. In college (that’s still growing up right?) Walt Whitman was my man.

    It’s actually one of my resolutions this year to re-read a classic so you’ve given me some inspiration!

  • I love some good comfort reading, I think I’ve read 7 of the books you mentioned.

    My favourite books from when I was younger are Anne of Green Gables and Pride and Prejudice. I also love some escapism in fantasy like David Eddings or the Dragonriders of Pern series.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever read Nigel Slater’s book Toast, I only read it first a few years ago, but it’s basically a bit of comfort food itself! (Food features a lot.)

    Have a good time in Uganda, I’m sure it’ll be a great experience.

  • When I was in the 6th grade, everybody was readingThe Phantom Tollbooth. Not being the kid to do what everyone else was doing (yeah, I was a rebel) I refused to read it. When I got my Masters in Education, we had to read a children’s book that we had never read when we were a kid. So I read The Phanton Tollbooth. Best. Book. Ever. I think I liked it better than I would have years earlier.

  • Joy, beautiful choices. My favorite is To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus Finch is the person whom we all want to be. I also recommend reading Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier; full of romance, thrills and intrigue. Safe travels! xx Melissa

  • For childhood favorites, “The Secret Garden” is right up there. As is “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. Safe journeys.

  • It’s Roald Dahl, not Rohl Dahl.

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