Friday, September 21, 2012

Reader Friday: Knock Out!

What's the first book you can remember reading that really knocked you out? That carried you away into a story world that you didn't want to leave? That got you hooked on reading?

I read The Hardy Boys as a kid, but the first "real" novel I remember getting hooked on was Tarzan of the Apes.

What about you?

27 comments:

  1. Are you saying Nancy Drew isn't real?! *cries*

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  2. If I really think about it, it was a book I read for school, but I doubt any y'all know it. It's called "Bengal Nights: A Novel", by Mircea Eliade, though the original Romanian title is "Maitreyi". I read it in my teens, when I was bent on the destruction of society, and this book twisted my heart so hard, I forgot all about being a rebel and considered writing stories instead. I have no idea if the translation into English is any good, but the novel is amazing still. :)

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  3. "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis. I'd read and enjoyed Enid Blyton and probably a couple of others up until then, but that book was the one that really captured my imagination and drove me to reading the entire series. I loved reading before, but after that book I was hooked.

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  4. I avidly read the Hardy Boys too, but one that stand out in my memory when I was younger was Charlotte's Web.

    Oooh and later on RedWall.

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  5. If "read to" counts, the Rudy Kazootie series that was published by Gold Books. If we're limited to books actually read, that would be "The House on the Cliff" by Franklin W. Dixon. Hardy Boys.

    And Cheri, Nancy Drew was as real as it got.

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  6. The Hardy Boys definitely (still like to read them for their simplicity and sense of family), then horse books like Misty of Chincoteague. I'm getting old so remembering way back is hard, but as my memories stand now, I don't remember getting completely knocked out by a book till I discovered Zane Grey in middle school.

    But there had to have been books with powerful impact before that because I can still remember how excited I was in grade school when I was taught how to create a sentence and thinking "Finally! I can do my own stories!"

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  7. Roald Dahl's books. The BFG. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The Story of Henry Sugar and Six More.

    These were the first books I got lost in, and were about things I wanted to read about without insulting my intelligence as a child.

    Also, Lord of the Flies by William Golding. I decided to read all the books in the school library alphabetically. This lead to me reading certain books ahead of schedule. Lord of the Flies was one of them, and it changed me. I'd never noticed a book change me so profoundly before.

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  8. Nancy Drew IS real, Cheri. It's Carolyn Keene who is not.

    Right, Kathryn?

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  9. Two stand out.

    First: The Stand - Stephen King

    Second: Clear & Present Danger - Tom Clancy

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  10. Guilty as charged, Jim! When people find out I used to write Nancy Drews as a contract writer, and that there are many Carolyn Keenes (and Franklin Dixons, btw) running around, they look shocked.

    My first favorite, can't-put-down read was in the sixth grade: THE SOURCE by James Michener. It inspired me to want to become an archaeologist. I kept that ambition until I spent a summer working an actual dig when I was 17. I have never been so miserable, muddy, and mosquito-bitten! That was the end of my Indiana Jones era.

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  11. Tom Corbett — Space Cadet. In today's terms, a true multi-media experience. Appeared in books, a radio series, comic strips, comic books, and eventually on TV. I had it all: books, comics, the Space Cadet lunch box, and a genuine plastic Space Cadet ray gun.

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  12. Slan by AE VanVogt - I chose from dad's SciFi collection & White Fang by Jack London - a dad choice for me, both when I was around 4th grade maybe. Dad use to read Heinlein, Bradbury, Asimov, and the like to me until I could read them for myself.

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  13. Oooh and Tom Corbett Space Cadet - read that one too! Awesomeness.

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  14. Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea, and most of his others. Those were books you could lose yourself in!

    And Tarzan of the Apes as well, James. In fact I became a fan of all things Tarzan, especially the movies.

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  15. Where the Wild Things are and Where the Sidewalk ends caught my fantasy as a young'n. Then at about 11 or 12 my dad brought home a dozen or so Reader's Digest Condensed Books volumes from the 50s & 60s that I devoured. One story, the only one I remember although the title is a blank to me, was about a Soviet invasion in Alaska. As a kid from the Alaska, at the time living in Ohio, I was sucked in as I read about and connected with my birthplace. It was my first novel and got me hooked on thrillers. Between those and being an avid reader of encylcopedias my world was set in motion.

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  16. I remember trying to read as many books by Edgar Rice Burroughs as I could get my hands on. Hardy Boys, too.

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  17. My first adult novel was The Godfather by Mario Puzo, I was in 9th grade at the time so it was forbidden reading :). I've been a voracious reader since and now a writer.

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  18. I read Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames, and Judy Bolton. Can't remember what I read before those but they influence me even today. I feel that my mysteries are like adult Nancy Drew stories, except unlike Nancy, my character grows and changes throughout the series.

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  19. Joe, my husband likes Edgar Rice Burroughs. So did you see the recent movie that tanked? We bought it. It's still a fun, escapist film. John Carter on Mars.

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  20. Nancy, I haven't seen John Carter, the movie, but the character was one of Burroughs best in my opinion. I'll catch it when it comes on one of the premium channels.

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  21. I think the first one that really knocked me over was THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy (and yes, I count all three books as one book - and so did Tolkien). That was the first book that blew me away and made me think, "I want to do that when I grow up!

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  22. I spent my tender years reading mostly horse books and wolf books. But the one that really knocked me out was the Island Stallion, by Walter Farley. I was so engrossed I forgot I was reading, and it was more like watching a movie. An island with secret Conquistador catacombs leading to a secret inner place on the island full of gorgeous horses? Count me in!

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  23. Cyborg by Martin Caidin, upon which the TV show The Six Million Dollar man was based. It was the first novel of any kind that I read. Blew me away.

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  24. This is a really tough one. I was always a voracious reader, and I always read well above my age group. There were so many, and I can't remember how old I was when I first read specific books so I'm not really sure what the "first" was. I'm going to say The Secret Garden by Frances Hodsgen Burnett. I was probably in 2nd grade the first time I read it, and I read it many times. It had so much going for it: the historical time period,India, death, disease, hidden rooms in a mansion, secrets,the English moors, strange accents, a hidden crippled boy!,isolation, total foreignness, sorrow, redemption, a happy ending. If it wasn't the first full length novel that took me away it was certainly up there, and enormously influential on me as a child.

    If it's strictly "adult" books I'll go with Ray Bradbury. I got really hooked by his books in 5th grade and read most, if not all, that year.

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  25. ERB - The entire Mars series and Doc Savage were the first things as a very young teen that grabbed me.

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  26. The "Happy Hollisters" by Jerry West was the series that first made me realize that reading can be fun--for anyone who hasn't read them they are probably a step below Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys in the kid-crime-solving genre. The first book that might be considered real literature that I loved is "Where the Red Fern Grows" by Wilson Rawls.

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