13 September 2010

The Forgotten

Last month at Dear Author I was lucky enough to meet the lovely Meoskop of It's My Genre, Baby. Meoskop recently reviewed The Sevenfold Spell (Tia Nevitt) and her review mentioned Robin McKinley, which got me thinking of one of my all-time favourite Robin McKinley books - The Blue Sword.

And thinking of The Blue Sword got me to thinking (I have no idea why) about another book from my teenage years - Elizabeth Marie Pope's The Sherwood Ring, which was first published in 1958:
Newly orphaned Peggy Grahame is caught off-guard when she first arrives at her family"s ancestral estate. Her eccentric uncle Enos drives away her only new acquaintance, Pat, a handsome British scholar, then leaves Peggy to fend for herself. But she is not alone. The house is full of mysteries — and ghosts. Soon Peggy becomes involved with the spirits of her own Colonial ancestors and witnesses the unfolding of a centuries-old romance against a backdrop of spies and intrigue and of battles plotted and foiled. History has never been so exciting — especially because the ghosts are leading Peggy to a romance of her own!
Elizabeth Marie Pope also wrote The Perilous Guard, which is a re-telling of Tam Lin set in Elizabethan England. And all of this got me to thinking about the forgotten books. The ones we loved when we were younger. I had a notebook in which I listed my favourite books. (I'm sure I still have it.) An early keeper list you might say *grin* And yes, there are still a few books from yesteryear that I have yet to purchase. One is Madeleine Polland's To Kill A King about a young Scottish girl becomes involved in a plot to kill William of Normandy. (She also wrote Children of the Red King, which I loved.)

My library finally did away with their copy...I so wanted it! I think I may have to just hunt down a copy before it is too late. Come to think of it, there is a strong streak of romance through each of the above books...maybe I started reading romance earlier than I thought?

So, what forgotten keepers do you have tucked away?


  1. Um. Fox Running (not fantasy at all), The Jargoon Pard and The Crystal Gryphon by Andre Norton, The Riddlemaster of Hed (and the other two books in the trilogy) by Patricia McKillip...

  2. None, actually. I'm not one to tuck away books, neither forgotten nor unforgotten ones. ;) I just really haven't read that many keepers I guess...

  3. I love that you had a running list of keeper books even when you were a young child. I think my girls will have similar fondness for their favorite books as well.. .but I don't recall any books that were keepers to me as a child. A whole lot of recreational reading wasn't going on in my house growing up. Which sounds so weird to me now. I can't imagine not having books all over and seeing each other with books in our hands all the time like my house is now.

  4. I have my copies of The Blue Sword, The Sherwood Ring and The Perilous Gard from childhood. They live happily in my library, protected from culling by both quality and nostalgia.

    Hmm, what else?

    A copy of Jane Eyre that is especially precious because it was given to me by a friend I have now lost touch with, because it was her favourite book. Some very, very old Flower Fairy books from about the 1920s that were given to my mother by an old English lady.

    Oh, of course there's The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye.

    There's a few favourite Enid Blytons and then there's all 58 Chalet School books by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer that I loved as a kid. I still update my abridged paperbacks to the new small-press releases taken from the full hardbacks. Eventually, I will have them all unabridged and unadulterated.

    Frances Hodgson Burnett and Maurice Gee's Under the Mountain. Lorna Hill's Sadler's Wells books. Narnia. Patricia McKillip and Robin McKinley. (I'm sure my first "grown up" fantasy was The Riddle-Master of Hed.)

    All my L. M. Montgomery books (including the ones I haven't read yet :), Edith Nesbit and a few Andre Nortons, especially Wraiths in Time that I remember fondly and was delighted to get my own copy.

    Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park. A few Noel Stratfeilds. Daddy-Long-Legs and Dear Enemy by Jean Webster.

    In the spirit of full disclosure, I had my book catalogue open when I read this post and made use of it to remember so many childhood favourites that are still on my shelves. I didn't do all that by memory.

  5. Chris - I loved The Riddlemaster of Hed series! Not sure if I quite understood what was going on in the third book though :) Oh! While I've read and enjoyed a few Andre Norton books, she wrote a book I loved - Shadow Hawk! Hmmm. I'll need to see if I have a copy of that at home...

    Janna - then you have that much more (I hate that particular combination of words but here it works :) space for future keepers, yes?

    Christine - so you discovered the joy of recreational reading a bit later? I love that your daughters are discovering their keepers :)

    Oh, of course there's The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye.

    Kerry - I found my copy last weekend :) Fantastic list! I still have my mother's hardback copies of the Famous Five...and a hardback copy (with dust cover) of Peter Pan! And how could I forget the Narnia books?

    WRT the disclosure - LOL!

  6. I'd love to say that I have a bunch but alas, no. I'm not sure if I blocked them out or just have a really bad memory. lol I think I'll go with the bad memory. :)

  7. I don't know if I'd say lovely - but thanks all the same!

    Deerskinner was my best for McKinley. There are just so many great fairy tale based books. Those plots are timeless for a reason. I have a storage center full of books I thought my children would read, but then I met them. Neither of them have the least interest in anything I loved. I'm in my second year of "I really should let those go...." (The books, not the kids. You can be forgiven for thinking I was leaning the other way.)

  8. That's right. Neither of my parents were recreational readers, so it wasn't encouraged in me and my siblings. Not that it was discouraged, mind you, as we were brought to the library regularly when we were little, but it wasn't emphasized once we got out and about on our own. I do recall riding my bike to the library on my own in the summers and borrowing bunches of books to read--mostly stuff I thought sounded famous like Gone With the Wind kind of stuff and there was a VC Andrews spell in there, too. It felt so wicked to be reading that. Heck, probably because it WAS wicked for a 13 year old to be reading. LOL! I was then super studious and geeky in high school and college, with no free time to read for fun. It wasn't until a few years after grad school that I found my love of recreational reading. Now I can't ever imagine not being an avid reader and I love that my girls are avid readers right from their beginnings. In fact, when I need to threaten my youngest with punishment, taking away the tv, cell phone or hanging with friends doesn't work... taking away the books? THAT works. But then I usually feel ULTRA mean when I do that. LOL.

    Sorry that was so long winded and off topic! :o)

  9. Tracy - am sure you don't have a bad memory. Maybe they (the books) are just hiding away for a spell :)

    Meoskop - I don't know...you seem lovely to me :) And BTW ('cause I don't think I've said it yet) I love your reviews! I haven't read Deerskinner. I read Chalice earlier this year, which I wanted so desperately to love, but it just didn't work me for. I finished it, but...it frustrated me.

    Christine - my mother used to read a lot when she was younger. Then RL happened :( So, in my childhood only my grandfather and I were the readers of the family. The stick I used to get about my reading. But, I kept reading. It was...my escape. I could go anywhere, be anyone - be 'special'. Hmmm. Methinks I feel another post coming on :) Thank you for inspiring :)

  10. Your question is really impossible for me to answer, because I moved recently! So all my forgotten books are still at my parents' house and I'm here. :(

  11. Oh heidenkind :( *hugs* I'm hoping you and your books will be reunited at some point? *crossing fingers*

  12. I would love to have treasures that I've kept from my early years, but no, not possible for me. When my family emigrated to the U.S. all my books were left behind, I do remember I had a Spanish translation of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis that I loved, and wish I had today. I've replaced most of the other books. :)

  13. I am going to surf to download its pdf.

  14. Hilcia - I'm so sorry to hear that :( Have you tried Bookfinder? I think the Narnia series was the first set of books I chose to purchase. IIRC I had a voucher from winning a drawing competition when I was 7 years old. And since I can't draw for peanuts I think they just randomly picked me *grin*

    Shalet Jimmy - I don't know if any of these books have been released as eBooks. They are pretty old...but good luck! I loved The Sherwood Ring. It's simply...a lovely story :)