Posts Tagged "Hardy Boys"

Hook, Line, and Sinker—What Hooked You?

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts | 4 comments

Hook, Line, and Sinker—What Hooked You?

  My publisher recently posted this meme on Facebook and it started me thinking. What was the first series of books that got me interested in reading? Was it a series? Or, was it an individual book? My husband said he felt it was the Hardy Boy’s Mysteries for him. I guess if I had to pick a series it would be Trixie Belden Mysteries, but that was long after I started reading. The truth is, I don’t remember not reading. Books are such a huge part of my life. But, there are some books that make me draw in a breath when I find them. The other day we were in a bookstore in Columbia, South Carolina. The book that jumped into my hands and wouldn’t let me put it down was The All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor. It was paperback and had a great colored picture on the cover, but the way I remember it is as a hardback maroon book with a pebbly feel to the cover. I think there might have been the outline of some girls on the front. The title took me right back to my childhood. This was one of my favorite books, and the truth was there were two more in the series. So, maybe it was this series that piqued my interest. I bought it and I read it again the other night. I didn’t remember much of the story. It is set in New York and the family is Jewish. There are many traditions different from mine. The time period is the early 1900’s, and as I read it I realized that these girls were from Grandma Jones’ era. A connection.   My shelves are like walking down memory lane. Whenever I find books from my childhood I buy them. The Little House On the Prairie were favorites. I loved and still love The Trolley Car Family, Charlotte’s Web, and The Trumpet of the Swan. I read anything I could by Lois Lenski. She had an entire series of books about different children living in different parts of the country. It was social studies in a series.   A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was possibly my favorite book as a child. However, I read it from the Reader’s Digest Condensed books for children that we received as gifts from our grandparents, and I’m telling you that the unabridged book has parts that were NOT in the book I knew and loved. I loved the main character, Francie. Even today, when I want to relax I get some candy or some crackers, a little treat. I put them in a special dish and get an ice-cold drink. I go out to my porch—the closest thing I have to a fire escape—and I read. I read and I watch the neighbors. Just like Francie Nolan.   It struck me the other day, both All of A Kind Family and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn take place in New...

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Treasured Memories-Books, Boxes, and Hiding Places.

Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in Blog, Double Cousins |

Yesterday I called Mom to alert her that some packages would be arriving in the mail. Thanks to online shopping, most of my South Dakota Christmas gifts are on the way. “I’ll call when they’ve all arrived and we can go through them so I can tell you who gets what,” I suggested. “Then if you just stick each one in a plastic grocery bag they will be wrapped.”   We both laughed and Mom assured me she would do something better than that.   You see, a few years ago my now-adult nephew asked me a question. “Aunt Miriam, Why do you wrap our presents? They are always books!” He was right. It is a rare gift-giving opportunity that they receive something besides a book from me. I know which gifts I still have from my aunts and uncles, and they are books.   If that means I no longer have to wrap presents, so be it!   I was reminded of another Christmas the other day when a friend posted a picture of her daughter delighting in the discovery of two boxes of mysteries her mother had stashed in the closet. Buried treasure, indeed! The comment that went with the post was “The expression on Anna’s face when I told her I have boxes of Nancy Drew books up in the closet…priceless!”   That’s what took me back thirty-eight years.   Christmas 1976 we were living in California. Christmas was a bit bizarre in the San Joaquin Valley, mostly because the weather was just not, well—Christmassy! But we persevered. My parents gave each of us a new coat because we needed it. Then, of course they gave us something fun.   I don’t remember what “fun” thing I got, but I definitely remember my brother’s gift. It was stashed in the trunk of the car. Somewhere, at a garage sale my parents found a box of Hardy Boys books.   An entire box.   Now, my brother was one of those kids who read everything in sight and if he couldn’t find fiction, he read the encyclopedias. In fact, I think he sometimes read them first because they had a lot of interesting stuff that he didn’t know yet. I thought he had the most information of any human being stashed in his head until I met my husband, also an encyclopedia reader.   Anyway, after all the gifts in the house were opened Clark sat dejectedly holding his coat. Having a good attitude about getting nothing but a winter coat for Christmas is a hard pill for a nine-year-old to swallow! But then, hope! Daddy took him out to the car and opened the trunk.   Best Christmas gift ever! From dejected to ecstatic in one second!   When I was writing my first book the memory of a box of mysteries in the trunk of a car resurfaced. I combined the Christmas story with the tendency of my great-uncle to bring things to Grandpa’s ranch...

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