Saturday, June 17, 2017

Reading Five Star Books

For close on to seventy years I have been a reader. Fairy tales, fables, Mother Goose rhymes, those were some of my earliest favorites. Then mysteries, adventure, historical novels and eventually, romance. I was never too fond of comic books or magazines or even books of short stories, though I did read those, too.
Reading was my escape. I read for pleasure, but from every novel I ever read, I learned something new - a new place, a new word, a new way of seeing something, best of all, a new understanding of my world.
From the time I became proficient in reading, probably aged nine or ten, I was never without a book to read. My diaries from those years records "finished my book", "got books from the library", "took my book back" "really enjoyed the book", etc. But I didn't always record what book I had read or why I liked it.

Looking through the diaries of my senior year a few days ago for mentions of when I worked in the high school library, I did find a reference to a book I had just finished reading and how much I loved it. The title was The Sherwood Ring (published in 1958).
Curious what it was about and why I liked it so much, I searched for it on the internet. Even after reading that it was about "a newly orphaned girl taken in by her uncle, but left to fend for herself in a house full of mysteries and ghosts", I had no recollection of the book.
Apparently the heroine "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".
Well, I can see why I like it! Historical novel, romance, mystery, paranormal phenomena - all the things I love reading about in one book!
Elizabeth Marie Pope only wrote two books, both for Young Adults. Her other title The Perilous Gard was published in 1974 and was awarded a Newbery Honor in 1975. I doubt if I ever read it, but it sounds good, I'm certain I would have enjoyed it. (And most likely, still would.)

What pleases me is that both of these books garner four to five stars on the reviews currently on Amazon and Goodreads. I was reading good books even as a youngster.

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