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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:08 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

When I was reading these books, sexual stereotyping was all the rage, of course, and if you were a boy and were caught reading  Heidi or Little Women, you were a “cissy”. Under the circumstances, it’s not surprising if your tastes developed towards a certain type of book depending on your gender. I think the extent to which we can will the development of our taste is often underestimated, and social pressures inevitably play a great part in this. For instance, I doubt there’s anyone who enjoyed the taste of beer the first time they tried it; but the social pressure to drink beer when socialising is so great, that we do end up developing a taste for it. Similarly in other things, I think.

So in short, I am not at all to what extent my preference for the likes of Treasure Island to the likes of Heidi has been manufactured by social pressure. For all that, I did read Little Women. I did quite enjoy it, as I remember – but it wasn’t a patch on Treasure Island, though!

(And I don’t care what anyone says – The Secret Garden was crap, so there! Very Happy )


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Chibiabos83
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3389


Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's fighting talk! I must admit I haven't read The Secret Garden, but I'm almost convinced I'd like it. I certainly enjoyed the Agnieszka Holland film from about 15 years ago. Watch this space, it's now on the TBR. I'm tempted to make you read it, Himadri!


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Chibiabos83
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
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Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure you weren't reading this, H?

http://tinyurl.com/kry5dj


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Evie
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I loved The Secret Garden - but I loved A Little Princess more.  Fabulous.

But I am sure H would enjoy Nancy Friday more than the FHB novel!  Smile


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blackberrycottage



Joined: 23 Nov 2008
Posts: 240


Location: Barnsley Yorkshire

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The library I went to as a child had a wide ranging selection. I remember Jean George's My Side of the Mountain (and the follow up); some Bobsey Twins books; A Walk through The Hills of The Dreamtime; The Vicarage Children; ones about the wild horses on Assateague Island (off the east coast of America - Carolina or Georgia?) I could travel anywhere in those books. It was The Vicarage Children who made me want to go to Skye. They had shelves of Puffin books, or so it seemed to me.  And Martin Ballard's Dockie - the first book I read with swear words in. Nicholas Fisk's Grinny, about an alien. I have read very little science fiction but I remember that.

I remeber Elisabeth Beresford's magic books. Sea Magic and some others, though she is much more famous for The Wombles.


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Evie
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
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Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone else remember reading a book called Run for your Life by David Line?  We read it at junior school - maybe 1973/74, my last year or last but one at junior school.  It's about two schoolboys who overhear a plot to murder someone, and try to tell people, but no one believes them, so they try to prevent it themselves.  I loved it - quite scary, certainly suspenseful, and it's stayed in my mind quite vividly for the last 35 years.


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Ann



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 1112


Location: Worcestershire

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chibiabos83 wrote:
But he's the best one in it! Girls, I don't know...
Very Happy


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Chibiabos83
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
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Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps it's the idea of a man obsessed by cheese that arouses my empathy. I'm very similar to Gunn in that respect.


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blackberrycottage



Joined: 23 Nov 2008
Posts: 240


Location: Barnsley Yorkshire

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evie, I thought Run for your Life seemed familiar. I remember it as "Soldier and Me".


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Chibiabos83
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
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Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read three picture books yesterday.

I've written about my love for illustrator Edward Gorey elsewhere (http://bigreaders.myfastforum.org/sutra19159.php&highlight=#19159), and two of the books were by him: The Gashlycrumb Tinies (1963) and The Iron Tonic (1969). The earlier book is an ABC, written in rhyming couplets, with each letter represented by the death of a child. It's quite as dark as it sounds. I wonder what was Gorey's audience? I can imagine some children being frightened out of their wits by the macabre, gothic pictures, but I'm sure I would have loved it as long as I hadn't read it too early in life. In the summer I read quite a lot about the propriety (or otherwise) of scaring children, and I find myself quite in favour of the idea. I think Kaye Webb had something perceptive to say on the subject. If you don't understand what it is to be frightened, it can disadvantage you as an adult. What I mean is that it's fine to expose children to books like this. Just exercise judgement. But I wonder if The Iron Tonic might be pushing things a bit far. It's a series of portraits of people in Lonely Valley so unremittingly bleak and devoid of the slightest hint of redemption that it might easily send the sensitive reader spiralling into despair. I thought of Edgar's words from King Lear: "the worst is not / So long as we can say 'This is the worst.'" Well, this is the worst. Have a look at Gorey's drawings here: http://www.google.co.uk/images?q=...;tab=wi&biw=1600&bih=1015. The first image is the marvellous cover of The Gashlycrumb Tinies, with Death sheltering the 26 small children beneath his umbrella of doom.

The other book was Georgie by Robert Bright (1944), which I bought on the strength of reading this: http://curiouspages.blogspot.com/2010/10/georgie.html. The illustrations are charming, though they don't have the power or immediacy of Gorey's (but whose do?). A slight book, but a most amiable one.



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