I know it's boring to talk about the weather... But it's back up into the 40's here and even supposed to get into the 50's later this week. Wow.
I've been reading one of my brithday presents, "Lost" by Gregory Maguire (the guy who wrote "Wicked"). It's quite good, and I've always been kind of a sucker for fairy and folk tales (I adore the brothers Grimm to this day, and I miss my mom's Italian folktales book very much), and this book is kind of a story combined with nods to many of these tales. It's about an author writing a book (of course), and she talks a great deal about how what we read as children is a) very important, and b) sticks with us.
"The person who would become a lifelong reader should stumble upon very rich stuff first, early, and often. It lived within, a most agreeable kind of haunting."
I've been thinking back on my early reading. I characterized my reading life to my friend Carolyn last night as follows: Pioneer stuff and things my parents read to me (Oz, Narnia, and Laura Ingalls Wilder, who I loved beyond measure for several years), Sci-fi and Fantasy and Horror (oh my. Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, the folk/fairy tales again, anthologies, and Stephen King), "serious" fiction in early college, and then theory and politically relevant stuff now. These also seem fairly clean-cut in retrospect, like there wasn't a lot of crossover (except I always had a thing for "serious" fiction, I think partly because it was my only form of bragging, like "oooh, look what I'm reading!" Plus it's great.). I wonder if that order means anything, and if what I learned first influences me to this day. Did Narnia and Oz fuel my (sometimes) obsession with folklore? When I was in Alaska, for example, how much of the inside of my head was thinking of "The Call of the Wild" and "Julie of the Wolves"?
If anybody else would care to let me know thoughts on this, or what they read as a child, I'd be very interested to hear it. I'd kind of like to go back and mix and match my periods, see if there is still allure to the things I've abandoned. And when I'm home for Christmas, I think I'll read me some Italian mythology.