May 2019
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MASSIVE BOOK POLL. I laboriously compiled a list of my formative books. pls check what you've read!

icon: "bluestocking (photo of a book lying open on a table with a bright window in the background, overlaid with a yellow fractal that looks like the sun shining through dust motes)"

Poll #2053610 which of my formative books have you read?

Fiction that is vital to my selfhood:

"A Door Into Ocean" by Joan Slonczewski (science fiction)
"Daughter of Elysium" by Joan Slonczewski (science fiction)
"Brain Plague" by Joan Slonczewski (science fiction)
"The Children Star" by Joan Slonczewski (science fiction)
"Egalia's Daughters" by Gerd Brantenberg (satirical science fiction)
"Biting the Sun" by Tanith Lee (science fiction)
"Raising the Stones" by Sheri S. Tepper (science fiction)
"The Visitor" by Sheri S. Tepper (science fiction)
"The Family Tree" by Sheri S. Tepper (science fiction)
"Dark Water's Embrace" by Stephen Leigh (science fiction)
"Ascension" by Jacqueline Koyanagi (science fiction)

Fiction that is very important to me but not as necessary:

"The Silver Metal Lover" by Tanith Lee (science fiction)
Crossroads series by Nick O'Donohoe (mythic fantasy)
"Daughters of Bast series by Sarah Isidore (historical/mythic fiction)
"Lord of the Two Lands" and/or "King and Goddess" by Judith Tarr (historical/mythic fiction)
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (any of the 5) by Douglas Adams (surrealist science fiction)
"Gibbon's Decline and Fall" by Sheri S. Tepper (science fiction)
"Sideshow" by Sheri S. Tepper (science fiction)
"Six Moon Dance" by Sheri S. Tepper (science fiction)
"Walking The Tree" by Kaaron Warren (science fiction)
"Midworld" by Alan Dean Foster (science fiction)
"Mid-Flinx" by Alan Dean Foster (science fiction)
Twelve Houses series and/or Samaria series by Sharon Shinn (medieval fantasy / science fiction)
"The Joy Luck Club" and/or "The Kitchen God's Wife" by Amy Tan (literary/historical fiction)
"From Fields of Gold" and/or "Scarlett" by Alexandra Ripley (literary/historical fiction)
"House of Dreams" and/or "House of Illusion" by Pauline Gedge (literary/historical fiction)
"Hopscotch" and/or "Blow-Up and Other Stories" by Julio Cortazar (literary/historical fiction)

Non-fiction that is vital to my selfhood:

"One Child" by Torey Hayden (autobiography)
"Just Another Kid" by Torey Hayden (autobiography)
"The Tiger's Child" by Torey Hayden (autobiography)
"Gender Outlaw" by Kate Bornstein (autobiography)
"They Came to Stay" by Marjorie Margolies (autobiography)
"Black Feminist Thought" by Patricia Hill Collins (non-fiction anthology)
"Nobody Passes" by Mattilda (non-fiction anthology)
"Colonize This!" by Daisey Hernandez & Bushra Rehman (non-fiction anthology)
"Staring Back" edited by Kenny Fries (non-fiction anthology)
"The History of White People" by Nell Irvin Painter (non-fiction)
"All About Love" by bell hooks (non-fiction)
"Delusions of Gender" by Cordelia Fine (non-fiction)
"My New Gender Workbook" by Kate Bornstein (non-fiction)
"Your Life Can Be Better; Using Strategies for Adult ADD/ADHD" by Douglas A. Puryear MD (non-fiction)

Non-fiction that is very important to me but not as necessary, and non-fiction that was once very important to me:

"Twilight Children" by Torey Hayden (autobiography)
"Cunt" by Inga Muscio (autobiography)
"Talks with Trees" by Leslie Cabarga (autobiography)
"Embraced By The Light," "The Awakening Heart," and/or "The Ripple Effect" by Betty Eadie (autobiography)
"Talking with Nature" and/or "Journey into Nature" by Michael J. Roads (autobiography)
"Words of Fire" by Beverly Guy-Sheftall (non-fiction anthology)
"The Girls Next Door: Into the Heart of Lesbian America" by Lindsy Van Gelder & Pamela Robin Brandt (non-fiction anthology)
"Myths of Gender: Biological Theories About Women and Men" by Anne Fausto-Sterling (non-fiction)
"When Elephants Weep" by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (non-fiction)
"The Secret Life of Plants" by Peter Tompkins & Christopher Bird (non-fiction)
"The Women's Belly Book" by Lisa Sarasohn (non-fiction)
"Zaftig: the Case for Curves" by Edward St. Paige (non-fiction)
"The Beauty Myth" by Naomi Wolf (non-fiction)
"Pornography" by Andrea Dworkin (non-fiction)

Fiction I read as a child, which formed parts of my mental landscape:

"The Five in the Forest" by Jan Wahl & Erik Blegvad (children's fantasy)
Oz series by L. Frank Baum (1-14) & Ruth Plumly Thompson (15-33) (children's fantasy)
"No Flying In the House" and/or "The Shades" by Betty Brock (children's fantasy)
Narnia series by C. S. Lewis (children's fantasy)
"Behind the Attic Wall" by Sylvia Cassedy (children's fantasy)
Catwings series by Ursula K. Le Guin (children's fantasy)
the Borrowers series by Mary Norton (children's fantasy)
Mary Poppins series by P. L. Travers (children's period fantasy)
Dr. Dolittle series by Hugh Lofting (children's period fantasy)
"The Girl with the Silver Eyes" by Willo Davis Roberts (children's sci-fi)
"The Egypt Game," "The Velvet Room," and/or "The Changeling" by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (children's fantasy & fiction)
"Silver," "Girlhearts," "B, My Name is Bunny," and/or "Babyface" by Norma Fox Mazer (children's fiction)
Arabian Nights translated by Husain Haddawy & Muhsin Mahdi (mythic fiction)
"English Fairy Tales" by Joseph Jacobs (mythic fiction)
"Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series" by Tad Williams (medieval fantasy)
"This Present Darkness series" by Frank E. Peretti (religious fantasy)
"The Oath" by Frank E. Peretti (religious horror)
"Annals of Lystra series" and/or "Streiker Saga series" by Robin Hardy (religious fantasy)
"Cheney Duvall, M.D. series" by Lynn Morris & Gilbert Morris (historical fiction)
"Love Comes Softly series" by Janette Oke (religious historical fiction)
"Christy" and/or "Julie" by Catherine Marshall (religious historical fiction)

More fiction (and autobiography) I read as a child, set in time periods other than mine:

"The Colt from Moon Mountain" by Dorothy Pulis Lathrop (children's period fantasy)
Mandie series by Lois Gladys Leppard (children's historical fiction)
"The Secret Garden" and/or "A Little Princess" by Frances Hodgson Burnett (children's period fiction)
"Heidi" by Johanna Spyri (children's period fiction)
"The Horse Without a Head" by Paul Berna (children's period fiction)
"Hitty: Her First Hundred Years" and/or "Calico Bush" by Rachel Field (children's period fiction)
"Blue Willow" by Doris Gates (children's period fiction)
"Gift From the Mikado" by Elizabeth P. Fleming & Janet Smalley (children's period fiction)
Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace (children's period fiction)
"Ballet Shoes," "Theatre Shoes," and/or "Dancing Shoes" by Noel Streatfeild (children's period fiction)
"Island of the Blue Dolphins" and/or "My Name is Not Angelica" by Scott O'Dell (period fiction)
Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery (period fiction)
Emily trilogy by Lucy Maud Montgomery (period fiction)
"A Girl Of The Limberlost" by Gene Stratton-Porter (period fiction)
Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder (autobiography)
"Tisha" by Anne Hobbs (autobiography)
"Little Women," "Little Men," and/or "Jo's Boys" by Louisa May Alcott (period fiction)
"An Old-Fashioned Girl," "Eight Cousins," "Rose in Bloom," and/or "Under the Lilacs" by Louisa May Alcott
"Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte (period fiction)
"Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte (period fiction)

back to top

bobby1933 ══╣╠══
Gosh, only two hits, and i read a lot.
I've often intended to read Douglas Adams. but have not.
I'm not even sure i read Heidi. (i saw the movie.)
belenen ══╣bluestocking╠══
My reading rarely lines up very much with others!
cactus_rs ══╣books╠══
I started The Borrowers Afloat as a young thing but didn't really get into it; it was the rare book I left unfinished. I don't know how I came across a copy, or why it was that one and not the first book in the series, but there you have it.
belenen ══╣fantasy╠══
huh! That one was less interesting than the first ones... but I adore tiny things so I loved all of them.
sidheblessed ══╣╠══
I'm so pleased to meet someone else who's read The Velvet Room. I reread that book so many times as a kid, particularly the diary section.

Meanwhile, it appears I have a few books to add to me to-read list!
belenen ══╣bluestocking╠══
it's been so many years, all I can remember is the feeling of that room and how much I wanted to be in one like it.
br0ken_dolly ══╣╠══
i clicked a few, but the ticky boxes kept acting as links and sending me to the amazon sites for the books :(

i remember and really liked "the girl with the silver eyes" and i think it's pretty cool that someone else has read that book :)
belenen ══╣magical╠══
oh no, sorry about that! Should have left a space or character before the link, I'll try to remember for next time.

I ADORED "the girl with the silver eyes" and am so excited that others have read it! it's so odd and interesting to me that that is one of the books that I share with the most people, despite the fact that the author isn't that well-known. I feel like it has little echoes in each person who read it, just enough to sense. So magical.
Original ★ books > people
ragnarok_08 ══╣Original ★ books > people╠══
I've read quite a few of these books, especially Ascension, Black Feminist Thought, A Gift from the Mikado, and the Emily trilogy - quite an impressive list you have here :D
belenen ══╣adoring╠══
and quite an impressive overlap! that makes me really happy! *beams*
fragbert ══╣╠══
I can't believe someone else has read The Egypt Game. I loved that book.
belenen ══╣bluestocking╠══
me too! I read it over and over.
redbird ══╣╠══
I read almost none of those children's books when I was a child, if that matters. I was young when I read Dr. Doolittle, and read Narnia sometime in my teens, but Catwings came out when I was already an adult, and I picked up Anne of Green Gables and the sequels because my girlfriend has them, so some time in my 40s.
belenen ══╣intrigued╠══
it doesn't matter for the poll, but it is interesting! How did you like Anne of Green Gables and the sequels, being introduced as an adult?
redbird ══╣╠══
call_me_katya ══╣Books╠══
I imagine it won't be a great surprise to you to know that the ones we most have in common are children's books! I need to clarify some of my answers though. This will be rambly so read at your leisure.

I didn't tick Oz because I read about... five of them? I had no idea there were 14! Part of this may be the fault of my local library but I remember gradually losing interest as Billina the chicken and Peter Pumpkinhead got involved. Loved the original, Glinda Of Oz and Return To Oz though. I didn't tick The Borrowers as I read the first book and didn't like it. I remember being ill at the time but usually that would help me to prefer a book as it was companion in sick times. I just have a recollection of disliking the main character and seeing them as smug.

I read Arabian Nights but it was a translation/adaptation by an English children's author called Enid Blyton. I read a lot of Enid's stuff. She also adapted Pilgrim's Progress for children.

I adored the Doctor Dolittle series [which were a lot darker than most people realised] although I didn't read them all because the library didn't have them. If I could have I would have though, so ticked it. Same with Mary Poppins [I read 5 of the 8 I think], so magical and aware of the secrecy of childhood.

White Boots was my Noel Streatfield favourite. Something about the gradual learning of how to ice skate and the fact that Harriett started to skate to strengthen the body after health issues spoke to me and I think I really loved the descriptions of the skating competitions. Even then, competitions thrilled me.

But I'm really amazed The Girl With The Silver Eyes is here! Perhaps it was super well-known in America but over here no-one has ever heard of it. My Dad found it for me one day in a second hand shop when I was about 7 and I can still remember what I was wearing and eating that night when I started reading. I literally have photos of me reading it as a kid and I still own it. Maybe it was my first experience of sci-fi, of 'otherness', of dark things and dissension between family members. Kids admitting that not everyone fitted in.

This is a wonderful list you've compiled and I hope to come back to it and read some more of the books.
belenen ══╣bluestocking╠══
The amount of overlap we have delights me to no end!

I think I remember disliking Arrietty but I loved the imagery and the concept so much that I read them all anyway. Same for the Oz books -- the characters weren't much to speak of but I loved the surrealism and unexpectedness.

I didn't read all of the Dr. Doolittle or Mary Poppins either but would have and wanted to, lots.

Huh, I loved the shoes series for the fact that the main characters were orphans (I wanted to be an orphan) and also for the competitions. I remember one character being cast as the sort of ugly ogre in a dance, and relating to that a lot. As a child I was in plays a lot and always wanted the main character but never got it -- instead I was cast as a boy or an old lady or a bit part.

The Girl With The Silver Eyes is not at all well-known here! I'm amazed that so many of my friends have read it! I found it by searching through the library catalogue for the word "silver" -- I found a good number of my favorite books by searching for words I liked. I can remember silver, smoke, Egypt, cat, mirror, unicorn.
call_me_katya ══╣╠══
marchioness ══╣╠══
Island of the Blue Dolphins affects me to this day, in that If someone means quite a bit to me, I cannot comfortably use their given name. For that reason, nicknames are huge, for me.
belenen ══╣artless╠══
hmmm, I don't remember that aspect of the book but any mysticism around names draws me strongly, so I bet that is part of the reason I liked it.
mac_arthur_park ══╣╠══
That was a lovely reminder of books that shaped/influenced me. I need to go back and revisit some of them. Thank you!

Weird coincidence: as part of dealing with my grief over losing my grandparents, I've been watching a lot of the shows we shared and loved when I was little. Little House on the Prairie is one of them. I got curious the other night and fiddled around on the 'net, and--long story short--I'm now FB friends with Alsion Arngrim, who played Nellie on the show. She speaks eloquently about how that role helped her deal with personal issues surrounding abuse. She also sent me a lovely email.

I wish Granma were still around, so I could say, "Hey! Guess who is friends with Nellie Olson!"

Sorry...that derailed quickly.
belenen ══╣bluestocking╠══
you're most welcome!

!!! oh wow! that is really cool that you 'met' Nellie! I never saw the show, but I imagine that I would have loved it. I read the books over and over.
zimtkeks ══╣╠══
I have only read the first part of the Hitchhiker, and unfortunately, I didn't like it, so I didn't continue.
I've got an Amy Tan book waiting to be read. I think I've had it for very long. Maybe I should give it a chance soon.
And I want to read Torey Hayden again. She's such a source of inspiration!
belenen ══╣bluestocking╠══
Amy Tan is a powerful writer! "The Kitchen God's Wife" absolutely ripped my guts out, but was worth it.

Torey is one of my lodestars, for sure.
bookish: secret
unbridledfervor ══╣bookish: secret╠══
Hey, there!

I found your link in an add me community. I'm 34 and have been writing in my journal since 2001, save for the most recent three years or so. I'm trying to write more about my life be more introspective, rather than just writing about my days.

I'm a feminist, secular humanist, sex-positive, cis woman that reads almost exclusively nonfiction. I took your poll and you have really intriguing books on the list that I haven't heard of. I will go ahead and bookmark them on Amazon!

You seem like a person I would like to get to know more and be el-jay friends with. Thanks!

- e.
belenen ══╣artless╠══
Hi! sorry for the belated response: I have been dealing with a looooot of stressful stuff and got very behind on replying to comments. Anyway, thanks for the add and I look forward to getting to know you!
seifaiden ══╣remora╠══
Thank you for taking the time to make such a thorough list! There were a few maybes for me in there that I didn't click - I THINK I read The Egypt Game and the Girl With the Silver Eyes seems familiar. I want to get a high score :D
belenen ══╣amused╠══
haha! I like that response -- I'd have totally felt the same way *grins*
sandracaprice ══╣╠══
I must have read A Girl of the Limberlost a dozen times, but my memory is such that I don't remember anything about it except that I liked it enough to read it repeatedly.
belenen ══╣wild╠══
I think I read it just once, but I watched the movie over and over. I remember crushing poverty, a deep love of the woods, and attempts to escape a very controlling parent -- I related very strongly.
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.