‘Trowback freebie’ is this week’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. Most of the books I read are published during the last twenty years. With the theme in mind I want to talk about the older books I read. To distinguish between “new” and “old” books, I have chosen the year I was born: 1994. As a kind of happy coincidence the writers of the five books I chose all have a different nationality.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I start with the oldest book on this small list. The Secret Garden was published in 1911. It is a beautiful children’s book about a girl named Mary who discovers a walled garden. While Mary and her friend Colin restore the garden, not only the garden but also Mary herself changes. I love the old writing style and how the book shows the importance of positive thinking.
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
This historical novel was first published in 1936. It is still a popular classic in the United States. I got this book from my grandmother after she died. I knew almost nothing about the story, not even if my grandmother liked it. I just wanted to read it, because she read it. Gone with the Wind was not an easy read, but it was interesting, beautiful and sad. Interesting, because Scarlett O’Hara is what you would call an unlikable character. She is a rich, spoiled and selfish daughter of a plantation owner. At the end of the book I felt sorry for her anyway. It was also interesting to read about the American Civil War. Since I live in the Netherlands, I did not learn a lot about it at school.
The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt
One of my favourite books in elementary school. It is a Dutch classic published in 1963. The story begins in the night before Tiuri will become a knight. He gets an urgent request to deliver an important letter. This is how his secret and dangerous mission starts.
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
Another book I loved as child, and still cherish. The book is written by a German writer in 1979. It tells the story of a boy named Bastian. He slowly becomes part of the book he is reading. Fantastica, the world Bastian discovers, is amazing! It is very high on my list of fictional worlds I would like to visit (what do you mean with “that isn’t possible”?).
The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
The first book of this Chilean writer, originally published in Spanish in 1982. The book follows three generations of the Trueba family: Clara, her daughter Blanca and granddaughter Alba. The House of Spirits is a nice mix between magical realism and historical fiction with some romance. I love the writing style: beautiful and captivating.