Thursday, April 1, 2010

Inspiration in Reading

It occurred to me after posting my last entry that I never really discussed what inspired me at the high school/university age as Cathy Olliffe did in her post about Canadian writer Hugh Garner. I commented to her later in the day that I hadn't read 'The Yellow Sweater', his collection of short stories first published in 1952.

I don't recall us ever covering much in the way of Canadian authors back in school. I'm not sure why there was so little of it in the curriculum. Perhaps my memories of 30 years ago (class of '80) is a bit hazy.

The only works that were really memorable to me back in school were "The Good Earth," by Pearl Buck and "The Martian Chronicles," by Bradbury. I did a lot of reading on my own and really enjoyed Farley Mowat's "A Whale For the Killing." If you are going to read a Canadian author, you have to delve into Mordecai Richler. I thought his novel "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" was amazing.

As with every horror fan, King's "The Stand" and "Christine" made a big impression on me.

The classics? "The Razor's Edge," by Somerset Maugham really impressed me. I really identified with the protagonist, Larry Darrell. I also was impressed with adventure stories such as "The Scarlett Pimpernel," by Baroness Orczy and "Kim," by Rudyard Kipling. Thank goodness for books to make the introverted teen's life bearable.

But enough about me...which books made an impression on you in your youth? Be it 15 or 45 years ago.

We will be visiting my parents over the weekend for both Easter and to celebrate their anniversary (their 48th was yesterday). Most of you probably know that I'm 47. And a half. I heard that their wedding was quite quite a lovely affair once the shotgun was set aside...

I'd like to wish all of you and your families a great Easter. Have a nice turkey or ham or whatever you over indulge in during the holidays. Don't eat too much chocolate either. I'll close with a photo of myself in what will have to pass as an Easter bonnet. Since I am off work tomorrow I'll transfer some holiday photos from the house computer to my work computer for posting on the blog and on Facebook. Heck, maybe I'll even write!


Cathy Olliffe said...

Nice bonnet.
(a real out loud snort on that one!)
Happy Easter, eh?

Natalie L. Sin said...

"Pet Sematary" and "IT" were the big ones. Also anything with shark attacks in it ; )

Anonymous said...

Easter? How'd that creep up on me???

"Earth Abides" by George R. Stewart. I re-read it regularly. Or anything by Andre Norton, and, later, Michael Moorcock.

Laura Eno said...

Love bonnet. :)
Bradbury, Asimov, Heinlein were my early favs. Later on, Anne McCaffrey's Dragons of Pern series (although I don't like her son's later offerings in that series)

katey said...

Nice Easter fez!

I was really inspired by Somerset Maugham too. And when I was very young, SE Hinton. She was 16 when she wrote The Outsiders, and I read it at 13 or so. That's when I went, "Oh man, I can do this!" Also, that book is awesome.

Cate Gardner said...

The Pan Books of Horror - short stories. I loved them, and Enid Blyton. Though when I was 15/16 I was obsessed with Wuthering Heights.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Cathy, Thanks, we aims to please!

Natalie, Ooo shark attacks! I did read Jaws in my youth, but I can't say it's in my top 10...I saw the movie when I was 14 and it scared the crap out of me.

Anton, I haven't heard of any of those fellows. I read up on "Earth Abides" on Wiki. I'm going to have to read the book.

Laura, Here I was thinking you were a horror-girl. Didn't know that you had such a sci-fi/fantasy background.

Katey, Thanks. A Sudanese friend brought it back from the Middle East for me a few years ago. I'll break it out on specail occassions.

I just read "The Outsiders" a couple of years ago when my son brought it home from school. Good story, but it was obvious that it was written from a woman's point of view on how she thought men spoke to one another. There were a lot of scenes with guys being very open and honest. It was kinda scary.

Cate, I read an Enid Blyton when I was in my early teens. The Adventurous Four (1972), first published in 1941 (still have the book, so was able to look that up)

Laurita said...

The books I remember most from high school are "In the Heat of the Night" and "To Kill a Mockingbird". Racisim was a big theme apparently.

Happy Easter to you, and Happy Anniversary to your parents. I hope the weekend is fun for everyone.

DEZMOND said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DEZMOND said...

As a kid I read quite a lot of Pearl Buck and Rudyard Kipling, and then after that, as a teenager I listened a whole lot of Canadian singers. I reckon I deserve a Canadian passport after all :)

PS I believe that hat on your head is called a fez :) It was worn by ancient Byzantines at the beginning, but later on became a part of Muslim tradition, especially here at Balkans (my country was occupied by Turks for almost 500 year so I've seen fez often in traditional costumes). Not sure if it fits for Easter :PPP

Alan W. Davidson said...

Laurita, I just read "To Kill a Mockingbird" last year as my son brought it home from school. I actually found the language a bit complicated, but it really is a timeless story. We just got home from a cod dinner at Bally Haly with my sister-in-law and her family. Yum. Best wishes to you and your family for the Easter weekend.

Dez, I was just using the fez for humourous effect as I don't have a traditional Easter hat that a woman would wear. I saw traditional costume and fez while travelling through Turkey many years ago. I especially found the men who serve the tea very interesting. They carry a large container with tea on their backs and bend over and pour into a cup. I can't remember what the names of these men are or the containers that hold the tea.

G.P. Ching said...

It's hard to believe you will be 48. You don't look a day over 45 to me. :)

Happy Easter to you as well.

Books I loved in High School- Silas Marner, Jane Eyre, and two series by Piers Anthony (The Adept series and Incarnations of Immortality) which began a love of science fiction and fantasy. Then I went through a phase where I read nothing but romance novels, mostly Danielle Steele and Jude Deveraux. Thank goodness I grew out of it!

Anonymous said...

"There were a lot of scenes with guys being very open and honest. It was kinda scary."

And that's why I don't watch Supernatural any more.

Kat said...

"In your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it. You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade." Hehehe.

Happy Easter Alan and family!

Alan W. Davidson said...

GP, thanks...I'll take your 45. I've had people ask me if I'm retired. Or my personal favourite, refering to my son as my 'grand-son".

Anton, but the Supernatural commercials on TV make it look so cool!

Kat, Thanks for the serenade. It was lovely.

Cathy Olliffe said...

Hey Mr. Fez: check out my Happy and I Know It post... you got some work to do.

kathryn said...

Okay. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that your "hat" is actually one of those buckets from Atlantic City and you use to hold your change for the slot machines. Adding the red contact paper was a very nice touch.

I used to enjoy Stephen King...till Cujo. Got halfway thru it and couldn't stand it another minute....somewhere along the way, suspense had become torture.