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Carl V.

I wished I had read the Lord of the Rings books and the Chronicles of Narnia books as a child, but am happy to have finally gotten to them as an adult. As far as stuff I haven't read at all but wish I would have by now I'd probably name Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book, especially as it was an inspiration for Gaiman's Graveyard Book. The Island of Dr. Moreau. War of the Worlds and the Invisible Man. I wish I had read Jane Eyre before I knew the story as I am much less inclined to read it now.

I haven't gotten to the point where I have any regrets for not reading Dan Brown, Steig Larsson, J.K. Rowling, Stephanie Meyer.

And in answer to your other question, no, you are never too old to read a good children's book. I enjoyed reading two of Milne's Pooh books last year. Just bought a children's picture book for myself tonight because I liked the art.

I remember getting Beatrix Potter books out of the book mobile at our little country school when I was a kid. The art then, and now, was very eye catching and attractive. Have you seen the film Miss Potter? If not I recommend watching it now that you are reading her stuff. It is a sweet movie.

Caroline

There are a lot of books, of course. I wouldn't even want to start a list. I agree with Carl, the movie on Beatrix Potter is wonderful. It was my favourite movie the year I watched it. And I bought one of her children's books after that. They are so cute. I really love children's books and like to read at least one per year.

catharina

There are a few books from my childhood still on my shelf, another few bought as an adult and oh so many famous ones I haven't read. In every possible genre there is more than one (or two or three..). At times I regret that as I probably never will, at times it is okay as there are so many good books I did read and enjoy.
I do read a few children's books each year though as I never stopped loving them.
On the TBRsoon list there also is Anne of Green Gables, all of the Chronicles of Narnia as I only read the Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and Little Women. Just now I am rereading Nina Bawden Carrie's War. (she sadly passed away last week).

litlove

Oh let's not even begin on all the books I haven't read. I've never read anything written by an Italian (well apart from some essays by Italo Calvino), I've scarcely read any of the Russian greats and there's a huge hole in British literature that begins at the end of the 19th century and stretches backwards as far as the eye can see! And those are just a few tiny examples! It's an odd paradox, but the more you read, the more you realise there is to read. Although I read a great deal to my son, we didn't do much Beatrix Potter. There was a truly gorgeous animated series on children's television that we used to watch instead. It was very true to the classic illustrations and so I counted it a very acceptable alternative. Next time you have a cold, Danielle, try the cartoon version instead - it was immensely soothing!

Cath

Well, I'm British and I too never read Beatrix Potter as a child. lol. I tried to read some to my grandaughter when she was about three and found the language a bit beyond her. At some stage I'd like to do what you're doing and read them to myself.

The one I really regret not having read is Winnie the Pooh and might do as Carl has done and get myself a nice edition to read to myself. I really think I would love it.

Apart from those two there isn't heaps I missed out on. Narnia is the series I'm so glad I got to in my early teens as I'm not sure it would have the same kind of magic for me now as it did then.

LizF

I have a strong suspicion that quite a few of those people who claim to have read huge numbers of 'important' books might just be exaggerating a tad - unless they do nothing other than read without having to bother about boring things like work and normal life! Either that or they read abridged versions/exam notes as I discovered one person of my acquaintance did when I complimented her on how well read she was!
You already know about the Wharton shaped hole in my reading history and I haven't read any of the Anne of Green Gables books either although I have read LM Montgomery's The Blue Castle which is lovely.
I don't have a great record with 18th and 19th century classics from whatever nationality - it would be far easier to list those I HAVE read rather than the legions that I haven't and I do mean to do something about that at some point - honest!
I have shelves of them that I have acquired over the years so one day I will hide my library ticket to avoid temptation ( was going to say cut it up but that would be going too far!) and finally start to seriously read from my own collection - just don't know when yet!
I do know the works of Beatrix Potter though both from my own childhood and through reading them to my children and they are enchanting at whatever age you read them!
My favourites were a couple of the lesser known ones The Flopsy Bunnies and The Pie and the Patty Pan, which is quite slyly funny. My younger daughter loved Mrs Tiggywinkle, both the book and the lovely film from the series that Litlove mentioned and watched the film over and over again: if you get a chance to see them do, they are a joy!
Miss Potter is also wonderful - a lovely, gentle film and Renee Zellweger is brilliant in it.

Darlene

Beatrix Potter *sigh*, I just love her books. My favourite is The Tailor of Gloucester.

It's so rare for me to delve into a book that wasn't written by an English author but since there is more than enough culture to be found there I gave up worrying about it. Who knows, one day a translation of some sort just may end up on my bedside table.

Cathy

While I always read to our four children, and they are all voracious readers as adults, the Beatrix Potter books were not popular with them. There were "too many words on a page, Mommy" and the stories did not move quickly enough for small children. The AA Milne books were very popular with our kids, and I learned to read from them back in the 50's. My Kobo ereader is filling up with books that I have not read, from the Gutenberg Project; I then read these when we travel. I am currently rereading E. Nesbit's books and loving them.

ewix

You really should try The Secret Garden --for all sorts of reasons but mostly because it concerns the redemption of a grumpy child. The language is a little old fashioned (a modern editor would omit all the she whispered quietly tags!)
I feel that Beatrix Potter was a better artist than writer.
And I will probably NEVER read Moby Dick!

AJ

Among kids' books, Pooh and The Wind and the Willows are the gaps in my list. Generally, I don't read fantasy or sci fi although I went through a Ray Bradbury period in high school.

Although I read the occasion current literary fiction, I mostly read classics now because in the last decade or so they seem to be the books that don't let me down ... they take longer as I am a slow reader, but the rewards are considerable. A few authors I know I'll never read any more of and have no regrets about it -- James Joyce although I admired Dubliners, and D.H. Lawrence whose work I just can't abide. I'll never read a Henry James novel even though I like some of his shorter stuff.

Best re-discoveries of the last decade have been Hardy and Conrad whose work bored me beyond the telling of it in high school and college. One of the many writers I have not tried yet, but hope I'll get to before the reading light dims, is Chaucer whom I have only read in bastardized form.

LindaY

Oh, there are so many books "I should have read." I'm sorry, but I'm not enamored by many of the classics and "required reading." Don't gasp, but I haven't tried Jane Austen and I probably won't. I've tried so often to dip into them and just can't go on. Any Dickens I read was on my own except for A TALE OF TWO CITIES, which I did like, despite the teacher's effort to bleed all interest out of it by having us microanalyze each word.

I still read children's books if they look interesting; there's a nice solid three-foot pile of just children's books in our bedroom, including the Sisters Grimm.

I will gently nudge you to Huck Finn, which I read on my own at age 14 and was upset when we didn't read it in ninth grade (William Saroyan was not a good replacement). And the first "Anne" book, at least, as well as the last, since "Rilla" is just a splendid homefront WWI book.

Stefanie

I didn't have the complete Beatrix Potter but I did have an individual Peter Rabbit book with all the original illustrations. I never read Anne of Greengables when I was a kid or the Narnia books. I simply had never heard about them for whatever reason.

Joan Kyler

I read 'the Classics' voraciously when I was a teenager and into my 20's and 30's. Russian, English, American, German, I read them all. I lasted three weeks at college before I decided that college was a waste of time, so, like many others, I'm an autodidact. But one of my most cherished compliments came from a friend, who went to both Swarthmore and Harvard, and who was himself a great reader, who told me that he didn't know anyone who had read more widely than I had. But I still haven't read all of Shakespeare or Hawthorne or Dickens or ..... and I missed Winnie the Pooh and Beatrix Potter, too, except for Peter Rabbit.

I think if I read those classics now, they would be different books. But I'm not a re-reader, and there are so many books to read, both classic and contemporary, and I just turned 60. I used to have a 'dead author' rule of thumb, but then I branched out to living authors. I've returned to my 'dead author' rule, though, except for mysteries, because I find most modern fiction lacking.

The bottom line: there is never enough time for books and reading!

Rebecca H.

I vaguely remember reading Potter and liking her, and Hobgoblin and I just bought some Potter books to read to our child -- yay! :) There are tons of books I feel I should read that I haven't. Alice in Wonderland is one of them. I'll get around to reading them if they appeal, but others just don't. I may read Zola one day, whom I've never picked up. But do I really want to read The Aeneid? I'm not sure.

Buried In Print

I've never read The Wizard of Oz, the "real" one; I read tonnes of abridged and illustrated versions of it when I was younger, and then I read on in the series (but didn't finish it), but never the real deal. I started it a couple of years back, and wholly enjoyed it, but just lost track of it. You know how that is!

Enjoy the critters in Potter. Timothy Findley held that The Tale of Peter Rabbit was the quintessential tale, with all the essential elements of great storytelling!

LindaY

I didn't read any of the Anne books until after the Kevin Sullivan film. It's never too late to form a habit! :-)

Danielle

I did see Miss Potter and enjoyed it very much. I will have to watch it again when I finish reading her stories. I don't really mind not having read any of the Larsson books (though I did enjoy Harry Potter). I missed Narnia as a child as well as the Lord of the Rings books--I still plan on reading the Narnias--not sure if I'll get to Lord of the Rings. I guess everyone has little gaps, so I don't feel so bad. I read loads when I was young but sometimes I wonder now just what it was exactly I *was* reading! Maybe I'll binge a little on books like Milne's Pooh--and would love to revisit Paddington Bear who I did read! :)

Danielle

My list would be very long indeed. I was wondering what childhood classics you had missed--if you would have read Beatrix Potter for example or if you had totally different authors you would have read when you were little. Did you grow up in France? Sorry--nosiness coming through there, but I find it fascinating to learn about people in other countries. I think I need to watch Miss Potter again--I saw it when it first came out on DVD. I rarely read YA books, and even less Juvenile books, but I think I should try and fit in a few each year as well.

Danielle

As much as I read and I feel like I do read a lot, I still always feel like I am missing out on the books I 'should' read--whatever that means of course. It is impossible to read everything--so picking and choosing can be really hard. I still have a bin of childrens books somewhere in a closet in my house--I might have to pull them out and see what's there. I had Anne of Green Gables on my list of books to read this year--maybe there is still time to fit it in? I haven't read any of the Narnia books but I'd like to read those as well someday. I did reread Little Women a few years back--very much enjoyed it, though there were moments of moralizing that I admit bugged me a little--I'm sure I wouldn't have picked up on it in the same was as a child. Very sad to hear about Nina Bawden--I watched the film adaptation of the book, Carrie's War, which I thought really well done. Would love to read the book sometime as well.

Danielle

I've been trying to read more literature translated from Italian, though I've not read anywhere near what I'd like, and most (maybe all?) has only been contemporary literature and not any classics. This year I think almost everything I've read has been 20th century or 21st. Yes, there is an endless parade of books--those new ones always tempt me away from the classics--and you are so right--the more I see out there the more I realize what I haven't read! I think I might have made up for things a bit if I had had children, but I rarely pay much attention to children's lit these days. Some of it is so good, though, now I feel like I should just try and add in a few occasional books. I will look for those Beatrix Potter shows--they sound sweet indeed! Her illustrations are wonderful--and if they did a good job translating them into film, they must be good.

Danielle

I'm very curious now about Beatrix Potter and will be digging into this book this weekend. I think I could easily read one of the little stories each night and have the book finished by the end of the month. It's a pity I don't have anyone to read them to. I read Paddington Bear rather than Pooh--I always wanted a plush Paddington but never did get him. The problem is just as you mention--will I appreciate some of these stories now as a jaded adult rather than as a child when it would have all been fresh and new.

Danielle

Well, I'm certainly not one to claim to have read it all! :) I feel a little out of my league sometimes as a matter of fact, but I do my best now trying to catch up (and impossible task sadly--and new books get in my way and throw me off track). I had The Blue Castle out from the library a month or two ago but it had to go back unread--I think I will just break down and buy it. When I finished college I stopped reading classics for many years (and in college only took two English courses!), so for a long time it was only contemporary fiction (and much of it probably not awfully 'literary'). Then some few years before I started blogging I decided I wanted to get back to reading classics, and though I have read a number of books that the rest of the world seems to have read ages ago, I still have far more that I haven't read than I have. I suspect I will never catch up (save for only reading books on those 'books you must read before you die' lists--which isn't going to happen I think). Oh well, I can keep adding books to my reading pile as I go--I'm looking forward to the Potter books and will read the ones you mention since this book has the complete set of tales. I think I need to watch Miss Potter again, too. I've read bit about her and she was a really fascinating woman!

Danielle

I will check it out--Tale of Gloucester is one of the early stories! I have my own comfort zone that I stick pretty closely to as well, so I can appreciate your love for one area of literature and desire to read it deeply! I love English literature, too, so I am right there with you (and usually the books you write about tempt me to buy or read them). I think you will not soon run out of possible books to read if you stick to what you like! :)

Danielle

I wonder what I would have thought of those books as a child. I loved Dorrie the Witch by Patricia Coombs which I see are back in print again (am tempted now that I've discovered that--to go and order them). I was a Paddington Bear fan myself. Maybe I'll tackle Pooh after I finish with Beatrix Potter. There is so much out there that is free--if you owned an ereader you could have more than enough books to read for a whole year without buying a single one. Amazing to think about really. Had to look up E. Nesbit and I see that she wrote the Railway Children books, which I loved as a child. I recall one of my elementary school teachers reading the books to the class and I was always gripped by each new installment--and she wrote loads more, too!

Danielle

I do own it--I think. Or I could borrow my niece's copy, as I bought it for her one year. I have a vague idea of what it's about but never did see the movie. Beatrix Potter did do some wonderful watercolors--the illustrations in this book are really lovely. (I suspect Moby Dick is not a book I will be picking up anytime soon either...)! :)

Danielle

I never did read much/any sci fi either, though I wouldn't mind dipping into it now to give it a try. I have only read a few stories by Bradbury and Fahrenheit 451, but I think I would like some of his other books, too. I think you can never go wrong with classics--I want to read more of them, but I admit I am tempted by a lot of contemporary (or early/mid-20th century) fiction, so I tend to dip into it all. There are certainly enough classics to keep you busy for a very long time--and my own reading list is long, too!

Danielle

You know, I never read any Dickens in school either. I didn't read him until I was an adult, which maybe was a good thing, as when I did read him I liked him (though I think I prefer Wilkie Collins over him by just a bit). The thing with reading is there are no rules, so none of us should ever be made to feel that our own choices are in any way wrong! There are just so many books I *want* to read that I haven't or that I feel like so many other people have read and it would be fun to talk about them. But that's okay, too--there are just too many choices (lucky for us!). Sisters Grimm? I don't read much young adult/children's literature, but now I am a little interested so I might just add a few books to my own reading pile. And I really do want to read Huck Finn. I liked Tom Sawyer. Not much of Twain's work really appeals to me all that much, but I think if I tried more of it I would probably like it. And I will look for Rilla, too--thanks for the suggestion.

Danielle

Okay--Sisters Grimm looks like fun--I had to look it up! :)

Danielle

I think I must have had Peter Rabbit read to me at some point, as it is familiar--and certainly those illustrations are familiar, too. I was left on my own to choose my own books--not at all a bad way to approach reading, but I didn't have much guidance so that's why I think I missed out on so many children's books.

Danielle

I read loads when I was young, but I didn't have much in the way of guidance and simply left to fend for myself. I don't think I suffered any, but I did miss out on a lot of classics, which I am very slowly now trying to catch up on reading. The last couple of years have not been good reading years for me and the classics unfortunately. My intentions are good, but my choices are too many. And I like the idea of learning on your own--it sounds as though you didn't suffer any for not having gone to college--there are lots of different ways to get an education, I think. I would like to reread more, but there are so many unread books that I do want to read it makes it hard to go back sometimes and read a book again. I wholeheartedly agree on the not enough time aspect of reading--and I still try and squeeze as much in as I possibly can.

Danielle

See, you are going to have a whole new genre (well a genre to revisit anyway) open up before you very soon. Just think--you can fill in reading gaps by reading to the baby! :) I think that would be a cool way to revisit books you loved as a child. I am with you, though, on reading the books that appeal most. I tend to choose based on mood--interestingly--I never had a desire to read the Aeneid, but now that I am reading Greek Mythology, I've added it to my wishlist! :)

Danielle

Me either! :) I saw the movie, though... That is another book I would like to read someday, though. And I do understand about losing the thread on a book (and then it ends up on the shelf below my night stand--sort of like the island of misfit toys. Poor things. I am going to read Peter Rabbit tonight to kick off my Beatrix Potter phase--will have to see exactly what Findley means. I'm all for good storytelling!

Danielle

"It's never too late to form a habit!"

Thanks goodness for that! :) I am going to read some of those Anne books at some point--I have the original Anne of Green Gables sitting on my pile even as I type!

ewix

Most of The Secret Garden movies are OK but the text is SO much better.
Much more exciting if the story comes as a surprise to you.
Do let me know your thoughts when you have read it.
I think much of my philosophy of life can be drawn from that book.


Happy reading!

To: elizabethwix@hotmail.com

Carl V.

I also look at some of those regrets and wonder if things weren't better off as well. I certainly love LOTR as an adult in ways I cannot imagine I would have as a child. I have gotten so much more out of reading them with the knowledge and experience that I have now then when I was young. Now the Narnia books I think I might have enjoyed more as a child, yet I still enjoyed them.

Milne is got such a great sense of humor. I crack up reading his stuff even now.

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