Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The Book that Made Me edited by Judith Ridge

The Book that Made Me edited by Judith Ridge
Published September 1, 2016 by Walker Books
Source: the publisher
Rating: 5 stars

From the blurb: A book for book lovers!
The Book That Made Me is a celebration of the books that influenced some of the most acclaimed authors from Australia and the world. Inspirational. Affecting.A perfect collection of personal stories for book lovers!Personal stories by fantastic authors such as Markus Zusak, Jaclyn Moriarty, Shaun Tan, Mal Peet, Ambelin Kwaymullina, Simon French, Fiona Wood, Simmone Howell, Bernard Beckett, Ursula Dubosarsky, Rachael Craw, Sue Lawson, Felicity Castagna, Benjamin Law, Cath Crowley, Kate Constable, James Roy, Alison Croggon, Will Kostakis and Randa Abdel-Fattah. Also features black and white cartoons by Shaun Tan!

The Book that Made Me is a collection of 32 stories by Australian and international authors, edited by Judith Ridge. All of the stories are about books and reading, with a focus on the first book that evoked strong feelings.

If you're in your twenties or older, this will probably be a very nostalgic book for you, if you too grew up reading. If you're younger than that, you have a whole list of books that you can now look forward to!

I loved each and every entry in this collection, often I resonated with the childhood described or the books mentioned, and sometimes I'd never heard of the author or their selections, but I still got something out of their story.

Like so many of the contributors, I don't remember when I learnt to read, I just know I learnt very early on and I have loved books ever since. I was the sort of child who bought their book to the dinner table, only to be told to put it aside. I quickly fell into the habit of re-reading books over and over again, in particular I remember being proud of the fact I'd read Matilda by Roald Dahl at least a dozen times.

I loved series like Emily Rodda's Teen Power Inc., The Baby-sitters Club (and the Little Sister books), Sweet Valley High, Brian Jacques' Redwall series, The Saddle Club, Adrian Mole, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Dark is Rising, and Nancy Drew. I loved authors such as Libby Hathorn, Morris Gleitzman, Robin Klein, Ethel Turner, David Metzenthen, and Roald Dahl. I used to keep a list of books I'd read and I wish I still had that notebook because I'm sure I'm forgetting many beloved books and authors.

One year I won the MS Readathon at my primary school (my prize included an Agro's Cartoon Connection cd - score!) I think taking part in the readathon ultimately led to my love of Goodreads, a place where I can organise the books I read and set myself a yearly reading goal.

Some of the contributors mentioned books I hadn't thought of in years, for example The Silver Sword. I loved it as a child and I am thrilled to see it's still in print and now plan on buying a new copy. But most of all, this book made me want to read even more. I've added books to my to-read list like 1984, Josh, and Zigzag Street, and I can't wait to read them.

The Book that Made Me will delight book lovers because, as Anne Shirley would say, the contributors will feel like your kindred spirits. Each author loves storytelling and appreciates a well told story. The essays are humorous and heartfelt, and you're bound to find mention of your favourite childhood books, as well as discovering books you're yet to read.

Thank you to Walker Books for my review copy.

Cover illustration: Sarah Wilkins

This is such a lovely cover. Who wouldn't want to have access to a tree that grew books? I wonder if the tree grows a mix of genres or just one? I know I'd like an AussieYA tree in my backyard.

I used Essense L.O.L for the base, an almost-match for the pale green of the cover. I used acrylic paint for the rest.

1 comment:

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