Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, mine has been fairly quiet, I’m working on a job application this week, so that’s probably going to take up most of my time.
Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking about Books Written Before I Was Born, so for me that’s anything that was published 26 years ago or earlier (I’m 24, turning 25 this year). I’ve chosen to go for all books I’ve read (we could have done books on our TBR as well) and these are in order of publication date, so no particular indicator of how much I liked the book:
- What Katy Did-Susan Coolidge-First Published 1872
This was actually one of my Mum’s favourites when she was younger and both me and my sister read it too (my sister is actually also called Katy, though I don’t think this book had anything to do with that!). Katy gets up to all sorts of mischief and I remember this book being a lot of fun to read.
2. Black Beauty-Anna Sewell-First Published 1877
Black Beauty is one of only a handful of classic books that I actually really liked, I’m usually not a fan! Of course, the fact that it’s about horses certainly helped but it’s also just a really beautiful and emotional story. If you’re going to watch one of the many film versions, I recommend the 1994 one, the horses are beautiful and it’s really well done.
3. Ballet Shoes-Noel Streatfeild-First Published 1936
For someone who was terrible at dancing, I really did enjoy dance books when I was younger! The sister relationship was definitely my favourite thing about this book, I think that reading about Pauline, Petrova and Posy when I was younger was the start of me loving the “found family” trope!
4. The Enchanted Wood-Enid Blyton-First Published 1939
Okay, I am very aware that Enid Blyton was pretty awful (apparently growing up means learning that all of the authors you liked when you were a kid were horrible people, but the Faraway Tree books, starting with The Enchanted Wood were really my start into fantasy. I loved being able to visit different lands with Jo, Bessie and Fanny (yes, her name has had to be changed in current editions of the book!) and meeting all of the magical creatures who lived in the Faraway Tree. It was always exciting to see whether they’d end up in a fun land (the Land of Birthdays for instance) or a bad one like The Land of Dame Slap.
5. Charlotte’s Web-EB White-First Published 1952
I maintain that Charlotte will remain the only spider I will ever like, and that’s only because she’s fictional. I feel like Charlotte’s Web is one of those that many generations share as a childhood classic? Anyway, it’s a really lovely, if a very sad story about the unlikely friendship between a pig and a spider and it’s one of the first books I can remember being completely devastated by the ending!
6. Flambards-KM Peyton-First Published 1967
When I was younger I was completely obsessed with horse stories (I still love and ride horses now, but horse books don’t tend to be aimed toward 24 year olds so I read less of them!) and Flambards was one of my favourites. It’s been a long time since I read it so I can’t really remember the details but I remember really liking Christina, really liking the horses and enjoying the development of the relationship between Christina and Will.
7. Matilda-Roald Dahl-First Published 1988
Roald Dahl is another of those authors I loved when I was younger that I now know was a pretty awful person. Matilda did mean a lot to me when I was a kid though, it’s one of the first books I remember reading with a main character who really loved books, so obviously I strongly related to her. It’s such a fun read, and Miss Trunchbull remains one of my favourite villains to this day.
8. Good Omens-Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett-First Published 1990
I actually only read Good Omens last year! I didn’t really like the book that much, though I enjoyed the show, it was very much of its time and a lot of the humour relied on sexist, racist and homophobic stereotypes which wasn’t something I enjoyed.
9. Animal Ark-Lucy Daniels-First Published 1994
I was obsessed with Animal Ark when I was a kid, I loved animals so these stories about vet’s daughter Mandy Hope and her animal saving exploits were right up my street. They were really short and there were a lot of them published, there were 12 published before I was born alone, so you can imagine I read a lot of them!
10. Picture Perfect-Jodi Picoult-First Published 1995
This was one of Jodi Picoult’s earlier books, so the writing wasn’t as good, I tend to prefer her post 2000 publications than the books she published early in her career. However, this is my favourite of her earlier published books, though it does rely on one of my least favourite tropes (amnesia), it’s a really interesting look into an abusive marriage.
So there we go, those are some books I’ve read that were published before I was born. How about you? Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments!
Next week is our annual Valentines Day Freebie, which is always one of my least favourite topics as I’m not really a romance person, so I’m doing a topic that’s only tangentially related to Valentines Day and sharing my favourite Red, White and Pink Book Covers (similar to the Red, White and Blue covers post we did for 4th July a few years back). I realise this means I’m doing two cover related posts in a row as the topic for the week after is also a cover one, but you guys really seem to like cover posts, so I don’t think you’ll mind!
Flambards is on my list too! Great choices! I remember reading What Katy Did with my Mum!
Thanks! Ah that’s so lovely, my best memories from I was a kid are reading books with my dad 🙂
I enjoyed What Katy Did, too! Did you ever read the sequel?
I didn’t no, we only had the first book!
Love this list! I’ve got a hardback Animal Ark book somewhere that still miaows when you open it. I never read it because it was so annoying! I love the sister relationship in Ballet shoes too.
Thanks! Ha ha I never realised they did hardbacks, I only ever had the paperbacks that you found at second hand book sales. Yes, it’s such a lovely relationship 🙂
Great list! I LOVED the Animal Ark books when I was little–along with the Puppy Patrol books and the Home Farm Twins–and I really enjoyed Charlotte’s Web, too.
Thanks! Oh I loved Puppy Patrol and the Home Farm Twins as well, basically if it had an animal in it, I read it!
Ohhhh Animal Ark! What a good choice!
One of my favourite series when I was a kid!
Charlotte’s Web was definitely one of the first books I was ever crushed by! Happy TTT and great post 🙂
100% same! Thank you 🙂
I remember reading Charlotte’s Web in class at school, and I think I liked it, despite it having a spider in!
Yes I was very surprised that I did like it tbh because I’ve always been terrified of spiders!
I remember reading Ballet Shoes as a child and I really want to do a re-read of it now I’m older 😀
I hope you enjoy it as much this time!
I never read the Black Beauty book, but I remember loving the movie as a kid! (I think I watched the 1994 version, though now I’m wondering… )
There have been a lot of them, though the 94 one would have been the most recent when you were a kid (I’m guessing based on your list) so it seems likely that would have been the one you saw!
That’s so cool! I loved your list. 🙂
P.S. Best of luck with your job application. 🙂
I read Black Beauty to my daughters when they were young. I thought I knew what the tory was about but had no idea how dark the story turned. It’s a good one, though.
Yes it’s such a good story!
I always loved Matilda! I was a bug fan of Dahls books when I was little.
I loved Ballet Shoes, I’ve still got my original copy bought back in the 80s!
Ah that’s awesome!
Good luck on the job application!! Charlotte’s Web is such a great one! My brother was OBSESSED with Black Beauty the movie! lol
Thank you! Yes, it’s such a good book. Ha ha so was I.
I never read Black beauty but I loved The Black Stallion. Although I think it was the movie that really got me.
Ah see I’ve never read The Black Stallion! I’ve heard good things though 🙂
Great list. Can’t go wrong with Roald Dahl.
Thanks! Nope, he was definitely a childhood staple for me.
I did not know that about Good Omens, kind of disappointing to hear. Glad they took the adaptation in a different direction.
Yeah I was really surprised because I saw the adaptation first, so seeing all that stuff in the original material definitely took me off guard.
I loved Enid Blyton books as a kid!
Me too! She’s basically a staple for British kids, even now, I don’t know how popular she was in Australia.
I’ve read many of these! You’ve reminded me of my love for Charlotte’s Web 🙂
It’s such a lovely book!
I’m so glad to see all these younger bloggers like you having read some books much, much older than me!
I was definitely surprised by how many much older books I had read, I didn’t think I would have as many because I’m not really a classics reader!
I’m yet to read Black Beauty and I have my eye on the Puffin Chalk edition of it, looks gorgeous. Happy reading!
Ooh I hope you enjoy it when you read it! Thank you 🙂
Great list! I want to read Black Beauty someday!
Thank you! I hope you enjoy it when you do 🙂
I’d forgotten about Black Beauty! That’s one of the only books that has ever made me cry.
It’s such a sad story!
Love this list. Black Beauty is one of my all-time favorite books, but THANK YOU for praising the 1994 movie too. I was sad to read that it didn’t do that well at the box office, because there are so many weak adaptations out there whose only real similarity is the name of the horse (I am looking at you Disney, who had the power to create a Little Women-2019 quality update of a ’94 family film BUT DIDN’T), and then there’s this gorgeous one, still unrivalled.
For some reason, even though I was the perfect age to discover them when they were new, I never read any of the Animal Ark books (at least, not that version. I read a different, briefer, older and American series by that name, though). They look like the PERFECT thing for an animal-obsessed kid to devour.
Ballet Shoes remains on my TBR, as does The Flambards, though I have loved a lot of other K.M. Peyton books in my life, from Fly By Night to Blind Beauty, where I guess I stopped, though apparently she was still writing into the 2010s?? I can’t believe how prolific and LONG her writing career has been. Actually, you might like my list this week — I’ve got some horse books on there.
Thank you! I’ll admit, I’ve not seen all the versions of Black Beauty, I’ve seen the 94 one and an animated version, though I can’t remember from what year, so between the two I’ve seen, the 94 one was the best. It’s a shame that it didn’t do well at the box office, it’s such a beautifully shot film and it’s so faithful to the book. Ugh tell me about it, I saw the trailer for the Disney one and it’s basically Flicka? Now don’t get me wrong, I love Flicka, it’s a great film, but Black Beauty it is not!
Ha ha they definitely were, me and my sister read as many as we could get our hands on.
Definitely recommend both Ballet Shoes and Flambards, they were both really great books. Yeah she’s been around for ages, I’m amazed by how much she’s written! I saw, surprisingly I haven’t read most of them!
Charlotte’s Web is the only one of these I’ve read. My grandmother gave me a really beautiful edition of Black Beauty one year for Christmas though.
Would definitely recommend Black Beauty, it’s a lovely story!