Sunday, November 26, 2017

Three Books I'm Buying My Grandkids

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is three books from our childhood that we still remember fondly and why. This is funny, because I recently brought up the above book - THE ABANDONED by Paul Gallico - as a book I've never forgotten, and that I think I might be the only kid on the planet who read it. (Although the Goodreads listing argues otherwise!)

Then I went and bought it to give my granddaughter for Christmas. (Don't worry - she's too young to follow my blog. I'm pretty sure...) This is the perfect book for her because she's cat crazy. And this is about a little boy who becomes a cat. It contains the mantra for the ages: When in doubt, wash. It's a haunting story about being other and about finding self.

I might have to give it a reread before I wrap it up.

Because this is a blog of fantasy and science fiction writers, I feel I must mention my gateway drug to both: DRAGONSONG by Anne McCaffrey. I feel that I should mention that this book has more than 40K ratings on Goodreads, as opposed to ~1,100 for THE ABANDONED. So, relatively speaking, I am about the only person who read the latter, compared to the former. DRAGONSONG is well loved and rightly so. It's the story of a young girl on the planet Pern, and how she tames fire lizards and finds her place in the world as a musician. This book lit me up to the possibilities of fantasy and I really never looked back.

There are many books to choose from, of course, but in the SFF realm, it's sad for me how few have held up over time. I loved Susan Cooper's Dark Is Rising books, but the worldbuilding underpinnings don't work for me. And not just now - I went back and reread to fill in some pieces and they simply aren't there. Other books I loved turned out to have religious agendas, alas.

But one that has withstood the test of time - and has arguably grown richer for it - is A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L'Engle. And with the movie version finally coming out (after, lo, these 40+ years), this is the time to reread, and get your younger peeps to read, before the movie comes out, as we all know the book is inevitably better.

That said, the movie comes out on March 9, which is my mom's birthday. I'm thinking we should maybe go see it together, to celebrate our history with this book, this author, and all things mother/daughter. Take a look at that incredible trailer! FANTASTIC, in all the best senses of the word.

Books make great gifts! Just saying :D

In other news, I'm participating in Patrick Rothfuss's Worldbuilders fundraiser. You can bid to win a critique from me or a Tuckerization in my new series! But there's only 9 hours left in the auctions as of this posting, so hasten thee over!


  1. I don't think I read The Abandoned, but I remember reading other books by Gallico. The Wrinkle in Time is very, very special to me. I still love Susan Cooper's books, and adored meeting her and talking about fantasy.
    I recommend both L'Engle and Cooper to my fantasy-reading kids.

    1. So, you think Cooper holds up? I feel like there's no actual effort required for defeating the Dark - they just all are kind of in the right place at the right time. Though I loved them back in the day, and even have a call-back to them in Twelve Kingdoms :-)

  2. What about Princess Golden Hair and the Wunderbar Flower? Too young?
    This is a great topic. I can't wait to see all of these.
    Grandkids are great targets for all of the books you forgot to foist on your children.

    1. I still have that book! That's one the kids will be allowed to read at my house, but not to take home. Not until they're older, responsible, and with carefully maintained home libraries :D