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Reading Rainbow

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Continuing with the non-food-post kick

Growing up in Japan, my sister and I watched very little television.  Rugrats, Eureka’s Castle, Muppet Babies: Japanese cable did not air shows such as these.  Therefore, Little Sister and I found other sources of entertainment. Lacking the distraction of a certain purple dinosaur, we became avid readers. Some favorites, over the years:


  • Goodnight Moon
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • Little Critter
  • Ramona
  • Baby-Sitters Club and Little Sister books (I read them all!)
  • Goosebumps (Ditto.)
  • Sally Lockhart trilogy
  • Ella Enchanted

(Don’t worry, guys: my childhood wasn’t completely devoid of Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers!  We got our telvision fix during summer vacations and trips to Grandma’s.)

The topic of today’s post: Books!

(Yesterday’s Twilight post got me thinking about them.)

What are your favorite books?  Favorite authors?  Favorite childhood books?

My favorite author is Thomas Hardy.  The Mayor of Casterbridge, A Pair of Blue Eyes, Jude the Obscure: I’ve never met a Hardy book I didn’t devour.  But Thomas Hardy is not the most uplifting author (understatement!). So, when I need a fix of happily-ever-after, I turn to Jane Austen.


Other favorites:

  • Les Miserables
  • Shogun
  • Jane Eyre
  • Dr. Zhivago
  • Basically anything by Austen or Hardy
  • Harry Potter (thanks, Little Sister, for forcing me to read the first one)
  • The Poisonwood Bible
  • Gone with the Wind

(I like ridiculously-long books and books with sequels because once I get into a story and fall in love with the characters, it’s hard to say goodbye at the end!)

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. GOODNIGHT MOON!!!! I LOVED that 😀 And Ramona, Babysitters Club, Saddle Club, Anastasia 🙂

    Oh, and Judy Blume!

  2. OMG you and I are psychic. I just posted a post about 5 min ago that at the bottom asked everyone what their favorite books are? Of course, I hadn’t yet read this post of yours. Too weird 🙂

    And the books you mentioned as a child….I have almost all of them in my little girl’s book bins. We read about 40 books a day to her, not exaggerating. Very little TV, lots of barbie and creative play, and book-a-thon’ing daily. It’s what makes a mind great 🙂

    Love the oat shots and have a great weekend, Katie
    love ya

  3. ohkansascity says:

    I never read “Goodnight Moon”. My favorite childhood books were those of Nancy Drew. My personal favorite book is “The Great Gatsby”. Oh, and I do love my YA fictions so: Sarah Dessen, Elizabeth Scott, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Deb Caletti.

  4. Morgan says:

    I ADORED the Baby-Sitters Club books.
    Favorite books ever are: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Marjorie Morningstar, Gone With the Wine and Time Traveler’s Wife!
    Thanks for the shout-out!

  5. Cecilia says:

    Have you read Anne of Green Gables? It’s goood!

    I’m currently reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski.

  6. tabitha says:

    pp–you’ve never read Goodnight Moon?? I can recite it right now…..”In the Great Green Room, there was a telephone and a red balloon and a picture of (page turn) the cow jumping over the moon.”
    and on and on
    it’s very cute and a fav here
    I hadn’t read it til I had kids and they love books…that is a favorite.
    I also like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, cause it’s fun to read
    I love you Through and Through

    Katie–if you like long books with sequels,
    You must read “Lonesome Dove”
    it’s a wonderful book–you will love it (and I don’t like westerns really…it’s not real “western” just looks that way
    Louis Lamour? I think I spelled it way wrong.
    It’s my all time fav
    The movie is good too if you have 6 hours to kill 🙂

    most the books i read these days are aroud health and children’s health

    I also used to love Saddle Club as a young girl
    I do love books when I get time.

  7. Katharina says:

    Those stories are incredible! I still have my copy of Goodnight Moon. I like to read those books still because it’s nice to be reminded of the imaginative way I use to look at the world 🙂 I love your reason for loving long books and sequels. It’s so true when you fall in love with a character you never want it to end! I like books that talk about life, fiction drama, children’s books, mysteries, some sci-fi (like Ender’s game).

    Let’s see.. favorite books? Every single Sark book, Stargirl, Secret Life of Bees, White Oleander, And to Each Season, The Sound of Solitude, Catcher in the Rye, Vivian Lives, Running with Scissors, HARRY POTTER SERIES!

    All those oats look so yummy. The second to last one reminds me of a banana split! BANANA SPLIT OATS! Holy crap I’m going to make that ASAP.

  8. Marina says:

    That’s a hard question. I love reading books, books that touch me in some way, make my cry, or laugh. I love russian realism, like Ana Karenina. Then, one of my favorites is Richard Bach- Illusions. I also like “His dark materials”… there are just too many books I like to remember them now 😀 I hate that during semester, I don’t have time to do some reading for my soul. Only anatomy,physiology and such books

  9. Jenny R. says:

    I looooooove books…they keep me sane during school – when I’m reading endless science jargon it’s good to be able to take breaks by reading normal sentences and paragraphs lol. Katie, I also looooved babysitters club and Goosebumps (I used to get so freaked out) And those Mr. and Mrs. books (like Mr. Bossy, Mr. Uppity..etc).

    As for now..I’m reading the Lovely Bones. I haven’t gotten far but it’s sort of depressing. Everyone says it’s amazing I gotta keep reading. My favourite book I think is East. You have to read it if you like fantasy (which I don’t and still loved it). I gotta check out some of those books you listed though…I haven’t read many classics and feel so guilty. Gotta get on that 😉

  10. K says:

    Childhood favorites: Goosebumps, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Babysitter’s Club Mysteries.

    Now, I love American literature from the 1920’s and 30’s- Faulkner, Steinbeck, Fitzgerald and…

    Ray Bradbury.

    I don’t have one favorite book though.

    I’ve been looking for that mighty maple flavor of PB forever, we just don’t seem to carry it in my town…

  11. Jenny says:

    I used to be obsessed with all things cat in the hat.. Im pretty sure I dressed as Thing One (or thing two, I don’t discriminate) every year for halloween until I was like.. 17. I also <3'd Courdery (spelling?) and the Arthur books. Oh what a nostalgic Friday… me likey.

  12. Jessica says:

    I didn’t watch a lot of tv when I was younger either. The only channel I was allowed to watch was PBS! Both my parents are teachers, so they were strict…

    I’ll pretty much read any book I can get my hands on. I love George R.R. Martin, but I can’t say he’s my favorite author. I don’t really have a favorite because it changes depending with my mood, lol. I like the Twilight series a lot too, and another of my favorites is Joanne Fluke’s murder mystery series about a sleuthing baker!

    I read all the babysitter’s club and goosebumps books too!! Wow, I had forgotten all about those. I also read a lot of VC Andrews stuff back in the day.

  13. Ahhhh books are my favorite thing in the world. I read voraciously, heh heh, at least 2 or 3 books a week.

    As a political scientist (and a phd student, sigh…)obviously I love my non fiction poli sci books, all things about anarchism, socialism, development, anti-capitalism, Naomi Klein is amazing (read the Shock Doctrine asap!), Chomsky, Bakunin, Steve Best, Finkelstein, Stiglitz, Hardt and Negri, etc. And Marx, not a fun read, but definitely a necessity.

    As a righteous feminist I love all good women’s liberation literature and some of my favorite authors are Naomi Wolf, Audre Lorde, Angela Davis, and Mohanty. And Jessica Valenti’s work is impressive, too!

    As a vegan AR activist I love LOVE Steve Best, his writing is absolutely amazing and so powerful.

    I love science fiction SO much. Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End is one of my all time favorite books, as is Orson Scott Card’s Ender series (I named my horse Ender’s Game in honor of the awesomeness), and Tad William’s Otherland series is amazing, Ray Bradbury, Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land is a classic for a reason, it is a touching, inspiring gorgeous book. Oh, and the Dune series, a must read for sci fi lovers.

    Some great fiction books I’ve loved: Animal Farm, Madame Bovary, The Idiot, The Poisonwood Bible, East of Eden, 1984, Lord of the Flies, Days and Nights of Love and War, Mother Courage, Death of a Salesman, Our Town, A Short History of Nearly Everything, His Dark Materials, Hyperion, The Dark Tower Series, The God Delusion, god is Not Great, 9 Parts of Desire, Song of Solomon, The Lovely Bones, Lolita, Catch 22, A Clockwork Orange, Gone With the Wind, The Handmaid’s Tale, A High Wind in Jamaica, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Midnight’s Children, ….

    Ugh! I know I’m forgetting about a billion books I should recommend, but I can’t think of another one at this moment. I could talk about books all day long, great question!

  14. Melinda says:

    Those books are such classics, all of them, grown up and children’s books. I love to read and wish I had more time. If I did I would probably never sleep.

  15. Devan Newman says:

    Oh my gosh!! i got so excited when I read your title! haha. my mom used to “make” me and my sister watch Reading Rainbow!! I loved Babar, Rockos World, Rugrats, Recess, Harry Potter, Aurther.. SOo many!

  16. I just re-read Jane Eyre for the 3rd time. One of my all-time favorites, and I love anything by Jane Austen. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde also in my top 5. Growing up, I was obsessed with Little House on The Prairie series as well as The Baby-Sitters Club and Anne of Green Gables. My nose was forever in a book.

    I’ve had The Poisonwood Bible on my bookshelf forever…unread. Need to get on that!

    Have a good weekend Katie. All these banana melters are way behind the times. Why they are just now catching on to the brilliance, I have no idea! 😉

  17. jcd says:

    Great classics list there: Goosebumps, Babysitter Club, Goodnight Moon – all favourites when I was growing up too.

    Some other good reads I remember from my childhood:
    Anne of Green Gables (I read almost everything by LM Montgomery)
    Lots of Robert Munsch (Oh, the hilarity of these books: I have to Pee!)
    Even more Richard Scarry (Postman Pig was my FAVOURITE)
    Clifford the Red Dog
    Curious George
    Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys (they were at my grandmother’s house so I would often read them there)
    The Hobbit (My dad read it to us before bed.)
    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Series
    Sweet Valley (I don’t know if I read them all, but I sure read a lot of them)
    I read a bunch of Christopher Pike books in junior high
    Oh, and those little rabbit books… their name escapes me.

    Did anyone else have Scholastic book orders at school? My parents always let us get a book or two. I was so excited to get a new book I could keep, since most of my other books came from the library.

    Ah… I love reading…

  18. I loved the Babysitters Club books! And I loved all things Judy Blume…remember Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret?

    I can’t wait for the Where the Wild Things Are Movie. I need to re-read the book first. It comes out on my birthday!

    And I have your banana brulee oats on my to-make-for-breakfast next week list. For real.

  19. BTW, the Reading Rainbow theme song is now stuck in my head!

  20. Leila says:

    I love, love, love that you love Thomas Hardy!!! I’ve never found another person who ‘gets’ how great the writing and stories are!

    I also love Austen. You should check out Elizabeth Gaskell. She’s writes loves stories, but in the depths of the industrial revolution, try North and South. Also, give Bleak House a chance. Best Dickens ever, so worth the pages.

    keep on readn’

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