Friday, April 16, 2010

Flashback Fridays: Book Nostalgia

Flashback Friday is a thing we're doing over at GotYA in which each one of us gets all nostalgic and blogs about the past, on varying topics. This week's topic is: books from back in the day.

Really, "back in the day" is a decade ago for me, so it hasn't been that long since I read them. Weird, eh?

Anyway, I have a list.

1. The Giver, by Lois Lowry

We had to read this in fourth or fifth grade in my reading class (I was in the pull-out program, which means they remove you from the regular classroom and escort you to these creepy mobile classrooms every day to do more/more difficult reading than the other kids. Basically, this is when the segregation of nerds began, and it continued into my young adulthood.) This book got under my skin. I think it's because everything seems fine and dandy until you realize that they're euthanizing old people and controlling emotions and no one can see any color. And from what I recall, it's also deeply emotional, particularly when they're doing the memory-passing-on thing. I don't know. There's just something about it that gave me a quick smack to the face when I was younger, such that a decade later when I started playing around with dystopian ideas, it was still lingering in the back of my mind.

2. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle

This is one of those books that when you grow up, you think, why did Mom let me read something that creepy? It seriously kept me awake at night. If you don't remember why, allow me to remind you. People bouncing balls in unison. Eerie, silent perfection. MAN WITH RED EYES AND MIND CONTROLLING ABILITIES KEEPING A GIRL'S FATHER PRISONER. It's terrifying! It's the stuff horror movies are made of! And what was up with Charles Wallace?

It was one of those things I had to finish reading in order to preserve my sanity. Because if you fall asleep in the middle of that stuff, it will crawl into your brain and create anxieties you never knew existed. Okay, that's probably not true, but really. Had to finish it.

3. Animorphs series, by K.A. Applegate

Remember this?

Why am I so fascinated by mind control? These books were about mind-controlling aliens called Yeerks that look like slugs, that basically slip into your brain and take over your body. The worst part is that you don't know who's got one sliming around inside of them. No, scratch that. The worst part is that they all have to return to this life-giving pool every week or so, so you retain control of your own body for like twenty minutes in this creepy underground lair and then you have to let it worm back into your ear again, kicking and screaming all the way. It's horrifying.

Question two: why am I so fascinated by the books that scared the crap out of me when I was a kid?

Ah, well.

Anyway. These books may not have contained the best writing ever, but I used to devour them. They had some good world building. And the further Applegate dove into assorted alien worlds and races, the trippier and cooler it got. Someday, I'm going to have to go back and read these again.

I could go on and on about childhood books, really. But those are the first three I thought of.

Books from your childhood, anyone?


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