9 Books That Taught Me Something Other Than Spelling
Contributor

Following is a non-exhaustive list (ie., written while watching my children in exhaustion):

1. Nancy Drew Mysteries—Reading these books are the first memories I have of needing to read–as in, I need to know whether Nancy figures out what the heck is happening on Larkspur Lane. Long after my mom called “lights out,” I sat hunched under the covers reading by the red light of my digital clock radio. It was not easy, and is probably why I now wear glasses.

In short, these books made me a reader.

2. Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery has a way of describing nature that makes you want to be a tree. I think appreciating nature was inborn for me, but she put it in words. Before reading her, I wrote stories that were all action: “The Easter Bunny hopped down the street” and so forth. She taught me about details, about creating a picture with words, well before any of my creative writing teachers said, “Show, don’t tell.” I tried to imitate her writing, and my 6th-grade musings about crabapple blossoms won a contest.

3. North and South – I saw the TV mini-series first, the one with a young Patrick Swayze (Orry) and James Read (George—my fave). I was SOOO serious about this series that I placed my tape recorder next to the television speaker and recorded it. Oh, yes, I did.

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