Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Top Ten Childhood Favorites - Top Ten Tuesday #8

Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Childhood Favorites

This turned out the hardest Top Ten Tuesday I’ve done so far, the hardest in terms that I only have to pick ten. First time I set down to think about this list I ended up with twenty five items and I was only picking best from the best. Second time I was able to narrow it down to seventeen by not simply removing book titles from the list, but by removing parts of myself. All the books I clearly remember from my childhood are my favorites. So let’s see if I will be able to stop just at ten… Here we go in no particular order:

The Old Genie Hottabych by Lazar Lagin. This is a Russian book, which was translated to English. The story is set in 1960th Moscow. One day “a schoolboy named Volka Kostylkov, the very same Volka who used to live on Three Ponds Street, you know, the best diver at summer camp last year” finds a very strange looking copper vessel. While trying to clean it, he frees (yes, you guessed it right), a genie that was imprisoned in the bottle for thousands of years. This is a hilarious and amusing story about a character from One Thousand and One Night loose in the middle of contemporarily Moscow (or not as much contemporarily nowadays).  A couple of my favorite moments: First, when a genie and Volka go to the soccer match. While unaware of the soccer rules, a genie conjures a lot of balls, so every player would get a chance to play with its own and doesn’t have to chase the only ball on the field. Second, when Volka is nervous about his geography exam, Hottabych offers his help, by overtaking Volka’s voice and speaking on exam instead of him. The hilarious part is genie’s geography knowledge – the earth is flat and it stands on whales, turtles and elephants.

One Hundred Years Ahead by Kir Bulychev. This is another very popular Russian book. I couldn’t find it in English translation though. The story is set in 1980th Moscow. One day a boy Kolia Gerasimov accidently finds a time machine and goes a hundred years in the future to take a quick pick. He ends up in the middle of galactic conflict when last two space pirates are trying to steal a device called "myelophone", a mind-reader from a girl who works with it - Alisa Seleznyova. To save the device Kolia takes it and runs to hide it in his own time. Pirates who know how Kolia looks, but don’t know anything else about him, follow Kolia.  Alisa who knows the first name and the school where Kolia goes, but doesn’t know how Kolia looks, follow the pirates. The story is full of adventure, mystery and humor.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.  I guess everyone know this story and I don’t have to write synopsis for this. I probably reread this book hundred times (not from cover to cover, but only my favorite moments). I had a copy with original illustrations by John Tenniel and I still remember a Cheshire cat’s smile.

Karlson on the Roof Series (including Karlson on the Roof, Karlson Flies Again and The World's Best Karlson) by Astrid Lindgren.Imagine Smidge's delight when, one day, a little man with a propeller on his back appears hovering at the window! It's Karlson and he lives in a house on the roof. Soon Smidge and Karlson are sharing all sorts of adventures, from tackling thieves and playing tricks to looping the loop and running across the rooftops. Fun and chaos burst from these charming, classic stories.” This is one of the most hilarious books that I read as a child.

Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne. This is another widely known story and also another book that I read dozens of times till wholes in my copy (even though I was very careful), crying every time for poor sad Eeyore.

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. As far as I can remember and I can’t be absolutely sure, Peter Pan was the first book I read from beginning till the end by myself (It wasn’t read to by my mother or my other family members). This is the book that sparkled my love for reading. Before that I only had love for stories but not for reading itself.

The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen by Rudolf Erich Raspe. “Baron Munchausen's astounding feats included riding cannonballs, traveling to the Moon, and pulling himself out of a bog by his own hair.” Even though this story was originally a satirical work with political aims, for me, as a child, it was impossible and funny adventures, which gave a boost to my imagination.

In Search of the Castaways; or the Children of Captain Grant by Jules Verne. “A message in a bottle relays an urgent plea from the long-missing Captain Grant. His ship, the Britannia, has sunk. He is alive but is being held hostage. Captain Grant's children, Mary and Robert, along with their friend and benefactor Lord Glenervan launch a rescue expedition. But where do they begin their search? The original SOS message written in three languages is partially destroyed by sea water. The remaining fragments can be interpreted several ways. Only one clue is certain, Captain Grant is somewhere along the 37th parallel. Racing against time, risking their lives, the brave adventurers are determined to find and save the shipwrecked captain.” The high adventure in sea and on different continents, when I was thirteen, I read it, holding my breath.

Lisa and Lottie by Erich Kästner. The Parent Trap movie is loosely based on this book.“When they meet for the first time at summer camp, two ten-year-old girls discover they are twins and agree to exchange identities in an attempt to reconciliate their divorced parents.” This is a very touching and humorous story at the same time.

Various Fairy Tales by Aleksandr Pushkin, Charles Perrault and The Brothers Grimm.

Here we have a list of ten, but I still cannot finish this post without at least mentioning The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, The Jungle Book and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling, The Wonderful Adventures of Nils by Selma Lagerlöf, The Neverending Story by Michael Ende and many more wonderful books that I love since my childhood and will always love and reread.


diaryofadomesticgoddess said...

Excellent choices!
Here’s my Top Ten Tuesday post. :)

LBC said...

Those are beautiful books. I haven't read any of them. I did read Astrid Lindgren, Pippi Longstocking, which easily could have gone on my list.

I hope you come visit me at The Scarlet Letter.

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