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Classics-Guest Nancy

First guest during the celebration for the release of The Wind & the Sun—  Nancy contacted me way back to tell me she’d enjoyed the wolfies. I think she was one of the first readers to insist that TJ needed his own story. You can find her at her blog: My Odd Little World

Nancy writes:

My First Series

I discovered reading at an early age, I’d say maybe eight or nine years old. But I didn’t become an avid, I-must-read-them reader until I discovered Nancy Drew. I was hooked from the very first book, The Secret of the Old Clock. Every visit my mom and I made to the library, I immediately headed to the “K” shelf, and looked for the newest Nancy mystery by Carolyn Keene. If there wasn’t a new Nancy mystery, I would head for second best-the Hardy Boys. But Nancy was my favorite.

I identified with her: first of all, we shared the same first name, so I was able to imagine myself in her place easily. Second, she was a girl who had all these fantastic and dangerous adventures, and solved all kinds of crimes, with the help of a few friends. Yes, she faced dangerous criminals, but compared to life now, her adventures were pretty tame. But not to nine year old me. I thought Carolyn Keene must be the smartest woman to ever put pen to paper, and I was always ready for the next long before it was available. (I’m still that way to this day).

But things change. People grow up. I started noticing that Nancy never had to face things like her first period, pimples, awkward dating; things I was starting to deal with. I started to realize she lead a perfect life, and nobody is that perfect. I read the books for at least five or six years, and in that time, while I went from chubby nine year old to awkward, taller than everyone fourteen year old, she stayed the perfect sixteen year old. I started wondering why Miss Keene didn’t always write the same way in the stories, leaving things out and changing facts and history seemingly at a whim.

And then, when I was about fifteen, I discovered romance books, some cheesy, some well written, and Nancy fell to the wayside. I learned in later years that there was no Carolyn Keene. The books were written by a succession of writers, and thus the inconsistencies. That was so disillusioning, I could never get interested in Nancy Drew after that. But by then, it was time to move on to more advanced books, with more romance and fun and BOYS. And I have never looked back!

***

Viv:

Thank you, Nancy, for bringing back some awesome memories! I got such a kick out of the picture.

How about you? Did you have a favourite series when you were young? All the comments today will be added as entries for the prize awarded on Saturday.

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Nancy Gilliland
Guest
Nancy Gilliland

You are welcome, Viv! It was fun to revisit old friends and just look back. The cover is the original first ever Nancy Drew book, and she has changed a lot over the years-but she was my first real reading adventure and for that I am grateful.

Good luck with all the new releases, and thanks for letting me take a trip back in time.

Vivian Arend
Guest

It’s good to slip down memorylane at times. :smooches:

Marisa
Guest
Marisa

First of all, I like your wolvies a lot. And for my series, I don’t know if I remember but, perhaps, for me it would be Puck, a Danish series written by Lisbeth Werner. She began like a girl and she finisished at the end with her first boy-friend. A nice story when you’re a girl.

Vivian Arend
Guest

Thank you, Marisa!

Your series sounds great-I think our Canadian version would be the first books of the Anne of Greem Gables series. HEA for the young at heart.

Maria D.
Guest
Maria D.

I too read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys but I also read Cherry Ames, a mystery series about a nurse, written by Helen Wells and Julie Tatham between 1943-1968, which was before I was born but I loved that series I then branched into historical romance from there.

Vivian Arend
Guest

Cherry Ames!! Wow, there’s another memory!! I read those– the few in our library, as well as the series with the flight attendant, Vicki Barr.

That’s fabulous.

Nancy Gilliland
Guest
Nancy Gilliland

I remember Cherry Ames!! I read a few of those, but never got into them as much, not sure why. I think it was because I was an independent sort groing up, and looked for the same in my books.

Colleen
Guest
Colleen

I think the first books I got into was by Christopher Pike… I was not really into reading, but enjoyed a few of the teen mysteries… but once I found romance, I was hooked!

Joder
Guest
Joder

Nancy was the first for me too. Loved her cool factor and was jealous of her driving a convertible. I also enjoyed the Boxcar Children and Little House on the Prairie.

Cathy M
Guest
Cathy M

Nancy Drew was one of my favorite’s too, along with Little House on the Prairie and Little Women.

Mary Jo
Guest
Mary Jo

Hi viv, LOVE your wolves.
Nancy Carsons series sits on a high shelf in my old room at my mom’s , but they are my sisters books..I remember loving Jo and little women and reading my moms Agatha Christie books..I remember wondering how I had turned into an insatiable reader from struggling to get thru books the year before…In hindsight I was just too young to read properly and once I learned I was unstoppable…

Fedora
Guest
Fedora

Hi, Nancy! I have to admit that I’ve read very few of the Nancy Drew books… Some other series favorites though–Beverly Cleary, Noel Streatfield, Laura Ingalls Wilder, C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series, Donald Sobol’s Encyclopedia Brown, Betty MacDonald’s Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books, Edward Eager’s magic books… too many to recall, for sure!

And Viv, your wolfies truly are on a level of their own!!

Jane
Guest
Jane

I was a fan of the Sweet Valley books.

Jess Dee
Guest

What about the Sweet Dreams series? My first series of romances.
I just discovered a girlfriend has saved the entire series!
I intend to borrow them and read them all again. Can’t wait!

Jess Dee
Guest

WTF? There is no Caroline Keene? You are kidding me?
Jess

Jess Dee
Guest

Okay, so no more comments, after this.
But why has no one mentioned the Magic Faraway Tree Series by Enid Blyton?
Read it when I was young, read it when I was a teen. Read it as an adult. Read it to my elder son when he was five, and just finished reading it to my second son.
Possibly the best series ever written.

Vivian Arend
Guest
Vivian Arend

I’ll take a stab at that– I’ve read them, but I -think- they are more British/Aussie/Canuck than US.

Nancy Gilliland
Guest
Nancy Gilliland

Well, maybe because I had never heard of it, and after checking my public library, they have exactly one book by her-in Persian. I guess Viv may be right-not a US thing. As for Carolyn Keene, there were about twenty writers (male and female) using that name-they were paid $125 per book and had to sign away any rights to the property.

Fedora
Guest
Fedora

Yes, as an adult I’ve heard of these from other readers who are not US. They sound good!

And yes–I totally do remember Sweet Dreams!

Andrea Becraft
Guest

Man I have never read any Nancy Drews at least that I can remember. I do however remember The Babysitters Club! That was a great series!

Marlene Breakfield
Guest

My favorite book series, when I was young was Tarzan. I, also, had a really nice comic book collection.

Lindsey Ekland
Guest
Lindsey Ekland

I read Nancy Drew but loved the Bobbsey Twins. I always wanted more siblings and a twin of my own growing up.

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