Apparently, when the Classics Club came into being. A monthly meme
was devised to bring clubbers together to chat about classics. New
questions were posted from 2012 to 2016 and then again in 2018 to give
clubbers an opportunity to talk about literature together. You could
write a blog post and leave the link or simply put your thoughts in the
Now, they have revived that idea and the meme for this month is: Ponder about your childhood:
Discuss the classics you read as a child.
Who introduced you to them?
Which ones were you favourites?
Do you still reread them as an adult? Why? Why Not?
"Heidi" was the first book I ever owned. My parents gave it to me when I was seven years old and was in hospital because I had to have my appendix removed.
I didn't think about it as a classic, who does at the age
of seven? But I really loved reading about the little orphan who was
taken in by her grandfather who lived so remote, they hardly ever saw
anyone. I read it several times as a child but never again as an adult.
Might be time to do it one day.
Other than that, my parents had a few classics at home and I read them all over the years, probably not as early as seven but certainly before I was ten.
I remember the Bjørndal Trilogy by Trygve Gulbranssen, "Beyond Sing the Woods/The Wind from the Mountains (Norwegian: Og bakom synger skogen, Det blåser fra Dauingfjell and Ingen vei går utenom) from 1933-35. Great novels about the harsh life in the mountains at the beginning of the last century.
And we had fairy tales. Mainly by the Grimm Brothers but also Hans-Christian Andersen, Ludwig Bechstein, Wilhelm Hauff but also Norwegian folk tales collected by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen or Russian ones, collected by Alexander Nikolajewitsch Afanassjew, those I loved especially.
Unfortunately, our library was very small. But I remember reading many books by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, my favourite series being The Six Bullerby Children and Seacrow Island.
The only series I owned myself were books by German author Martha Schlinkert but at the time they were not classics: "Winnie im Paradies" [Winnie in Paradise]; "Nur Mut, Winnie" [Courage, Winnie]; "Alles dreht sich um Winnie" [Everything revolves around Winnie], all not translated and all from 1966
And then there was Berte Bratt, another Norwegian wirter, my favourite book there was "Slik er Ponny" [Such is Ponny] (German title: Alle nennen mich Pony which means Everyone calls me Pony). I loved this book because "Pony" whose real name is Rita, grew up in a poor family, same as me, and went to school with rich kids, same as me. That was MY story.
Then there are books written for children that most German kids grew up with, "Max and Moritz" by Wilhelm Busch, "Lottie and Lisa" by Erich Kästner, I especially loved the latter.
Thinking about all these books was a trip down memory lane. I noticed that many of these titles were from Scandinavian authors. Interesting. I definitely liked stories about other countries already back then.
Thank you, "Words and Peace", for introducing this to me.
And since I love to see listed books in a list, here we go:
Bratt, Berte "Alle nennen mich Pony" (Norwegian: Slik er Ponny) [Everyone calls me Pony/Such is Ponny] - 1960 Goodreads
Busch, Wilhelm "Max and Moritz" (German: Max und Moritz) - 1865
Grimm Brothers - all their fairy tales
Gulbranssen, Trygve - Bjørndal Trilogy "Beyond Sing the Woods/The Wind from the Mountains (Norwegian: Og bakom synger skogen, Det blåser fra Dauingfjell and Ingen vei går utenom) - 1933-35 Goodreads
Kästner, Erich "Lottie and Lisa" aka "The Parent Trap" (German: Das doppelte Lottchen) - 1949 Goodreads
Lindgren, Astrid "Seacrow Island" (Swedish: Vi på Saltkråkan) - 1964
- "The Six Bullerby Children" (Swedish: Barnen i Bullerbyn) - 1947
Schlinkert, Martha "Winnie im Paradies" [Winnie in Paradise] - 1966 Goodreads
- "Nur Mut, Winnie" [Courage, Winnie] - 1966
- "Alles dreht sich um Winnie" [Everything revolves around Winnie] - 1966
Spyri, Johanna "Heidi" (German: "Heidis Lehr- und Wanderjahre" and "Heidi kann brauchen, was es gelernt hat") - 1880-1881