This week the Broke and the Bookish‘s top ten list is a free-for-all. I decided to go with a theme of ‘firsts’.
1. First Book I Remember Reading: The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss. I recently reread this, and I remembered how angry Thing One and Thing Two made me feel back in the day. They caused all that trouble and then just left?
2. First “Real” Book I remember Reading: The Call of the Wild, Jack London . It may have been a slightly abridged version, but I knew it was a real novel and not just a kid’s story. Reading it straight through on Christmas day made me feel very grown-up.
3. First Science Fiction Novel: I Left My Sneakers in Dimension X, Bruce Coville.
4. First Series: The Henry Huggins / Beezus and Ramona Quimby series by Beverly Cleary, starting with Ribsy.
5. First Book I Ever Read with a Friend: Roswell High, Melinda Metz. A friend of mine read the first novel and let me borrow it: I bought the second novel and let him borrow it. This went on to the point that we read our separate copies of book four together while riding on a bus, but then he moved away, the fink.
6. First Book I Ever Ruined: For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway. Checked it out in eighth grade and spilled a glass of milk on it. D’oh.
7. First Serious Book: The Pigman, Paul Zindel. While The Call of the Wild may have been written with a serious idea in mind, as a kid I just saw it as a book about dog. The Pigman featured two very flawed main characters who undergo turmoil when a lonely old man they befriend dies as a result of their actions. I think I may have been eleven or twelve. I also read The Pigman’s Legacy and The Pigman and Me.
8. First Serious Nonfiction: Nothing Like it in the World, Stephen Ambrose. While I’d read plenty of history and nature books in the library, this is the first I ever read which was targeted toward adult audiences.
9. First Book by my Favorite Author: The Positronic Man, Isaac Asimov. I checked this out after watching Bicentennial Man, though Asimov wasn’t then my favorite author, or even an author I retained in memory for long. (Positronic Man, be it noted, is not the story upon which Bicentennial Man is based. Its roots are in a short story of the same name.) I’m fairly certain I read a book by Asimov on the solar system before this, but I can’t remember the name…so it doesn’t count.
10. First Book I Ever Became Obsessivly Devoted To: The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Max Shulman. It’s a collection of short stories featuring university/campus life during the late 1940s. The main character is girl-crazy, intellectual, bright, eccentric, and exceedingly proud of himself, and Shulman’s humor in portraying him matches my appetite exactly. You can read one of the stories, “Love is a Fallacy”, here.