Thursday, March 1, 2012

First Loves

by A. Faris

I still remember it - the pounding of the heart, the sleepless nights, the rustling of blood in the veins. I held the corner of the page, in preparation to turn it, willing my eyes, my brain to work faster so that I can get to the end quicker. I was thirteen, and reading Issac Asimov's Foundation.

You see, my earliest memories of books were decidedly not fond. Books for young children did not interest me even then. I'd thought Enid Blyton puerile when I was six. Things have changed since but back then, all I had were Malory Towers, St. Clare's and their ilk, whose characters with their holier-than-thou attitudes I detested (still do). They were invariably good, in the sickening, unbelievable 'Perfect Peter' (of Francesca Simon's Horrid Henry) good. What can I say? I was more Horrid Henry than Perfect Peter and no books reflected that reality. Not surprising then, I detested having to read especially since it was something mandated by 'the adults'. Then, on a school visit to the library (another dreary boring trip), I picked up a book that looked vaguely interesting. Little did I know then that that book would completely change my life.

From a book hater, I read everything....because no matter how unpromising the start, it could be another love. Could be. I am still searching for that elusive feeling, that first moment of dawning realization, of utter fascination and newness. A junkie always looking for a new high, I could say, but there are worse habits to pick up. I like a good many stories, but there are very few that make me feel that way. In the ensuing years, only five did : Foundation (Issac Asimov), Dumb Martian (John Wyndham), The Rocket Man (Ray Bradbury), Hamlet (Shakespeare) and A Precious Jewel (Mary Balogh). These are the ones that I feel deeply for, every time I re-read them, even while I admire and enjoy other narratives in their many forms.

I would love to know which stories have changed your life? Or made you feel so deeply as to leave a lasting impression? It may be a movie, a book, a poem, a short story, a biopic. Anything, really.

Leave your email address (e.g. farisDOTwritesATgmailDOTcom, to avoid bots) with your comment if you'd like to enter today's draw of one of my books (winner's choice).

A. Faris is the author of time-travel paranormal romances Out of Joint, Wings of a Butterfly and Last Christmas. The Golden Harp, a re-telling of Jack and the Beanstalk, is her latest release.


Debby said...

I love reading. I think I was hooked when I started reading Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. Before that I loved reading Biographies.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Barbara Elsborg said...

I love Mary Balogh. I only discovered her a couple of years ago though! Hard to say what books etc impressed me as much as you seen to have been. I remember reading adult books when I was a young teenager - I used to go to the library about four times a week - but now I can't remember the names of any of the writers - except Dennis Wheatley and Ian Fleming! I think after a diet of secret seven and famous five - I liked the sex (limited) and violence and adult behaviour in the more grown up books. I do wish I'd kept a note of what I read. I still think that now. I should make a list - it would stop me buying the same books twice - or - blushes - three times - I'm a bookseller's dream.

Christy said...

I had never liked reading until I was in 5th grade. I read Island of the Blue Dolphins. After that I was rarely without a book in my hand. christina_92 at

The Scarf Princess said...

There are two historical romances that I really connected with emotionally...Annie's Song by Catherine Anderson and Always to Remember by Lorraine Heath. Tortured characters that manage to rise above their problems. I highly recommend them.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Kaci Verdun said...

Thanks for the giveaway! Ramona Quimby series by Beverly Clearly was my start of reading - i loved Ramona and she definately was an impact on me as a child.


bn100 said...

Pride and Prejudice really got me interested in reading.


laurel said...

I am sorry to say that I liked enid blyton. Malory Towers changed my life. Their fantastic pool made me want to learn how to swim.