It's My Book...Get Off!

An Example of 'Up-Lit.'

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Paul Whybrow

Full Member
Jun 20, 2015
Cornwall, UK
This charming anecdote about how a six year old reader jealously guarded his favourite book, made me wonder which stories are intensely personal to me:

This elementary schooler's savage response to a question about his favorite book will speak to your soul

I recall the wondrous possibilities of reading, discovered as a a book could become a portal to another world, making me a traveller in time and space; books became friends.

The book that I've re-read the most, and which I feel bonded to, is The Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame...ideally with illustrations by Ernest H. Shepherd. It's discounted as a children's book, but has universal themes of the importance of home and loyalty to friends and the natural world, as well as being prescient about what happens when those principles are abandoned—as shown by the current state of politics, mass extinction of species and global warming.


For modern books, I feel like a champion of a crime novel I read in 2017, which I chose as one of my favourite books of the year. The Ploughmen is a debut novel by Kim Zupan, and deserves to be widely-known. Had I the funds, I'd turn it into a film, and the two-hander structure of the plot would be ideal for an up-and-coming actor to prove his skills, as well as revitalising the career of an established but overlooked the same way as Quentin Tarantino turned the spotlight back onto Pam Grier and Robert Forster with the film adaptation of Elmore Leonard's Jackie Brown.

In this way, I'm the opposite of the six-year-old reader, as I want more people to know about one of my favourite books.

What is your go-to story, your eternal favourite?

Which neglected title do you think deserves to be widely known?

I adored Anne Of Green Gables when I was in my tweens/early teens. I read and re-read it.

And, after a gap of more than three decades, I'm re-reading it.

Once again, I have fallen under LM Montgomery's spell.

I would definitely be tempted to react savagely if anyone tried to belittle it.
Sorry to seem grumpy, I'm not in a grumpy mood, but I'm not hugely charmed in general by jealous guarding. Wait till he's 16 and it won't be so cute. But maybe it is charming actually, if I read the story, only I can't quite bring myself to click 'continue.' I only want to read it, not enter into this transaction below, paying with personal data for the privilege of reading. Often now, presented with this info, and it's constant, isn't it, this choice is being spelled out and I'm choosing not to proceed, and the internet is getting smaller.

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But I'm with you about 'The Wind In The Willows'. The piper at the gates of dawn. It gets me every time.
Stranger in a Strange Land ... I used to read it every year.

I recently listened to a few of Heinlein's books. The only one I've read over and over again is Stranger in a Strange Land. Although ... Friday and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress more than once. Others I read when I was a kid and never read again. It makes me wonder if I understood what I was reading when I was a kid and honestly, I doubt he'd be published now. I'm still looking for the book where Lazarus Long has his consciousness transferred into a woman's body. I thought it was The Cat Who Walks Through Walls or Time Enough for Love. I can't find it. Oh well.
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An Example of 'Up-Lit.'

Fanfare! Rhubarb and Aliens