Sunday, June 5, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Books

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.
  • Week 23. Books. What was your favorite book, or who was your favorite author from your childhood? What do you like to read now? Books or other formats?

I have always been a reader.  I learned to read in Kindergarten.  Then moved to the city and had to repeat the same work in 1st grade.  Not because I hadn't learned it, but because my new school was behind in teaching reading.  I have unhappy memories of 1st grade.

Mostly in elementary school I read books about science, in large part about astronomy and space.  I did read some fiction.  There was a particular series of books, all in the format of "Danny and the _____" where each book had a different subject and plot to go with it.  I read the Hardy Boys mysteries and some others of similar nature.

When I got to Jr. High (7th - 8th grades for those who aren't familiar with US education systems) I got into science fiction.  One of the earliest books I remember reading was R is for Rocket by Ray Bradbury.  I (much) later had the opportunity to meet Mr. Bradbury, and had him autograph the first page of that story in an omnibus collection.  He's quite the gentleman, very patient with his fans.

My 8th grade English teacher handed me The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey.  I devoured that, and was overjoyed when I discovered it was the third book in a series, and there were more out.  I read all of the Pern novels I could get my hands on (eventually all of them), and a number of other books and series by Ms. McCaffrey, and now her son Todd.  It must be around that time, or maybe a bit later, that I discovered Robert A. Heinlein, and my turn into more hardcore science fiction was off and running. 

I currently tend to read mostly science fiction for recreational reading, but I also end up reading some technology books to keep up with my IT career.  Authors I read most now are Eric Flint, David Weber, David Drake and the rest of the crew in the Baen Books stable.  One interesting turn is that one of my favorite series happens to be an Alternate History series, wherein a particular point in history is altered in a particular way, and then the book (or series of books) explores how that would have altered history.  Masters of this particular genre include Harry Turtledove and Eric Flint.  It seems I enjoy history whether it's our actual history or a speculative alternate history!