Friday, July 24, 2009

Read to Me

I’m going to spill a dirty secret—not everyone at Timber Press is a gardener. Or rather, not everyone is an avid gardener. Take me for example. I have a few houseplants (mostly succulents that thrive on neglect) in my apartment, but no actual plot of land to grow anything on. I like to think that someday I’ll own a home with a yard full of vegetables and ornamental grasses. So, I guess I am an imaginary gardener.

The one thing everyone at Timber Press does have in common (as do most people who work in publishing) is a life-long love of books. Book chatter in our office is common, as is sharing books. We actually had a short-lived book club that flamed out after a few months (agreeing on what to read was a real struggle).

Neal and I had one of these fun book chats Wednesday. I just saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and remarked on how as a child I didn’t like fantasy. The conversation got me thinking about what kind of reader you become based on what you chose when you were younger. So I sent an email around asking for everyone’s favorite book from their childhood. The reaction was amazing—everyone quickly started buzzing about books. I can still hear people now talking about Maurice Sendak! The wide-ranging list includes:

The entire Laura Ingalls Wilder library
Pierre by Maurice Sendak
Nancy Drew’s Scarlet Slipper Mystery by Carolyn Keene
Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
Old Hat, New Hat by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
Henry Huggins by Beverley Cleary
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Ferdinand the Bull by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey and Gustaf Tenggren
Audubon’s Birds of America by John James Audubon
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi and Ron Barrett
The Twits by Roald Dahl
Just Me and My Dad by Mercer Mayer
Cars, Trucks, and Things That Go by Richard Scarry
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty White

I’m glad it’s Friday, because all of this reminiscing has made me want to reread what used to be my favorite book, Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. It's a good thing I pass Powell's Books on my walk home.

Kathryn Juergens, sales and marketing associate

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