Friday, June 24, 2022

Friday Favorites - Little Women

Now here's something I haven't done in...years, actually. But when you haven't had the time to write even one review all week, you've got to pull out some old stuff! And I remember loving doing these; although, looking back, my "reviews" of these favorites were so short! But I'm kind of impressed with the range for books I featured - children's books, classics, memoir, literary. The idea at the time was to write about books that I'd read before I started blogging; and, while I didn't read as much before blogging as I do now (pesky things like school and kids, over the years, got in the way), I still read more than most people do. 

So, I'd like to bring this feature back. Maybe not every Friday (oh, who are we kidding? We all know I'm not going to get one of these written every Friday!), but at least once a month. And I'd like to make this a little interactive - I'd love for you to comment or email me about a book that was one of your favorites from years ago. 

This week, I'm going to do things a bit differently than I have in the past. This week I'd like to tell you about how a book I read when I was eight has influenced my reading for the last *cough* fifty plus *cough, cough** years. That book was Louisa May Alcott's Little Women

Now, I know that Alcott was said not to have much liked Little Women but I can never help thinking that she had written plenty of other stories that she had to have disliked more (seriously, she wrote some pretty awful stuff, by today's standards, early on). Plus, it launched her on a whole series of books that helped her support herself and her family for the rest of her life so it can't be all bad, right? 

It would be perfectly easy for me to run upstairs and snap a picture of the edition of Little Women I got when I was eight-years-old. I know exactly where it's at on my bookshelves (which is more than I can say for most books I own!). But it's late and I can't really run these days, so I was pretty excited to find a pic of the same edition I have. Although mine is in much better condition, a sign of how much I loved the book and how much I valued books, even as a little girl. 

Little Women made me want to be a writer, a teller of tales. I so wanted to be Jo (didn't we all?). But even as a young girl, I knew I was Beth - the shy girl who loved the piano (I just hoped, then, that I wasn't going to end up dying young as well!). Still, over the years, I've kept notebooks and notebooks of character sketches, story ideas, interesting names I'd like to include in a someday book, short stories, and even pieces of some novels. So maybe there's hope after all. I mean, Grandma Moses didn't start painting until she was decades older than I am now. 

The other thing that Little Women did was send me down the road of read more to Alcott's works, books about Alcott and books based on her characters. It started when I was nine and received the third book in the family series, Little Men. Years later I read Jo's Boys and How They Turned Out, Eight Cousins, and A Merry Christmas. Spinoffs included Meg and Jo and March; books that got at the truth of the family included The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott and Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women

And now I want to pick up something more by or about Alcott. I know I have a copy of The Quiet Little Woman and The Glory Cloak upstairs...somewhere. 


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