If you’re like me you have a lot of favorite books. You read them again and again until the pages fall out and the cover is worn and faded.  

I still read books I discovered in my youth, for instance, James and the Giant Peach by Ronald Dahl. I love this timeless story and have read it to my grandsons numerous times. They adore it as much as I do. I’m sure you’re familiar with the tale. It’s about an orphan boy (James) who lives with his two terrible aunts after his parents are killed by a rhinoceros that has escaped from the zoo. To evade his guardians’ cruelty, he befriends six human-like bugs that live inside a giant peach. Together James and his new friends embark on a journey that takes them on a cross-country adventure that completely changes his unhappy existence. 
The book is a triumph because it doesn’t just entertain. It shows James’ search for happiness, love, and freedom. Filled with ferocious courage, he faces his struggles with wisdom and humor.

For the past two nights, I’ve been reading The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg to my grandsons before tucking them into bed. It’s another story with a powerful message, and even though Triston and Ivan have seen the movie, the book still captures their imaginations. In it a boy who doubts the magic of Christmas, boards a train and takes a fantastic ride to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. Along the way his doubt disappear as he discovers that the true spirit of Chrismas never fades if you believe. It’s a message of faith.
Now it’s your turn. Have these or other stories touched you in a profound way?


  1. Tamara LeBlanc // November 30, 2011 at 10:02 AM  

    Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is one I've read at least 10 times. I loved the world building, the characterization (& the picture of Jamie, the gorgeous Scott that flitted through my head)
    I also re-read the 1st romance novel I was ever given; Velvet Chains by Constance Obanyon. I was 13 yrs old when my mother handed me that book on the beach while on vacation. I had been bored and complained constantly so she offered me the novel. I grudgingly accepted (wasn't really a reader at the time) but after the 1st few pages I was hooked and devoured the whole story in less than a day.
    It started a love affair with reading and romance that I still have to this day.
    I also truly believe it gave me the inspiration to write as well.
    So I thank mom and Ms. Obanyon for that.
    Thanks for the post.
    Have a fabulous morning!

  2. Nightingale // November 30, 2011 at 11:03 AM  

    I re-read The White Cliffs of Dover but I've lost my copy.

  3. Pamela Varnado // November 30, 2011 at 2:45 PM  

    Tamara,one of these days I'm going to have to read Outlander. Your love for the story comes through every time you mention it.

  4. Pamela Varnado // November 30, 2011 at 2:47 PM  

    Linda, I have a truck filled with books I cherish. I never, never loan them to anyone. They're like my babies.

  5. Mary Marvella // November 30, 2011 at 7:27 PM  

    The Little March girl always had me in tears. I loved The Boxcar Children, the first book I read for myself after y teacher read it to the class the year before. That was all it took.I've been hooked on reading since then.

  6. Scarlet Pumpernickel // November 30, 2011 at 10:14 PM  

    Roald Dahl writes the strangest, oddest, yet entertaining stories. The Landlady is one that is our school literature book and the students enjoy it.

    As far as a favorite book, Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss is my all time favorite. I've read it several times.

  7. Pamela Varnado // November 30, 2011 at 11:22 PM  

    Scarlett, I love Shanna also and have read it lots of times. Controversy surrounds most of Ronald Dahl's books. I believe James and the Giant Peach is a constant target for some of the censor groups. Some people think it's too macabre, but I love it because it shows that life isn't always a bed of roses.

  8. Pamela Varnado // November 30, 2011 at 11:23 PM  

    Mary, I've never read The Little March Girl. What's it about?

  9. Barbara Monajem // December 1, 2011 at 4:37 PM  

    I loved The Polar Express! Also everything I've read by Roald Dahl. Also loved A.A. Milne's Pooh books and poetry as a child.

  10. Mona Risk // December 2, 2011 at 1:58 AM  

    Beautiful tale, Pam. I have cases of books I can't let go of. I'm sure they must have shaped my writing without I even suspected it.

  11. Mary Marvella // December 2, 2011 at 2:16 AM  

    Pam , the Little Match Girl is an old movie about a homeless child who watches a family through a window. It seems sad on the surface, so you might want to watch if before you let the boys see it.

    The child sells matches and has to use them to stay warm. Her dreams are lovely.