Miranda Neville's Favorite Books
Lots of people join in the old nature/nurture debate. I would argue that after a certain point in our lives, we are the product of the people we befriend and the books we read. That’s why I was so excited that my friend Miranda Neville decided to share some of her favorite titles today. Of course, one of her own fabulous books is hitting the shelves tomorrow (along with my own Improper Gentlemen!) Miranda’s not the sort to toot her own horn, so let me just save you some time and tell you to proceed directly to your bookstore or online etailer and buy The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton without delay. You can thank me later. ;-)
And now, Miranda, my blog is yours!
Mia invited me on her blog because my new book comes out tomorrow. But I’ve been talking about THE AMOROUS EDUCATION OF CELIA SEATON a lot, and I’ll be talking about it more in the weeks to come. If you want to know about it (and I hope you do: it’s fun, really) I’m going to direct you to my website where you’ll find a blurb, excerpt, etc. Today I want to talk about books I’ve loved all my life, specifically five of my very favorite books for children or young adults.
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild. What child with a happy family doesn’t fantasize about being an orphan? The three orphaned Fossil sisters are brought together by an eccentric professor, known as GUM (for Great Uncle Matthew), and left with his niece. GUM disappears and so does their money. Pauline, Petrova, and Posy enroll in a performing arts academy and earn their living acting and dancing. I defy any female over the age of ten to put this book down.
The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge. Published in 1946 and set a century earlier, orphaned Maria Merryweather travels to Cornwall to live with her uncle at Moonacre Manor, a paradise threatened by evil. Maria must resolve a family quarrel going back to the Middle Ages to bring peace and happiness to her home. This is a magical book, literally so since it has a strong paranormal element. I’m not even sure why I love it so. Perhaps because it has charming eccentric characters, anthropomorphic animals, and three happy couples at the end.
A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter. Elnora Comstock is not an orphan. She lives with her bitter mother in an Indiana swamp. She funds her own education by catching the moths that dwell in the Limberlost and rises to the top of her class, despite her social awkwardness. I love Elnora’s triumph over snobby classmates, her struggles and eventual reconciliation with her prickly mother, and a gorgeous romance with Philip Ammon, a hot doctor’s son from Chicago.
Anne of Green Gables. There’s nothing new to say about Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic and its sequels. Anne and Gilbert are the ultimate hate-into-love couple. The best thing is that we know Gilbert adores Anne from about five minutes after he pulls her pigtail and calls her Carrots. You’ve got to love a guy who works so many years to change a girl’s mind. My favorite bit is still when she dyes her hair green. Or perhaps when she gets Diana drunk. Or….
Little Women BY LOUISA MAY ALCOTT. I’m an Amy girl. I know that’s perverse and we’re supposed to love Jo best. But I was the youngest of four girls and totally identified with Amy. I gloated when she got the hot rich guy. Jo needed her head examined to turn down Laurie and end up with the weird old professor. (Except in the move version where he was played by Gabriel Byrne.)
Which of these books do you love, and why? And are there any more members of Team Amy out there? One commenter will receive a copy of The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton.
Thanks, Miranda! Be sure to leave a comment or question to be entered in the drawing. Good luck!