Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Sunday evening, I was working upstairs on my computer and my attention was drawn to the sound of my husband's voice- rhythmic and soft and realized he was reading out loud to our girls. My curiosity peeked, I listened more carefully trying to distinguish what he was reading from- for the list was long. He has been reading to them from the time the first was still inside me. Not concerned if I was myself was listening or was fast asleep, nestled in bed, he read Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Farmer Boy" to my belly.
When they were toddlers, he never insisted they sit still or stay even in the same room, looking down from our loft, I can still see him there on the couch, the older, snuggled close, the littler one toddling around, with her pappy in her mouth, dragging her blanket around, poking at the dogs or playing but also listening.
His reading list is long and I highly recommend it- for it is made up of the greatest authors of all times and are the stories that influenced me to be an author and surprisingly are not often discussed in the blog-o-sphere- where the watch is for the new writing- but these are the stories that have managed to stick around for a bit- maybe we should ask ourselves why?

Jon's List
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Greek Mythology
Kipling "Jungle Book", "Riki Tiki Tave"
"Pilgrim's Progress"
Charles Dickens
Frances Hodgsons Burnett- "Secret Garden" "Little Princess"
Mark Twain
Norman Maclean
You can find many children's editions of the more heavy fare- giving a taste of something they will hopefully want to go back and read more of later in life. I would add a few authors that he isn't much interested in-
Jane Austin
L.M Montgomery- "Anne of Green Gable"
Jack London
"To Kill a Mockingbird"


And if you are wondering- when I finally snuck downstairs- he was reading Macleans' "A River Runs Through It", with our 16 and 11 year old, curled up on each side of him.
So, what are the classics you love?


  1. I really enjoyed your post on your husband's gift to your kids. What a treasure! Just the image of your sixteen-year-old curled up listening to him read is amazing, and gives me hope of raising readers!
    I have just finished reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books to my four-year-olds, and they absolutely loved them. We're reading "The Wind in the Willows" right now. I am always on the lookout for books to read, so thank you for the suggestions!

  2. Faith0-I forgot "Wind in the Willows"! Great Book and fun movie- the Disney one- my 16 year old will still get down on the wood floor and putter around like Mr. Toad in his automobile--which made me think of A.A. Milne- he read all those to them- the Winnie the Pooh classic- most importantly I think was him allowing them to come and go as they pleased- he just kept on reading!

  3. That's a lovely tale to share with us :) What sort of thing do you write about? I love talking to other writers and hearing about where they sit and routines they go through.

  4. Nice post and lovely art!

    I got a gift certificate for a bookstore last Christmas and one of the many books I bought was The 21 Balloons by William Pene Du Bois. I don't remember how old I was when I read it, but I just had to read it again. What fun! It's a fabulous story. In rereading it, a couple horribly racist things jumped out at me. I'll blame them on the times.

    My mom read the original Robin Hood, lots of Mark Twain, Alice in Wonderland, Rudyard Kipling, those scary Anderson & Grimm fairy tales & all sorts of stuff to my brother & I. Maybe all that reading aloud is what turned me into such a big fan of books? Thanks for reminding me of those days!