The Bookhouse Boys discussion

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Childhood Reads

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message 1: by Jason, Walking Allergen (last edited Sep 16, 2012 08:28PM) (new)

Jason | 1166 comments Mod
On this week's Bookhouse Boys, Matt and I talked about some books we read, or had read to us, as kids. It was pretty fun to revisit some books so intricately tied to other memories of childhood and family. We'd love to hear your stories, too. Chime in below!


message 2: by Robert (new)

Robert (Vernson) | 592 comments This isn't a plea for sympathy, but I don't recall my parents reading to me as a wee-one.

However, I do remember spending quite a lot of hours at the local library. They had a reading program whereas the participant could earn trinkets and bobbles dependent upon the number of books read. I loved this as a kid and partook heavily.

They would also have several coloring contests. I recall one contest whereas the page was a sheep, Pan actually, and the children would return said page and win a glorious ribbon. I distinctly remember this particular contest because I was the only child whom had colored his Pan black and everyone else had colored theirs white or pink. Regardless, it was a blue ribbon winner. I also won a book, but I don't recall which one. Something with a horse?

They would also conduct miniature plays, including appearances by the McDonalds's characters and the insidious, "Mr. Yuck", that small iconic character used to deter kiddies from consuming poisonous concoctions. That little guy scared the crap out of us. Which is a good thing?


message 3: by Jason, Walking Allergen (new)

Jason | 1166 comments Mod
That you were so self motivated, Rob, is only more impressive. Glad our divergent roads led to the same place (take THAT, Robert Frost!)


message 4: by Jason, Walking Allergen (last edited Sep 17, 2012 05:23PM) (new)

Jason | 1166 comments Mod
Here's the episode, a bit early:

"No, we weren't bitten by anything radioactive. On this week's Bookhouse Boys, Matt and Jason soldier on without absent friends and talk about some our favorite books we read as kids. Tell us yours?"

OUTRO: "Alice in Wonderland" by The Central Nervous System

http://bookhouseboyspodcast.podomatic...


message 5: by Robert (last edited Sep 18, 2012 04:09PM) (new)

Robert (Vernson) | 592 comments I will say that a favorite series of mine that I recall reading during my middle elementary years, say 3rd through 6th grade, were the Three Investigator series.

I loved the inventive initiative taken by three diverse youths who lived in a salvage yard team member, "Jupiter" Jones' aunt and uncle. Plus the covers were a great attraction.

http://threeinvestigatorsbooks.homest...

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message 6: by Matt, I am the Great Went. (last edited Sep 18, 2012 10:00PM) (new)

Matt | 1517 comments Mod
I remember them! I read some of those, too.
I remember constantly checking out some old-ass book about G-Men and crime. I loved reading about the now completely antiquated methodology of the agents and the crazy criminal stuff (pulling back fingers w/ rubber bands until they go numb, then burning fingerprints off with acid). I wish I could find that book now!
Here's another one of my favorites that turned up in a box of stuff from my mom. I read it to Athena quite a bit: Favorite Tales Of Monsters And Trolls


message 7: by Robert (new)

Robert (Vernson) | 592 comments Matt wrote: "I remember them! I read some of those, too.
I remember constantly checking out some old-ass book about G-Men and crime. I loved reading about the now completely antiquated methodology of the agents...Here's another one of my favorites that turned up in a box of stuff from my mom. I read it to Athena quite a bit: Favorite Tales Of Monsters And Trolls "



I love the description, " Three traditional tales concerning successful attempts to outwit grumpy trolls."


message 8: by Jason, Walking Allergen (new)

Jason | 1166 comments Mod
Maybe I was wrong and Dave didn't have a childhood.


message 9: by Dave, Evolution of the Arm (new)

Dave Alluisi (DaveAlluisi) | 1047 comments Mod
Jason wrote: "Maybe I was wrong and Dave didn't have a childhood."

I had one, but I don't remember it all that well.


message 10: by Jason, Walking Allergen (new)

Jason | 1166 comments Mod
Dave wrote: "I had one, but I don't remember it all that well."

I really don't either, a source of frequent frustration for me. Most people seem to remember a lot more than I do.


message 11: by Jeppe (new)

Jeppe (Jmulich) | 315 comments This episode was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed all of the topics, from childhood reading habits to Matt's grumbling over the fads of today's youth.

On the latter point, I have more sympathy towards steampunk in a fashion sense than I got the impression either host has. It involves a lot of apparel that's frankly pretty cool, and the alternative trends among the same demographic is not exactly more appealing. On the other hand I find the implications of the subculture potentially problematic. To quote Daniel Nexon:

"Steampunk would seem to be quintessentially postmodern, not so much in the sense of superficial aesthetics but in the sense of its pastiche-like quality -- both in form and in substance. It also evinces a strong sense of nostalgia for the height of European imperialism, one that, despite various claims to subversive currents and sub-movements, seems pretty difficult to dislodge."

Christina Ferguson at U Glasgow wrote an interesting piece on steampunk here: http://www.neovictorianstudies.com/is...

On the former point, it was really interesting to listen to Matt and Jason list their main literary interests as middle-schoolers, in no small part because they both seemed to have a lot of overlap with my own reading habits. Classic horror and more contemporary fantasy were definitely my bread and butter. I started out with Roald Dahl and C.S. Lewis; moved on to Ursula K. Le Guin, Anne McCaffrey, and Gene Wolfe; and ended up devouring just about everything by Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and Albert Camus in the last years of middle school.

Oh, and while The Hobbit is a masterpiece of children's fiction, The Lord of the Rings is mostly rubbish. Jason, for a refreshing new fantasy author who specifically writes against the Tolkien tradition, check out Joe Abercrombie (apologies if you've already mentioned him here).


message 12: by Jason, Walking Allergen (new)

Jason | 1166 comments Mod
My not so vigorous defense of steampunk fashion was partly pandering to Matt's distaste for it, and partly wanting to avoid the subject altogether (Heather is/was a big fan of dressing up in Steampunk garb.) I think a lot of it looks cool, too. ;)

I hadn't heard of Abercrombie before. Thanks for mentioning him!


message 13: by Matt, I am the Great Went. (last edited Sep 20, 2012 12:57PM) (new)

Matt | 1517 comments Mod
Jeppe wrote: "This episode was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed all of the topics, from childhood reading habits to Matt's grumbling over the fads of today's youth.

On the latter point, I have more sympathy tow..."


Wow, Jeppe. Thanks for the response!
On the steampunk thing, I have an aversion to any and all extremes. "Dressing up" for any social group seems like absolute idiocy to me. I never popped my collar (in the '80s, the first time around), I never dressed myself up like Robert Smith, I never wore anything with spikes. I'm a middle-of-the-road dude. The first time I saw pictures of someone and said, "that's how I (want to) dress!" was when I saw pictures of Jack Kerouac. I love timelessness and simplicity and loathe fads & trends, people who follow a pendulum that swings back and forth across decades to seem current. In short: I'm an a-hole.

Thanks for listening!


message 14: by Jason, Walking Allergen (new)

Jason | 1166 comments Mod
He had lots of those shirts with little lizards on them, though.


message 15: by Matt, I am the Great Went. (new)

Matt | 1517 comments Mod
I bought these books because of the Edward Gorey covers and illustrations. I don't think I actually read them until I was teaching, though. They're pretty fun with lots of intrigue, mystery, and menace.
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