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Books your parents recommended to you?

(24 Posts)
Imperfect27 Thu 13-Jul-17 10:18:45

Have you ever read books your parents recommended to you? I do this quite a lot now - mostly MIL recommendations as I have lost both my parents now. We have much the same tastes in reading and it is nice to discuss things later. However, when I was in my late thirties / early forties, my father kept recommending and re-recommending a particular book to me that, to be honest I had little interest in. It was clearly a favourite for him and each time he prefaced the offer of the loan with 'You will really enjoy this...' It was clearly one of his absolute favourites and a book he made a point of re-reading every now and then. I have to say I got mildly annoyed and probably conveyed my that and my disinterest ... However, after several years, - and more offers - I did what I thought was a magnanimous gesture and accepted the book (so much nagging had really put me off!). Turns out he was right. The book is called Oliver's Travels, by Alan Plater and it is an engaging read.
When my dad died, I made a point of taking it from his bookshelf and keeping it. A reminder that he did know me better than I thought at times and that this rather emotionally distant and chauvinistic man wanted to share what he enjoyed most with his daughter. smile

Imperfect27 Thu 13-Jul-17 10:20:44

Sorry about all the errors - rather distracted as /i broke off to hunt the book out again smile.

Ilovecheese Thu 13-Jul-17 11:13:39

My Dad recommended The Catcher in the Rye
My Mum recommended Interview with the Vampire

Both jolly good reads

gillybob Thu 13-Jul-17 11:28:25

My late mum and I shared a great interest in reading fiction, although not always the same material. My mum liked thrillers and I am not keen on guts and gore. However we often came across books that we both enjoyed and I dearly miss our times when we would analyse books, plots and characters together. After reading a particularly good book, sometimes I still find myself thinking "Oh I must pass this on to mum" sad

My dad is strictly a biography man. Music and sport. Occasionally I will read something he has recommended but not very often tbh.

Imperfect27 Thu 13-Jul-17 11:58:46

I inherited my mother's love of poetry - Betjeman and Wordsworth were her favourites and 'Daffodils' always brings back a memory of her book-marked copy and her own beautiful copper-plate writing.

Seamus Heaney for me - and Larkin.

SueDonim Thu 13-Jul-17 13:24:12

When I was moving onto adult books from the children's library, my mum started me off on the Miss Read books, then Jean Plaidy/Victoria Holt and later Neville Shute and Frances Parkinson Keyes.

We still swap books today. She likes biographies as do I, and she reads lighter fiction than me, she likes the heavier stuff I prefer. Also history books. She says there's always something new to learn, which given she will be 90yo this autumn is good going!

RosieLeah Thu 13-Jul-17 13:38:18

It was the other way round for me. My mother used to send me to the library to choose her books as she always enjoyed my choice.

RosieLeah Thu 13-Jul-17 13:39:17

By the way, Sue, I have the same taste as you. Jean Plaidy is one of my favourite authors.

annodomini Thu 13-Jul-17 14:06:18

I used to read all the serials in my Mum's Woman's Journal. Elizabeth Gouge and Georgette Heyer were favourites. My Dad let me have the run of the bookcase and I read all Dorothy L Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries. At 11 I was hooked on the adventure stories of John Buchan. 'Ripping Yarns' they are, but now I see the imperialist and racist tone. They did me no harm, though, as I grew up with my parents' liberal principles. At 14 I started a life-long passion for Jane Austen, though I was introduced to her by a family friend who brought me Sense and Sensibility when I was off school with a serious ear infection.

ninathenana Thu 13-Jul-17 14:18:09

The only books we had in our house growing up were mine and my brother's. Mum would read the small paperback love stories that you used to see. I think I can honestly say I never ever saw dad with a book

Willow500 Thu 13-Jul-17 16:07:49

I don't ever remember my parents reading a book but we did have a pile of Hercule Poirot books that I started reading at 10 years old so they must have read them at some point grin

TriciaF Fri 14-Jul-17 11:00:10

Dad advised me to read this:
But I never got round to it (too heavy).
His father advised me to read his book series on Irish History, of which I read a few.

TriciaF Fri 14-Jul-17 11:02:54

ps @SueDonim my Mum loved the Miss Read books, and I did read many of them, but that was much later in my life.

Thirdinline Fri 11-Aug-17 21:55:51

I was quite young when my mum died, hence most of her recommendations were for children's books:
Anne of Green Gables
What Katy Did
Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass
Lorna Doone
Just before she died Anita Brookner -Hotel du Lac

BBbevan Sat 12-Aug-17 06:14:44

My Mum's favourite book was called Queechy. I have it somewhere. After she died I found it on her bookshelf and read it. I have no idea why she loved it, Very old fashioned and preachy. Perhaps for some sentimental reason. But I have kept it anyway

Greyduster Sat 12-Aug-17 07:39:09

My mother liked romantic paperback novels and women's magazines - never my cup of tea. My Dad went to the library regularly and liked detective writers such as Leslie Chatteris and Raymond Chandler. He also liked H. Rider Haggard, and Edgar Wallace who wrote the Sanders of the River stories (he was of his generation in that sense). I remember him reading passages from King Solomon's Mines to me and I have loved it ever since.

TerriBull Sat 12-Aug-17 10:02:12

In retrospect I was really grateful to my parents for growing up in house with loads of books, particularly history books. I realise these not only gave me a love for the subject but also through osmosis I assimilated at a fairly early age there was a timeline in historical events, something I think my children didn't always appreciate when they were going through school because of the tendency to jump from one era to another in such a disconnected way. I was given many books by my parents that I loved starting with Little Grey Rabbit and Noddy when I was very young, My mother took us very regularly to the library to choose our own books. I remember getting Alice in Wonderland and a beautifully illustrated Alice Through the Looking Glass at Christmas one year, which I wish I still had, although have my Wind in the Willows from childhood I'm pleased to sayl. I also loved The Water Babies. My mother passed me her "What Katy Did" books and Heidi and when I was older in my teens she gave me her "Diary of Anne Frank" and "Gone with the Wind". I have retained most of my childrens' books, some of which my grandchildren like when they come to see us. I'm glad that I've inspired at least one of my children to retain a love of reading.

Nannarose Sat 12-Aug-17 10:24:39

Both of my parents & both sets of grandparents loved reading (both of my grandmothers were the first generation in their families to read)
I had completely free run of all of the books they had, and the local library.
My dad gave me a life-long love of detective fiction
I can't remember exactly, which books as we were always talking about them, but I do remember my mother sharing South Riding with me, talking about the importance of education for girls.
One set of grandparents loved Victorian fiction - Wilkie Collins and Charlotte M. Yonge remain favourites.
One grandfather shared the writings of a local nature writer, whose work I still love.
And so much poetry - especially my favourite John Clare.

Their love of literature -especially the unsophisticated way they approached it, has been one of the mainstays of my life. They took huge delight that literature, including Shakespeare (another life long love) was indeed 'for the likes of us'

Flin Fri 15-Sep-17 11:33:24

Ditto on the Catcher in the Rye from my dad. This one from my mum is to empower students and tips them off about forming appropriate friendships. She found this novel warning Freshers about partying too hard.
- 'What If I Go?' by Polly White
Thanks, Fiona

GillT57 Fri 15-Sep-17 11:40:12

When I graduated to the adult library, DM introduced me to the 'Jalna' novels, a series of books about a multi-generational family, anyone else remember them? Also Georgette Heyer and Jean Plaidy.

pensionpat Fri 15-Sep-17 12:25:51

Never read them but always noticed on the library shelves. The Whiteoaks of Jalma.

joannapiano Fri 15-Sep-17 13:22:31

Nobody read books in our house, while we were growing up in London. Mum read magazines and my Dad read the Mirror. Luckily I had a large family who bought books for me as presents. I didn't even know there was a library down the road, until I was about 9, and my teacher mentioned it to the class. I took myself off and joined, and couldn't believe the world of books it opened to me.

Gagagran Fri 15-Sep-17 13:44:30

One of my earliest memories is reading with my Dad when he was home on leave. He was an Army Officer and stayed on in the regular army after the war. I would be about 5 or 6 and he read "Just so Stories" with me. My favourite was "The elephant's child". We also read "Alice in Wonderland" together and I think he inspired my love of reading and words.

Our house was full of books - my Mum was a great reader too and we all went to the library usually on a weekly basis.

I can't get on with kindles - nothing beats the feel of a book in your hands and the treat of a new book is something to really savour.

aggie Fri 15-Sep-17 13:47:47

Mum and Dad were avid readers , I was allowed to read anything and everything but I was slightly surprised to be recommended " Flowers in the Attic " by my rather straight laced Mum when I was an adult and probably insufferably po faced , I gave it back to her , and she didn't give me the next in the series