One of the treasures I brought back to Charlotte with me after a weekend in Austin, Texas was this copy of Jack London’s The Call Of The Wild.
My mother used to read this one to me as we sat by the heating vent in my parents’ bedroom. I remember being captivated by the story of the dog Buck who ultimately can’t resist the lure of Canada’s wild, remote, and frigid Yukon territory. (There is no little irony in that memory, as today I have an unnatural fear of dogs and a perfectly healthy loathing of cold weather.)
Bringing this version home connects me with many good memories of my mother’s investment in my love for reading. It also stirs up other memories of influential books from childhood, most of which she introduced to me. Here they are:
1. The Call Of The Wild. What else would I put?
2.Across Five Aprils. The story of the Civil War told through the life, choices, and hardship of a family living in a border state (I believe it was Kentucky) with divided loyalties.
3.Henry Huggins. Actually, ALL the Beverly Cleary books grew a love of reading and story telling.
4.A Wrinkle In Time. According to all reports, I am glad I did not see the movie. The book was plenty good.
5.Misty of Chincoteague. Again, ironies abound. I loved the book, but as an adult am only slightly less scared of horses than of dogs.