Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Book She'll Never Part With!


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HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN:   A Theme! You know how much I love it when Jungle Red has spontaneous unplanned themes—the other day Julia was talking about how to get rid of stuff, and the difficulties of deciding what to keep.

Well our dear pal—the newlyAgatha winning (YAY) and fabulous Shari Randall has solved that mystery-with one book, at least.  And yeah, it’s a step.

Question for you-do you know what “moulage” is? Or maybe: what moulage are?  And then Shari—just returned from Spain!-- has a question for you.

No? Well, read on.

Shari celebrating!
The Book I’ll Never Give Away

Many thanks, Hank, for inviting me to visit with you and the Reds – what a treat! It takes my mind off of my ongoing task of dealing with boxes of, well, stuff, that have moved with my family for so many years that I have no idea what’s in them.

Like most booklovers, I’ve found that the hardest part of downsizing is dealing with all of my books. I’ve tried Swedish Death Cleaning, read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and truly believe Less is More. After my last move, I managed the painful process of winnowing my book collection. But there is one book I simply cannot part with, a book I’ve had since I was ten years old.

What is this relic of my mystery reading youth? The Hardy Boys Detective Handbook: Authentic Detective Methods for Solving Mysteries – the 1972 printing of the 1959 original. Why didn’t I have a Nancy Drew Detective Handbook? Did one exist back then? Apologies to fans of Frank and Joe, but I only read the Hardy Boys when I couldn’t get my hands on a Nancy Drew.

Why can’t I bring myself to let go of this book?

Because whenever I crack it open, I go back in time and fall under its spell. Once more I am a ten year old in pigtails who believes it’s entirely possible for two nosy teenagers and their accident prone chum Chet to bring down an international crime syndicate.

What makes this book so irresistible? First, there’s the style. The Handbook crackles with adolescent male energy, tough guy lingo, and a noir sensibility. The Joe Friday approach delivers facts to wannabe detectives like a .45 delivers lead.

Second, what a trove of information! Among the tips it offers are (TSA take notice) directions for pat-downs, schematics for one-, two- and three-man surveillance, a dictionary of legal terminology and criminal slang (“Dive: a place of poor reputation”) and directions for making moulage. If you don’t know moulage, I highly recommend this book.

Though many of the forensic procedures have been rendered obsolete by modern technology, and one must no longer carry change for the phone booth in the corner of the drugstore soda shop, spending just five minutes with The Hardy Boys Detective Handbook makes you feel that you can trail a perp, pat him down, and make the collar with the confidence of a teenage detective.

More than anything, The Handbook connects me with the sheer joy of reading mysteries, a feeling I try to channel while writing my own mystery series.

Happily – or sadly – you can find a copy of The Hardy Boys Detective Handbook on Amazon for $.01 plus $3 for shipping. But the trip down memory lane is priceless.

Readers, is there a book that you simply cannot, and will not, ever give away?

HANK: AH, toughie! All my signed Sue Graftons, that’s for sure. And my childhood Winnie The Pooh. The pre-arc of TRUST ME. Oh, dear, this is a difficult one. How about you, Reds and readers?

And yeah, I had to look up moulage.  And so did you, right?

Okay—your turn.  What’s a must-keep book? Family photo albums don’t count.



Former librarian Shari Randall is the author of the Lobster Shack Mystery series. The native New Englander lives in a midcentury modern money pit not far from a lighthouse and plenty of great lobster shacks. Her debut, Curses, Boiled Again, won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. You can check out her mermaid obsession on Instagram or Facebook at @sharirandallauthor.


 Drawn and Buttered is the third book in a wonderfully satisfying cozy mystery series set at the Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack in coastal New England.


The Lazy Mermaid’s business has slowed to a snail’s pace―until a monster lobster claws his way onto the scene…
With high season behind them, ballerina on-the-mend Allie Larkin and Aunt Gully are finally lying low. But then an unexpected guest arrives at the lobster shack: a crustacean so huge he’s dubbed Lobzilla around Mystic Bay and on social media. Soon, with everyone showing up for a peek in their tank, Allie and Aunt Gully have more on their plate than they can handle.
Meanwhile, another local establishment finds itself in hot water. In exclusive Rabb’s Point, a strange burglary breaches the elegant home of Royal Parrish. Allie takes it upon herself to help with the investigation but, before she can get to the bottom of the case, another alarm sounds: the Lazy Mermaid’s Lobzilla has gone missing and is on the loose! And bodies are beginning to pile up. . .


“Delightful…Full of New England coastal charm…and clever sleuthing [that] will keep you turning the pages.”―Krista Davis, New York Times bestselling author of the Domestic Diva mysteries 

105 comments:

  1. I read a lot of Hardy Boys books as a kid, more than I did Nancy Drews, but I never did read the Handbook. Now I'm tempted to try to track down a copy.

    What one book can't I part with? I really don't know. I'll narrow it down to a couple dozen if absolutely pressed, I guess.

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    1. Hi Mark, I can only imagine all your books!
      If I ever come across a copy of the Handbook, I'll pick it up for you - it's a hoot!

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  2. The books of childhood, and the memories they hold, are so special.
    A must-keep book? Around here, there’s no such thing as just one must-keep book. Any signed book stays, of course, but there are so many others I’d want to keep. Perhaps it’s my treasured copy of the long-out-of-print Isaac Asimov book, “The Best New Thing” . . . .

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    1. Hi Joan, knowing that a book is out of print makes it even more precious.

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    2. What is The Best New Thing? I don't know it!

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  3. Obviously there are a lot of books that I want to hold on to, despite a need to just get rid of books that are taking up space.

    But the one book I won't get rid of is the copy of the complete Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that my father gave me a long time ago. It's the oldest book I own and has both the sentimental value to it and the value of it being pretty old as well.

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    1. SO agree! Does it have orange-y binding?

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    2. Oh, yes, that sounds like a gem!

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    3. Hank, I haven't looked at it in so long that I can't remember much about it. I'll have to take it off the shelf and give it a look see. However, I do remember that it is a black hardcover edition. It's not that it's old as in a rare antique but just old as it being published long before I was born.

      Shari, it is indeed a gem.

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  4. I want that book! How did I not know it exists. Moulage? Nothing to do with mussels, I presume. Going to have to look that up.

    Books I hold onto? There are so many. Heidi. Mary Poppins. The Little Princess. Ann of Green Gables. Dr. Dolittle. A bunch of Oz books. The list goes on. Though the copies I have aren't the ones I had as a kid. My parents moved from LA where I grew up to NY while I was away at college, and every single thing I would have wanted to hold onto disappeared.

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    1. Hi Hallie, My mom donated all my Nancy Drew yellow back books when I went off to college. I still haven't recovered from the shock!
      I'm glad you mentioned Little Princess - how I love that book!

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    2. No no we have to talk. The Little Princess----WAAAy too sad!

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  5. Ah, another day, another new author! Thanks, Reds! And Hallie, that's horrible!

    I did a ruthless purge several years ago and most of what I have now are books I do not want to part with. Plural. Books. So, you can borrow, but you cannot have! :-)

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  6. Welcome home, Shari! Yes, I had to look up moulage. Two gems I re-read once a year and will always have on my bookshelf: Hanff's 84 Charing Cross Road, which reminds me why we read and write books, and Salinger's Nine Stories, the first short stories I read, probably about age 12.

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    1. Hi Margaret - so fun to see the books that most inspired and set you on the path to being a writer!

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    2. I adored 84 Charing Cross Road. I wonder whatever happened to my copy??

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    3. LOVE 84 Charing Cross Road!

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    4. ah, 84 Charing Cross Road, I love that one. Also The Little Princess. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. And finally, Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont--even the movie was enchanting!
      -Melanie

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    5. I don't know 84--you all are sending me to the internet!

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  7. Great question! Many of my books burned in my fire but somehow I was able to save a couple. One special book was not in the fire because it was in my classroom. A Wrinkle in Time was signed to me by the author. I no longer have the book because L'Engle's husband also signed it to my son and so a few years ago I gave it to him.

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    1. Oh, Judi, I'm so sorry about the fire, how awful.
      I'm glad your son still has Wrinkle in Time - being signed by Madeleine and her husband makes it really special.

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  8. Welcome Shari! I too only read Hardy Boys when I was finished with Nancy Drew. Ask my hub--I find it impossible to get rid of books. I sure wish I had saved all those books for my grandkids...

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    1. Yeah--but they might not care. And some of those books might be a little...inappropriate now.

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    2. Hi Lucy! I tried to make my kids (er, invite my kids) to read Nancy, but they were too enamored with Harry Potter. And Hank makes a great point - some of the originals had stuff that we wouldn't find acceptable today.

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  9. Shari, I loved that Hardy Boys handbook, too! I had all of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books, along with some Trixie Belden and Robin Kane. I gave them all to my niece and nephew but I kind of wish I'd kept the Handbook.

    Another series I loved was The Happy Hollisters. My neighbor had the whole set and I read it over and over. That set now belongs to my great-nieces. :)

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    1. CATHY AKERS-JORDAN-you WON Hilary Davidson's book! Email me at hryan@whdh.com !

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    2. Hi Cathy, I love that you've passed on all these books that meant so much to you!

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  10. I wouldn't part with that book either, Shari! My must-keep book is The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan. A friend gave it to me, and it's the book that got me back into reading for fun.

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    1. Hi Marla -- I've always meant to read that book - now I'm off to the library...

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  11. Yes, I looked up "moulage."

    What wouldn't I give up? My original, yellow-cover Nancy Drew's for sure. And a book called GUS AND THE BABY GHOST. My mother read it to me when I was a baby and I read it to The Girl. If she chooses not to have children, well, I'll either have to keep it in case The Boy has children or give it to him (although he is not the book-lover his sister is).

    Oh, and my first edition Harry Potter books, even though some of them are falling apart.

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    1. Hi Liz, I know my girls will NEVER part with their Harry Potter books!

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  12. First. Hello Shari Sharing a food based title before breakfast. now I want lobster. Just settled for ordering Drawn and Buttered.
    So 10 books that are mine forever 1. Handy Mandy in Oz 2. P.L Travers The Fox in the Manger 3. The Uses of Enchantment - Bruno Bettleheim 4. The Annotated Alice 5. The Nine Symphonies of Beethoven in score 6. Crime and Punishment 7. Cutting up in the kitchen 8. Zen Buddhism 9. Each Day a New Beginning 10. The Lathe of Heaven //the inner book talker would love to expound on each title. The realist knows each of you have your own heart songs.

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    1. The Annotated Alice! Love that book!

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    2. Coralee, I love your list! And my inner book talker is the same way!

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  13. Oh, Judi, knowing you lost all your books makes me catch my breath! I knew you lost a lot in the fire, but it didn't occur to me that books were part of the loss. That would be very hard.

    I have signed copies of many JRW writers' books, and in addition to those I cherish my worn paperback edition of Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain (which I reread every ten years or so), and a few others.

    Moulage means something very different to me! I had no idea of the more common meaning, but the root meaning of the word, "to mold", applies to the French flat pattern drafting method that I have tried to learn, as taught by my friend Kenneth King. He's a wonderful designer (he made over three dozen hats for Elton John, going back to the 80's, and garments for Geena Davis, Carol Burnett, Julie Andrews, back when he lived in California), who has now taught at FIT in New York for some time. He learned the moulage method in Paris, from a French designer, and has taught it now for close to 30 years. It uses the body's own measurements to create perfectly fitting garments, hence, the molding part.

    Both kinds would be useful skills, for various and obvious reasons!

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    1. Hi Karen, wow so cool! Using the technique for making clothes sounds way more fun than for picking up tire impressions!
      And now you've made me want to go pick up some Mark Twain...

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  15. Oh this strikes at my heart. My complete set of Arthur Ransome stories, Swallows and Amazons, etc. I was given the first one, burst not first in the series at the age of 6. We were in Trinidad at that point, and it was a birthday present. Over the next five or so years I was given the rest of the series, twelve in all and they went from Trinidad to Ceylon, back to England and out to Ghana. These stories were my radio, my television and my comfort being away from my family in an English boarding school for a time. Recommendation, there was nothing fun there. Don’t believe those stories for girls, take that Angela Brazil. Ransome’s main protagonist was a girl named Ruth but called Nancy. She and her sister sailed and camped on a tarn in the Lake District. Ran some never identified exactly where he set the books and there is speculation to this day. Nancy has been a great role model for me. A strong, capable girl dreamed up by a British journalist in the ‘30’s? The BBC serialised the books but I don’t need the visualization. The stories are enough; shipwrecks, pirates (did I mention that Nancy and Peggy, her sister and mate were pirates?), sailing the frozen lake to the” North Pole”, bird watchers, explorers. I wanted to be with them and their friends. I have achieved a house on a lake, but the rest may be in my dreams now.

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    1. WOW! I have never heard of these...what a great JRW day!

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    2. Celia, what wonderful memories. I've heard so much about the Ransome series - time to add it to my TBR pile.

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    3. Celia, I have Swallows and Amazons but have never managed to read it!

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    4. Deb, I have been introduced to your books by Julia and really, really enjoying them, thank you. S and A do seem a little old fashioned in the writing now. I assume you didn’t read them as a child. Imagine me, finally able to read for myself age 7. Having no one to play with of my age as my sis and bro are 61/2, and almost 8 years younger than me. Living on a rubber planation, really quite isolated. These books were almost my entire imaginary world.

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  16. Oh wow, too many to even think about. That's an intriguing project for another day. And perhaps a way to begin the inevitable purge: start by deciding what I can't possibly part with, and then take a hard look at the rest to see why they haven't made the cut.

    Meanwhile, the Hardy Boys Detective Handbook sounds extremely helpful. I've never seen that, but I do have Nancy Drew's Guide to Life. Not only detectivey advice such as how to get out of locked car trunk or attract attention when you're tied up (tap SOS with your heels on the window), but etiquette and day-to-day living as well. I wish I had it with me to quote to you. Which is probably one of the bits of advice: Always carry this book with you when you travel; you never know when you'll need it.

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    1. Hi SusanD! Now I am off to find Nancy Drew's Guide to Life - how did I ever miss that one?

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  17. I love that you have that book. I won't give up my Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace that I read as a kid. Yes, it's more than one but I couldn't let any of them go.

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    1. I understand completely, Sherry! I still cannot believe I haven't read a Betsy-Tacy yet - must correct that soon. There are so many who adore those books.

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    2. You know, I haven't either! Hmm. Maybe we should get someone to do a Betsy-Tacy blog. :-)

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    3. I was a big Betsy-Tacy fan too!

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  18. I share my favorite childhood book with no less than JK Rowling! It's The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge. If you haven't read it, give it a try--it's magical.

    Through my personal FOP (find/organize/purge) project in preparation for selling my house and moving closer to my grandchildren next year, I found a whole box of children's books in my garage, and they are all keepers. These are not books I have kept since childhood (even though they are definitely yellowing, but cherished books I bought as an adult to reread and hold for my children and grandchildren.

    Here is a sampling: Strawberry Girl, The Good Master, Calico Captive, The Singing Tree, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, all of the "Shoes" books, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, the Narnia books, The Secret Garden, the Anne of Green Gables books, All-of-a-Kind Family, The 21 Balloons (another all-time favorite), and more. And I have three Maida books--do you remember those.=? They were published before my time, and they are wonderful.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

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    1. Hi Margie, oh I got goosebumps when I read The Witch of Blackbird Pond! You have a wonderful collection there. The Little White Horse is now on my list and so is your acronym - FOP - I love it!

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    2. Oh, I don't know that book--checking into it instantly! That's two huge votes of approval, I must say...

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    3. O, The Little White Horse--how could I forget Miss Heliotrope? and the "Shoes" books--so lovely!
      -Melanie

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  19. I'll come back and read everyone's posts but I want to get this in before work. I have a few older prints of classic titles that I would be sad to lose. The one book I will always keep is the book my granddad used to read to my brother, sister and I. He had this big red chair and footstool, we would crawl up, my sister in this lap with my brother and I on the arms and he would read this book. Mom told me, years later, that she and grandma were amazed that we would be so still and how difficult it was for them to listen from the other room. It seems my granddad read one word at a time. Very deliberately and slowly. The art is beautiful and story lovely. Grandma purchased an authorized reprint back in the 70s, that's the copy I have. My uncle had the original, I suppose it was really his book. My copy is on an easel, in my bookshelf. I had it at the preschool I taught for a very short time but I've never read it to my nieces and nephew, I always get whispy at the end. Story isn't sad at the end, but I have a difficult time at the end. Book is called Friendship Valley by Wolo.

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    1. Deana, these wonderful stories are such a big part of our childhood memories. I'm a former children's librarian and I love hearing of this special reading time you had with your granddad. Thank you for sharing this - I'm getting misty eyed myself!

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  20. I could never get rid of my Happy Hollisters books (I was in love with Pete), Little House books, especially These Happy Golden Years, Johnny Tremain, A Bridge to Terabithia, Up a Road Slowly. All of my favorite children's books, all of which have a special place on my shelves.

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    1. Hi Maureen, oh yes! I can remember so vividly how I felt when I read those! These books made us readers

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    2. Ah, the Happy Hollisters--loved them.

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    3. The Happy Hollisters!!!

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  22. Do I have to pick just one? There's my father's American Heritage College dictionary that he had at the University of Alabama. My favorite Lois McMaster Bujold books. Because we moved so often, most of my childhood books were given away as I outgrew them. Maybe I should go on ABE and find an early edition of THE WONDERFUL FLIGHT TO THE MUSHROOM PLANET.

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    2. Hi Julia! You're right - it's way too hard to pick just one! Bujold and Mushroom Planet - have you ever been tempted to write science fiction?

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    3. Mushroom planet. YES! Love love love. Tycho Brahe? Or something? And the...what? I've got to go back and re-read. SO wonderful.

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  23. Now I feel like I need to find a copy of Mushroom Planet. I loved that series! Books I can't lose would include two hardbacks from The Modern Library from Random House. Back when Bennet Cerf was onboard. Dad would stop in at the book department of our local department store, Foley's, and buy books for my big brother and me. The Three Musketeers and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. My copies are ancient but loved. I have also kept most of my children's books, mine and my son's. Dr Seuss, Babar, the usual suspects. My favorites are The Shy Stegosaurus of Cricket Creek, Texas Tomboy by Lois Lenski, and other oldies you probably never heard of. Junket, about an Airedale. The Loudest Noise in the World. Parsley. One Mitten Lewis. From my son's batch, Harry the Dirty Dog. Go Dog Go! I used to have quite a Nancy Drew and Dana Girls collection. My parents donated all those books while I was away in college. I was sooooo mad. They did buy me a few from garage sales to make amends, but it's not the same. I had the old books where Nancy drove a roadster. Sometime in the 60s they started updating the books and lost some of the charm.

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    1. Hi Pat! I'm going to be searching out so many books after reading all these great ideas. I can definitely feel your pain about your mom donating your books - my mom did the same (and the same thing happened to Hallie!) You make a good point about the updated Nancy books. They did need to be updated but I think they did lose something when that happened.

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    2. Yes, I agree the Nancys needed some updating, but surely it could have been done more delicately. I bought a few for my daughter and they were really awful. After that, we searched out the original editions, and then we talked about the things that are now considered inappropriate.

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    3. Hi Deborah! That was a good way to handle it - did your daughter like Nancy? I keep hearing that today's girls are more enamored with fantasy than with mystery.

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    4. Interestingly, my daughter did not like fantasy, although I loved it from an early age. She did like Nancy, and she LOVED all the Enid Blyton books. In those pre-Amazon days I would bring back as many as I could find every time I went to England. She's thirty-seven now and still won't read Harry Potter. Boo. Looking forward to reading those with the granddaughter in a few years.

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  24. Hi Shari, what a fun post! And now I'm wondering where I can get lobster for lunch, living in Texas:-( And what a challenging question you've posed us. I have a whole bookcase filled with my childhood books and my daughter's books. I have original editions of Winnie the Pooh, House at Pooh Corner, and When We Were Very Young. So many more... Black Beauty, The Black Stallion (and more in that series), My Friend Flicka, Misty of Chincoteague, King of the Wind--are we seeing a theme here? Beatrix Potter, the Narnia books, The Little Lame Prince, The Mystery of the Unwelcome Visitor (my first crime novel, lol), my British editions of Harry Potter.

    But all that is sort of cheating, so if I had to choose ONE book, it would actually be three, my hardcover, illustrated set of Lord of the Rings.

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    1. Oh, left out The Wind in the Willows! And A Wrinkle in Time.

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    2. OMG, how could I forget LOR!
      Off to find The Mystery of the Unwelcome Visitor...

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    3. It was by Helen Girvan, published in 1961. Mine is the original edition but sadly the dust jacket is long gone.

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    4. Yeah, I was never sure about The WiNd in the WILlows--it always seemed a little scary to me.

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  25. I'm in the same boat as most here are, impossible to pick just one book. There are so many special books at different stages/ages of life. Books of my childhood that bring back wonderful memories, books I read as a young adult that made their mark, and my signed books that bring me such pleasure. So, I guess I'll have to make a short (I'll try to keep it short) list of some of the treasures.

    One that is a real sentimental choice is Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge. Disney put out an edition of this book in 1961, and I received it as a Christmas present in 1962 from my best friend Jimmy, next door neighbor, probably a gift suggested by my mother. I was eight-years-old, soon to be nine, and I was enchanted by Holland and the brave Hans. It has a pride of place with my Trixie Belden books. Then there is the set of books to which my mother subscribed for me, Best in Children's Books, 42 volumes that include a treasure trove of illustrations and stories by famous or to-be-famous authors and illustrators. I need to check again, but if I don't have the complete set, it's pretty close, and I still have the jackets on them. Here's a couple of links about them, including Andy Warhol's connection to them. http://www.vintagechildrensbooksmykidloves.com/2009/06/best-in-childrens-books.html and http://justamodernguy.com/?p=97 Another kid's book that I have that is on my always-keep list is Neil Gaiman's Wolf in the Walls. I met Neil at the 2004 National Book Festival in D.C., and he not only signed this book for me, he drew a wolf head in it.

    With the books I've collected as an adult, there are shelves of them I don't ever want to give up, plenty of them from the Reds. Of course, there are the books that started my love affair with mystery/crime reading, my most used copy of The Hounds of the Baskervilles and my Agatha Christie books. And, there is the copy of Beach Music signed by its author Pat Conroy, whom I met and talked to while he was signing it. I had him sign a copy for a dear friend, too, who had urged me to read it. Oh, I need to stop now. I've enjoyed reading everyone's choices. Thanks, Shari, for a great topic and congratulations on the new book. It sounds amazing.

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    1. Hi Kathy, I felt my heart tug when you mentioned Hans Brinker. I remember that book so well, and now I wonder if I had the same edition from the sixties. Plus I'm positively falling over in envy that you have a signed book from Neil Gaiman - he's a genius and librarians are crazy about him for his love and support of libraries.

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    2. YES, I loved Hans Brinker as well, and I remember seeing a version of the story on TV.

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    3. SUCH a great topic, you are so right, Kathy!

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  26. I should've added in my original post that I'm never giving away my signed books either.

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    1. Ah, I hadn't thought of that - that's a whole two shelves in my house!

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    2. Shari,

      Yes, if I put all the signed books I have it would probably be a couple of shelves too.

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  27. So late to the party that perhaps I shouldn't bother, but I found this topic irresistible. From my childhood I can't give up Little Women, Heidi and the sequel Heidi Grows Up (written by Johanna Spyri's translater, Charles Tritten.) From my young, formative years I can't give up The Women's Room by Marilyn French, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson, the six-book Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy", and Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford. (What can I say, I had eclectic taste.)

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    1. Hi Susan, I'm glad you stopped by. Eclectic tastes are the best - I love your list!

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    2. We'e all still here! These are SUCh great faves--love this, Susan!

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  28. My original childhood memory books suffered from mildew, but I picked up used copies for my memory shelf of Bobbsey Twins, Hardy Boys, but darn not the handbook, a Dana Girl and Practically twins. I love reading about others favorites !

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    1. Hi Saxlady, my TBR list is growing by leaps and bounds!

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  30. From childhood, the Little Women series, the Page Twin series(I don't have all of them), and Heidi. From later in life, Star Trek, Star Wars, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings. the Pern series by Anne McCaffrey, some Xanth by Piers Anthony, Anne of Green Gables, Georgette Heyer romances, Frank Slaughter novels, Agatha Christies. And some more modern mysteries. I should redd out more since I don't have time to reread them but they may make movies or TV show from them, and then I can see how they changed things.

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    1. Hi Sally, I enjoyed seeing your list - I have fond memories of many of these books, especially the Anne McCaffrey books. Now I want to go reread them!

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    2. SO funny how we are al so similar in some book ways, isn't it?

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  31. Great article, Shari! I can't part with my favorites... A Wrinkle in Time, The Westing Game and The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel), The Boxcar Children (can't wait till the kids are old enough to read those). And of course, all my signed books, although that collection is starting to get a little out of hand. I'm going to need some new bookshelves.

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    1. I used to check The Boxcar Children books out of the library.

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    2. Hi Cari! Oh, you mentioned more of my favorites - The Westing Game! Boxcar Children! One of the joys of being a parent is getting to share your favorite books with the children. The boys will love the Boxcar Children!

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  32. I have been collecting modern mysteries mostly by women writers for 35 years and am in a forced downsizing situation. I've given away a couple hundred of the less valuable / paperback / unsigned ones. It grieves me to have to sell any of my books, but it would hurt less if I knew they were going to good homes. Most of the 800 or so that I have left are hardback first editions in excellent condition, many signed. I'd offer very fair prices to JR writers & readers, if anyone is interested. Excel list available.

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    1. Hi PK, I hope your books find that good home. What an amazing collection!

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  33. Shari, I LOVE this!! I want that book. As to what I'll never part with, it's my second-hand copy of WUTHERING HEIGHTS, bought at the now-defunct Haunted Bookshop in Cuttingsville, Vermont, sold to me by the one-armed proprietor.

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  34. I'm not picking one because I'm a cheater. I'm picking a series...The Three Investigators. Oh how I love those three boys and their crazy adventures around L.A. I still read and re-read them now.

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