Urbandale Public Library/Memoirs of Favorite Books and Reading

I always loved reading out loud to my two boys when they were young. Before bed at night I began reading them the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. They had an instant love for all the talking animals and the bravery of the young children in the scary land called Narnia. As they began to read too we took turns each night reading a chapter. We gave all the animals and the children their own character “voices” It was a wonderful trip of imagination and anticipation as we read our way through all the books. Their most loved character…Aslan of course.

– Submitted by Debbie

I gave my dad Lonesome Dove shortly after it was published because I knew he loved westerns and “The Last Picture Show” was one his favorite films. He read it and loved it. About six years later I borrowed it from him because I needed something to read.

 I won’t lie; it’s a long book. I spent hours reading it in a rust-colored La-Z-boy recliner a friend gifted me before he left town–I had no sofa. I’m no fan of western films or books, but the voices of the characters drew me in–chatty Gus McCrae and stoic and irritable Woodrow McCall. (It came as no surprise to learn that McMurtry originally wrote Lonesome Dove as a screenplay intended for Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda–the dialogue sings and zips.) McMurtry didn’t seem interested in painting landscapes or the particulars of working a cattle drive and camping for the reader–he wanted to spin a tale, woven with the history and tragedy of the westward expansion. Salt-packed coffins and love-lorn adulteresses; they are all there.   

I finished the book, returned it, and eventually lent the La-Z-Boy to my dad for his Man Cave between apartments, since it matched his often-flooded shag carpet. I discovered that he inexplicably brought the chair to his farm in Montana, ironically the end point of the cattle drive in Lonesome Dove. It, or its remains, are still housed in the original homestead shack my grandfather shared with his brother-doubtless hosting generations of mice and gophers.

Submitted by Ramona

As a small child I was read to a lot – it was part of my bedtime routine.  Mom was the primary reader, though sometimes Dad or even my older brother, would also read to me.  I was about 3 when I graduated to big books – ones that couldn’t be finished in a few minutes.  That was so exciting, made even more so by my brother coming in to listen too.  It made me feel like a big kid.  And the first one of those “big” books I remember was Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty.  How I loved that book, I can’t tell you how many times Mom read it to me – or how times more times I read it after I learned to read.  It taught me that books could take you to different places and times – what exciting adventures I could go on!

The bedtime reading continued until I learned to read by myself.  Mom still enjoyed reading to me, and I loved being read to, but Mom would get frustrated because she would start a book at bedtime, then I would just go ahead and finish it the next day so she didn’t get to see how it ended!

– Submitted by Beth