Forgotten Favorites

CJ wrote a post today where she mentioned that she just finished reading Robert McCammon’s Boy’s Life, which is one of my favorite books. I first read this book when it came out in 1992. It was one of the first “big books” that I read…I was 11 years old and I ordered it from the scholastic book club in elementary school…remember those? I fell in love with it right away. The second time I read it was in 1997 when I was a sophomore in high school. It was mandatory reading and it was one of the only books that we were forced to read in high school that I really enjoyed.

To this day, it has remained one of my favorite books…however, I realized today when CJ posted about it that I don’t remember a single thing about the book! Only that I absolutely loved it and that it was one of those books that instilled a love of reading in me. It’s been 11 years now since I’ve last read the book, so I guess it’s natural to forget some things, but the whole story? All I remember about it was that the main character was a young boy and he had a group of friends around his same age and it was one of those stories that just makes you want to live forever in your childhood. I plan on finally rereading it this year.

So my question is, has this ever happened to anyone else? Does anyone else have a book that they’ve always claimed to be a favorite of theirs that they read long ago but really can’t recall the details of? There are so many books from my teenage years that I’d like to revisit, but this one really is on the top of my list.

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16 Responses

  1. This does happen to me! I often remember loving a book as a kid–be it eleven or fifteen–but have a hard time remembering the details as an adult. Rebecca is an example for me. (I did reread that one last fall a little after you did, I believe.) That’s why I’m declaring 2008 to be a year of rereading or rediscovering old favorites. 🙂

    But the book that I have had the opportunity to forget twice over is Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Assigned readings both times. I don’t know if I disliked it so much that I blocked it out altogether, or perhaps I read it on such a quick deadline like cramming for a test that it never got filed away in my memory banks–or what.

  2. Becky, I should do a whole year of rereading old favorites! Deslily is sort of doing that right now too and seems to be really enjoying that. You started me on that when you mentioned The Mouse and the Motorcycle on your blog awhile ago. I LOVED that book as a kid and had completely forgotten about it. I have to get that one. I love Dickens, but I’ve never read Great Expectations…I’ll take that as a sign that maybe it’s one that I should avoid :p

  3. It’s been about 15 years since I’ve read the books I am reading now.. and you can say I forgot MOST of it!! I am soooooo loving the books again. (that much I remembered! That and loving Belgarath! lol) I forgot the names of many of the characters that travel with them and finding them again is a joy!!!

    I can tell you exactly when I last read Pern/ Belgaraid/ and dragonlance.. since I read them the year following my divorce for the second time, so this is the third reading of these books! … last read in 1991

  4. Oh man. I read that book, like a million years ago!! I loved it when I read it. That might be one I have to pick up again because I remember nothing about it!! (of course, I’M not claiming it’s a favorite of mine!!)

  5. Glad I could give you a little shove. It’s a great book and I am going to review it. My problem is there’s so much in the book that the review is either going to be on the vague side or ten pages long. Does it help if I mention The Lady?

    As for forgetting a book… I’m sure there are several but at the moment I can’t think of a one. Which seems to make a certain kind of sense – until someone jogs your memory how do you think of a book like this?

    Oh, and by the way – you were 11 in 1992??? Geez, that makes me feel older than dirt.

  6. You’re definitely not alone! That’s one of the reasons I jumped right on the Heart of a Child reading challenge (rereading your favorites from childhood). In my preteen years, I absolutely loved Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret. Seriously, I bet I read it 10 times. Know how much of it I can remember today? That she got her first period. (Hey, that’s big stuff to a preteen girl.) Anyway, I’m thinking there’s got to be a lot more to the book than that…and I can’t wait to find out what.

    And now I think I’d like to check out Boy’s Life as well.

  7. I’ve got a few books that I would call favorites that I forget nearly all of the plot of. I’m sure I loved Steinbeck’s East of Eden when I was in high school, but I barely remember it, the same goes for Jane Eyre and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It’s kind of funny that I still lay claim to these as favorites, but I couldn’t give you a plot synopsis to save my life. It’s always a challenge trying to decide whether to go back and read books I know I enjoyed (and have in large part forgotten) or to press on to read the zillion good books that are out there that I haven’t read yet. =/

  8. I remember really liking The Three Musketeers, but I can’t remember hardly a single detail about the book. Except that there were musketeers. And there were three of them.

    How about rereading books you really liked when you were younger and realizing that they are no longer to your tastes? I reread Around the World in 80 Days and it just was a lot more boring than I remember it being.

  9. Deslily, It’s funny that it sounds like we had the exact same experience between me with Boy’s Life and you with the Belgariad…forgetting most of it, but remembering exactly when we last read it. Although I wasn’t getting a divorce…At least I hope I wasn’t at 16 years old :/

    Stephanie, Glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t remember anything about it! I guess it’s inevitable that our brains can only hold things for so long huh?

    CJ, The Lady gave me a little spark and then it totally just went out 😦 I’ll just have to read it! I recall this book off and on every couple of years, but I’ve noticed quite a few people reading it lately for some reason…don’t know why. I guess that’s why it’s been fresh in my mind and then your mention of it really made me think about it. Yeah I was 11 in 1992, lol…born in 81!

    Debi, I’ve never read Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret. My sister used to like that book though and to get her to read a book is no small feat! So it must be good! You really should check out Boy’s Life. I can’t tell you what it’s about, but I promise that it’s good :p LOL!

    Megan, I’m so glad that I did this post! I was beginning to think that I had early onset Alzheimer’s. I guess that these things just fall away with time, but it’s a testament to how good these books are that they remain favorites even though we can’t remember them!

    Kim, So is that what The Three Musketeers is about? :p I’ve definitely reread some books that I thought were wonderful when I was a kid and found them to be dreadfully boring as an adult. I guess some books just lose their charm as an adult which is really kind of sad when you think about it…

  10. I . . . uh . . . I don’t remember. I’m sure that’s happened to me, but I’ve spent so much time rereading and collecting books I loved as a kid that now I’m into the “missing title” books. There was one time-travel book I loved — all I remember is the little time contraption had dials and the fellow jumped into the Ice Age, at one point. No idea what it’s called or who wrote it, but it was great. And, the story of a school full of children in WWII who became refugees (led by their teacher) when the Germans bombed their town . . . so they walked and walked and walked. Again, no idea — I just know it was fiction. Really helpful. Not.

  11. Bookfool, Aw…now that’s sad 😦 That’s happened to me before too. That just really sucks when you forget the title of a book because then it seems like it’s gone forever. But you never know…someone may recognize it and tell you what it is! I wish I could help 😦

  12. Hey, Chris! Tag – you’re it.

    C’mon on over and give the non-fiction meme a go.

    cjh

  13. Uhm… I have to think about this one. My favorite works of art — works of art– tend to become memorized accidentally. Favorites are Hamlet, The Bible, and tend to be memoirs, bios, and tons of poems especially the War Poets. I think that’s really how I came to my love of reading…not through books but through poetry and short stories…but especially poetry. I remember being kinda taken over by the tell-tale-heart…because the narrative had so much persona…which is why i like poetry. Now you really have me wondering what was the first book I ever read….and if it’s a favorite. Dang! I don’t really remember what it is I’ve forgotten. -C

  14. Carole, I LOVE the Tell Tale heart…it’s one of my favorites! The first book I ever read…I have no idea myself! I wonder how many people actually remember what that was…

  15. oh yeah, i know what you’re talking about!

    i recently experienced this when i put my books onto librarything and rating them. i’d find myself with a book and think to myself, “i’ve always liked this… but why? i can’t quite remember anymore? what happens?”.

    i can’t think of too many books in particular now, but i remember feeling this way with the narnia books, which i enjoyed a lot as a child. but for the life of me, except for the first one, i can’t remember a plot from any of the others. i have quite a number of images and snippets in my mind, but i couldn’t say which ones they came from…

    oh yes, the same thing happened with tintin and asterix. my mom had a big collection and i knew that i’d read them, but i couldn’t remember any of the stories (i could remember the premise of some of the obvious ones, of course, ie. that asterix goes to switzerland in “asterix in switzerland”…) but i couldn’t remember a single detail about a particular book. just little tiny memories dotted about in my mind…

  16. JP, It sounds like if you can’t remember the books, you at least have some great memories of reading them! I’m the exact same way with the Narnia books…I can’t remember any of them either :/ I can’t even remember anything other than the very basics from the first book and I must have read that one at least 7 or 8 times! It’s just been a long time. Glad to hear you’re going onto Librarything!!! Yay!!!!

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