Books I Love
By Donna Hatch
Some of my earliest memories are of my mother sitting by my bed every night reading aloud to me. She read fairy tales, poems (one of my favorites was the Highwayman), fables, and children’s books. Her voice painted images of adventure, romance, a hint of magic, and even tragedy—all with larger-than-life characters. Since so many of those stories were generations old with a strong historical feel, my love for history and historical stories grew alongside my overall love of literature.
When I could read independently, I devoured historical novels such as the Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House” books, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Secret Garden and A Little Princess. I also loved mystery. After blowing through the entire Nancy Drew series, I read several Hardy Boys books, and then Cherry Ames. Fantasy elements also captured my attention and I read books such as A Wrinkle in Time. I especially adored all the CS Lewis Narnia series–reading them multiple times.
As a teen, I gravitated more toward fantasy and science fiction, fed by J.R.R. Tolkien, David Eddings, Anne McCaffrey, Terry Brooks, Andre Norton, and Mary Stewart’s Arthurian Sagas— a beautiful balance of fantasy and history. But I couldn’t leave behind historical tales so I continued to read great works such as Little Women and Gone with the Wind, and the writings of Mark Twain and Jane Austen.
I still love science fiction and fantasy, as well as a good mystery now and then. However, I’ve come almost full circle and find myself yearning mostly for a good historical novel. Historical non-fiction fascinates me as well, partly to feed my hunger for all things historical, as well as to research for whatever novel I’m writing or plotting. Still, when it’s time to relax and curl up with a good book, give me a good historical romance any time!