26 November 2010

Thankfully Reading Weekend: Mini-Challenge #1

Jenn from Jenn's Bookshelves is hosting the first mini-challenge of the Thankfully Reading Weekend.

She asks us to

write a post about the book you are most thankful for. This could be a book released this year or twenty years ago. Your post should include why you are thankful for that book.

Here's one of many books I'm thankful for: Mrs. Mike by Benedict Freedman. It was first published in the 1940s, and I read it in the early 1960s when I was in third or fourth grade. I have never reread the book, but I still remember the story of the young Irish-American who married a Canadian Mounty and how they had to travel by sled and canoe to his posting in the wilderness.

The novel is based on the true story of Katherine Mary O'Fallon, and I remember admiring her spunk and determination as she ventured into the cold north with her new husband.

As I was tracking down a cover shot for the book and getting some publishing information this afternoon, I was amused to see that it is described as a romance and a love story. Frankly I don't have any recollection of that part. What I recall is the journey, the interactions between the cultures, and the fact that Mike, her husband, was all things Western to the Native Americans in his territory.

I also discovered that there were other Mrs. Mike books. Who knew? Maybe I'll reread the original and give the others a try.

Why am I grateful for this book? How many books are there that remain in your head for more than 40 years? I credit this book--as well as several others I read around the same time--with starting me on the road to historic fiction, adventure stories, and books with strong female characters.

Mrs. Mike at Powell's
Mrs. Mike at Book Depository
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Published by Berkley Publishing Group, 2002
ISBN-13: 9780425183236


Beth(bookaholicmom) 11/26/10, 2:27 PM  

I have a 2-in-1 book of Mrs. Mike and The Search For Joyful but it has not been read yet. I'll have to dig it out. It would be a good winter read.

Mary (Bookfan) 11/26/10, 2:38 PM  

I actually do remember reading Mrs. Mike (and really liking it) when I was young. I think a re-read may be in order :-)

Mandy (The Well-Read Wife) 11/26/10, 2:51 PM  

Isn't it funny how we remember books from when we were young? Every now and then I reread a book that I loved as a child and I am always amazed at how different it is from what I remember!

Nise' 11/26/10, 3:37 PM  

I love the why of choosing this book. I can relate to a book remaining a loved one for a long time too.

christina 11/26/10, 3:41 PM  

I cherish all my childhood memories of books. I only wish that I had a "blog" back then. Heh.

Jenn's Bookshelves 11/26/10, 5:23 PM  

It's funny that it's described as a romance & you don't remember that aspect. I'm still trying to think of the book that I'm most thankful for; there are so many to choose from!

Anonymous,  11/26/10, 5:59 PM  

Oh wow, I never head of this one. Another for my TBR mountain! LOL Thanks for visiting me today and good luck this weekend.

Pam Pho 11/26/10, 9:04 PM  

I have never even heard of this title! That must be remedied.

Kirsten G 11/26/10, 9:47 PM  

You make a point that I always bring up when defending banned/challenged books - what we're not prepared, as children, to process (romance, for example), we just *don't*. As adults, we read books with a very different set of eyes than we might have at 8, 10, 12 years old; there is no way to "un-know" the things that inform our reading now, but without our experiences, children have no point of reference. And that means they're absorbing the literature, but not being "corrupted" or negatively influenced. Muppet movies are a great example - I loved them as a kid for the silliness and the puppets and the action; now I love them for the wit and clever humor and mild innuendo.

Literate Housewife 11/26/10, 9:48 PM  

Yet another book I've not read. There are so many wonderful books. I'll have to keep this one in mind for my girls. They need all the strong female characters they can find. Thanks for the post!

alisonwonderland 11/26/10, 10:03 PM  

How many books are there that remain in your head for more than 40 years?

That's a perfect reason to be thankful for a book!

Jen Forbus 11/27/10, 12:00 AM  

I'd not heard of this book before Candace. It sounds intriguing. And I know what you mean about the books that stay with you. I was always a voracious reader, so I know I read tons of books growing up but there are certain ones that I remember vividly and others that I probably would never remember I read. Those ones that stay with you are the greats!!

Carrie K. 11/27/10, 12:06 AM  

I read this a long time ago - in high school, I think - and I remember enjoying it, but not as much detail as you posted. I need to pick it up again!

Corina 11/27/10, 12:15 AM  

I'm not familiar with this series of books but the name Mrs. Mike rings a bell. Not sure if I ever read one of them or just heard of them.

In any case, you're right about it being important if you remember it 40 years later.

Margot 11/27/10, 1:26 AM  

I think it's wonderful that this book has stayed in your memory all these years. One book at a pivotal moment in a young life can create a lifelong bookworm. Isn't it great?

Pam 11/27/10, 4:43 AM  

The title and series are new to me but look wonderful. I like to see books that have staying power.

JoAnn 11/27/10, 9:24 AM  

Mrs. Mike was one of my childhood favorites! Thanks for reminding me of this wonderful book.

Unknown 11/27/10, 10:07 AM  

Oh my goodness, I have never heard of this book! I'm eager to go see what I'm missing. Thank you!

Dorte H 11/27/10, 10:09 AM  

It must have been a wonderful book for you to remember it so vividly. One of the books that has made a lasting impression on my daughters and me is "To Kill a Mockingbird." Though Scout is young, she is certainly also a strong, female character, and that book is also one that can be read and enjoyed by children as well as adults.

Jenna 11/27/10, 11:04 AM  

I have never heard of these, but since it left such an impression on you, I feel as if I need to pick it up or I am missing out!

iubookgirl 11/27/10, 11:48 AM  

I've never even heard of this book. Amazing that it has stuck with you all these years!

Bitsy Bling Books 11/27/10, 3:18 PM  

It gives me shivers to hear how a book stuck with a young person.

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