The books that made me by Karen McCombie

The books you read as a child help shape your personality, according to someone very clever on social media recently.

Well, here I am, in 11 books.


These are all the precious childhood favourites I’ve kept tight hold of, minus ‘Island of the Blue Dolphins’ by Scott O’Dell and ‘Down With Skool’ by Geoffrey Willams and Ronald Searle (must have got those out of my local library in Aberdeen).


‘The Strange Affair of Adelaide Harris’ by Leon Garfield is historical and funny… not a combination you come across too often! ‘Anne of Green Gables’ by L.M. Montgomery; a slice of sweet Americana.


I came to ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ by Joan Lindsay and ‘The Amazing Mr Blunden’ by Antonia Barber via their film versions.

Right, I’m leaving out these four AND all the others for immediate re-reading.

Anyone fancy showing me who they are, via their childhood faves?

Karen McCombie :c)


6 thoughts on “The books that made me by Karen McCombie

  1. What a great list. We had some of those exact editions, passed down over the years from my three older sisters. very battered and torn now.
    Do you think those old illustrations had an impact too…?I had a Charlie and the Chocolate factory illustrated by Faith Jacques and although I love Quentin Blake’s illustrations, they’re more about the ‘zany-ness’ of the story while Jacques illustrations (for me) showed the horror of a family actually starving to death; they really added to the text. I’m sad books for MG+ are so rarely illustrated now, I think children miss out.

      • I’m not sure what the thinking is about illustrations in MG books; why are they so out of fashion? Expense? Maybe ‘A monster Calls’ will change that! My Pippi books were illustrated by Richard Kennedy ( he wrote/illus. ‘Boy at the Hogarth Press’) the covers were by Ambrus- two dazzling draughtsmen and so complementary. My Mum told me people like Ardizzone used to illustrate the Radio Times! I wish they’d use illustrators again.

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