#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

An Old Favorite

Today, when I wasn’t writing, I was listening to an old favorite book of mine, “The Girl of the Limberlost”, by Gene Stratton-Porter.  I first read this book when I was very young, and I loved it dearly.  When it came up on Audible, I downloaded it, and I’m enjoying the story as much as I did the first time.  It was first published around 1909, and some of the phrasing is old-fashioned, but I can’t help loving Elnora Comstock, the heroine.  The book opens as she is going off to high school, much against the wishes of her embittered and downright mean mother, and, of course, she’s wearing all the wrong clothes.  People make fun of her, but she’s determined to get an education, and she persists, gradually making friends, finding ways to overcome a series of obstacles.  I love books about strong folks who press on, no matter what.  Elnora impressed me, then and now, in the same way Nancy Drew did–here was a proactive young woman with a really good brain.  Wow.

Back in the day, there was no internet, and I had no notion of what the ‘Limberlost’ might be; probably because it reminded me a little of “Anne of Green Gables”, I thought it must be in Canada.  :)  Now, armed with Google, I ran a search, and set myself straight on this subject, if nothing else.  The Limberlost is a swampy area in Indiana; in Stratton-Porter’s time, and Elnora’s, it was much larger than it is now, sadly.  

I’m having such a good time with this book, I might just go back and read more old favorites: “Green Gables”, of course.  Anya Seton’s “Katherine”.  “Gone With the Wind.”  “Jane Eyre” and “Rebecca.”  I identified with all these heroines, except, perhaps, for Scarlet O’Hara.  Even as a young girl, I wondered what kind of knuckle-head would let a man like Rhett Butler get away.  Of course, Scarlet probably wasn’t meant to be a role model, more like a warning.  :)  What I did take away from this marvelous book was a lasting fascination with the Civil War.

What were your favorite books, growing up?  

46 comments to “An Old Favorite”

  1. Virginia Horton
      · February 9th, 2017 at 9:24 pm · Link

    I can’t really remember the books that I read growing up but the first romance book I read when I was about 12 or 13 and it was Gone With the Wind and that is what got me to reading romance. I have read the book several times and have a copy on my book shelf.

  2. Doris Brooks
      · February 9th, 2017 at 9:27 pm · Link

    Linda, I never tire of reading “Gone With The Wind.” I’m with you. Scarlet was crazy to let Rhett Butler, that handsome, sexy devil get away. He could eat crackers in my bed any night.
    Doris Brooks

  3. Marilyn Everhart
      · February 9th, 2017 at 9:27 pm · Link

    Loved Caddie Woodlawn, all of Louisa May Alcott, the “Little House” series, boxcar children and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. How’s that for an eclectic mix?

    • Tammy Mercer
        · February 9th, 2017 at 10:27 pm · Link

      loved the boxcar children forgot all about them until now..I may have to seek them out just for fun!

  4. Juanita Rice
      · February 9th, 2017 at 9:29 pm · Link

    The Black Stallion… and now I’m really dated. ;)

    • Tammy Mercer
        · February 9th, 2017 at 10:28 pm · Link

      Black Stallion was great…I think I took it out of our school library a 100 times :lol:

      • Jane
          · February 10th, 2017 at 7:45 am · Link

        We had a really small library at school (small parochial school of 150 kids in 8 grades) – They had all the Walter Farley books – I think I read and re-read them until they fell apart.

  5. Alisa Boisclair
      · February 9th, 2017 at 9:33 pm · Link

    Loved this post, Linda.

    Some of my favorites from my younger days, that left lasting impression include: Nancy Drew, John Jakes’ Bastard series and Louis L’Amour’s Sackett series. Oh and Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

  6. Susan Lee
      · February 9th, 2017 at 9:58 pm · Link

    I loved the Girl of the Limberlost as well. All the Anne of Green Gables books I have practically memorised. that author wrote a book called the Blue Castles which is my favorite of hers atert the anne books. I loved Heidi and PollyAnna . I also read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and a similar set of books about a nurse named Cherry Ames. I even dipped into Science fiction and the novels of Robert Silverberg. I read constantly usually taking about ten books a week out of the public library, I devoured all the romances I could find after about age 12 and today they are still my favorites.

  7. Sue McCormick
      · February 9th, 2017 at 10:08 pm · Link

    I, too, loved “Girl of the Limberlost”; I have an addition to it. A science fiction novel “Rogue Queen” by L. Sprague de Camp is about what happens to a civilization when The Girl of the Limberlost is accidentally let enter the lives of the people in this outworld civilization. The captain of the ship is scathing about the romanticism in Stratton-Porter; to his chagrin, it changes a world.

  8. Tammy Mercer
      · February 9th, 2017 at 10:26 pm · Link

    Girl of the Limberlost was a book my mother gave me as a girl. She had been given it as a young girl by one of her aunts. I loved reading it…my favourite young girls book was of course “Black Beauty”…that was the first book I every cried while reading and I think I was eight years old…also “Beautiful Joe”…I sobbed reading that book. I too loved Nancy Drew…what a great time to stroll down memory lane as we dig ourselves out from yet another snow storm up here in Canada on Vancouver Island :)

  9. Deborah Nelson
      · February 9th, 2017 at 10:27 pm · Link

    I must give Girl of the Limberlost a try

    I loved all the others you listed, plus the Trixie Belden mystery series.

  10. Katie
      · February 9th, 2017 at 10:29 pm · Link

    I’m from an older generation. My very favorite book was Black Beauty.. Corney but made an impression on me. Haven’t put books down since. Now have a great e-reader but still purchase the latest ” Hard Back” books of my favorite authors to really enjoy reading. Katie M.!!

  11. Debbie Petrouske
      · February 9th, 2017 at 10:42 pm · Link

    I have always loved to read I loved Nancy Drew and the Brady Boys

  12. Leanna
      · February 9th, 2017 at 10:53 pm · Link

    Nancy Drew, Babysitters club, sweet valley high

  13. Gloria Herring
      · February 9th, 2017 at 10:54 pm · Link

    I had so many, but Heidi was a favorite. I had The Bobbsie Twins, one of them, and Told Under the Green Umbrella. I liked Fairy Tales and still do. I also had a Bible Story book that had a story for each day, but I couldn’t wait. Since I grew up and have access to more books, I’ve read so many that I can’t even remember some of them. Reading is the most legal fun a body can have. (No that I want to do anything illegal.)

  14. Ann Bartholomew
      · February 9th, 2017 at 11:05 pm · Link

    I remember reading Anne Emery books I got off the bookmobile. I also loved My Side of the Mountain, The Black Stallion, The Witch of Blackbird Pond as a young teacher. Reading aloud to my students was the best part of the day. The Cay and The Red Dog were class favorites. The list could go on and on!

  15. Dolores
      · February 9th, 2017 at 11:16 pm · Link

    Definitely Gone With The Wind and Nancy Drew. One summer I read every fiction book in the library from A to M.

  16. Sherry Wallace
      · February 9th, 2017 at 11:31 pm · Link

    I read all adventure books about animals! Since I never played w/dolls, only horses of all sizes & all makes, I didn’t get into the girl heroin books all other girls read. My favorite of all time was The Black Stallion, then came several sequels but always starring The Black Also loved The Call of the Wild & Silver Chief Dog of the North. As you can tell, I have an unconventional wild spirit & imagination! Wish I could write

  17. Pamela Mitschke
      · February 10th, 2017 at 12:07 am · Link

    My favourite books were Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys. But I also like the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder! I read all of them several times!:)

  18. Rita Crofoot
      · February 10th, 2017 at 12:49 am · Link

    I was so crazy about horses as a teenager and before that I just devoured all the horse booksm, and of course dogs too. Much younger I really loved the fairytales, scarier the better.

  19. Karen
      · February 10th, 2017 at 2:02 am · Link

    Growing up in the Netherlands
    One of my favorite series was “De Kameleon” the twin boys of the village blacksmit / garage owner got themselves a boat and painted it with leftovers hence it’s name chameleon. Living in Friesland (lots of dairy farms and lakes) they and their friends have al sorts of adventures and solving local mysteries
    When I got older I discovered Karl May’s books on Winnetou and Old Shatterhand

  20. Susan Craig
      · February 10th, 2017 at 6:47 am · Link

    My favorite was Persuasion by Jane Austen. My sisters and friends preferred Pride & Prejudice but I thought Darcy was too cold. I am a Captain Wentworth fan.

  21. Jane
      · February 10th, 2017 at 7:07 am · Link

    The Walter Farley books. Never had a horse but I loved the books.

    • Jane
        · February 10th, 2017 at 7:37 am · Link

      An additional note. For those of you who are financially challenged like I am, if you are interested in listening to older books, check out LibriVox (available through the internet archive) https://archive.org/details/librivoxaudio. They currently have over 10,000 titles, most if not all of them older titles. The books are read by volunteers so the quality is sometimes not at a professional level so if that bothers you, you would need to look elsewhere. But many of them are quite good and, as I said, if you can’t afford to subscribe to a service, this is an option for you.

  22. Ruby Norwood
      · February 10th, 2017 at 7:26 am · Link

    I will have to try and find the book “The Girl Of The Lumberlost” never heard of that one, and Lord I do love to read.

  23. Margy Manear
      · February 10th, 2017 at 7:45 am · Link

    When I was a teen, I had seen Gone With the Wind many times. I can remember reading the book,finally, and crying copiously. Books–movie,no comparison!!

  24. Melaine
      · February 10th, 2017 at 7:53 am · Link

    A few of my favorites mirror yours, “Ann of Green Gables”, “Jane Eyre”, “Pride and Prejudice”, and James Herriot’s books starting with, “All Creatures Great and Small”, to name a few.

  25. pat Dennis
      · February 10th, 2017 at 8:13 am · Link

    Being from Indiana, perhaps I need to read this book. Thanks for bring to my attention.

  26. Eugenia Riddick
      · February 10th, 2017 at 8:42 am · Link

    I loved very artistic books as a young child. I would have my mom purchase tracing paper so I could trace the pictures from my favorite scenes. It kept the story alive in my mind. I still remember the first book I borrowed from the school library in 4th grade. It was Blaze the Stallion. The best illustrations ever.

  27. Linda Beaudoin
      · February 10th, 2017 at 9:25 am · Link

    My favorite books growing up were Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Trixie Belden.

  28. Alison B.
      · February 10th, 2017 at 9:37 am · Link

    I loved the “Little House on the Prairie” series growing up. I also enjoy Laura Ingalls Wilder & Rose Wilder Lane’s writing after the series. I love the pioneer spirit!

  29. Lois Rotella
      · February 10th, 2017 at 9:38 am · Link

    I remember reading Gone with the Wind when I was about 15 or 16. My dad had the book when it was published back in 1936. I still have it. His sister gave it to him because he loved to read. I was lucky that both my parents loved to read. I inherited my love of reading from them. I might have to check out some old books I read a very long time ago.

  30. Laura Ann
      · February 10th, 2017 at 9:42 am · Link

    All of the Little House on the Prairie books and Charlotte’s Web. For years I wanted a pet pig like Wilbur. No one in my family understood why I would want a pet pig. But when Suzanne Sugarbaker on Designing Women got a pig named Noel, I knew I was not alone. LOL!

  31. Eriko
      · February 10th, 2017 at 11:20 am · Link

    Hahaha! i love how you described Scarlet! Knucklehaed! Hahaha! All your heroine’s are role models! Strong women!

  32. Chellie Campbell
      · February 10th, 2017 at 11:29 am · Link

    Thanks for reminding me of all those old books I read and loved as a child. Last year, at an old used-bookstore in Los Angeles, I found a reissue of “Katherine” by Anya Seton with a forward by Philippa Gregory (another favorite author). Bought it immediately and savored every moment of re-reading it. I shall have to revisit the others you mentioned, too, and add “Forever Amber” by Kathleen Winsor, and…ad infinitum. Have a wonderful (reading) weekend, everyone!

  33. Elma Lamoureux
      · February 10th, 2017 at 11:57 am · Link

    Actually I loved Girl of the Limberlost too, and it was hard for me to imagine what the Limberlost was, so I’m glad you explained it. Never thought to google it. Nancy Drew was a hero as well, and The Five Little Peppers and how they grew. Love your Mojo books , and of course, the Cowboys.

  34. Janet Hurt
      · February 10th, 2017 at 1:33 pm · Link

    And a good day to you! Yesterday I received the copy of “Always a Cowboy” I was awarded in your weekly contest. Thank you so much for the book…I started reading it last night and it is a page-turner for sure! I must say, as a kid growing up in Spokane Valley, I didn’t do much reading. Too many other things to do. We spent more time playing out side…til dark…unheard of this day and age! However, as a retired adult, still living in Spokane Valley, now I find so much enjoyment snuggled down with a good book. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your book…have nearly all of them in my collection. Thank you again…keep writing girl! Jan Hurt

  35. midge watkins
      · February 10th, 2017 at 1:35 pm · Link

    I was a Nancy Drew fan and always got them for my birthdays,
    as well as anything to do with horses that I could find. There
    was an author named Hinkle that wrote lots of horse books and
    I can’t find any now in the library. Also the young girls in the
    nursing profession books. I fell in love with Laura Ingalls when
    our 6th grade teacher read her books to us.

  36. Trudy Wilson
      · February 10th, 2017 at 2:07 pm · Link

    Growing up, I loved to read Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. I would read anything really. In lower grades, I loved the Courderoy and Madeline books. I just love to read!

  37. Doris M. Ellis
      · February 10th, 2017 at 4:15 pm · Link

    All of Laura Ingall Wilder books….

  38. Elaine Key
      · February 10th, 2017 at 7:21 pm · Link

    I remember when I was 7 years old, I went to the city library for the first time and checked out my first picture less book called, Pocahontas. I also read all of Louisa Mae Alcott’s books and the Black Stallion series. Another book I loved was about a girl named Betsy and her best friend having all kinds of adventures. I can’t remember the name of the book.

  39. Elaine Key
      · February 10th, 2017 at 7:25 pm · Link

    I remember when I was 7 years old, I went to the city library for the first time and checked out my first picture less book called, Pocahontas. I also read all of Louisa Mae Alcott’s books and the Black Stallion series. Another book I loved was about a girl named Betsy and her best friend having all kinds of adventures. I can’t remember the name of the book.

    I haven’t read Gone With The Wind although I have seen the movie many times. A friend told me the book was so much better. I may have to read it eventually.

  40. Jo Ann Holcomb
      · February 10th, 2017 at 8:54 pm · Link

    Didn’t do much reading as a child growing up. Only child so got to do the house cleaning & yard work plus helping my Dad at his garage Started that at age 10. Believe it was in my 30’s when my daughter got me started reading during lunch time at work. She was the reader. Michael Connelly & Stuart Woods, mystery, & it grew from there. Now there is more then you can name. Yours, of course, included. the best, Jo Ann

  41. Christina
      · February 12th, 2017 at 12:40 am · Link

    Heidi which my Mom would read to me in the summer and James and the Giant Peach which I’ve read dozens of times. Both make me miss my Momma but happy that she gifted me with a love of reading.

  42. Betsy
      · February 21st, 2017 at 5:42 pm · Link

    Trixie Belden mysteries, read them over and over.

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