Favorite Books


Books of my youth

It is obvious that anyone who writes a text about books for teenagers risks plunging into nostalgia presenting only personal interest for the author at best, and in the worse scenario, the author will start whining on the Our Time was Better than Yours subject. However, recommendations about books for those who are younger should be exactly like this. There are several books which, having nearly formed my personality, definitely influenced my coming of age, and I should first of all recommend those books.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas and The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne showed to me what adventure novels should be like. The Flying Classroom by Erich Kästner and The Talking Parcel by Gerald Darrell served as portals to the other worlds. Giants Island by Arnold Neggo and Blue Flamingo’s Children by Vladislav Krapivin offered me to think how I would behave having found myself in such a difficult situation as the books’ characters, my peers. I consider The Fur School by Edward Uspensky and Neznaika on the Moon by Nikolay Nosov to be the best Soviet-time books for children. Of course, I read and liked The Bronze Bird by Anatoly Rybakov, Three Fat Men by Yury Olesha, Old Khottabych by Lazar Lagin, and The Blue Arrow by Gianni Rodari, so significant for many generations. Yet, each person has his or her dear list of books in which there are many unknown books.

Why should those who are now from 16 to 25 read the books from my favorite books list? (All the more so as I read them earlier). Not because no one has written better books ever since then. Yet, I will be awfully upset if modern authors, having an equal right to exist in literature, will oust Verne, Darrell and Krapivin from the outlook of the modern Russian teenager. I am sure I would have been a different man, has I not read the books by Kästner and Neggo. Interesting books which have changed the life of at least one person — this is a recommendation in the style of an Internet headline; and yet, it works.
© Kirill Loginov

Kirill Loginov


Head of the information center for atomic energy in Novosibirsk

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