Blast from the Past, aka "Books I Fell in Love With, Way Back in the Time of Dinosaurs":
Jiggers by Joy Muchmore Lacey is the first book I remember falling in love with, the story of a cute little puppy who goes missing. I remember the puppy bounding happily through the snow and into the little girl's arms at the end. I thought that little girl looked a lot like me (substitute bright blonde hair for the reddish-blonde) at the time. 1963 is the date of publication. Wow, that was a long time ago. My original copy probably went into one of my mother's infamous bi-annual garage sales, but Huzzybuns bought me a copy off eBay, a few years ago. He got something on the order of 50,000 brownie points for buying that little gem. It's still in the plastic bag. It's so special I haven't yet touched it, apart from a single reading when it arrived.
In The Trouble with Jenny's Ear by Oliver Butterworth, young Jenny develops the ability to overhear the thoughts of people around her. I don't actually remember this book as well as I used to, but I happened across a copy of it in the library sale, a couple years ago, and snapped it up. I remember thinking it was funny and trying to will myself to hear the thoughts of the people around me (#fail). I'm almost positive I checked the book out from my library more than once, but other than that . . . . I really don't remember much. It seems like Jenny is due for a reread.
Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
When I was in my early twenties, it occurred to me that it was about time I caught up on all the classics I'd missed out on reading because I chose to substitute other courses in high school and college for the typical lit courses (Journalism, Writing About Film and The Geography of Music . . . all were valid substitutes for English Lit, which I'm pretty sure I feared). To that end, I went shopping at a small local store and found this "classic tale of romantic suspense". I recall sitting on the porch outside our apartment, practically inhaling the book while my eldest son was in kindergarten. Could. Not. Put. Down. Is it a true "classic" of literature? I'm not certain. But, Rebecca was most definitely an excellent starting point for leaping into the classics.
Désirée by Anne-Marie Selinko is a book I snitched off my mother's shelves when I was in junior high. Désirée is the story of Désirée Eugenie Clary, Napoleon's first love. I'm not certain, but I think Désirée may have been my first foray into historical fiction and I loved it so much that I eventually walked off with my mother's copy, bought three more copies and gave two to friends. My mother eventually said she didn't mind that I'd kept her copy. I assume that's because I read it repeatedly (had it not been read regularly by someone, it likely would have gone into one of the infamous bi-annual garage sales). Désirée is one of the most re-read books I own.
A few other books that encouraged my early love of reading (in no particular order):
The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (père)
Are You My Mother? by P. D. Eastman
Daddy Long-Legs by Jean Webster, Where Are the Children? by Mary Higgins-Clark, and A Separate Peace by John Knowles (all borrowed from my sister's shelf during our school years)
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett - Also due for a reread. I'm careful with my books, but I've nearly read my childhood copy of A Little Princess to tattered shreds.
My thanks to Book-a-rama Chris (whom I mentally call "Chris-a-rama") for drawing my attention to the Armchair BEA posts with her hilarious fantasy panel post, "I See Dead People".