Damage Control

I call this bibliographic essay "Damage Control" because I don't know what kind of psychopath I could have grown up into without books. My childhood was not usually actively bad, not most of the time, but it tended toward lonely and boring for various, mostly inevitable reasons. And then occasionally it did get actively bad. I read a lot, and was happy to somewhere find an identity as a bookworm.

Actually making a list and putting it up was inspired by Meng Weng Wong's Books That Made Me Meng. I liked the idea, though I don't know Meng personally, and I noted that I actually have several favorites in common with Meng (so parents, you'll know what those particular books can do!) And I liked this Amazon.com setup where anyone who clicks on the links here to buy the books listed earns me a small commission. I know I hate trying to track down books by the method of randomly trying every bookstore in the area. (NOT that I don't like spending time in bookstores, you understand -- I just like to spend my time looking through what they actually have rather than hoping there's something else.) You could probably find the out-of-print ones not in Amazon through ABEbooks (who I have no commission arrangement with).

in association with amazon.com

Early Stuff

I learned to read quite early, before I had turned five. This is not surprising -- I had no siblings and not much chance to hang out with other kids (to which my dad attributed my very grown-up vocabulary for a preschoooler). Plus my mom's a reading teacher and my dad was, at the time, a graduate student (and always an SF fan) -- how I could I not find reading inviting?

What do I remember?

Middle School

High School


I wouldn't even know what to list for college. My first time with access to more than a small branch library -- I had 6 floors of university library, plus borrowing privileges from my dormmates' collections. And some money to buy my own. Robert Anton Wilson? Anaïs Nin? Lois McMaster Bujold?

I wasn't grown up when I entered college, or even now. But that's just the help in growing up that I found without even looking for it, because I didn't know what to look for except an engrossing read.

I believe in damage control. That's why I put up this list of books that kinda worked for me, helped keep me from becoming the sort of people who visits her own abuse on other innocent victims, and that's also why I maintain this list of resources about abuse that are written for children. I hope someone else benefits from being handed a book the way I did.

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