30 Day Book Challenge: Day 25

I realize I’m kind of cheating on this one.  I’d considered several different options, and the majority of them ended up in the “semi” category instead of FULL ON like I’m sure the creator of this challenge intended.  “Screw you,” I say, “it’s my blog, I do what I want.”

So, instead of choosing PKD’s VALIS cycle (which I was so close to writing about, but I figure I’ve already declared my love for his work over and over, one more time might be just a bit too much), or a crappy band biography (which, really, those are primarily what I read when I read non-fiction DON’T JUDGE ME), and since I ALREADY wrote about something similar to this back on Day Five I’m going completely off the rails here.

Favourite Biography/Autobiography

I’m going to say that I started reading these books in second or third grade.  At that point in time, the concept of SEMI-autobiographical was probably beyond me.

I took the stories contained in this book (and it’s successors) to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help him, Bob.

I mean, I realize that isn’t the case now, but it was fun to think so when I was a kid.

If you haven’t read the Great Brain books (illustrated by the great Mercer Mayer, COME ON!), lemme break ‘em down for you.

The stories primarily follow JD and his brother Thomas (Thomas being the Great Brain the title refers to) in a tiny Utah town in the late 19th century.  Since it’s Utah, of course there are Mormons, but it’s not prejudicial in any way, it’s more “Hey, yes, my mom was before she married my dad, and they don’t drink coffee or alcohol…” but not in a judgey way.  It’s just the way SOME PEOPLE ARE.  Which I think is a pretty good stance to have on religion in general, you know?

Anyway, Thomas is a total con-artist.  He’s pretty much able to talk himself into anything or out of any situation.  There are FIST FIGHTS and…I don’t know, other stuff that 7/8 year old sj thought was totally awesome.

Also, these kids didn’t get spanked when they were bad (although they wished they did), they received the Silent Treatment from their parents for however long their actions deserved.

Whaaaaa?  Man, I wonder if I can bring that back?

  • It would drive my kids crazy.
  • It would be nice to not have to yell for once.
  • Nothing else seems to work, so maybe I’ll give it a shot?

No, but really.  These books were a lot of fun, and like I said – I THOUGHT they were all true when I was growing up, so surely that counts, right?

Have you read these books?  What would your answer have been?

8 thoughts on “30 Day Book Challenge: Day 25

  1. Hmm. I’m not much of a biography/autobiography person, honestly. I don’t know that I could have picked one. I think I would have picked King’s “On Writing.” Is that cheating? It’s kind of autobiographical?

  2. I vaguely remember reading this. I think I remember something about how when one of the boys gets sick, the mom makes him give his germs to his brothers so they can all get the illness over with. So the youngest boy got tired of never being the one to get his brothers sick?

    “It’s just the way SOME PEOPLE ARE. Which I think is a pretty good stance to have on religion in general, you know?”

    Yes, and I agree!

  3. Somehow I’ve missed that you’ve been doing this til now (read: I’ve had my head up my ass coming up with Halloween songs for my own blog). But I love The Great Brain! I was only ever able to get hands on one or maybe two of these as a kid, but I loved the con artist angle. Quite a change from the wholesomeness of the Hardy Boys and Three Investigators.

    As for my favorite biography… Does Sarah Vowell’s Assassination Vacation count?

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