« Character Building: A Novel Approach | Main | Moving on »

May 28, 2018


Liz Milliron

I did not read Love Story - but it was a bit before my time. And I was too young to really appreciate the movie with Ali MacGraw.

But Ramona, what a hilarious story. Of course she read it, I can see it!

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Oh, Liz, SO funny! And of course--because she would not have been able to know what to say unless she'd read it! I still love how Ramona's mind worked...and works!

Storyteller Mary

I'm not sure I ever read LOVE STORY (so now I have to). I referred to GONE WITH THE WIND as a guilty pleasure in my book group, to loud protests of "It's a GREAT book" -- but Scarlett is a terrible role model and the portrayal of enslaved persons is just so WRONG. Still, it caught my heart at the time. I hid copies of James Bond novels, EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX, and PEYTON PLACE (and a witty classmate covered another book with a fake PEYTON PLACE cover just for fun). Teaching at Bishop Hogan High School, I was surprised to hear the nuns talking about THORN BIRDS ("don't tell the bishop") -- and years later, as retired nuns were nodding off during our sweet storytelling program, I asked, "Would you like something a bit edgier?" Full attention and murmured comments of approval for "Sheherazade." <3
I also got in trouble for reading in math class, nothing sensational, possibly our reading book -- I'd heard the math lesson the first time and didn't need the 12 repetitions afterward. Only two years of Catholic school and dancing in the driveway with my neighbor when my parents said I could go to Ritenour Jr. High for 7th grade. ;-) Eagerly awaiting INTO THE WOODS!

Ramona DeFelice Long

Liz, it's dated now, but such a big deal at the time. I like to think Sister Agatha kept it hidden in the back of her beside table drawer.

Edith Maxwell

What a fabulous story, Ramona, and funny - of course we expect no less from you! I am a big fan of Bridges of Madison County for the same reasons. Once I was eagerly studying Masters and Johnson Explained (or something like that) in my town's public library. I was already 19 but didn't know a THING about sex -and was eager to learn. Then my FATHER walked in and that book went behind my Econ text faster than green grass through a goose.

Sandra Carey Cody

Great story! The Ramona we all know and love was already starting to emerge.


I've never read the book or watched the movie. It was popular before my time, and I really have no desire to read tear jerkers. And yet, I read murder mysteries. Fortunately, most of the dead people are horrible people, so I don't want to start crying when they turn up dead.

Thanks for sharing the funny story, however.

Margaret Turkevich

Valley of the Dolls, The Godfather, and Love Story. We used to smuggle copies into school and devour them at lunchtime.

My mother confiscated Valley of the Dolls and read it first, just to check it out. She had to ask Dad what all the dirty words meant.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Oh, right right right! Valley of the DOLLS. And how about..what was it called? The Sidney Sheldon book.

Ramona DeFelice Long

Mary, I loved Peyton Place--book, movie, TV show but both GWTW and Thorn Birds are problematic to me. However, they are much beloved, and that's the point of Great American Read: stories you love.

Ramona DeFelice Long

Edith, I also enjoyed Bridges of Madison County. At the time, there were few love stories about people at midlife, so the popularity is understandable. As for Masters & Johnson, never read it, but I had two children, so I guess I figured it all out!

Ramona DeFelice Long

Sandra, I was a good girl in 6th grade, but I was bitten by the mystery novel bug in addition to the romance novel bug. I saw clues and lovers everywhere!

Ramona DeFelice Long

Mark, I am a happy person in real life but you'd never know if from my favorite reads. The same can be said for mystery lovers--most are wonderful, peaceful, law-abiding, non-violent types, but they sure do enjoy dead bodies!

Ramona DeFelice Long

Margaret, that is hilarious! I don't think I've read Valley of the Dolls. Now I must. I'm pretty sure I will know what all the naughty words mean.

The Godfather is a great novel. I use a character sketch of Michael Corleone in many of my writing classes. He has a pure character arc.

Ramona DeFelice Long

Hank, The Other Side of Midnight?

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Yes, yes, I LOVED that! I might go back and see why.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Well, The Godfather is a classic. Agreed!

( could not read Bridges. NO how, no way. Or see the movie. I just couldn't. Because I don't like to cry.)

Ramona DeFelice Long

I love to cry! I am a huge fan of tragedies--as you can tell from this post.

Margaret Turkevich

I just read the plot synopsis of The Other Side of Midnight. The courtroom scene. The execution. It gave me nightmares for months.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

I remember it being upsetting and haunting--I just can't remember why..

Ruth M McCarty

My husband’s aunt was a nun who loved reading Mary Higgins Clark. For her 80th birthday I stood in line to get her an autographed copy of Mary’s latest. Sister Mary Michael loved the book and loaned it one morning to a nun in her nineties. When the nun didn’t come down to dinner that night, everyone was worried. They found her reading in bed, with only one chapter to go! I told Mary Higgins Clark this story. She loved it!

Kathy Reel

So funny imagining the nun reading the book to the other nuns. You had me chuckling good over that, Ramona. I do remember reading the book and seeing the movie and loving both. It and The Way We Were are my two sappy romantic favorites from my youth. Valley of the Dolls, book and movie, was my hide-from-my-mother book before reading the two tamer books.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

THAt is a life-changingly wonderful story, Ruth! LOVE that! (and how thoughtful of you!)

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Oh, Kathy, The Way We Were! That was a very complicated movie for me. Hmmm.

SO funny that we all sneaked Valley! Love it.

Ramona DeFelice Long

Ruth, I love that story, and of course you had to tell Mary Higgins Clark! That should go into one of your own stories someday.

Ramona DeFelice Long

Oh, Katie and Hubble--was there ever a more beautiful, star-crossed couple? I don't think I ever hid books from my mother, Kathy. Hmmm....

Karen in Ohio

Love Story and Jonathan Livingston Seagull were popular at the same time. Both complete schlock, as far as literature is concerned, but also both fun to read.

My mother hid Valley of the Dolls and Candy in her underwear drawer, where I had to make sure I put them back when I snuck in another chapter. The other big, fat book I read around that time was The Carpetbaggers. Whoa, that was an eye-opener.

Mary Gatto

Loved your story Ramona. I am sure the nuns enjoyed "Love Story" as well. My hidden forbidden novel was Peyton Place. Sad to admit I was of an age that I didn't need permission to read it but I had a sufficient amount of Catholic guilt that I convinced myself I was doing something terribly sinful.

The comments to this entry are closed.