(This post contains affiliate links.)
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is asking all of us to name books from our pasts that we’d like to revisit! So here we go —
The Top 10 Books From My Childhood and Teen Years That I’d Like to Pick Up Again!
The Baby-Sitters Club, by Ann M. Martin – Because what preteen girl in the 90s wasn’t reading these books?! They’re clean (no sex, drugs, or anything else that today’s YA is saturated with), relatable, and totally retro. I can’t speak from experience as I only have a son, but I imagine these books would be really fun to pass down to a daughter!
The Sweet Valley Saga, by Francine Pascal – These two books make up some of the first historical fiction I ever read. The fact that I was already so familiar with Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield through the Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Valley High books made me want to know more about their family and where they came from. Anyone with an interest in fictional genealogy should seriously read these two — I still have my original copies on my bookshelf today! (Though I do need to pick up copies of The Fowlers of Sweet Valley and The Patmans of Sweet Valley. Oh, Hubs….)
The Silver Blades series, by Melissa Lowell – This little series was published back in the mid-90s when figure skating was at the height of its popularity, and the Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan scandal was rocking the sports world. Though it was too late for me to start training to become the next Kristi Yamaguchi by then, I could still imagine living the Olympic dream through Nikki, Danielle, Tori, and Jill, the four young protagonists of these books.
Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse – I crossed paths with Siddhartha not by personal choice, but through a class assignment in eighth grade. I remember thinking that I’d be really bored by the book when I started reading, but it affected me profoundly and I was sad to let it go when I finished with it. It’d be interesting to see if it could still affect me as deeply twenty years later!
The Immortal, by Christopher Pike – Even in middle school, I was always a fan of ancient mythology. In seventh grade, when my classmates and I were required to study French, Spanish, and Latin for a marking period each, I found myself excelling at and really interested in Latin. One of my favorite assignments involved translating a Greek myth into English, so naturally I was thrilled to read a new, kind of scary take on gods and goddesses when The Immortal was published that summer. Ancient history though it may be, I still have my copy of this book on my shelf as well!
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, by Alvin Schwartz – I’ve never been a fan of horror movies and the covers on these books have always creeped me out, but reading Scary Stories was a rite of passage when I was growing up. Though not everyone enjoyed them, everyone read them; this trilogy is one of the few “horror” series I’ve actually had fun reading. It might be fun to reexamine them, especially once Joshua is old enough to read them.
And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie – My first real mystery! And Then There Were None will always hold a place dear to my heart, and to my bookshelf. This book was the gateway to my love affair with mysteries, particularly with Mary Higgins Clark. It may be a very old book, but it remains among my favorites…and I think it’d be really fun to go back and reread it all these years later.
Sarah, Plain and Tall, by Patricia MacLachlan – Another book I read for school, and more historical fiction. The element of the novel that really stuck out for me when I first read it, and remains with me all these years later, is that of Sarah’s colored pencils, which she brings home from a visit to town to draw pictures of her former home for her new children. I hope Joshua gets to read this book when he’s in school; even if it’s not assigned, I’ll give him a copy anyway.
My Brother Sam is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier – Even more historical fiction! And this time it fed my interest in the American Revolution, which makes it even more important in my mind. My Brother Sam is Dead is a classic, and I see copies of it in the gift shop every time Hubs and I visit Historic Williamsburg in Virginia. Not only is it a great story of family and life during war, but it’s also a great teaching tool. Another book I have on my shelf that’ll be making its way into Joshua’s hands when he’s old enough!
Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice – This book is by no means a children’s or YA book, but it found its way into my hands at the tender age of 13, so it works for this particular list. This is the book that hands-down forever changed the way I read, and it’s why I saved it for last — not to mention that every other book on this list crossed my path before Interview did. This was the book that introduced me to the world of full-grown literature; I discovered just how descriptive a book could be, and how important it is for characters to really drive a plot. I developed a deep appreciation for vampire literature and for Anne Rice after reading this book, and it will forever be among my favorites. That being said, it’s been a long time since my last reading…so maybe I’ll make a point of picking it up again sometime soon.
So, have I listed anything that made you think, “OMG I LOVED THAT BOOK!!” or “Eww, what the hell was she thinking putting that on the list?!” Share your thoughts and what titles you’d add in the comments!