Back in the Day

My life has been very adult lately. Don't misunderstand- "adult" as in "full of issues that come with age," not "adult" as in "I'm trying to be the next Jenna Jameson." There are plenty of great things about being all grown up, but there are a lot of things about it that suck balls. I know, classy. I can't help it- I'm not eating processed sugar in any quantities higher than 3 grams per serving, which cuts out half of my normal daily calories, so yea, I get to say "suck balls."

What makes the mention of ball sucking even more inappropriate is the fact that this post is all about what I read and loved in my pre-pubescent years. Don't worry, there was nothing involving balls in the literature I read as a kid- that didn't come until I was at least in eighth grade (in books, not real life).

When I was younger I didn't really discriminate, I devoured (books, not balls, people, focus). These days I much prefer quality over quantity, but as I fell in love with reading I played the field quite a
bit. A sampling from my 3rd-8th grade years:

The Babysitter's Club by Ann M. Martin
Oh, de
ar lord, I loved BSC from about ages seven til ten. I think at one point I had every book and even a few of the movies. Every time we went to Wal Mart or the mall I scoured the book racks for ones I didn't have so that I could use my allowance money for new ones. I did quite a bit of babysitting for my siblings and I was fascinated by the idea I could do it in the real world and make more than the $0.50 an hour my mom screwed me over with.

Sweet Valley High by Francine Pascal
The librarian at my K-8 school tried to shelter me from these for awhile, but I finally slipped one by when I was probably in fourth grade- I could not wait to read about the scandalous activities high school students Elizabeth and Jessica were involved in. My Mom, meanwhile wouldn't let me watch 90210, but said nothing about these books. I learned a lot.

The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney
I read this when I was in eighth grade, and while I thought it was a bit "easy," I was really interested in the idea of b
eing kidnapped and not knowing it. My sister looks quite different from me... and so does my brother! Maybe my parents stole us. You never know.

The Love C
omes Softly Series by Janete Oke
This on makes me laugh hysterically. So, this series of eight books belonged to my mom and I was extremely interested in reading them when I was probably ten or eleven because I just knew they had to be super adult. Eventually my mom caved in and I read through them all one summer. Little did I know then, they're a Christian series, all about doing it right by the Lord Jesus. Who'd of thought. Oh, and there was
definitely no sucking balls in these books. More like chaste cheek pecks. Hot. Steamy.

Carrie by Stephen King
My parents were so trusting. I literally just took this off my dad's bookshelf when I was in fifth grade and read it. I'm not a King fan at all now, nor was I then, but my curiosity got the best of me. Pig blood at prom? Tell me more!

Lurlene McDaniel Books

For those not familiar with Lurlene McDaniel, she wrote tons of young adult novels about teens
dying for various reasons like cancer and car accidents. What the hell? I guess because young, emotional girls like me ate that shit up. The Dawn Rochelle ones were my favorite (like Six Months to Live and No Time To Cry), about a girl who had leukemia. Cheerful.

I think I've tried to block the rest of them out of my mind. After this stage I entered high school and thanks to the IB program had good literature shoved down my throat for four solid years (we received a list of "good" books during our ninth grade year and I tried to stick to that through high school).

So was it just me? Anyone else read (hmm...what's a nice word for crap...) less than quality books in their youth?


  1. I read Lurlene McDaniel too. I kind of thought I was the only one.

  2. Don't forget R.L. Stine. First Goosebumps, then Fear Street. Loved those books!

  3. I LOVED all of those except for Sweet Valley High. Another of my favorite authors of the time was Norma Fox Mazer. And Richard Peck. I read Silver by Norma Fox Mazer about 1000 times. I loved depressing shit.

  4. You're cracking me up. This is great.

    I read all the SVH and BSC books when I was a kiddo. I even read the SWTwins before the high school ones.

    And the filching of Carrie from your dad's bookshelf at a precocious age? That's ok. I read The Exorcist at about that age.

  5. Very interesting answer-I think part of this is that doing something you love is almost always therapeutic-for us it maybe reading-for a painter it is painting etc-reading does give us worlds to go into-also when ever I am sad I can tell myself soon I will be reading a great work of literature-not something in truth everyone can do-sometimes simple things like sitting with my cats are the best therapy-