Friday, March 11, 2011

Diary Days

I wanted to return every so often to reflection on my old diary writing days, since that's where the title of my blog came from. In one of my journals, I found a reading list from my early teen years. Through the wonders of, I wanted to  look back on some of the books I read then.

I mainly used the public library as my source, and frequently the bookmobile. Maybe lack of variety can explain some of the selections:

  • I was heavily into Nancy Drew books and a series called Sweet Dreams, which I'm guessing correlates to something like Harlequin Teen these days. They must have been true easy reads because I was burning through a couple books a day at some points (according to the helpful chart in my diary. I was years ahead of Goodreads!) Other series I read were Babysitters Club and some Sweet Valley High, which I distinctly remember reading due to lack of options and never really cared for them.
  • Sunset Island by Cherie Bennett  - OK, looking at this cover, I REMEMBER it. I recall zero details about the book, but I think the cover says it all anyway: bright colors, seashells, hot dogs, shirtless guys. Classic literary work, here. It looks like I read several in the series.
  • Spellbound by Christopher Pike - A bit formulaic, but edgy for me at the time. I read several of his other books, including Remember Me.
  • A series called River Heights - This cover looks vaguely familiar, and painfully dated. It's the same author as Nancy Drew, so you can see my loyalty.
  • The Babysitter by R.L. Stine - Lighter than Christopher Pike, but the same horror/mystery deal. 
  • Jilly's Ghost by Dian Regan - I remember loving this book despite knowing it was not that great. Considering my taste in books at the time, credit for branching off into supernatural subjects.
  • Call of the Wild by Jack London - at least school was making me read something worthwhile. I also read Ann of Green Gables and Little Women around this time. 
  • Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Patterson - also for school (thank you, school!)
  • House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton - I definitely don't recognize the cover art, it's a later edition, but I remember liking the story and being fascinated by the underground railroad.
What were some of your favorite series and books from pre-teen to early teen years? One thing is certain from looking over my list, kids have better options in fiction these days. So much better that even adults are reading YA books. I can't imagine any childless adult reading the Sunset series unless they were dared to.


  1. I love Sweet Valley High! LOVED them, I read every single one! ahaha. There is one in particular I have been wanting to read again, but I cant remember the name. I think I am going to have to become a detective and google key words.

    You know, with all the free time I have! haha!

  2. Photo Freak: the header on your blog is so pretty. I love it!

    I have a soft spot for guilty pleasure things like Sweet Valley High. I knew those books were not good when I read them, but they're like cheap candy, and I devoured them. Awhile back I read online in that Diablo Cody ("Juno" writer) was working on a script for a Sweet Valley High movie. If this is still in the works I am ALL FOR IT. A recent search didn't come up with much though, so maybe it's scrapped.

  3. The Hardy Boys (original series and later Casefiles series); the McGurk mysteries; various series by British author Enid Blyton (the Secret Seven, the Famous Five, etc.)

  4. Jeff, those already sound better than some of my picks. I think I read a Hardy Boys mystery at some point, but I was definitely on the side of Nancy Drew.


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