Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Ten Books You Should Read Again Now That You're All Grown Up

Nothing standing out in the best seller list for you these days? Does the Hot & New section at the bookstore look kind of dull?

Then I suggest you step in your own Tardis and revisit your teen favorites from long—or in my case, long, long ago.

1. Forever by Judy Blume

Holy crap! A book with sex scenes. I remember being totally blown away by Michael and Kathy's relationship and was devastated with Kathy's choice. Now, of course I'm digging the ending like a grave yard worker on a double shift.

2. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Guy Montag's world scared the bee-Jesus out of me and was completely depressing. I recently discovered it makes a great companion to a pumpkin spice latte.

3. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

A perfectly creepy read ruined by homework questions like: Who was your favorite character and why? This time around I found reading without a looming book report was so much more enjoyable. For the record, my favorite character was Simon because he seemed like good boyfriend material. I didn't write that, but that's the truth.

4. The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank

This book felt mysterious and sacred when I read it as a teenager. But now that I have children, I wasn't surprised my focus went from Anne to her parents, especially her father who ends up being the only survivor. How he must have felt reading her words, knowing he'd never hear her voice again.

5. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Yes, we're all still a bunch of phonies. Poor Holden. I totally get him now.

6. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Plucky orphan + red hair + nemesis that grows into love interest = epic read

7. Nancy Drew by a bunch of writers who went by the name of Carolyn Keene

Any book from the original series. I can't say enough about a girl who wears white gloves and knows how to change a tire on her blue convertible. And don't forget the wonderful sweets by Hannah.

8. Stranger With My Face by Lois Duncan

Lois breaks all the rules for YA. Both parents are alive, the protagonist already has a great boyfriend and none of her friends are into 80's music or fashion designers. She creates tension the old fashioned way, by throwing the main character into a completely unnatural situation and watching her squirm. It's a psychological thriller at its best!

This is the cover I remember staying up late with too scared to sleep.

9. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

No explanation is needed. Just go read it again. Then watch the movie because of Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze.

10. The Mixed Up Files of Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

Two precocious runaways secretly living in the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Sign me up! Great book to read aloud to your kids, too.

What are some of your old time favorites?


Jane Lebak said...

Lord of the Flies is forever ruined for me because we had to read it three times in my school career. I think it was something like fifth grade, eighth grade and tenth grade. (They did the same nonsense with The Pearl, and I don't think you could pay me to read that book again either.)

Two books to re-read as an adult, though? Watership Down is amazing. I read it for the first time in fifth grade and I've revisited it periodically ever since. My husband is currently reading it to our daughter, and she loves it too.

Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is also an amazing book and worth a periodic re-read. The whole extended backstory, the growth of the mother, the very clear stakes that only keep getting higher, and the fact that they don't ever say "This book teaches you everything you need to know about bravery" and yet it does. Also interesting: it's a book written for children but written from an adult's point of view (Mrs. Frisby is a mother mouse) and probably wouldn't get published today because no one wants animal stories and naturally children would never read a book from an adult's point of view. I'm glad no one knew that back then. :-)

Connie Keller said...

I loved Fahrenheit 451. Some others of my favorites are/were The Chosen and just about anything by PG Wodehouse.

Ally Hayes said...

My book club read Forever a couple of years ago! My 8th grade daughter has to read The Outsiders next month and I'm ridiculously excited for her and actually jealous that she'll be meeting Ponyboy and the gang for the first time. Of course, I'll have to read it too...and watch the movie, again and again. Great post!

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