Walking Down Memory Lane

As readers, it’s fun to re-visit or at least ponder the books we read when we were younger. I know my reading tastes have changed quite a bit but I thought it would be fun to share some of the books I read when I was younger. Kay’s post from the other day reminded me just how fun those reading years were so be sure to check out her post as well.

These books are in no particular order:

Nancy Drew

I read every single Nancy Drew book in the series and then moved on to the Hardy Boys. Girl detective, a mystery to solve, a handsome boyfriend. I was all over these books.

Sweet Valley High

Sweet Valley High was a favorite. There were several books in the series, all of them good. Twins, in high school. Two totally different personalities. Fun stuff.

Flowers in the Attic
Flowers in the Attic. A family is forced to live in the attic of their wealthy grandparents’ home after their father is killed in a car accident. It’s a bizarre story and there were at least four other books in the series. Talk about dysfunction!

The Outsiders

The Outsiders. I still love this book. Ponyboy, a Greaser, tries to figure it all out with his brothers as they deal with the aftermath of a fight which leaves a young man dead. I read this on my own, then in middle school we read it together as a class and then watched the movie. I handed it to my son at a time when he absolutely would not read a book and he loved it, too.

Harlequin Presents
Harlequin Presents. I am a little embarrassed to even say I read these but I could not get them into my hands fast enough. There was this bookstore inside the mall and my friends and I would head over with our pocket-money to spin that wire rack and take a new book home for the weekend. I was maybe eleven or twelve at the time. Oh la la! Actually, they were pretty tame.

Carrie and Stephen King, in general. I read many of his books when I was young. Carrie was just one of them. I also read many of his short story collections during this time. The library had several copies, always available so I never had any trouble getting a copy. Except for the librarian who took it upon herself to give me a lecture every time I checked one out. Apparently, a young girl should not fill her mind with such horrible things. Tsk. Tsk. I mean, look at me. I turned out okay, right?

What books do you remember from childhood or from your early teen years?

47 thoughts on “Walking Down Memory Lane”

  1. I still have some of my favorite harlequin presents on my shelves!! Sometimes after a hard read i will pick one up to give my brain a break. And shame on that librarian!! I also still have my originial copy of the outsiders..i am 50 so its def. An older book:-)

      1. I am also a former Harlequin junkie! My mom & I would go to the used book store and I would buy them by the stack for pennies. I could read three of them in one day – that white cover with the circle cover photo brings back such memories!

        I was also a huge fan of Trixie Belden. Did you read any of those?

  2. I loved the Nancy Drew books and read as many as could get too. And also remember some of my favorites were by Beverly Cleary. I remember a book called The Luckiest Girl, and Jean and Johnny. Loved her books. Seems like there was a third one but I can’t remember the name! Just found it on Amazon. It was called Fifteen. Anyway, loved them. Another fun post to read this morning!

    1. Oh yes. Cleary was a fave author too. I also liked those Encyclopedia Brown books. And any book about camp like There’s a Bat in Bunk Five. 

  3. I grew up with Nancy Drew and loved them. My daughter (more your age) loved Nancy D as well along with Sweet Valley High and the V.C Andrews books.

  4. I read all those Nancy Drew books too, or should I say that I devoured them. However, my favorite book from childhood was Charlotte’s Web. My older son read it in school in the 3rd grade, but I had the pleasure of reading it out loud with my younger son. Of course, we both bawled when Charlotte died. We still talk about it to this day (he is 15 and a high school freshman now).

  5. I wish I had a better memory of books I read as a kid. I know I read Narnia and a few of the Nancy Drew but I’m not sure if I even attempted to read all of them. I know I devoured a ton of Agatha Christie.

  6. OMGD…love this post…I still have my cousins original Nancy Drew books! They didn’t want them! I loved those books! And…I loved the Hardy Boys, too…

    1. I have to tell you, I was sad to hear that the Nancy Drew books were written by many different people. I always thought it was just the one author. I didn’t find out that out until my daughter did a book report last year and the real author’s name was written on one of the title pages. 

  7. I read all of the books on your list except Stephen King’s books. I also read Sunfire romances that I ordered from the Scholastic book orders. the Harlequin romances were very tame – someone donated an entire box to the library that were there for people to take a few at a time. I had several from there. I wish I could come across one of those again.

    1. I really liked the variety that Harlequin offered. So many different scenarios. The desert, a cruise ship, your own back yard. My friends and I had fun collecting them and then swapping them. 

  8. Ti, I love your list. And thanks for the shout out to mine. I had such a good time coming up with it. And looking for those vintage covers.

    Oh, I remember when Flowers in the Attic came out and everyone was reading it. It was sort of a 50 Shades kind of thing in that it was “shocking”! And, of course, I read Nancy Drew and Stephen King. Yes, also the Harlequin whatevers – Presents and also the ones they came out with that were slightly racier – Blaze, Fire, something. I got my fill of them, but enjoyed them for quite a while.

    And don’t even get me started on the librarian and filling your mind with King writings. I’ve had too much of that from people in my life – why do you read those mysteries/crime books/murder stories? Why do you want to fill your mind with that. Sigh.

    1. Flowers in the Attic was so ahead of its time and so…scandalous. I loved that series.  I didn’t mention it here but I also fell into Johanna Lindsey books. Her books were classified asHistorical Fiction but to me, there were pure bodice rippers and not for my young eyesbut I had an older friend who tossed her used copies my way and there you have it. They hadcovers with guys who looked like Fabio. You know the ones I am talking about. 

        1. He probably was. Check this one out. Books and Reading |   | |   | |   |   |   |   |   | | Books and ReadingThe Magic of You – A Johanna Lindsey book cover in the Mallory family series | | | | View on http://www.pinterest.com | Preview by Yahoo | | | |   |


  9. Ti, I loved Sweet Valley High and Flowers in the Attic – talk about blast from the past! I was also hooked on Christopher Pike books and The Vampire Diaries books (before it was a show). I did read Stephen King, too – The Tommyknockers, The Stand, Misery, and Dolores Clairborne. I loved all of those books and sometimes think about re-reading some of the King. I did re-read The Vampire Diaries and can’t believe that I even loved them when I was younger – LOL!

  10. I love looking at the books my friends read as teens. It brings back memories and makes me nostalgic. I never did get into King as a kid – one of my biggest regrets!

  11. All of these I enjoyed as a teen. And still reading King. Now, I revisit VC Andrews from time to time (she is back in the attic series, but it is not good, to be honest)–and there was a SVH reading challenge not too long ago.
    Great list, thank you for the blast from the past.

  12. So fun!!! I’ve never read VC Andrews but have certainly heard plenty about her books!! I loved Nancy Drew as well, though I didn’t blow through the entire series. Now I’m not really sure why. Big fan of Babysitter’s Club books and RL Stine. When i was in high school I moved on to the books on my parents’ shelves–Grisham and the likes.

    1. Grisham. I read his books too when I was in community college. I liked the first four a lot and then got bored with them. 

  13. OMG, I read almost all of the same books! How freaky is that? Only difference was that I lived in a tiny town in Eastern KY in the Appalachian Mountains. The nearest bookstore was three hours away. So I had to make due with the library. Thank God for libraries!

    1. I didn’t have a lot of money growing up so getting library books was huge. I had one really good library from say age-11-17. It was a great reading space as well. Remodeled, modern and thoughtful in design. I don’t get libraries today. They are meeting spaces but loud. Not good for actual reading. 

  14. OMG, Ti, I think we were twins when we were younger. Well, except for Sweet Valley High. And I think that’s just because I’m *cough* a little, just a little older *cough* than you so they weren’t around when I was a kid. But everything else! Except I liked Hardy Boys a lot more than Nancy Drew. And I also liked Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators. And Carrie was the first Stephen King I ever read!

    Flowers in the Attic felt so forbidden to me, so of course I loved it. Never read the rest of the books, though. And Harlequin! I used to have this science teacher who believed in the full moon (really, she did – it was really strange) and I would bring these Harlequin Presents into her class and stick them into my textbook so I could read them while she lectured. There was a used book store where I used to get four for a dollar or some ridiculous price like that. This phase lasted an entire year. I haven’t actually been able to read another one since, though.

    And The Outsiders! I was so in love with Ponyboy Curtis. I refused to watch the movie because I just knew it wouldn’t do the book justice.

  15. I would go to the library and read Little House on The Prairie Books in middle School. I would imagine myself living on the prairie after reading each book.

  16. Great post! I am with you on the Harlequin romances. I must have read a ton of MIlls and Boon titles between 11 and 15. Nuts really. I had to be real secretive about it though – I couldn’t imagine my parents’ reaction when they caught me with a bodice ripper, lol. Those were fun reading years! I dug a lot of Nancy Drew too – even now I keep thinking I should read one of them for nostalgia sake but I’m pretty sure I won’t enjoy them as much as I did when I was younger. I did read Hardy Boys too but they weren’t as appealing to me.

    1. I re-read a Nancy Drew a couple of years back when my daughter did a book report on it and it was a disappointing experience. Sort of choppy and it didn’t flow well. 

  17. I read all of these but the Sweet Valley High series. Plus a whole lotta Dean Koontz and Danielle Steele! I just laugh…Danielle Steele blew my mind. Not sure how I could like her AND Stephen King at the same time, but there you go.

  18. Now I know why we like so many of the same books. I loved Nancy Drew, Flowers in the Attic and The Outsiders. I was a fan of Sweet Valley for a while too. I didn’t read Stephen King as a kid although probably I should have. Haha!!

  19. My brother read all of the Hardy Boys books but I think I only read a few of the Nancy Drew books. Also 2 of the Flowers In The Attic books and everything S. E. Hinton wrote. Even then I was into the classics and also Colleen McCullough. Wonder if any of hers would stand the test of time for me?

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