What Books Do You Remember?

Filed Under: Book Related

I’m one of those people who marks moments in their lives with books.

The Horse That Came to Breakfast reminds me of my mom and me reading in this big queen sized bed that smelled of moth balls at this cabin in Hardy, AR. My mom was dating this guy [who later became my step-father for a period of time] who owned the cabin and that is the only time I can vividly remember my mom reading to me before bed.

Grade school was The Baby-Sitters Club and Mein Kampf – how’s that for a really fucked up reading list? My grandpa suggested I should read Mein Kampf so that I could get an inside look at Hitler’s mind and all it did for me was leave me incredibly bored. I’ve gone back now that I’m an adult and reread it and it still bores me to tears.

Junior High and Highschool was Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, a lot of Stephen King – who is SO much more than just what you’ve seen on TV – and Cry the Beloved Country since I did a research paper on it.

There were other books that dotted my childhood but those, for some reason, are the ones that stick out.

All of the books were boxed up and moved with me when Mom kicked me out of the house – long story for another time – and were, for the most part, forgotten.

While I was back in Arkansas earlier in the month, Mom told me to go through the stuff she had moved with her when she and my step-father had divorced.

I found a couple of half finished journals – one from when I was 11 and another from when I lost my virginity – and a whole box of books that I had completely forgotten about.

The box was a weird mixture of stuff. Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Nora Roberts, a first edition Little Women and Nietzsche were all hanging out in the same box.

Also in that box were three books out of a series called Boyfriends/Girlfriends [which is now called Making Out].

What was so funny about finding those books is I can completely remember reading these books. They deal with a few friends on this island in Maine and the problems that they all go through; they’re actually pretty good reads.

Out of a fit of nostalgia, I grabbed the first book – Zoey Fools Around – and read it that day. The books are all less than 300 pages and to say they’re a light read is an understatement. Even though they’re YA books, I didn’t feel the shame that I felt when I read the Twilight series.

Then again, I wasn’t standing in line at Target with these books like I did with the Twilight series. I hid those bad boys under diapers like a 12 year old trying to hide tampons from the cute checker…if 12 year olds hid tampons under diapers.

What’s odd is that I have the first, second, and fourth book in the series but the third book – Nina Won’t Tell and my personal favorite – is missing. I KNOW I read that book since that third book is pretty freakin’ important in the whole story progression and I can even remember some of the stuff that happened but I’ll be damned if I can find it.

So, what did I do?

I got on Amazon and ordered that bitch for $.01.

In fact, I just got an email saying that the book has shipped. Granted, I won’t get it until after we get back from Arkansas for Christmas but it’ll be here and then I’ll be able to dive right back into some Young Adult fiction and relive those times before marriage and kids and those times when my biggest worries were about my upcoming Physics test or if random crush boy had said “Hi” to me or not.

Finding those books really took me back and I can’t help but wonder what books you remember from childhood and your teen years? They don’t have to be deep…hell…I listed Baby-Sitters Club for crap sake.

What books do your remember and love?



  1. Toddler-very young:
    Dr. Seuss
    Richard Scarry

    Grade school:
    Encyclopedia Brown (any I could get my hands on)
    Choose Your Own Adventure (any I could get my hands on)
    Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, SuperFudge
    The Hardy Boys (all of them, in the hardback blue covers – still got ’em on Mom and Dad’s bookshelves)
    The Hobbit, and the LOTR trilogy
    Dungeons and Dragons gaming books

    Jr. High/High School:
    Stephen King (most of it)
    Robert A. Heinlein (nearly all of ’em)
    Silverberg’s (The Sword and the Chain series)
    Isaac Asimov (Robot novels, Foundation novels, short stories)
    Piers Anthony (first 9 Xanth books, Incarnations of Immortality books)

    Lots and lots and lots more, but those are the ones I look back on quickly with misty remembrance…

  2. There are a few early childhood books I remember, most notably Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch, which I just bought for my son. It always makes me cry!

    I LOVED the Saddle Club and found a few of the books at a used book store recently and had to swoop them up.

    I think Phoenix Rising by Karen Hesse impacted my teenager years the most though. I cry every time I read it. It’s a short read so you should definitely check it out! 🙂
    .-= Maya´s last blog ..A Call for Books =-.

    • OK, so this is kinda weird, but when I searched on Amazon for Love You Forever [it didn’t sound familiar to me] I instantly recognized the book cover as the book that was always next to the toilet in one of my uncle’s bathrooms.

      That’s a lot stranger to me now than it was back then. :doh:

  3. The only book i can remember reading while growing up is “My Teacher is an Alien”

    I agree that “Mein Kampf” is very boring.

    The latest books I’ve read were the Twilight books and the Rich Dad books
    .-= Melissa Snow´s last blog ..MelissaSnow56: Plains holiday forecast white Christmas tough traveling Columbia …: A winter storm system moving across the W.. http://bit.ly/4AzdfU =-.

    • I thought that maybe I just wasn’t “getting it” with Mein Kampf. I mean surely something titled “My Struggle” would be deep and insightful even if rather criminally insane based on the author.

      But, nope. I got it…I just didn’t like it.

  4. Anyone remember the Boxcar Children set?

    OH! And the Wrinkle in Time series by Madeline L’Engle is simply fantastic.

  5. Jack London’s Alaska books, Asimov’s Foundation series, Ike’s Crusade in Europe – all by age 12

    • Well now I feel bad for calling you out on Twitter but I’m glad you commented. :-*

      I think I read Call of the Wild and White Fang when I was around 8 or 9…I read them the summer before the movie came out. Whenever the hell that was.

  6. Hmm. Sideways Stories from Wayside School sticks out to me. As does one book (I can’t remember the name) where a boy found a snake in the toilet. To this day I STILL check to make sure there’s not a snake in the toilet when I go to the restroom.

    Izzy Willy Nilly is the book I read in the shower (yes shower) and my mom banged on the door and made me drop it so it got all wet. Anna Karenina is the book I tried to read when I first moved to my first apartment after college (and never finished).

    Oh I remember the Sweet Valley High books, checking them out from the library and my mom thinking they weren’t appropriate for me based on the cover.

    Ahhh memories.
    .-= Ari´s last blog ..The could’ve been. =-.

  7. I remember the Judy Blume books from my elementary years and I totally remember reading Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret in 6th grade. All the girls in my class read that book and “whispered” about it during recess. The Sweet Valley High series was also big during elementary school. Tiger Eyes and Forever by Blume were a huge part of my 7th grade year. Junior high and high school were all about as much Stephen King as I could get my hands on. I also dove into classics during high school. I got into John Steinbeck then and read Catcher in the Rye and The Great Gatsby for the first time during high school. Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegutt and Jack Kerouac colored my early college years, but the last couple of years of college were reading-for-pleasure droughts for me. I was too busy with work and school. I am ashamed to say that I didn’t not read To Kill a Mockingbird or Of Mice and Men until I was an adult. I’ve since read both of them numerous times and I always wonder what was wrong with my education that those books weren’t part of the curriculum at the school I attended.
    .-= Earth Muffin´s last blog ..Have you seen this commercial? =-.

    • YOU’VE READ TIGER EYES?!!! I freakin’ LOVE that book.

      *deep breaths*

      I remember reading the Great Gatsby in 11th grade and everyone absolutely hating it but completely fell in love with that book. I have a really old printing of Catcher in the Rye somewhere that I picked up at a thrift store and I used to read it about once a year.

      And then I saw that Mel Gibson movie where he has all those copies of Catcher in the Rye and I started to get a tad bit weirded out. 🙄

      Are You There God is a classic YA book but I could never get into Steinbeck. I tried…oh how I tried.

      Another author I tried to love was Faulkner and we read As I Lay Dying in my AP English class. He was one of those authors that we all knew we should love since he was Southern but I just couldn’t get into him.

  8. Oh, the Madeline L’Engle books were good!

    Also, all the Ender’s Game books. And a whole set of World Book encyclopedias when I was 12 or so, but I admit I flipped past a lot of stuff… 🙂

    It’s strange now to think back on the concept of a full bound set of encyclopedias as a kid and thinking “everything you need to know is in that set of books!”.

  9. Holy hell. A thread for ME!

    I’ve read The Night Before Christmas to Deacon for the last two weeks and I still know it from memory.

    Judy Blume, all the Nancy Drew books, A Wrinkle in Time, a great book called A Cricket in Times Square, The Lancelot Closes at Five, The Great Egyptian Heist… I loved books, I love books.

    In middle school I read The Three Musketeers, Canterbury Tales, the V.C. Andrews books, Stephen King (I’ve always read him and always enjoyed him), Caddie Woodlawn, the Xanth books, Tolkien, too many to name.

    In high school I read Catcher in the Rye, The Bell Jar, all your typical depressing poetry, everything that made me look cooler, Boys Life (maybe that was in college). Anne Rice was after high school.

    Now I read a lot of hockey books, Christopher Moore, vampire porn (haha), anything that strikes my fancy.

    Great post.

  10. I never seemed to read the stuff that everyone else did… not in a good or bad way. My mom was never a big reader, so she didn’t pass much on to me – but I LOVED to read. I read Bridge to Terabithia like 3 times and when I was smaller Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs were my favorite. I guess they could’ve just picked my brain for books that needed to be made into a movie… even thought I’m not happy about them messing with the versions on my mind.

    I also read the hell out of Amelia Bedelia… that’s probably where I got my housekeeping skillz.

    And my grandfather had Mein Kampf too and I just remember thinking that he was a closet nazi. But I was, ya know, like 8. But I guess I also knew what a nazi was….so, whatevs *shrugs*
    .-= autumn dahlia´s last blog ..Baby Steps – The Dad Edition =-.

  11. *SIGH* Talking about beloved books is almost my favorite thing in the world!!When I was little I also read The Babysitter’s Club; Mom thought they were appropriate for a young Lady. There was also some series about 4 girls who owned horses, To Kill a Mockingbird (which my Mom confiscated when she read a bad word over my shoulder), Catcher in the Rye (same fate as To Kill a Mockingbird- not returned until I was 12), The Boxcar Children (which I hated, but had nothing else to read as Mom began checking labels for appropriate ages), Anything by Blume (Super Fudge rocked), The Black Stallion, The Yearling, My Dad’s copy of 1984 and Animal Farm (sneaked out of his library and read under covers with a flashlight). In Middle School I began reading the classics. To this day I hate Bronte (both of them). I hated that the women in the stories were so frail and whiny; there was nothing there for me but I remember reading them and thinking “These women are idoits! I’ll never be that stupid.” I LOVED Greek mythology and read lots of that as well as Shakespeare. And then there was Flowers For Algernon (“Today, I discovered, the comma,”) this was an earth-shattering book for me. I read To Kill a Mockingbird at least 20 gazillion times during Middle School (it’s my comfort book to this day). In High School I read plays- The Dollhouse stands out in my mind, as does Les Miserables (which I’d seen, but never read the novel it was adapted from). I re-read lots of Shakespeare because I was SURE I’d be able to figure out who he really was simply by reading his plays (dorky, I know). In college I read poetry- Plath poetry to be exact. I also remember reading Kurt Cobain’s diaries which was both rewarding AND disturbing. I read Mien Kampf and hated that too. BOOO-RING. Night by Eli Weizel (sp??) scared the hell out me because I knew he was telling the truth, which led me to Anne Frank, which broke my heart into a million pieces.
    This is such a great post, Amy!! It’s so nice to think about those books again. Thanks!!!!

  12. Reading is for nerds!

    Math is the cubed root, YO!

    Do you have any beloved mathematical theorems?

    You should.

  13. Quadratic Equation in the Hizzouse!

  14. Oh, so you’re into slash fiction too, Amy? 😉

    Lots of geeks are polymaths… don’t hate – appreciate!

    (Also – even more than Quadratic, gotta love Pythagorean Theorem… it’s the only math equation I knowingly use frequently. Hooray for triangles!)

    • I should probably get that reference, huh?

      Anyway, to clarify, Tucker is not me. He is the husband who likes math. He is weird.

    • Quadratic / Pythagorean Theorem

      Those are great!

      Personally the triangle proofs have stuck with me.

      If a=b; then b=a

      Side Angel Side (SAS)

      Angle Angle Side (AAS)

      Hypotenuse and Leg (HL)

      I want to break out some from my true luv Physics, but Amy threatened me with physical harm.

    • I watched you replying to this and you said that I wouldn’t understand any of what you were typing. And you know what? Bitch, you were wrong! :rotfl:

      If a=b; then b=a and the Side Angel Side (SAS) I actually remember.

      Yay, me.

  15. Understood. 🙂

    For your edification: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slash_fiction

  16. Books from childhood, wow.

    Danny Dunn, of course.
    Encyclopedia Brown.
    Hardy Boys.

    James Bond. Had all of the Ian Fleming novels until my mom tossed them all in a fit of pique.

    The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, though the latter was way over my head for many years. Received them both as gifts when I was like eight.

    All kinds of crap having to do with magic, UFO’s, cryptozoology, and all kinds of new age philosophy. Remember Eric von Daniken and Chariots of the Gods? Yeah, I was a pre-teen in the middle of all of that.

    Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask. My parents bought a copy and left it lying around the house in lieu of a sex talk. True story.
    .-= Slickriptide´s last blog ..Christmas Improvisations =-.

    • Bravo to your folks for their brilliant way to teach their son about s-e-x. 😉

      I know you’re probably going to stone me for admitting this, but I have never read Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit.

      I am so going to writer hell for fessing up to that.

  17. Here’s a series I just remembered that I LOVED: Dragonriders of Pern series. Yay for dragons!


  18. I remember plenty, my favorite of course is Dr. Seuss! Paddington Bear and The Lion the With and the Wardrobe were on my top lists.

    Peas Out!
    ~daddy b.
    .-= daddybookins´s last blog ..The Gorgi Monster =-.

  19. Awww… The family that maths together…

    …Something something elses together.

    Or something.

    My, what a lovely tea party!

  20. Childhood: Suess’s Star-belly Sneetches
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Famous Five books (I apologise now to my brain cells!)

    Teenager: 1984/Animal Farm
    Crime & Punishment
    -didn’t set out to discover a Russian love-affair between the paper sheets, but life’s like that…

    Adult: historical fact with fictional favourings: Edward Rutherford’s London/Dublin/Russka, and Tom Holland’s Persian Fire/Rubicon/Millennium epics.


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