Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post and, if you want to, add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s posts (typically put up midnight EST on Tuesday) so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists!
The theme for this weeks Top Ten is a back to school freebie which, given I haven’t actually been at school for around 20 years (yep I am that old), seemed like it might be a bit of a challenge. Originally I was thinking I could go for 10 books I read in school and would like to reread but I could only think of about three (Animal Farm, The Stranger and Sunset Song) so instead I’ve decided to go with the books I chose to read during my school years.
The Worst Witch Series by Jill Murphy
I think I probably read this series about trainee witch Mildred Hubble who seems to get everything wrong when I was around middle grade age (although I’m not positive). It’s set in a school, has magic, adventure and friendships so what more could you possibly want.
Sweet Valley High Series by Francine Pascal
Even when I first read this series about twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield I’m fairly certain I knew it was rubbish but there was just something about it I found weirdly addictive. Almost every story is the same, evil twin Jessica does something nasty to Elizabeth or gets herself in trouble (there’s usually a boy involved) and good twin Elizabeth has to rescue her or forgive her (there may be one where Elizabeth goes evil but I don’t remember).
Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene
I’ve just discovered that these were first published in 1930 which has kind of freaked me out but I promise I wasn’t reading them when the first came out (I’m not that old). I’ve also just discovered that Carolyn Keene was a pen name for a few different authors which I had no idea about but probably explains why there seem to be about 175 books in the series published over multiple decades 🙂
Anyway, I absolutely loved this series about a teenage girl who investigates mysteries. Definitely much better than those Hardy Boys. I have a sneaking suspicion if I re read them now I’d find them horribly sexist but at the time I loved the idea of a girl out finding clues and solving mysteries.
The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin
This series is about a group of friends who’re looking to make a bit of money so decide to set up a Baby-Sitters club. It’s mostly a story of their friendship and the various issues they face growing up but there’s the odd mystery thrown in to keep it interesting.
The Famous Five by Enid Blyton
These were pretty much the only books by Enid Blyton I actually read. I wasn’t a fan of the Secret Seven (there were too many of them to remember) but I really enjoyed this series about a group of four friends and their dog who go on adventures and solve mysteries. I suspect it’s another series that’s horribly dated and I would hate if I tried to pick it up now but I have been kind of tempted by the recent Enid Blyton for grown up books (one of which you may have noticed I snuck in above).
Point Horror by Various
I’m pretty sure this collection of horror stories was what led to my more general love of the genre. I’d actually forgotten about this series until I started looking up books for this post but now that I’ve remembered I kind of want to read them again. I do remember that I absolutely loved The Lifeguard and I’m pretty sure I read it more than once.
I have to confess I can’t remember which Christopher Pike books I’ve actually read (I think the covers are throwing me off) but I do remember being a fan. At that point though I loved pretty much any spooky story.
The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice
I pretty much loved all things Anne Rice when I was in my teens but I had a very definite soft spot for anything to do with the vampire Lestat. He was just such a brilliant character and so much more interesting than that boring Louis. Lestat at least seemed to quite like being a vampire and made the most of it rather than moaning all the time.
Another horror author I absolutely loved in the 90’s (although I suspect his books would be classed as thrillers or sci-fi these days). I think I read just about every Dean Koontz book I could get my hands on. Of all of them though my absolute favorite was Lightning. I mean it has time travel and one of my all time favorite love interests. It’s very Terminator-y with the whole I traveled through time to save you vibe (although I’m fairly certain there are no killer robots).
Rats who begin preying on the human population, haunted houses, ghosts and various other monsters and things that go bump in the night, James Herbert was the absolute master of the horror story for me. I used to beg my parents to get them from the library for me.
So that’s it, my Top Ten authors/series from the 80’s and 90’s. I have to admit this post has brought back some fantastic memories and I’m kind of tempted to try and track some of these books down and re read them (probably not Sweet Valley High).
Do you remember or have you come across any of these?
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