What I read when I was a teenager

by | Sep 4, 2009

All my mum’s Reader’s Digest condensed novels (again).
All my mum’s Sunday school prize books (again) featuring downtrodden girls making good.
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, etc.
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok .
Anna Karenina.
Wildfire romances (the only one I read that I can find reference to is this, which I didn’t particularly like.  But there was one I loved, about a girl called Ellie who had reinvented herself after a move to California, after which she made friends with a cool Shakespeare-quoting black chick, and found her arch rival in Merri Merriweather.  Anyone remember the name of it?)
Second Star to the Right and Hey, Dollface by Deborah Hautzig, both of which I related to intensely for different reasons.  Deborah made my year a while back when she answered my breathy fanmail with a generous reply.
George Orwell and HG Wells (may explain my teen pessimism a little).
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (ditto)
The Handbook to Higher Consciousness.  I didn’t get it.
Virginia Woolf, all of.  Made me write novels with no plot, but lots of commas.
Anais Nin‘s diaries and novellas.  Made me write novels with no plot, but lots of traumatised narrators.
A Burnt Out Case by Graham Greene.  Made me wish I’d been Catholic – all that angst and guilt about God was appealing.
ee cummings.  made me write poems with no capitals and weird spll-ng (foreshadowing the digital age)
The Female Eunuch by the sharp-minded, sharper-tounged Germaine Greer.  Even at eighteen I didn’t agree with all her assertions, but you can’t read her work without being forced to think.  Which may be why so many Australian male journos have problems with her.

I will add more to the list as I trawl memory for titles.

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