Thursday, March 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday: What were you reading in 1993?

Happy Throwback Thursday!

The year was 1993. There were Clintons in the White House, Fresh Princes in Bel-Air, and Lisa Frank supplies in my backpack.

(If only I could still get this tan... but I picked a job that requires hours upon hours in front of a computer screen.)

This was the year I began my participation in the summer reading club at the local library, and the library automatically became the coolest place in existence. Not only were there thousands of books I could read whenever I wanted FOR FREE, but also during the summer there were PRIZES for reading! Stickers, plastic rings, temporary tattoos, Dairy Queen coupons, Borders gift cards (moment of silence for Borders)... It was a dream world, and I was living the dream. From 2:55 on the last day of school until the night before first day of school, it was reading season.

Here's what I was reading in 1993!

I loved the idea of having a twin, I loved the idea of blond hair, and I loved the idea of California. Loved them all like Olaf loves the idea of summer. Plus, the twins were just my age! We could have been classmates! Throw in mysteries and I was hooked. HOOKED! Although, I must confess, the Sweet Valley Kids books were responsible for me almost losing my library card privileges -- one of them (since I tended to check them out by the half-dozen) slipped unnoticed under the backseat of our Chevy van and was lost for weeks, incurring hefty fines and stern parental talking-tos about responsibility before I finally found it. I think it was totally worth it, though.

My second series of note at this time was this fun little companion series to the Babysitters Club (see 1995). Oh, Karen. You were a complicated, brutally honest, sensitive, loyal little know-it-all. At times I shook my eight-year-old head at your seven-year-old follies, but I always admired your joie de vivre and your je ne sais quoi. Not that haircut, though. From the day I read Karen's Haircut, I lived in fear of the surprise mullet. I think it's part of the psychological reason I started growing my hair out. But other than that, I really loved these books.

Laura Ingalls Wilder, the Karen Brewer of the 1800s!

But seriously, though, I think what I loved most about the Little House books, more than the intriguing descriptions of pioneer life or the adventures of living in what seemed like wilderness to a suburban girl like me, was the way that Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote herself as a character. She was honest. She was blunt. She wasn't afraid to show her flaws, her frustrations, and her inabilities. Even as a young reader, I think I picked up on the frankness of child-Laura and thought, "Okay, this girl's for real. It's a Little House in the No-B.S. Zone." She told it like it was, and, far from making the books dry or overly historical, it made Laura a character with whom I could identify, over a century after her own childhood had passed.


Throwback Thursday is always more fun with friends! Please leave comments with what YOU were reading/writing in the year in question. If you'd like to be even more involved by "guest posting" a complete reader/writer Throwback Thursday here, please email me at joy.eilene (at) I want to see your throwbacks!

So tell me, what were YOUR literary choices in 1993 (or whenever you were eight)?

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