You Say “Obsessed” Like It’s a Bad Thing

Today’s YA Highway Roadtrip:

What books were you obsessed with as a kid?

Where to start?

Dude, the mind boggles at the sheer volume.  I was an avid reader, and an even more avid re-reader.  To this day, the Sister and I have a category of books called Cheerios Books: books that we can pick up and start reading on any page while nibbling dry Cheerios. (Not a lot of junk food in our house.  Thank my mother for my lack of any cavities).  These are still my go-to books…I have reread every book in this post within the last year or two.  Many of these books have been re-released with newer cooler, more 2011-kid-friendly covers.  But whenever possible I’ve kicked it old-school so you can see how we lived in the 1980s.

So what was I reading and rereading (and rereading and rereading and rereading…)?


The Anne of Green Gables books, for one.  I loved ALL of them, from the beginning with Matthew and Marilla to Anne’s daughter Rilla’s life during the first world war.  SO good!

Then there was Louisa May Alcott.  Like with Anne, I didn’t stop with Little Women. I also loved Little Men, Jo’s Boys, Rose in Bloom, Old-Fashioned Girl, and pretty much anything else she wrote.

I reallyreallyreally wanted a hoopskirt. Sigh.

I also ADORED Madeleine L’Engle.  Loved the blend of science fiction, religion and family in A Wrinkle in Time and the rest of that series.  But even more, especially as I hit the tween years, I loved the Austins.  My very favorite,  (and perhaps the reason I spent much of my life obsessed with dolphins and writing):

What else, you ask (or maybe you didn’t, but you’re going to hear anyway)?

Well, I loved Edward Eager’s Half Magic and Elizabeth Enright’s Four Story Mistake.

But perhaps my biggest obsession? Susan Cooper’s Dark is Rising series.  These blend of Arthurian legend, mystery, suspense, and fantasy were dazzling to me then, and still are today.  There is great poetry in her language, and a haunting beauty to the descriptions.  And for the record, I reread them all in December.

What about you? What books were you obsessed with as a kid?

16 comments to You Say “Obsessed” Like It’s a Bad Thing

  • My mother is still horrified that I never read Anne of Green Gables. I’ve never read Endless Ring of Light either! :

  • Hollye

    Anne of Green Gables is next up on my to-be-read list. Ashamed I’ve never gotten to it before now.

  • I love Little Women. I grew up about ten minutes from Louisa May Alcott’s house so after I finished Little Women I was obsessed with going on the house tour. Knowing where she wrote and how that place translated into the setting for Little Woman just made the story even more enjoyable. (Sadly, I couldn’t say the same about her neighbor, Henry David Thoreau. The lovely pond could not make me like Walden.)

  • I love L.M. Montgomery’s books! Have you ever read Jane of Lantern Hill? It’s my absolute favorite of her books. Seriously. I’ve read it so many times that I’m pretty sure I can just reread it in my head. If you love Anne, you’ll adore Jane.

  • Hands down, the book that made me fall in love with reading as a kid, was “The Secret Garden.” In fact, just writing the name makes me want to read it again!

  • Little Women…. yes!!! Right now I’m reading Louisa May Alcott’s thrillers. I didn’t know they existed until a few months ago. Good stuff! And the Dark is Rising series just went into my TBR pile.

  • Little Women is one of my favorites – I can’t remember exactly when I read it – maybe high school – but I love the musical based on it too! Amy was always my favorite. 🙂

  • Lara Ehrlich

    AHHHHHHH!!!! I love that you included The Dark is Rising! Those are my favorite books of all time–and I’ve never found anyone else who’s read them. Sigh. Which one is your favorite? I reread them all, too, but I must have read The Grey King at least fifty times. I love Bran 🙂

    • Ohhh, that’s a hard one. I loved Grey King – absolutely loved it, and still want to go to Wales. But I think my favorite is still The Dark is RIsing…the way the winter darkness presses down…ahhh.

  • I loved Little Women and always wanted to read more – never ran across Little Men – though i did search. Great obsessions – i was not so taken by Anne stories – she was too sweet and i was too NOT! lol

  • Erika Siegfried

    I had this obnoxious thing about the “classics” like Little Women as a tween, sadly for me. But what about Tolkein, Lloyd Alexander and Scott O’Dell? I must’ve spent a year painstakingly reading The Hobbit (granted, age 8). And I forget who wrote it, but he broke my heart with Julie of the Wolves. So then HOW did I miss Susan Cooper?? I’ve just ordered the series for the family trip to Wales…

  • Oooh, I’ve always called these “comfort books”, though Cheerios books is a much more awesome name. 🙂 Mine are Secret Garden/Little Princess, Gentle Ben, Dealing with Dragons, Howl’s Moving Castle, Enders Game, All of the Pippi Longstocking books, Wrinkle in Time, Girl of the Limberlost, and every Madeleine Brent book. 😀 I’m sure there are more, but those are the ones that came to mind first.

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