04 May 2010

Call For Book Suggestions

I’ve come to the realisation that a diet consisting solely of EB goodness might be a little damaging to my psyche. Ra Ra Ra and all that. I might decide that Pauline Hanson, although very common, has her heart in the right place about … ‘foreigners’. I might start smacking down people who do things I don’t like, wielding my hairbrush with a mighty and vengeful hand. I might start thinking nostalgically of my high school, remembering it fondly rather than as the truly horrific place that it was. No one actually likes being a teenager, especially when they are one, so why is it perfectly acceptable to look back fondly at those years of misery?

Anyway, I propose that I intersperse my reviews of EB books with other childhood ‘favourites’ and just random crap that I happen to come across. I’ll try and keep it old school, but as a child of the 90s, there are a few gems from that era bound to sneak in …

First up on my hit list (at the moment – this is a working list, some books might not really suit my style of deconstruction …):

Hating Alison Ashley (at my primary school, everyone studied that in year six)
Are you there God, it’s me, Margaret – Judy Blume (Just ‘cos it’s so awesome)
Baby-Sitters Club (do you know that Anne M. Martin is writing a prequel?)
Tomorrow When the War Began (Film tie-in – am I showing my age when I say I remember waiting for these books to come out?)
Sweet Valley (??? Really not sure about that, I thought they were kinda lame, even for my low standards)
Grug (he’s awesome)
Random books I happen to find (‘cos that’s always fun)

I was also thinking of dipping into other old favourites such as Goosebumps, Biggles, Trixie Belden, Hardy Boys … the older the book/s, the better.

I sat down to write a comprehensive list and I drew something of a blank – I read so many books growing up that they mixed together and petrified in that chaotic mess. Look into the crystallised lump of words and you might find a gymnast, much like one of these (Oh, how I loved these books in primary school! I borrowed them from my school library about 50 times each! And I think I now love this blog – totally on my wavelength …) I must find old copies of them.

So I want to know what you would like to see reviewed, and why. Feel free to stick the knife in if you think the book truly worthy of such treatment.

Oh and Malory Towers book two is coming … I just have to go back and re-read Darrell’s latest smack-down one more time!

P.S. I now have the theme tune to the old Baby-Sitters Club TV show … GAH!!!


  1. How do you write a prequel to the Baby-Sitters Club? Is she going to show the babysitters back when they were being babysat? Or will it be their parents, in their baby-sitting days? More importantly, why do I now have an overwhelming desire to find out? Nooooo...

    I desperately want to add a vote for Nancy Drew books. I used to live on those when I was in Year 8.

  2. The prequel is the summer before they start the BSC (?!?!?) sounds so interesting! Half the characters not there, no babysitting ... I think the book is actually out.

    I'm up for Nancy Drew, but I warn you, I come with no background on the series ... I've never read one!

  3. I am SHOCKED that you have not mentioned anything by L. M. Montgomery. SHOCKED!

    I can't believe I've only just discovered this blog. Which other Blytons are you doing? Can you please do one of the Adventure books? You know, Sea, Island, Castle, Mountain, Circus, Valley and River. They were my favourites. I had my first lit crush ever on Philip.

    Or what about one of the Five Find-outers, which proves that the lower classes are always incompetent and stupid? Actually, I have found two examples in EB books where a poor, uneducated boy is a worthy companion: Andy from The Adventurous Four and Jack from The Secret Island and the rest of that series. In each case they play the part of mentor, and are necessary for the premise to be feasible.

    Have you read any of the Swallows and Amazons series? They were written in the 30s. If you want older, how about E Nesbit? She was writing late 19th and early 20th century and we wouldn't have had C. S. Lewis without her.Or there's always The Magic Pudding - violence is fun, boys and girls! Punch first, ask questions later.

  4. Wow! I didn't realise you were considering doing non-Blyton books. (I'm probably showing *my* age when I say that almost all these were favourites of mine. I'm worse than you - Hating Alison Ashley was my favourite book in Year Five, and I'd read it so many times I'd memorised it. When our teacher read it aloud, I'd correct her when she made a mistake or skipped over stuff... *blushes*)

    I'd really love to see your take on the Tomorrow books in particular, as I remember them with an incredible degree of rose-tintedness (I, like you, remember waiting for the fourth, fifth and sixth books to be published, and the time spent speculating about them with my school friends in the weeks surrounding each new book's release) and am curious as to whether they're as wonderful as I remember.

  5. Also, I just noticed that you linked to a review of The Gymnasts! I (being a former gymnast) ADORED those books as a child, although they were very US-centric, and the gymnastics club that the characters attended bore little resemblance to the gym clubs with which I was familiar.

  6. You've never read Nancy Drew before? In that case, I'd be even more eager to hear your take on them. Now I'm thinking it would be quite hilarious to go and re-read some myself, because even as a thirteen-year-old, I always thought they were held together on the flimsiest of concepts. But awesomely so, of course.

    Lol> I had the hugest crush on Andy from The Adventurous Four. Huge, I tell you.

  7. Oh my Gravy - LM Montgomery! I totally forgot all about Anne! I have a love/hate relationship with Anne - I wish she'd just shut up sometimes!

    Lol - I'm on a serach for the adventure books and the five finder-outer books, as well as all the numbered children books (four, five and seven). Goulds has proved to be a bust (although they have HEAPS of Biggles ... go figure). I'm starting with what's on my shelf (mostly school-books, Famous Five and Amelia Jane) but I'm a-searching constantly. If anyone can point me in the right direction, I'd be obliged. Sydney is terrible for second-hand bookshops!

    Dolorosa - TWTWB dominated my life in early highschool - I even went to a John Marsden writers camp (he is such an English teacher). I threw out all my books a few years ago, and I regret throwing out the first three (the last four were rubbish).

  8. Anne of Green Gables!!

    And Emily of NEw moon!

    Love those books :).

    (Also love this blog - I'm off to dig out all my Mallory towers now :) And St. Clares :D)