This is a huge topic for me because when I was a teenager I was into books in a BIG way. I was born in 1959, so my teenage years covered the entire seventies decade. And since I lived on a farm without close neighbours and my house was a substantial distance from my school, I was relatively isolated from the social community and my network of friends. There was no Facebook or Twitter or YouTube. What am I saying? There were no computers yet!
By the time I was a teenager I was already an avid reader and spent every spare minute I could find immersed in my favourite pastime. And since I wanted to remain with the characters long after I turned the last page, I looked for books of considerable length. And yet, there still never seemed to be enough to read. There were fewer books with themes for young adults than today. The seventies was an emerging adolescent market. Bookstores and libraries were only starting to create Young Adult sections distinct from children’s or adult’s literature.
I remember spending many lunch hours sorting through the shelves of my school libraries, where I was drawn almost always to epic novels like James A Michener’s Hawaii; historical fiction, which is still a favourite theme of mine, such as Anya Seton’s Katherine; and the long romantic sagas like Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind.
I wasn’t able to buy many books while I attended school. Living on a farm, away from local shops and general commerce, I didn’t have the benefit of a part-time job, so I relied on pocket money and the occasional birthday or Christmas gift. But I began full-time work as a legal stenographer at sixteen, and that’s when I started to build my personal library.
Back in the seventies I had heaps of favourite authors and couldn’t wait for their new novels to appear in the stores. Many of them remain on my bookshelves today, including Leon Uris’s Holocaust, Mila 18, Battle Cry, QBVII and Exodus. Stephen King’s The Shining, Carrie and Salem’s Lot, to name a few. Irving Stone’s The Agony and the Ecstasy – a brilliant biography of the remarkable 15th Century artist Michelangelo, and Henry Charriere’s Papillion were other favourites.
Some books I enjoyed reading more than once, such as Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War, Irving Wallace’s The Word, Alex Haley’s Roots. I fell in love with William Goldman’s The Princess Bride, and found myself caught up in the humour of Joseph Heller’s Catch 22, both hugely different genres. I also can’t forget how much I enjoyed the tension in Arthur Hailey’s Airport, and the supernatural suspense of William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist.
But sitting on the top of my teenage favourite books were: Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds; Morris West’s The Devil’s Advocate and The Shoes of the Fisherman; Erich Segal’s Love Story, Mario Puzo’s series of The Godfather, and one book that I have already mentioned, a novel I read over and over during my teenage years - Anya Seton’s Katherine.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I haven't read most of the books on Marianne's list but I have heard of Gone with the Wind! (I sure do want to read it someday) Hope you guys enjoyed the guest post and if you haven't read Hidden, be sure to check it out. Thank you Marianne for the guest post and Sonia for the putting the blog tour together!