Monday, February 11, 2008


I am blatantly ripping the general tone of this post from Swistle and Marizy's recent stroll down doll-naming lane. So MANY people mentioned that their name preferences had to do with certain favorite books, notably the Little House series and also The Babysitters Club. I couldn't stop thinking about all my other favorites, although those two series certainly ranked high for me, too.
There was The Secret Garden, which, while not providing a lot of exciting name fodder, was magical. There was of course Little Women, which I loved to act out with my Barbies (yes, I was a little... Different. No fun and games with Barbie and Ken in the Beach Jeep. It was classic literature for me.) I was a big fan of The Babysitter's Club books for several years, as well as The Sweet Valley Twins series. Anyone remember those? (Twins' names: Elizabeth and Amy, I THINK. And Amy's best friend was Lilah, which is a pretty great name.)
The Little House series goes without saying, naturally- I have lots of good memories of my mom reading those books to us before bed. And did anyone else love love LOVE Anne of Green Gables? I read all seven or eight or however many of those books there were, and can still name all her children. (Oh all RIGHT: Joyce, who died in infancy, James, called Jem, Walter, Anne, called Nan, her twin Diana, called Di, Shirley, and Bertha Marilla, who went by Rilla. In all, not a lot of winners there, name-wise.)
I also loved The Boxcar Children books, but I don't hear many people talk about that series. I read some of the old Nancy Drew books, too, but don't remember being passionate about them or anything. Oh, I know Jim liked the Hardy Boys series, as well as something called Choose Your Own Adventure stories. I missed out on those, I guess.
One of my favorite books was called Baby Island. Really, it was my dream come true- two adolescent girls are on a ship sailing to meet their father and help take care of all the passenger's children, ship crashes, girls are shipwrecked on deserted island with four little BABIES to care for. I wore this book OUT rereading it.
I also really liked the American Girl series that went with the dolls- I got Kirsten one Christmas, and my sisters got Samantha and Felicity (I love that name!) But I'm pretty sure we had ALL the books, even for the other dolls.
Man, I could go on and on (more than I already have.) But I'll give you a turn: What were some of your favorite books/series of books when you were a kid?


Phoenix said...

I love the Baby-sitters Club Books. I love the name Anastasia which I think was one of the girls full names. Sweet Valley Twins too, although I think it was Jessica, not Amy. I remember loving the baby Island book too. Let's see...I remember the Boxcar kids. I loved those. Also the R.L. Stine mysteries. Hmmm what else...Oh the Narnia collection.

I've always loved names and have changed my favorite names two katrillion times.

Phoenix said...

Oh and I got the Molly doll for Christmas when was ten. Funny thing is that my niece (age 6) got to choose one for her birthday and choose Emily, which was a friend of the Molly one. When I realized that she'd done that, I cracked up.

K in the Mirror said...

Oh my goodness the Sweet Valley books. I'm older than you and the Twins weren't out yet- I read Sweet Valley High. Elizabeth and Jessica. Amy was best friends with Elizabeth when they were kids and then moved away and came back boy crazy and stupid like Jessica. Caused much turmoil in the ranks.

Yes, I had no life.

Loved Anne of Green Gables too. And Baby Island! Which I had completely forgotten about.

I also read Betsy, Tacy, and Tib books, short for Elizabeth, Anastasia,and Tabitha. I thought Tacy was the coolest name ever.

And the Shoes books by Noel Straitfeild had a lot of good names in them. One girl was Santa, which is totally weird. But interesting.

I'm going to be thinking of more and want to keep coming back like the book dork I am.

Jennifer, Le Binky Bitch said...

I liked Judy Blume books....Superfudge, Blubber, Are you There God it's Me, Margaret? In fact, Are you there God was practically my BIBLE when I was a tween.

I also loved those RL Stine books.

Jess said...

I read and loved all of those books, except Baby Island, which I have never heard of. I was also a big fan of the Anastasia Krupnik books by Lois Lowry and of almost anything by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor and Jerry Spinelli.

Jana said...

I loved Little Women and Anne of Green Gables, so much so that I became a teacher like Jo and Anne and even gave my daughter the middle name of Anne. I also liked the L.M. Montgomery series about Emily of New Moon.

I liked Judy Blume a lot (what my mother would let me read) and Trixie Belden (a younger Nancy Drew type). Our local library was tiny and didn't have the greatest selection, but I also read some of the Sweet Valley and Babysitter's Club books. Ah, the memories!

Swistle said...

I liked the FIRST book of most series. I liked Little Women, but couldn't make headway in any of the other books (Little Men, Jo's Boys, etc.). I liked The Boxcar Children, but none of the others in that series. I liked Anne of Green Gables, but couldn't even finish the second book.

I liked ALL the teen angst ones.

d e v a n said...

ooh, I loved all the Judy Blume books! Baby sitters club - I had all of them I think. Also Sweet Valley Twins, all the Anne of Green Gables series and some of the Narnia books. Also loved Little Women but didn't read Little Men.

jess said...

I was a big Judy Blume fan - Are you There God, It's Me Margaret and Freckle Juice are two I really remember.

I also loved Ramona Quimby, Sweet Valley Twins and Babysitters Club.

jess said...

k in the mirror - I totally forgot about Betsy, Tacy and Tib. I LOVED those books.

desperate housewife said...

Phoenix and Kelly- JESSICA! I was feeling iffy about Amy, but at least there WAS an Amy in that series and I wasn't totally off base.
Jennifer- How could I have forgotten Superfudge? There was even a movie or a TV series based on it, right?
Jess- Anastasia Krupnik! Oh, I totally forgot about those, but I loved her! I feel actual GUILT about having forgotten.
Other Jess- I loved Ramona too!

desperate housewife said...

And AND- K in the Mirror- I read those Betsy, Tacy and Tib books, too! I'm pretty sure it was actually my four years younger sister who started reading them, and I picked them up on the sly and became quickly fascinated even though they were technically a little young for me.

Pickles & Dimes said...

I loved Little House on the Prairie. I also liked the animal books by James Herriott. From there, I read all the Nancy Drew books I could get my hands on, and then for some reason, I jumped straight into Stephen King (I think I was 7 or 8).

A Margarita said...

Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys! Loved them. Also, The Tre Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and The Witch of Blackbird Pond. ::Sigh:: I re-read both of those multiple times.

SLynnRo said...

The BSC. I had so damn many. I also was really into Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Maggie said...

I love The Babysitters Club...and Sweet Valley High. Although it got a little iffy when they got older...but I loved it anyway. I was also into the Judy Blume and Anne of Green Gables books, but I am pretty sure that even up to now I have not ever read the Boxcar Children.

Musings of a Mom said...

Jana and I must be long-lost BFFs because I loved Anne of Green Gables so much that I gave my daughter the middle name of Anne too! Also, liked Emily of New Moon. And Nancy Drew. And read Sweet Valley and Taffy Sinclair, though going to try to keep my daughter away from those because they were way too valley girl. And I re-read Heidi a bunch of times. I'm not sure of what other books I read but I pretty much read anything I could find.

LoriD said...

My mom had almost a complete collection of Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and Bobbsey Twins books and I devoured every one. I also loved Anne of Green Gables and the Judy Blume books.

Mommy Daisy said...

I love this. I read a LOT of books as a kid too (still do). I read Babysitters Little Sisters series. It came out just about the time I was old enough for them. But therefore, I never got into the Babysitters Club books. I feel like I should go back and read them now.

I LOVE LOVED Little House on the Prairie series, Sweet Valley Twins, Sweet Valley High, and Sweet Valley University. I also read Box Car children (thanks to my mom), Little Women, Elizabeth Gail series. Those Choose Your Own Adventure books were awesome! Go Jim! In junior high I read all of the Laurlen McDaniel books I could get my hands on.

I'm sure there were many more books I was interested in. And I now want to go back and read them all again. :D

Shelly said...

Oh my God, the Taffy Sinclair books! I haven't thought about those in forever! I loved them! And almost every other series mentioned here. Except the Little House books. But the only one I ever read was Farmer Boy, which my husband just told me was awful. Aparently, he loved the whole series *except* that one, so I'm thinking about getting some of the others and trying again.

desperate housewife said...

Mommy Daisy- Oh, Laurlene McDaniel! Whoa, forgot about her- what's better as an early teen than sitting around weeping about some hot guy with cancer? Or his sweet yet hot GIRLFRIEND with cancer? Or maybe sometimes BOTH? Good stuff.

Shannon said...

Ooohhh, I read all of those books. Did you read the Pat of Silverbush series, too?

K in the Mirror said...

This is too fun. Taffy Sinclair!

Anastasia Krupnik was my absolute favorite character for years. I think I still have all those books in the attic.

I also read a Cheerleaders series and the Girls of Canby Hall. Oh, and Caitlin, by the author of the Sweet Valley books.

And Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew too.

And I went through a big Black Stallion phase and read every single book in the series and then got really pissed when I realized they were fiction. I wanted to go read the sports section and find out how those horses were doing.

Toni said...

I was a big Sweet Valley High book fan. I think the twins were Elizabeth and Jessica, though. Those were great books! I, too, loved Anne of Green Gables and the movies that Disney made that coincided with the books. I was a big Nancy Drew fan, too, and Love Comes Softly series written by Janette Oke. Those were Christian romances perfect for a G-aged audience, which was me in junior high. I loved/love to read and wish I had more time to do so.

I can't wait to share these books with my daughter! Also, did you read Where The Red Fern Grows? I could go on and on and on, too.

And thanks for the visit and comment!

Banana said...

Oh, the Boxcar Children - I forgot about those. I loved that series. I read all the Nancy Drew books I could get my hands on.
Then, a bit later it was RL Stine and then Dean R. Kuntz. I was very into the mystery books as a kid.

Black Sheeped said...

I was just talking about the Boxcar books with my husband the other day, because people in this town used to use old train cars to make barns.

I loved Little House on the Prairie. Sometimes I read a Black Stallion book, but the biggest guilty pleasure were the Babysitter books and the Sweet Valley ones, when I was around 9 or 10. I felt dirty or awful, like I was eating ALL CANDY and NO VEGETABLES. I KNEW how terrible they were, and I hated them, but also loved them.

I liked all of the Anne books, too. And Judy Blume books, and Beverly Cleary books.

I think the name Shirley is AWESOME.

Mairzy said...

I read most of the books you mentioned, with the exception of the BSC: I absolutely refused to get caught up in them because EVERYBODY liked them0 I read "The Sleepover Friends" instead. Don't remember them? Ha, there's a reason. Even I didn't last long with them.

I did Sweet Valley High (I was, what, 11?). My favorite was when Elizabeth was in a motorcycle accident and when she came out of her coma she was wilder than Jessica. I read some of the Twins.

One Anne book; one Alcott book.

All the Narnia books, several Nancy Drew. I never read Boxcar children, but my daughter loves them.

I liked Secret G0ar0den, but I STILL love A Little Princess.

TheMusingMommy said...

I loved all those series, too. Loved loved loved Little House. I read BSC and Sweet Valley High, too. I also read the Ramona series. Oh, and The Against Taffy Sinclair Club books...which I think evolved into The Fabulous Five.

cady said...

omg i loved all of those...i read all the babysitters club, sweet valley high (and university!), anne of green gables and little house on the prarie books. loved, loved, loved them. i also read some of the boxcar kids and r.l. stine books, and i loved the anastasia books and all books by judy blume.