My feed

to access all these features

Children's books

Top five teenage books of all time

150 replies

Bink · 24/09/2007 21:32

Here's mine:

Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and The Member of the Wedding [cheating by doing two]
Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle
Julia Strachey, Cheerful Weather for the Wedding
Jack Kerouac, On The Road
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Funny how many of these are American, whereas our children's books (on the other thread) are very Brit-centric.

(Otherwise, I've got a bet on how many times the Brontes come up.)

OP posts:
tissy · 24/09/2007 21:34

L-Shaped Room Lynne Reid Banks
Bonjour Tristesse Francoise Sagan


NotAnOtter · 24/09/2007 21:42

oooh tissy real favourites!!

ALL edna obrien

NotAnOtter · 24/09/2007 21:43

margaret drabble the millstone

Bink · 24/09/2007 21:43

And how could I have missed off Cold Comfort Farm (having alluded to it on the other thread - did anyone catch that??)

OP posts:
RosaLuxembourg · 24/09/2007 21:44

Now do you mean books you loved as a teenager or books that are aimed at teenagers.
If books I loved as teenager then:
Tender is the Night F Scott Fitzgerald
The Mandarins Simone de Beauvoir
The Outsider Albert Camus
The Brothers Karamazov Dostoevesky
The Dispossessed Ursula Le Guin

(I had problems, no doubt about that)

If books SUITABLE for teenagers then
How I live now - Meg Rosoff
I Capture the Castle
To Kill a Mockingbird
Of Mice and Men
The Secret History Donna Tartt

You are right Bink, our American cousins do it better.

NotAnOtter · 24/09/2007 21:46

i loved Alberto Moravia ( loads of them ) inc Bitter Honeymoon as a teen

Califrau · 24/09/2007 21:48

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bink · 24/09/2007 21:48

Rosa - I'm not sure the marketing matters, does it? - ie, "appeals", I think, over "aimed at".

Gorky, My Childhood, My Youth, My Universities
Solzhenitsyn, "Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch"

and of course of course of course

Le Grand Meaulnes

I did a lot of reading ...

OP posts:
NotAnOtter · 24/09/2007 21:49

maeve binchy braided lives
i wanted to be those women

NotAnOtter · 24/09/2007 21:49

marilyn french
the womens room

purplemonkeydishwasher · 24/09/2007 21:50

Aer you there God? It's me Margaret - Judy Blume
Tiger Eyes - Judy Blume
To Kill a Mockingbird

RosaLuxembourg · 24/09/2007 21:51

I loved Le Grand Meaulnes. And Solzhenitzyn. I read Cancer Ward and The First Circle over and over. I think I read more good stuff between the age of 13 and 23 than ever again.

ELF1981 · 24/09/2007 21:54

The Catcher in the Rye

EmsMum · 24/09/2007 21:56

I read whatever was in the house... so apart from Jane Eyre (the only bronte I read at that age but many many times) it was mostly Womans Weekly romantic fiction (mum's) and Alistair McLean (my brothers'). Then (after watching Our Mutual Friend on the beeb) OD'd on Dickens... similarly watched and then read War and Peace (Anthony Hopkins as Pierre, blimey that was a long time ago)

Niecie · 24/09/2007 21:58

Gosh I had forgotten I had read half of these books as a teenager! I was a lot better read then than I am now.

Can I add

1984 - George Orwell
The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

Lots of Thomas Hardy

  • Tess of the D'Ubervilles
  • Far from the Madding Crowd
  • Jude the Obscure
  • The Mayor of Casterbridge

    Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Bink · 24/09/2007 22:00

I admit to having read (because it was in the house), with a gathering sense of shock & awe ... John Updike. Took me about twenty years to recover.

Games People Play (Eric Berne), though, same vintage, was rather wonderful demystifying teenage reading. I think that might bear a re-read.

OP posts:
RosaLuxembourg · 24/09/2007 22:02

I just remembered one book I was crazy about for some reason when I was about 12 - a sci-fi nover called The Rolling Stones by Robert Heinlein. If I read it now I would probably think it was rubbish.
Also the Dune series (was it Frank Herbert?)

RosaLuxembourg · 24/09/2007 22:04

And all the stuff my Dad used to keep in his bedside table that he thought we didn't know about - The Pirate by Harold Robbins and The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart for instance.

Bink · 24/09/2007 22:06

(I wondered there if a "nover" was a particularly cool (as in "mover and shaker") kind of genre that I'd not heard of Re science fiction, we'd better add John Wyndham to the teenage list. Ursula Le Guin's already appeared below, no?)

OP posts:
fishie · 24/09/2007 22:06

emile zola - nana, germinal and l'assomoir
antonia may - all of them except cat books (why are her books so out of fashion?)
maupassant & saki
susan price - am reading her now

when i was young
judith krantz
jilly cooper

themildmanneredjanitor · 24/09/2007 22:08

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fishie · 24/09/2007 22:09


themildmanneredjanitor · 24/09/2007 22:11

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fishie · 24/09/2007 22:13

yes i did. not brontes though. ooh i did love gogol too.

RosaLuxembourg · 24/09/2007 22:16

I read much heavier stuff as a young teenager than I do now, TMMJ. My Dostoevsky phases was when I was 14. I know this because one of my teachers spoke to my mother about it, in a disapproving, nosepoky sort of a way.

Oh and another book I loved around that age
Gone with the wind.

Well OBVIOUSLY I meant novel Bink.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.