Thursday, March 11, 2010

The 1990s: My Decade of Lost Reading

The other day I decided that I must have not been reading much in the 90's. It seems like recently a bunch of books have come to my attention and I've wondered, why haven't I heard of these before? So I check the publishing date, and without fail, they are books from the 1990's.

For instance, why is it just now, when Brandon Sanderson is finishing up The Wheel of Time series, that I'm hearing about it? Sure enough, The Eye of the World was published in 1990, with most all the rest of that series following throughout that decade.

Angieville has got me totally dying to read The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner. Why have I never heard of this series before? I looked up the first book, The Thief, and yep, published in 1996.

I just finished The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. As since my radar has been in tuned up on this book, I'm hearing all kinds of things about it... "wow, what a book!" So I wonder, why haven't I heard of it before now? I look and yep, published 1996!

That's just a small example. So, what was I doing in the 90's if I wasn't reading? Maybe this:

(This picture taken 1997, as you maybe can tell by the little date in the corner!)

But still that's no excuse. Many of you have small kids and are still reading! And I know I was reading, I just can't remember what. It makes me feel like I've lost a whole decade of reading because I didn't keep a list, or a notebook, and of course there were no blogs! And really no internet connections yet. (Late 90's was when I realized there was something out there.) And maybe that's why I wasn't reading what was being published at the time, I was perhaps reading classics and "old" books. Because there was no internet, I was clueless at the time about current book buzz. 

So I'm asking you today, what other books from the 90's did I miss? Do you feel like there's a whole decade of reading that you complete skipped? And do you have any guesses as to what I might have been reading all those years? 


  1. I didn't read a whole lot. Except for the beginning of the 90's, because my books were a lot shorter then. I read Bunnicula. Other than that, I can't think of anything specific.
    Keep in mind, I spent half the decade in single digit ages.

  2. Ironically I didn't read much in the 90s either. I was between the ages of 10 and 20, and in that time I was too old for kid lit but the young adult lit that was out was horrible, so I didn't read very much at all until 2001, when I started reading classics.

  3. Great question!
    I read much differently then. I know I always had a book I was reading, but I didn't have a pile, or huge list at the library, of books I was waiting to read. I would finish a book and then go to the library and look around and take a book home. I probably still read a bit of Stephen King, and they take a while, so that would have slowed my down. I also read a lot of mystery series, like Brother Cadfael, so I would just park myself in the Peters aisle of the library.
    I might get a book from a friend, or my parents, but I would mostly just read what landed in my house.

  4. LOL! At least you have three wonderful excuses! I'm like Amanda - I was too young to read many adult novels in the 90s, or 80s, or 70s....
    I'm doing my best to catch up now though!

  5. The 90s were a void.
    But I'm most curious about what you thought of The Sparrow??? I have it on my shelf, with A Thread of Grace. I read Dreamers of the Day and loved it!!

  6. I have missing decades too, but mostly it was from having different reading interests. I used to read only classics and books published a long time ago. So, there are lots of more recent books I've missed.

    *Gasp* you haven't read the Queen's Thief series yet? :)

  7. I think all I read was the classics. I was such a pretentious reading snob back then! LOL!

  8. I don't know how those people that get all of that reading done with little kids do it. Maybe they don't work; maybe they don't sleep. I didn't very much reading done in the 90's either. Lots of magazines because I did have time to read very short articles; but it would take me a month to finish a book. So now you have a house full of teenagers, too?!

  9. Looks like it was worth it! I was in school so I read a lot of required reading :)

  10. Catie: Bunnicula! Another one I have here, but haven't read! :)

    Amanda: Yeah, I knew this could be an interesing question for all you young guys! I do remember some of the stuff I read as a teenager though, but not much from the young mother stage.

    Raidergirl3: What you describe is pretty much how it was for me too. Lots of random library choices.

    Farmlane: Yes, and #4 happened along two years after the above picture was taken. (She turned 11 just this week!)

    Gerbera Daisy: Ah, The Sparrow. Wow. Review to come a little later though.. .it's a read along and I think we plan to all post reviews toward the end of the month. But wow.

    Melissa: Must I add you to the list of those telling me to hurry and read The Thief? If I don't win it from Angie's contest (like I have any chance there!) I'm buying it right away!

    Michelle: I think a lot of my reading was classics too, but I seriously can't even remember.

    Lisa: I don't even remember reading magazines, they are a bit of new discovery for me. Yes, a house full of teenagers here! Gotta love 'em!

    Amused: The 80s were my school days and I remember those much better than whatever I read in the 90s. I should figure out a post some day on what I do remember from those school reading days.

  11. Gosh, here's the way-back-machine!! The 90's were busy years for me but I still managed to join my first book group, read with my kiddos and carve out time (ok, just a few minutes) to read for me!

    I loved Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan, discovered J.A. Jance, Diane Mott Davidson, and Edna Buchanan for mysteries and Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffrey, and Orson Scott Card in Sci Fi/fantasy. I spent a lot of time discovering books with my growing readers at home, not always noteworthy to others but the authors were just what my kiddos needed at the time. I also began making a list of all the books I read in the year. I look back at it now and can remember something about every book as soon as I see my writing and the title!!

    It's great to discover new eras though - now's your season for discovery! Enjoy!

  12. can I tell you what you were reading when I can't even remember what I was reading??? :) I started having kids in the early 80's and had the last and 4th one in 1995! I think I was reading Victoria Holt and Janette Oke in the 80's and Rosamunde Pilcher in the 90's. Like you, I did not keep a journal so it is a bit of a mystery. Great post---made me smile!

  13. Inside: I do remember reading a lot of Orson Scott Card. Him and Anya Seton.

  14. Kim: I may have read a Victoria Holt or two! Slowly but surely, it's coming back to me! :)

  15. All the comments are helping me remember some things too. I know I read very differently then. I read all of The Work and the Glory and Children of the Promise (started in the late 90's, I believe). I also read Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, Mary Higgins Clark, and Michael Chricton. I think I read M.M. Kaye then as well. Oh, I also read a lot of paperback Regency romance novels (it's a real weakness of mine.)

    I'm pretty sure I didn't read a single book with any real literary value. I definitely need to go back and see what I can find from that era. Thanks for the great thought-provoking post!

  16. Kim: Ah yes, The Work and the Glory! And Phyllis Whitney, yes! (Though I read her mostly in high school.... the 80's)

  17. I didn't read for about 10 years from the mid 90s on. I kind of lost myself in a lot of ways, and reading was just one of those! That coincided with my ex and having a child, and an obsession with cooking magazines and cookbooks that I haven't quite gotten over yet.

  18. I was in grade and high school and mostly read adult fantasy - like Drangonlance, Anne McCaffrey, Fiest, Eddings, Brooks. And all the school assignments like The Jungle and the Great Gatsby - kill me! Perhaps you were reading some of those classics you love like Forsyte? of Gaskell? or Dickens?

    And I love The Thief! (Though I haven't read the sequels yet!)



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