I came into contact with this thingie via Ell's blog and then found out the source was from here. I was in a publisher's official book club thingie when I was little called Läslusen (rough translation is Book Worm). From this book club you could buy childrens and youth books at a discount and if you bought that month's chosen book you'd get a cool gift with it. Suffice to say I read a lot. By the time I was 11-12 the books from there were mostly too easy for me to read so I moved on to adult novels, but there are some books from there that remain vividly in my memory. A few of them still remain in my book shelf and it wouldn't surprise me if a bunch of them still remain in my parents' attic.
This is supposed to be a list of ten books, but I read a lot (I mean a lot) and this will be more like a list of ten authors that I loved. I used to live in the local library until I was about 14...
1. Enid Blyton. These books are old. Ms. Blyton's classic. My dad had a big collection of The Famous Five and I added to it myself. From The Famous Five I moved on to the Five Find-Outers series, The Secret Series, The Adventure Series... I found an Enid Blyton book and I devoured it.
The book covers I remember. Swedish version of each of the first books in each series: 1) Five on a treasure island, 2) Five Find-Outers Mystery of the burnt cottage 3) The Secret Island 4) The Island of Adventure
2. Eva Ibbotson. I think Dial-a-Ghost was the first one I read by her. Then came The Secret of Platform 13, Monster Mission, The Great Ghost Rescue, and Which Witch?. Monster Mission was my absolute favourite and some days I'm itching to buy them (I only borrowed them from the library at the time) and re-read them.
Swedish versions of 1) Dial-a-Ghost, 2) The Secret of Platform 13, 3) Monster Mission, 4) The Great Ghost Rescue, 5) Which Witch?
3. Francine Pascal. Or rather, Sweet Valley. This obsession started early, I remember reading those already in primary school. It started with Sweet Valley Kids, as I got older I turned to Sweet Valley Twins, and as I turned into a teenager I started reading Sweet Valley Junior High. That's where my attention veered towards fantasy and I never continued on with Sweet Valley High and Sweet Valley University.
Three of the Swedish books I had. 1) Sweet Valley Kids, 2) Sweet Valley Twins, 3) Sweet Valley Junior High, which was renamed into Jessica & Elisabeth in Swedish for some reason.
4. Maj Bylock. She's a Swedish author and I fell in love with one particular series of hers. It's about a witch, not the Harry Potter kind, but the historical kind, the one talking with spirits and who knows specific things about herbs and lore. But since it's a historical series it takes place in the sort of Sweden that prosecuted witches and so she has to hide her powers and knowledge. As the series progress her son takes over as the protagonist and he faces the same problems as her. Except that he's male and witches were typically women... Anyway, I never finished this series because my local library never had the last three books :( I'm interested in starting over actually. Might do that at some point.
Parts 1-4: loosely translated as The Witch Test, The Witch's Daughter, The Witch Boy, The Witch Gold
5. Celia Rees. The Cunning Man was the book that made me fall in love with this author back when I was about 12. Then came Witch Child and Sorceress and The Bailey Game. I loved the way all her books where slightly horror, but not really so it gave me that pleasant creepy feeling. I've probably re-read The Cunning Man about 10 times and it's still in my book shelf.
Swedish covers of 1) The Cunning Man, 2) Witch Child, 3) Sorceress, 4) The Bailey Game
6. Edith Nesbit. Another classic. I can't remember if I read The House of Arden or The Wonderful Garden first, but I remember loving them both. Those two were followed by The Magic City and The Enchanted Castle. I still remember all four vividly and those four books should be in my book shelf. I need to buy them. Nesbit was one of my earliest stops as I was slowly trying to find my way through the fantasy genre. Despite reading new translations they had kept the language old-fashioned in the versions I read and I remember appreciating that even at the age of 12.
Swedish versions of 1) The House of Arden, 2) The Wonderfal Garden, 3) The Magic City, 4) The Enchanted Castle
7. Allan Frewin Jones. I remember reading anthologies of Swedish ghost stories that I borrowed from the library back when I was 9 or 10. Then I came across The Plague Pit by Allan Frewin Jones when I was about 11. We had just talked about the Black Death in school and I was intrigued to find a modern horror story about a medieval disease. I borrowed it and later bought it. Last time I read it I was in my mid-teens and it still gave me some of my most unpleasant associations a book has ever done. You know the part where you actually travel into the story... I loved that it could scare me. The Plague Pit along with The Wicker Man that I bought and read afterwards are still in my book shelf and I've re-read them both lots of times.
My versions of 1) The Plague Pit, and 2) The Wicker Man
8. Lynne Ewing. I came across this series of hers when I was about 13 - The Daughters of the Moon. I immediately fell in love with it. But after the sixth book it took so long until the seventh came around. I don't know if they stopped translating them or what, but I lost interest. Now that I'm remembering them I'm feeling slightly nostalgic and I might want to check that series out again. I can't even remember what it was about, just that I loved it and I thought the covers were cool and the girls had awesome names.
The Swedish versions I owned: 1) Goddess of the Night, 2) Into the Cold Fire, 3) Night Shade, 4) The Secret Scroll, 5) The Sacrifice, 6) The Lost One
9. Margit Sandemo. I read her most popular series, The Legend of the Ice People, when I was 14, although the series is adult literature and contained a whole lot of sex. I loved this series to bits. It's still in my parents' attic and I would love to bring it home with me at some point and just re-read all 47 books. It still happens that I think back to that series and miss some of the characters. I was so stuck in that for such a long time, I can't seem to completely let go of it :P
Volumes 1, 11 and 29: loosely translated as 1) Spellbound, 2) Blood feud, 3) Lucifer's love
10. Michael Coleman. Or rather Internet Detectives. I came across this series in the youth section of the local library and thought it looked cool with all those little chat windows inside the book. I think I only ever read four (possibly five) of the books in this series (and not in order) because those were all the library had. It never occurred to me to buy them. I'm not sure I want to today. I'm scared I'll find out it hasn't aged well (not that it's very old it's just that the Internet has evolved a lot in the past 15 years).
Swedish versions of 1) Net Bandits, 2) Escape Key, 3) Cyber Feud, 4) System Crash
And there we have it. My childhood in books. I can't remember not reading. I can't remember not being interested in books and the written word. As a bonus I'll give you this picture:
This is me. 8 months old and inspecting the book shelf in the guest room. I was doing it already in 1991! ;)