The time-travelling bookworm – an adventure into my reading past!

Welcome to the first journey in my new series – diving into the murky depths of my reading over the past seventeen years.

Let’s hop in the time machine and travel back to November 2001…

The world was still reeling from 9/11 and the War on Terror had begun. American Airlines Flight 587 crashed. The first Harry Potter film was released. George Harrison died. In the UK music chart, there were number one singles from Afroman, Westlife and Blue. And a thirteen-year-old bookworm was reading…

Face by Benjamin Zephaniah (1999): This is about a boy whose face is disfigured in an accident (if I recall correctly, he’s in a racist gang too) and how we shouldn’t judge anyone on looks. I got this from the library and remember the cover well – it was a portrait with blankness instead of a face. Although I preferred fantasy, sci-fi, adventure and horror, occasionally I liked to read more hard-hitting realistic books such as this one.

The Babysitter II by R L Stine (1992): I admit I was a big fan of Point Horror books. I read all the titles the library had. Not that I remember most of the stories now. Some of them were good, others were not. This one is described thus: ‘Jenny’s last babysitting job nearly ended in death. But she’s a survivor. She’s getting over it. The crazy guy who was after her is gone and she’s even got a new babysitting job. When she answers the phone, she hears a familiar voice, a voice from the past, from the grave.’ It sounds dated now. Books about babysitters are so nineties.

Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech (1990). I don’t remember this one at all. Here’s the blurb: ‘Mary Lou has what she calls a normally-strange family. That is, until her cousin Carl comes to stay. She had plans to enjoy the summer hanging out with her first ever crush, but there’s something so quiet and sad about Carl, and Mary Lou knows that no one else in her chaotic home will bother to find out why. So it looks like it’s up to her and what she discovers is far from normal and rocks the family to its heart.’

The Falcon’s Malteser by Anthony Horowitz (1986). I still have this book, which I’ve read several times. I’m a Horowitz fan – his writing is funny, his characters larger than life and his plots are clever. This easy-read is the first of the Diamond Brothers series, starring hapless detective Tim and his smart younger brother Nick.

Point Blanc by Anthony Horowitz (2001). The second in the action-packed Alex Rider series, this gripping novel sees our reluctant teenage spy infiltrating an exclusive but sinister school. The series is still popular now. I last read this book in 2013, according to my book record.

The Perfume by Caroline B Cooney (1993). Yep, it’s another Point Horror. ‘When Gentle Dove first puts on Venom, a new perfume, she unleashes a part of herself that has been locked away all her life – the second self she never knew existed, and it’s evil.’

The Accident by Diane Hoh (1992). And another Point Horror. ‘On the eve of her โ€œsweet sixteenโ€ birthday, a girl meets a ghost with a tragic past’.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (1961). I only read this children’s classic once and I don’t remember being too impressed with it. Maybe I found it a bit too allegorical when I was expecting a straightforward fantasy story. One for the ‘I didn’t like it the first time around but I want to try it again in the future’ pile.


Let’s leave 2001 behind now and go back to the future.

I hope you enjoyed the trip.

14 thoughts on “The time-travelling bookworm – an adventure into my reading past!”

  1. Oooh this series is such a great idea! I’ve never heard of point horror before, maybe time to search that up ๐Ÿ˜› I’m super excited to see your next few posts ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Jennifer! ๐Ÿ™‚
      I knew that recording all the books I’ve read would be useful some day…
      Point Horror was really popular in the 90s and early 00s, you don’t see them around now. They are worth checking out if you like high school horror type books ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. This was fun to read! hehehe yup books about babysitters are most certainly very nineties ๐Ÿ˜‰ I was a huge Horowitz fan as well and loved reading the Diamond brother series and Alex Rider. Great post!

    1. Thank you very much ๐Ÿ™‚
      It was quite fun to write too, I will be doing one of these posts every month from various years. I’m about to read a Horowitz book for adults and I have a feeling I’ll like it.

    1. Thanks Beth! I’m going to do one of these posts every month. It’s fun to time travel ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. This is such a brilliant post idea, how or why do you keep a record of all of your reading. I should be doing this, lol ๐Ÿ™‚ Wow, so many Point Horrors but I was reading them at that time too ๐Ÿ˜€ I haven’t read the ones you’ve mentioned though ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    1. Thanks! Yes I’m not sure why I started to record my reading in the first place, it was a long time ago now. But I’m glad I did, as it’s rather interesting to look back on. I used to get all the Point Horrors from the public library (not the school one, they said I wasn’t old enough!). I can’t imagine those kind of books being so popular today.

      1. My school never had any Point Horror books at all ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I usedto get them from a public library too, and then I bought a few of them too. Weirdly my school was happy to have them sold at a book fair but never stocked them on the shelves, although my school only updated the books they had for reading once in my entire time at school (I’m not counting primary school that had a completely different set up with the library, lol) Wow, yes, although Point Horrors were the latest YA they don’t read like today’s ya books anymore. I’d love to dig out my old ones though, give them another read to compare how they are today, although not sure anyone’d be interested in a book review of something so old! lol ๐Ÿ˜€

        1. I think people would be interested in Point Horror re-reads โ˜บ
          I haven’t got any left but I do have some Christopher Pike books (he was one of the early PH writers).

          1. Ooops, I don’t remember him ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I remember R.L Stine, Sinclair Smith and Diane Hoh among others, although I think some writers were better than others at putting the ‘horror’ in the stories. wow, they’d probably feel so different reading them today, possibly bland, especially as I’ve read so much darker stuff these days in YA! Good memories though ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

          2. Yes I remember those authors, there was also Richie Tankersley Cusick (such an interesting name) and Caroline B Cooney I think? They were really variable, even the same author could turn out great stories and ‘meh’ ones.

          3. Yes, I remember them! I was so into those Point Horror books I even have three audio books of them which are very different to audio books I’ve heard today. They were more like a radio show with multiple voice actors and sound effects! ๐Ÿ˜€

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