Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Common Household Book Preferences: Teen Version

I had this discussion with Younger Daughter today, on the way to the farmer’s market.

YD:  When I get home I’m going to get back to my Grisham book.

Me:  What?  You shouldn’t be reading John Grisham!

YD:  Why not?

Me (bemoaning the loss of innocence of my youngest child): My baby should not be reading about rogue lawyers and such.  She should be reading about lollipops and moonbeams.

YD:  Mom!  I am not a spring bonnet!

Me:  When I was sixteen, I was reading…. I can’t remember.  I guess I was reading Jane Eyre.  And poetry.  Stuff like that.  Jane Eyre doesn’t have gruesome things in it.  It has… well, it has governesses and proper things like that.

YD:   Mom, you do not know much about teenagers these days. I don’t want to read about governesses.

Me:  Well, I guess it did have a madwoman in the attic.  And potential bigamy.  But I didn’t realize that when I was sixteen.   By the way, did you start that book you borrowed from my library book pile?
(That would be Practical Magic, by Alice Hoffman.) 

YD:  Yes.  It’s pretty good so far.

Me:  DON’T tell me anything!  I hate spoilers.  I can’t even read the book jacket of books any more.  They always tell some surprising thing that happens about a hundred pages in.  I want to discover it when the author reveals it, not from the book jacket.

YD:  Mom. A hundred pages is not that far into the book.  And besides, the stuff they reveal in the book jacket is always obvious to everybody.

Me:  Not to me!  When we had to read The Scarlet Letter in ninth grade, everybody in the class knew who the father was except for me.

YD:  Who was the father?

Me:  Didn’t you read it?

YD:  Yes, but I can’t remember. And I am not going to read it again just to find out who the father was.

Me:  Okay. No one should have to read The Scarlet Letter twice.

YD:  John Grisham writes page turners.

Me:  Yes, he does.  I think I read one John Grisham book. It was called The Runaway Jury.  It was good. It was a page turner, all right.  I think it had cigarettes in it.

YD:  John Grisham books tend to have racy things in them.

Me:  Cigarettes are not exactly racy.

YD: I mean things that sixteen year olds aren’t supposed to have experience with, like cigarettes.

Luckily for her, we arrived at the farmer’s market just then, so I couldn’t question her about racy things that she is not supposed to have experience with.  Nor could I admonish her that she needs to be studying for finals instead of reading John Grisham.  Instead, we argued about whether I was buying too many flowers to reasonably plant in the next few days.  Of course I bought too many flowers!

One whole flat of flowers.  What, am I crazy?

Dusty miller - a new plant for me.  I wonder how long it will
take for me to kill it.

 Dear readers, do you remember what sorts of books you liked to read when you were sixteen years old?


The Crislers said...

I love your flower choices! I started reading a lot of adult sci-fi when I was around sixteen, and those things had some racy stuff in them. I remembered being a little astonished at what was in those books. I was also reading a lot of dystopian fiction, because what better time to gorge yourself on Fahrenheit 451 and such than when you're an angry teenager?

I found my ten-year-old daughter reading Pretty Little Liars yesterday. It was confiscated, and I overused the word "common" in my lecture to her... not really sure why or what exactly I was talking about. I was in a red haze of anger.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I've read The Scarlet Letter several times and have also watched the movie (I think it showed on PBS a few times?) but like you, I was reading Wuthering Heights and other classics. All of them are much better than watching "Grease" and its message of changing oneself in the hopes that someone else will like you.
Cigarettes are racy?

Where I come from, Dusty Miller will take over your garden... or perhaps that is because I kill everything else?

Cassi said...

I think by 16 I had moved on from the sexy romance/historic novels to lots of sci-fi. I remember one author in particular (Robert Heinlein) had a whole series of books where nudity was just the norm. They were much less graphic than those historic novels, and while people were having sex it wasn't graphic or titillating. I've never liked classic books --I just don't care for the writing style. I did have to read a few for lit classes, but I've never read any for fun.

I just finished planting all the annuals (and one perennial) that I got a few weeks ago. I'm rather glad to be done, and I also planted some dusty miller :-)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I was a huge fan of biographies at that age. Ironically, my mother forbid me to read Sweet Valley High books, so instead I got a heavy dose of rique Hollywood movie star lives.
Do kids still pass around those horrid VC Andrews books?
John Grisham does write kids books, too, was she reading that series?
Nice flowers. I never heard of Dusty Miller.