Mills and Boon. I (and any of my friends from school also will) remember a friend Belinda, who use to sit in class pretending to read a text book, all the while a Mills and Boon was hidden inside it. She was always getting into trouble for reading them in class. My thoughts were always that I would never read that dribble. Hmmm, well I think Belinda might of been ahead of her time, as here I am some 30 odd years later and yes, I read Mills and Boon. I must say though, that they are a lot more racy now than back then.
When Puberty Blues came out, it was THE book to read. A story that told of how things really were with a lot of young girls at the time. Also a book that had my mother asking 'why I was reading that rot'.
The books that I was reading that I didn't let my mother know about - she was a mills and boon reader - were Valley of the Dolls, and Jackie Collins books. These books were all about the things that you couldn't, or rather were not allowed to talk about: drugs and sex.
These days, when you compare the once tame Mills and Boons to them, they are getting pretty much on par of content.
Its funny when you start to think about the time when you read those books. You get a happy warmth through your body and a smile on your face. Whether it was the content or that it was a time of freedom and fun, it brings on a great feeling. One of being relaxed and carefree.
Another book from that era and one that I wish to get and read again - Sunshine by Norma Klein. Based on the true story of Jacquelyn Helton and her battle with a terminal condition while raising her young child. One that whether reading the book or watching the movie, you needed tissues.
As a young girl, I always use to take The Diary of Anne Frank, out of the library. The library use to be on the corner of Nicholas and Limestone streets in Ipswich. The Diary of Anne Frank was in the adult section upstairs from the children's books. The librarian use to say 'you're taking it out again!!' Must be where my love of autobiographies started.
Way back in 1997 I think it was. I met a woman on the net called Constance Foland. I can't even remember how I met her to start with, but she asked me to help her with a book she was writing. It was about a young girl with a friend with muscular dystrophy. She wanted my imput as to what would and wouldn't be possible for this boy to do.
When the book was published she sent me a copy of the book. It was really interesting to read the things I had said to put in and the changes I had said needed to happen. It made me feel a real part of it.
And although I have enjoyed all the books above, you can't beat a good biography. I tend to go more for those that aren't of famous people. Broken - the story of a survivor of child abuse, so bad that most others would not have come out of it as strong as Shy Keenan.
Don't tell mum I work on the oil rigs:she thinks I am a piano player in a whore house - a story by and about Paul Carter. This one had me laughing so much at times that I was crying. It tells of his travels around the world working on oil rigs and what they get up to off work hours.
Reading can teach you, transfer your mind to fantasy worlds, make you happy, sad, angry and every emotion in between. It can let you remember times now gone and keep your memories alive.
Its also one of the biggest gifts that you can give to your child.