A few months back, The Guardian wondered which book marked your transition from child to adult? Oh boy, are these cats making me feel uncultured. I definitely made my way to Catcher in the Rye and Animal Farm, but not before taking a little detour to the land of Oprah’s Book Club.
By middle school, I grew out of The Baby-Sitters Club feeling very lost and vaguely remember asking teachers and librarians what to read. Though YA in the mid-90’s wasn’t anything like it is today, I know they led me toward authors like Caroline B. Cooney, who I devoured pretty thoroughly. I still felt somewhat babied and frustrated by the reading, but didn’t really know how to pick out a “grown up” book. Enter Oprah!
BookRiot‘s Rebecca Schinsky mentioned this phenomenon in a podcast episode, and it seems I too fell into the bubble of readers transitioning out of middle grade just as Oprah’s Book Club took off. I’m not sure how I ended up with a copy of Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone, but assume I grabbed it from an overflowing shelf and my parents (who never restricted my reading) bought it for me. While I can’t call it the most ideal book for a thirteen year old, it definitely reignited my curiosity in reading…among other things. I followed that up with more titles from Oprah’s list, like Where the Heart Is and White Oleander, and don’t think I ever looked back.
I do wonder how this impacted my reading life. Is it why I’m more attracted to confronting reads? If so, thanks Oprah!
What book or books marked your transition to adult reading? How do you think that impacted your reading life?