When I was eleven, I had two things I loved: books about dancers and mysteries. I read Just Like Jenny by Sandy Asher a thousand times (two best friends into ballet, one is better than the other) and bought every book Lois Duncan had out at the time. Probably my favorite book from this period, though, doesn’t fit into either category: it was Katherine Patterson’s Bridge to Terabithia. To this day that book makes me cry.
When I was fifteen, I started becoming obsessed with the lurid. I still liked mysteries, but I wanted more adult reads like V.C. Andrews’ smut-filled family sagas. Ditto Sidney Sheldon, and Stephen King. My older sister was into these as well, so my copies came from her. They were fat mass market paperbacks that smelled like her coconut scented sun-tan lotion. My favorite book from back then was probably Stephen King’s It. It was just such a huge, ambitious book and the notion of a monster that tapped into everyone’s worst fears and made them reality was terrifying to me.
By the time I was twenty my taste in books had greatly improved. Since I was an English in major in college I was reading a lot of historic lit (I was in an 18th century novel survey class that demanded I read a 400 page novel a week). I didn’t do a lot of reading for fun – everything seemed to be for school then. But my eyes were opened to a lot of fiction I’d never been exposed to.
In addition to the top sellers for 1787, I took a Jewish lit class and read my first graphic novel (Maus) and discovered wonderful writers like Philip Roth, Bernard Malamud, and Franz Kafka. I think the big important book for me though was Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Billed as the first non-fiction novel, I read the true crime book for “fun” that summer and was absolutely blown away. I think that’s when I really knew I wanted to be a crime writer.
Great picks! And we still adore Dr. Seuss. You can read our review of THE GIRL IS MURDER and sign up below to win a copy! Thanks to Teen Book Scene Scene for hosting The Girl Is Murder Blog Tour.
by Kathryn Miller Haines
Iris Anderson is only 15, but she's quickly mastering the art of deception in this YA novel for fans of Veronica Mars. It's the Fall of 1942 and Iris's world is rapidly changing. Her Pop is back from the war with a missing leg, limiting his ability to do the physically grueling part of his detective work. Iris is dying to help, especially when she discovers that one of Pop's cases involves a boy at her school. Now, instead of sitting at home watching Deanna Durbin movies, Iris is sneaking out of the house, double crossing her friends, and dancing at the Savoy till all hours of the night. There's certainly never a dull moment in the private eye business.
- Fill Out the form below
- Open Internationally
- Deadline 12/30/11