I’ve just written a book, SECOND CHANCE, involving time-travel to the summer of 1998, and I’ve realised that year (and the surrounding ones) defined me – and my writing. So here’s a list of some of my favourite reads from “way back when”. Hope you spot a few of your faves in there too!…
· BRIDGET JONES. London writer Helen Fielding’s fictionalised newspaper columns about a thirty-something single woman were turned into a novel in ‘96 (and later another book and two films). They centred on a lass trying to make sense of life and love with the help of a surrogate “urban family” of pals – very much a theme of the nineties (think Friends and Sex and the City).
· SEX AND THE CITY. Before Sarah Jessica Parker became “Carrie” was the anthology of New York newspaper columns by Candace Bushnell, based on her and her friends’ lives, published in ‘97. The phenomenon spawned a TV series and movies – plus, the current Carrie Diaries prequel novels and TV series. (I’ve watched my SATC DVD box set, oh, about a gazillion times!)
· SOPHIE KINSELLA. Before she became well-known by her pseudonym of “Sophie Kinsella”, Madeleine Wickham wrote under her real name, with books such as Cocktails for Three and Sleeping Arrangements under her belt. In 2000, she released The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic tome, which turned into an ultra-popular book series and later a movie. (Aussie author Maggie Alderson, who writes similar chick-lit, is another favourite of mine, published fiction-wise from 2000.)
· JANET EVANOVICH. After penning category romances, Evanovich realised she was more interested in writing the action sequences than the sizzling sex. And in 1994, her romantic adventure series, starring bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, was born (since inspiring a movie starring Katherine Heigl). The latest book in the series, Notorious Nineteen, has just been released. (I have to admit, though, in my younger days, I was more a fan of a similar series by Sarah Strohmeyer, revolving around crime-solving hairdresser Bubbles Yablonsky. Worth a read!)
· SWEET VALLEY HIGH. This book series, chronicling the lives of Californian twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield and their school mates, began in 1983, ceasing publication 20 years later with 152+ tomes to its name. Later, the novels, Sweet Valley Confidential and The Sweet Life, following the characters as adults, were released in 2011 and 2012 – much to the delight of nostalgic SVH fans!
· POINT HORROR. This teen horror series, launched in ‘91, had a similar feel to gory flicks like I Know What You Did Last Summer. Blind Date was one of R.L. Stine’s first works and helped launch his career. Other titles in the series included The Lifeguard, April Fools and Funhouse. Definitely not ones to read alone at night by torchlight!
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