being a mom
I Read The Most Horrifying, Messed Up Books Growing Up
My parents were so weird you guys. I have zero knowledge of ever watching an episode of The Love Boat growing up. They hated most television and sneered at anything even remotely popular, radio music, sitcoms, living in the same town for over a year (Just kidding mom!) but despite the fact my parents had sort of this snobbish sense of what they thought was acceptable in terms of popular culture, they sure did suggest I read some whacked out books when I was growing up.
My dad gave me a copy of A Clockwork Orange when I was around age 9. You know, the book with the raping and the ultra-violence? I read Animal Farm, and 1984, and Of Mice And Men before I even had my first period. Looking back, some of these books are so cheesy garbage fiction but I couldn’t stop reading them, even though they gave me nightmares.
The Painted Bird By Jerzy KosinksiÂ
I can MAYBE understand my parents giving me this book to read. My mom is Latvian and came to America during World War II and I am sure part of it was her wanting me to understand the atrocities of what life was like BACK THEN, but this book is so HORRIFIC! It has rape, torture, bestiality, extreme cruelty, incest and the list goes on. Plus it’s so sad! I can remember it really upsetting me but it was also beautifully written and I think I read it a few times but damn.
Lupe By Gene Thompson
Growing up, my grandmother had a lake house and I vaguely remember stealing this book from my mom while we were staying up there. The cabin was in the woods (!!) and I was so freaked out and terrified reading it and that is all I can remember, EXCEPT it was so scary and awful and I think the lead character was a child rapist and there was a creepy relationship between him and an older woman in the book and now it is out of print so I will never learn why it bothered me so much.
Flowers In The Attic By V.C. Andrews
Didn’t every girl of a certain age steal this book from their mom or an older sister? It was so scandalous and gripping, especially due to all of the creepy incest stuff.
Â Comes The Blind Fury By John SaulÂ
Another one I stole from my older sister, this one had to do with a blind girl who was teased and bullied and then falls off a cliff and her ghost comes to haunt a young girl. Plus, there was something about a doll being handed too which was really freaky because dolls are the worst.
Forever By Judy BlumeÂ
Â Judy Blume is the very best always and forever (get it?) but I can remember reading Forever probably when I was a bit too young to and ugh, I actually found the passage online so enjoy. Even re-reading it now made me blush and I’m a grownass woman. I have no idea why it â€¦upset.. me so much, and like I said above, my age probably had a lot to do with it, but I can remember this book making me pretty freaked out by male junk for quite a few years, and also all sad face that young love does not last forever.
Most of these books aren’t really classics and you may not have read any of them, but all of these affected me deeply growing up. Now that I’m an adult I love nothing more than getting all freaked out by a scary book. Actually, it’s been a while before I was truly scared by anything, so feel free to give me recommendations here. Ot at least make me feel better about Ralph.
(Images: Tumblr/getty Images)