I love to read. I've always loved to read, ever since I learned how. During the '90s, though, I reached that special age where vociferous readers move from age-appropriate books to interesting books. Meaty books. Books that introduced me to so much more than Ramona Quimby and the Wizard of Oz. Through the local library, I was introduced to a core of writers who stuck with me forever. Decades later, they still have all my love.
Table of contents:
- helen fielding
- nick hornby
- thomas harris
- anne rice
- poppy z. brite
- jeffrey eugenides
- irvine welsh
- bret easton ellis
- robert r. mccammon
- terry mcmillan
- chuck palahniuk
- david sedaris
- candace bushnell
- stephen chbosky
- michael crichton
- donna tartt
- lois lowry
1 Helen Fielding
Not only is Helen still writing, but after introducing the world to Bridget Jones and the delectable Mark Darcy in the '90s, she recently gave us even more – kind of. I myself will not be reading the third Bridget Jones book, but my personal outrage takes nothing away from the fact that Helen still deserves all the praise in the world.
2 Nick Hornby
Fever Pitch. High Fidelity. About a Boy. Nick Hornby was the '90s answer to Nicholas Sparks, except Nick's books are actually good. Haha, sorry, that's mean – but seriously, Nick's novels are entertaining, witty, often deep, but always satisfying, rather than maudlin, morose romance novels struggling to be something more.
3 Thomas Harris
Thomas is worth mentioning because he hasn't come out with anything in quite a long time. That's pretty much his MO, though – look at the length of time that exists between the Hannibal novels. In the '90s, however, we got The Silence of the Lambs, followed by Hannibal. Those two and Red Dragon are worth rereading over and over again – as long as you forget Hannibal Rising. Was not a fan of that.
4 Anne Rice
In the 1990s, we did not have Stephenie Meyer. We had Anne Rice. I admit that I was not a fan of her novels, but I liked them well enough – they are, at times, beautifully written, the stories are compelling, and The Vampire Diaries is still a better love story than Twilight. Besides, at least Lestat and Louis didn't sparkle.
5 Poppy Z. Brite
Poppy Z. Brite was much more my thing. If you like dark prose and enjoy LGBTQIA+ subject matter – something sorely lacking in the '90s, I might add – Poppy is definitely worth rereading today. Exquisite Corpse is my personal favorite, but your mileage may vary.
6 Jeffrey Eugenides
Jeffrey Eugenides is an exquisite writer. Absolutely exquisite. Revisit his novels today. Now. I'm serious. He is an excellent example of an author who writes beautifully and knows how to tell a good story.
7 Irvine Welsh
If you've never heard of Irvine, I feel bad for you. He is responsible for Trainspotting. Trainspotting is epic. If you've only seen the movie, I … well, I don't feel bad for you because the movie was epic – still is – but it's nothing compared to the book. Go read Trainspotting, then continue because Welsh's entirely bibliography is worth it.
8 Bret Easton Ellis
Bret Easton Ellis practically ruled the '90s with his novels of damaged, entitled, broken characters, almost all of which ended up being made into movies. American Psycho is probably his most popular title, but I've always been quite partial to The Rules of Attraction.
9 Robert R. McCammon
Robert R. McCammon is a writer of uncommon beauty. He can weave a story from the mundane details of daily life, but he makes it so good that you can't put it down. Read Boy's Life. Meet the Moon Man.
10 Terry McMillan
Terry McMillan was responsible for several amazing novels of the '90s, and they got turned into movies, as well. Her books are so much different than the films they became, though. Read Waiting to Exhale, absolutely, but don't stop there. Getting to Happy is one of my favorites.
11 Chuck Palahniuk
Oh, Chuck. He's still going strong, but if you want some '90s nostalgia, go read Fight Club. I know it doesn't have Brad Pitt, but it does still have Tyler Durden, and that's the important thing.
12 David Sedaris
David Sedaris has never written a bad book. He's still writing. However, he came into his own in the '90s and started making a name for himself. Start with Naked, but make sure you move on to his later work, as well.
13 Candace Bushnell
Without Candace Bushnell, we would not have Sex and the City, and I think that's a sad thought, indeed. Candace ruled the '90s with her pithy lessons on love. Even now, twenty years later, she has things to teach us.
14 Stephen Chbosky
Stephen Chbosky is probably best known for The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which came out in 1999 but takes place earlier in the decade. It's also amazing. He's amazing. God, I love him.
15 Michael Crichton
Michael Crichton ruled the '90s, too – Jurassic Park, anyone? He created a juggernaut that's still thrilling. Seriously, if you've only seen the movie (or the sequels, or the remakes, or whatever), go now. Read it. I'll wait.
16 Donna Tartt
Donna's been a darling of the lit world forever. These days, it's all about The Goldfinch, but a couple decades ago, she captured the attention of readers everywhere with The Secret History, which I actually need to reread, right now.
17 Lois Lowry
We always need to go back to Lois Lowry. Always.
Do you have any favorite throwback authors from the 1990s?
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