I just remembered Judy Blume.
'Good Lord!' I thought (I often start thoughts with little exclamations like that), 'How could I have not thought about her for so long? I was obsessed with her books...' And then I thought: 'why, I wonder how her covers have changed over the years?'
Man, did I find some doozies.
My two favourite Judy Blume books, by the way, were probably ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT'S ME, MARGARET and STARRING SALLY J FRIEDMAN AS HERSELF (yah I read FOREVER, but I couldn't really relate to the losing-one's-virginity thing on account of my being about nine at the time - I didn't get TIGER EYES as it was about a popular girl who had to wear a back brace, I think, and I was a geek so didn't really get it - and I hated BLUBBER as any stories about kids being mean made me feel sick, on a account of my also being a wimp). I think I read all the Judy Blume books aged between eight and ten, at the same time that I was deeply obsessed with Ramona Quimby, Little Women, Enid Blyton (Famous Five and Malory Towers particularly), LM Montgomery (I had all of her books, including the short story anthologies, and could quote chunks of my two favourites - Anne Of Avonlea and Emily of New Moon - off by heart - see? Told you I was a geek) and the What Katy Did books. Then I got into the Babysitters Club, Sweet Valley High and Paula Danziger, and then one long, very hot summer in Hong Kong when I was 12, I was finally allowed access to my mother's club's no-kids-allowed library and got insanely into Mary Wesley, Georgette Heyer, Nancy Mitford, Jane Austen, the Brontes, etc, and grown-up life truly began.
I went back and read Little Women over the summer, and still loved it. What books did you love? I remember some other Alcott books, including one about a girl who obsessed about 'ear-rings' for chapter after chapter. I will Google the title later. Maybe it will come to me. (I'm scared Google is destroying my memory as I don't have to remember things anymore. Another sign, by the way, that one is over 30, similar to an obsession with Farrow & Ball and two-day hangovers.)
Some of these covers are early experiments in clipart, others are just HIL - wait for it - ARIOUS. Book covers from the mid-to-late 80s are my favourites, I think. One day, I want my books to have a cover that is a full painting of a girl looking pensive, probably in a bedroom (flowery duvet cover!), maybe talking with her best friend (sleepover!) and perhaps with a phone on the bed (a phone in her bedroom? she's obviously RAD).
Take a look. The French one is the coolest... Bien sur.