Top Ten "Gateway" Books/Authors In My Reading Journey
- The Boxcar Children -- These were the first books that I remember being excited about reading. I remember my mother making a copy of all the title from the back of one of the books so I could see which ones to get next at the library. These were a very large part of my childhood.
- The Baby-sitters Club by Ann Martin -- Like the Boxcar Children, The Baby-sitters Club series was transformative for me. I remember when Mary-Ann got her hair cut super short, that inspired me to cut my hair. Simple, but that was probably the first time I remember being so influenced by a book.
- The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede -- When I was in elementary school, I remember one of my fellow students pulled Searching for Dragons off of the shelf and asked how anyone could read such a BIG book. Prideful elementary student that I was, I took it on as a challenge and fell in love with it.
- Anna Karenina--Freshman year of college, I took a Comparative Literature course and this was the one book that our professor promised us that we would read again, out of all the books we read that semester. It was also the novel that got me started reading Russian literature, which I won't say that I'm an expert on or an avid fan of, but it does enrich my life.
- American Born Chinese -- Junior year of college, I had to take an Adolescent Literature class for my major. "Had to" pshaw! I got to read YA fiction for CREDIT. Tell you what, I aced that course. In the class we had to read a whole variety of YA literature. One type was graphic novels, which I hadn't paid much attention to. I didn't really understand the appeal. American Born Chinese changed that for me. First of all, it is a Printz medal winner and it had such depth. I am sold on the idea of graphic novels, all because of this book.
- Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World -- Likewise, in this class, we had to read some non-fiction which I had never really been a fan of. SatBotW (it's a mouthful) changed all of that. For once, I was fully engaged in a true story. I was fascinated and couldn't put it down. It also furthered my fascination with the Arctic exploration era. Ernest Shackleton FTW!
- Neil Gaiman -- I've never been one to appreciate anything in the horror genre. I don't willingly see scary movie or tell scary stories around the camp-fire. Neil Gaiman made me appreciate horror like I've never done before. I think it's because he gave meaning to the horror. It wasn't just to scare. It was meaningful and beautiful.
- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- Number 8 and 9 are both important for different reasons. I think Hitchhiker's Guide was technically the first example of true Science Fiction that I remember reading. And if I were to be honest, I think Sci-Fi is one of my favorite genres now.
- Stainless Steel Rat -- Harry Harrison's series is one of my favorites. It straddles the border between Sci-Fi and Satire and it's one that has opened up new opportunities of other Sci-Fi books like Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury.
- Murder on the Oriental Express -- Last but not least, Agatha Christie's immortal mystery Murder on the Orient Express. Like I said earlier, I'm not one for suspense, and always read the end of the book to see how it will resolve itself, but with this one, I didn't. And I saw how exhilarating it was to not know the ending. And I wanted to read more mysteries because Christie did such a good job with it. Classic.
So this is probably waaayyy more than you wanted to know, but these are my Top Ten Gateway Books that opened up new books, genres and authors for me on my reading Journey. Let me know what books have been gateway books for you! I love comparing books and experiences.