Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten "Gateway" Books/Authors In My Reading Journey

This week for Top Ten Tuesday, the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish are asking us to list those books and/or authors who introduced us to a genre, who got us into reading or who brought us back to reading. I thought it would be hard to find books to fit this category. Instead, it was hard to narrow down my choices.

1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott was not only my gateway to chapter books I read by myself, it was also my gateway book falling in love with characters.

2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain was my gateway book to the ways in which a book can blend humor and heavier subjects wonderfully.

3. Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes was my first introduction to mental disability in a novel.

4. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle was my gateway into science fiction, introduced to me by a fifth-grade teacher who read it to our class.

5. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende introduced me to magical realism. It doesn't always work for me, but, thanks to Allende, I know it can and I keep giving it a shot.

6. The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry was my gateway to the power of short stories

7. Stephen King was my gateway to epic chunksters. Oh sure, I'd read big books before but nothing on the epic scale of King's books.

8. Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss was my gateway into the interactive quality of books, especially children's books - act them out, people!

9. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner introduced me to the idea that really complex, really difficult books are well worth the time they take...also to great Southern literature.

10. Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow was my introduction to books that combine real people and real events with fiction. It's a combination I adore now!

What are some of your "gateway" books or authors?


  1. Great list! I don't think I've ever read any Allande but now I want too! Would you believe I have never gotten through a Faulkner book? His were the only books I cheated and either watched the movie or read the Cliff Notes in high school!

  2. What a great list, Lisa! The only gateway book I can think of are Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series novels, which my husband (then boyfriend) got me interested in during our first year of college. I had read and liked fantasy novels before that on a small scale, but those books really got me into the genre.

  3. Thanks for posting this--I put together a Top Ten Tuesday list too--couldn't help myself!

    I feel the same way about As I Lay Dying--what an interesting, memorable, gateway book.

    Gift of the Magi has got to be one of the best short stories ever--now that I think about, it is probably why I love short stories too. I read it early and reread it many times.

    I am so looking forward to reading Ragtime later this year. Definitely my kind of book!

  4. The Stand was my gateway to Stephen King books and like you said--this book is so epic on a grand scale that it's hard to forget. I also really liked Allende's novel though I haven't read anything else by her.

  5. Interesting! My first thought is that I would have a hard time to fill this as a top ten but now that I've seen your list, the wheels are turning... Reminds me that the first real 'big' book I remember is The Hobbit and yet didn't read on in until I knew about the LOTR movies. cool.

  6. So many great gateway books here. Several are on my own TBR still, so I'm glad to know you loved 'em!

  7. Flowers for Algernon is such an eye opening book when you're young! Great list.

  8. Jane Eyre introduced me into a new time and I fell in love with those characters. Sci-fi fantasy was the Chronicles of Narnia for sure!

    I really enjoy Allende's stuff. So flawless in how she brings everything to life.