Top Ten “Gateway” Books In My Reading Journey


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, she posts an idea relating to books and encourages other book bloggers to respond with their own top ten lists.

This week’s topic is “top ten gateway books/authors in your reading journey.” There are many books that have had important roles in my reading journey, both in terms of getting me to start reading or getting me into certain genres. Here are just a few of those books:

1. The BFG (or any Roald Dahl book, really)
When I was younger, my dad would read bedtime stories by Roald Dahl, since I owned all of them at one point. I vividly remember lying in bed, listening to these books – and, of course, listening to the versions of the stories that my dad made up to keep my brother’s interest or to end early so that we could go to bed. I quickly learned that he wasn’t telling us the whole story, and was determined to read it myself to find out what it actually said.

2. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
This is one of my absolute favourite childhood reads and, according to my mother, one that I read over and over and over again. It’s also the book that proved to my parents that I could actually read. Whenever I’d call my dad out for skipping portions of a book, my parents were convinced that I only know this because I had memorized the story from hearing it so many times before. So, after taking this out from the library, they conducted a test of sorts: they handed me this book and, to their surprise, I managed to read it.

3. Harry Potter
This series is one of my all-time favourites, and played such an important role in my life. Not only did it truly get me into the fantasy genre, but it also showed me that there are many like-minded individuals who also loved to read and wouldn’t be ashamed to go to midnight releases in full Hogwarts attire — many of whom are still my close friends today.

4. Anna and the French Kiss
I first picked this up on a whim, since the cover was cute and the title was even more adorable. Given my adamance at the time that I “didn’t do romance books/movies,” I was really surprised to find that I loved it. And now, thanks to Anna and Etienne, I’m a sucker for adorable contemporary romances. Funny how that works.

5. A Great and Terrible Beauty
I went through a phase of mostly reading adult mystery novels that lasted for several years. A friend lent me A Great and Terrible Beauty in grade 8, and I instantly fell in love — both with the world of Gemma Doyle, and the world of YA literature. To this day, YA is my g0-to genre, and that might not have happened without this book.

6. The Night Circus
This is easily one of my favourite books. And, after reading, I was somewhat surprised to discover that it was an adult fiction story. It showed me that adult fiction can be just as magical and enchanting as YA fiction, and it showed me that I can certainly enjoy both genres.

7. The Hunger Games
This series is the one that got me into reading dystopian fiction. Interestingly enough, it’s also the series that got my mom into reading dystopian novels – and YA ones, at that – which made for some excellent bookish discussions.

8. Steppenwolf
This is one of the first books my class read in grade 10 English. Between the content and the excellent teacher that I had, Steppenwolf taught me how to critically read a work of literature, and that it is possible to enjoy a book that you’re also analyzing.

9. The Book Thief
This book simultaneously destroyed and inspired me, and is one of the reasons I love historical fiction. It’s one of the first books that made me cry, and is also one of the books that I recommend to absolutely everyone.

10. A Series of Unfortunate Events
I read this series for the first time when I was younger, and reread it a few summers ago. It got me to rediscover my love for children’s/middle grade fiction, and I’m so thankful for that.

What are some of your “gateway” books or authors? Leave me a list or a link to your list in the comments below.


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