Top Ten (nine?) “Gateway” Books & Authors in My Reading Journey

Posted April 1, 2014 in Books / 2 Comments

top ten tuesday

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish.

Awake and Dreaming

    1. Awake and Dreaming by Kit Pearson. This was the first book I ever really loved. I think that makes it a sort of gateway into my love of literature. I was pretty young when I read this, but it was the first book that ever stuck with me. It definitely says something that I still remember it.
    2. Disney Audiobooks. Does anyone else remember those read along Disney books with the cassette tape that has a chime for when you turn the page. I was totally obsessed with those before I could read. I actually remember those things. My favorite was Lady and the Tramp because I had a serious dog obsession, as a child. I used to listen to those so much that I memorized them and would at like I was reading when I was really just reciting what I had heard. I like to joke that I was meant to listen to audiobooks.
    3. J.R.R. Tolkien. So I was sort of a casual reader when I was growing up. I enjoyed literature, but I didn’t read constantly. The first time I got totally obsessed with books and reading was when the Lord of the Rings movies came out. I read the entire series, plus The Hobbit. I remember taking my giant Lord of the Rings hardcover and reading it on the beach. I was fifteen or something. I still have that hardcover. I thought I wanted to be writer after reading that book and getting super into C.S. Lewis, too. Then, I grew up and realized that writing books is SO MUCH WORK.

Fruits Basket

    1. Twilight. by Stephenie Meyer Yeah, that’s right. I’ll admit it. Twilight was kind of a triple gateway for me. It got me back into reading at the end of college, it got me into classics, and it got me into paranormal fiction. The small bit of fantasy that I read in high school aside, Twilight was like nothing I had ever read. I mean, vampires? I read a good deal of paranormal fiction after reading that series. I was pretty into it for a while. Now, reading paranormal fiction is kind of like pulling teeth. I’m just… done. So, the classics comment probably sounds weird, but it’s true. I read Wuthering Heights because of Twilight. Then, that led to more classic literature exploration. Plus, it just got me back into reading, this time in a big way. I mean, look at me! I’m getting an MLIS!
    2. Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya. The fact that I remember the mangaka’s name is a clear indication that I love that series and that it holds a special place in my heart. Or it means I’ve typed that name about 23 times on this blog. Either way, Fruits Basket was the first manga series that I loved and it got me into reading manga.

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

  • Sloppy First by Megan McCafferty. This is first realistic fiction book I read that I would categorize as YA. I know it was written before YA was being marketed the way it is now. Still, it has the feel of the quirky, authentic realistic YA fiction that I love. I think that entire series is a pretty good basis for understanding my favorite kinds of books.
  • John Green. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a pretty big John Green fan. Not in a weird fangirly way, I just really love his books. Plus, his books have led me to read other books. After reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson, I read more by David Levithan. I do get a little fangirly over him. Also, I like John Green’s taste when it comes to other YA authors. I mean, he recommended Stephanie Perkins and Rainbow Rowell, both of which are amazing.


The Siren by Tiffany Reisz

  • Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning. Okay, so this was the first romance book I ever read. Actually, I listened to the audio; I highly recommend it since Phil Gigante voice is an orgasm for your ears. Anyway, I’m pretty into romance now. I don’t review it often because it’s my brain candy and I don’t have anything meaningful to say about it. This book started me down that road though.
  • The Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz. While I’m talking about books with sexytimes in them, I have to mention this series. After some time getting my feet wet in the romance genre, I moved into erotic romance and erotica. This is definitely not something I talk about often on this blog. Sometimes, though, this amazing book comes along and I have to tell everyone of its awesomeness. This series was the first time I had ever read what I jokingly call smart smut. Yes, there’s explicit sex; the books are also very well written. Do you know how hard that is to find? Most of the time erotica is all sex and no craft. This series just opened my eyes to type of erotica I was missing.


And… I’m out of things. I’m not sure what else has been a gateway for me. Man! Only one slot left, too! Sorry that was so long. I got kind of caught up in reminiscing.

Laura Ashlee

About Laura Ashlee

Hi there! I'm Laura Ashlee. I'm a 28-year-old fangirl of most things nerdy. I love books, comics, music, technology, and a host of other things. I write about a lot of those things on this blog. I also have the best job in the world: high school librarian. If you don't have a job where you get to hang out with teenagers all day, what are you doing with your life? All I know is that your not doing something right. Teenagers are cool... most of the time.
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2 Responses to “Top Ten (nine?) “Gateway” Books & Authors in My Reading Journey”

    • Ah, good point! Yes, following the whole series you really get a sense of the confusion of learning to transition from teen to adult. I wish New Adult were more about that too. Instead it’s just a younger version of contemporary romance with annoying characters.

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