~~ Topic Rewind ~~
~~ Top Ten Gateway Books or Authors ~~
This week for Top Ten Tuesday, the topic is a Top Ten Tuesday Rewind, and we can choose any topic in the past that has already been done. It can be a topic I missed recently or over the years, or a topic that I just really want to revisit. And so while browsing some past topics, I stumbled across this one, introduced in April 2014: Top Ten 'Gateway' Books/Authors in Our Reading Journey.
The topic focuses on the books that made an impact in our reading lives--it could be a book/author that catapulted our love for reading, or a book/author that introduced us to a new favorite genre.
I've been reading ever since I can remember, and so I don't know which book or author, exactly, that started my love for reading. But I DO have some 'Gateway' books and authors who were significant in my reading journey, even if they didn't become my personal favorites at present.
I have divided my "Reading Gateways" into three categories:
1. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White -- In my recollection, Charlotte's Web was the very first chapter book I read as a child, and my first favorite book, which doesn't amount to much of a favorite since it was pretty much the only chapter book I owned in my childhood. This was before I discovered libraries or other bookish resource for my reading pleasure, and so I just kept coming back to this book and reading it over and over again.
2. Nancy Drew mystery series by Carolyn Keene -- I never finished reading this series when I was younger, but I DO remember really liking it a lot. It was one of my first series read and one of the first set of books that got me interested in mystery. This particular series just stands out for me for so many reasons.
3. Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder -- Laura Ingalls was a popular author when I was growing up, and her books hit upon a lot of feels and ideals for growing girls during that time period. As my best friend likes to state, the books give you a warm, tingly feeling with the cozy family settings, the new exploration of moving from one locale to another, and the sweetly adorable stages of young love. This was one of the first set of books that I became highly obsessed with, and I read the very first book, Little House in the Big Woods over and over again.
In Between Gateways
The Hunger Games is not my favorite series in the world, nor is it, by any means, the best books in the world. The first book was written very well with a lot of great controversies and ideals, I'll admit that, and is one of my favorite young adult books to date. But the series as a whole never really comes up as more significant in my reading life than what it has done for my reading life.
- It got me obsessed with Young Adult literature.
- It got me hooked on dystopian books/series.
- It reintroduced me into reading voraciously--prior to The Hunger Games, I really wasn't as obsessed with books even IF reading was ALWAYS a favorite free time hobby. Prior to The Hunger Games, I DID read, but it wasn't such a significant part of my life.
- It helped me discover book communities such as Goodreads. Because I was so obsessed with how much I enjoyed The Hunger Games, I did an internet search for similar books that would appease my appetite for dystopian literature, which apparently was becoming the trend at that time. And that search lead me to Goodreads, which, say what you will about GR politics, but it certainly DOES have one of most vast and useful book databases publicly available on the internet. My Reading Journey has change immensely ever since stumbling upon it, thanks to The Hunger Games.
Extreme Exposure and the rest of the Pamela Clare I-Team books was my first foray into the genre of Romantic Suspense. I've always liked crime thrillers and mysteries, and if there's a little bit of romance on the side, I'm cool with that too. I am a hopeless romantic after all. And the genre of Romantic Suspense combines two of my favorite things in literature, and if written well, there's always a great balance of crime thriller and romance to make me extremely happy. Extreme Exposure was one of the first of many more racy books I'd ever read with explicit sex scenes that wasn't shy about it either.
And I loved it--both the romance, the thriller... and the sex scenes. And ever since then, I have been less shy about reading Romantic Suspense, or even Category Romance, or even Erotica, despite having turned my nose up at the genres in my youth. Now, I'm a huge advocate for "Read what you like," and a champion for romance novels, which really don't get taken as seriously as other similar types of books written by men, loved by men.