Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday- "Gateway" Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a really cool original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten List that bloggers join in on answering... and today (April 1st) I'm one of them :)

Today's Topic

Top Ten Gateway Books On My Reading Journey

I've always loved reading from before I even knew how to read.  In middle school, however, is when my obsession really got big.  When I was in school, YA didn't really exist as it does today, so these were the books I gravitated to:

1.  Fear Street by RL Stine- oh I don't even know how much money my poor mom spent on Fear Street books in the 90's.
2.  Mysteries- Like Fear Street books, other "teen mysteries" were popular back then as well.

When I first went to college I thought I had to read "Adult" books (although I didn't do all THAT much reading in college because I was too busy socializing).  I found a few that I really liked, but for the most part, I didn't feel like I was clicking with what I was reading.  Then I found these books, and I knew where my home was:

3.  Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson- This was the first YA book I read after leaving high school.  And it blew my freaking mind.  I knew that these were the types of books I was meant to read.
4.  Just Listen by Sarah Dessen- Another book that cemented my love for YA Contemporary.  I was still on the fence about whether I should be reading YA or not when I found this book.  
5.  Harry Potter by JK Rowling- This book was one that made me realize that labels really don't mean much.  If a book is good, it's just good.  I always thought Harry Potter was for kids, but when I took a risk and read it, I knew I should stop with my preconceived notions.

During and after college I read some... but after I had my son is when I really picked back up on my reading obsession.  These were the catalyst books to that:

6.  The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart- Oh how I loved Ruby Oliver.  I wish I could read this all over again for the first time :)
7.  Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
8.  The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

These are more recent books in my reading evolution.  They are important because they made me realize that I CAN read books outside of my comfort zone:

9.  This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers- The first zombie book I ever loved!
10.  The Diviners by Libba Bray- Woah you mean Historical Fiction can be fun??  That's what I learned when I read this gem :)

So those are my "gateway" books.  Which books got you into reading/ back into reading??


  1. I should have added R.L.Stine to my list. There was a time when Goosebumps was all I read, no matter what anyone said!! Harry Potter seems to have made it to most of these lists, which is not surprising at all. :)

  2. Loved R.L. Stine as a kid! My daughter is now reading them-seeing her with them really brings back memories :)

  3. Great list - I have several of these on my own list as well, and there are some here that I probably should have included. I was obsessed with the Goosebumps books by R.L. Stine :D

  4. Love it! I split mine up with timeframes too. I don't think I'd be the reader I am today if I didn't start out obsessed when I was a kid :) I'd be really surprised if HP isn't on everyone's list. It's definitely an iconic gateway book!

  5. Great list! I loved Thirteen Reasons Why, I feel like it opened the door up to more emotional books for me because I don't remember ever crying while reading before I read that book.

  6. The fact you've listed The Diviners and The Hunger Games makes me excited to try them soon, and it's so good that these books helped you. I also really enjoyed Thirteen Reasons Why, definitely affected me a lot. Great reasoning and great list Michelle! :D

  7. I listed Sarah Dessen this week, but I haven't read Just Listen yet. Maybe I will read that one next :)

    I loved Harry Potter as well. Great list!!

    Here is my TTT: http://jacquesbooknook.blogspot.com/2014/04/top-ten-tuesday-gateway-books.html

  8. R.L. Stine was my introduction to thrillers. I started with Goosebumps and graduated to Fear Street. I'm really glad to see these books on a list. I also loved The Diviners. Absolutely chilling at times and so full of detail. Great list!

    Check out my TTT.

  9. I probably should've listed Sarah Dessen as well too since those were my contemporary obsessions, but I forgot all about them! I loved reading your list and how you split everything up :)

  10. Nice. I loved the *Fear Street* books, when I was in Jr. High. I also enjoyed *Point Horror* books, like the ones you show. I read all 3 of the ones you show in the *Beginning Obsession* section.