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Top 10 "Gateway" Books/Authors in My Reading Journey

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A weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's topic is 10 "gateway" books/authors, those that were catalysts for new stages in your reading journey- like the book/author that got you into reading, made you love a particular genre, made you a reader again, etc.

I present, in roughly chronological order, my:

Top 10 8 "Gateway Books/Authors in My Reading Journey
(I blanked and only came up with eight)
  1. The American Girl series. This is one of the earliest series I remember getting into, and I think I read most, if not all, the historical girls series at the time. I loved their History Mysteries series (now replaced with brand character specific mysteries) and really got into historical fiction for a while, which led me to other series like the Magic Attic Club and Dear America. I also had a Josephina doll.
  2. Pony Pals! Hasn't every little girl gone through a horse phase? I know I sure did. I did lots of riding when I lived in Florida and dove into horse books. First Pony Pals, then I graduated to the Saddle Club series.
  3. Mysteries. I mentioned the American Girl History Mysteries before, but the books that really made me a mystery reader were the Boxcar Children and, of course, Nancy Drew. I devoured those books one after another.
  4. I think most kids also go through a mythology phase, usually Greek myths. This was before the era of Percy Jackson, but my gateway to Greek myths was a little paperback that relayed some of the famous stories. I remember finding a few series after, but the majority of my Greek reading was on a computer encyclopedia program. It's probably the most extensive, all-at-once nonfiction reading I've ever done for fun.
  5. Spindle's End by Robin McKinley. I guess you could say it was my gateway into "older" reading. I got a free copy through B&N's summer reading program. (I remember being really disappointed that I couldn't pick any book in the store, and this one looked the least boring of the choices available.) Even though it was shelved in the Children's section, it's more of a YA title by current standards. Spindle's End got me to venture into the YA section at my library (for more McKinley) titles, and it kind of cemented my love of fantasy.
  6. Angelic Layer by CLAMP. I went through a serious manga phase in middle school and high school, and this was the first series I read. I was curious about these strange, backwards comic books on the library shelves, so I gave them a try. In hindsight, I read a lot of crummy titles, but I also found a few gems, and regardless, they were always light, quick reads.
  7. As many others have noted, college can kill personal reading. It happened to me, too. What got me back in the swing of reading for fun? Diana Wynne Jones. Fun, whimsical and always read-able.
  8. As much as I love YA, I've been looking to expand my reading choices and have kept an eye out for some Adult titles/series to start. I've been looking for that happy in-between of not too much romance, not too serious, light and fun, preferably with a dose of magic. And I finally found the gateway into this new frontier! I recently read Written in Red and really enjoyed it! Unfortunately, I'm having trouble finding similar titles to join the group, but I have high hopes.

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