Tuesday, April 1, 2014

TTT - "Gateway" Books

It's time to link up with the Broke and the Bookish again!

Today's topic is about the books or authors that got us into a new genre or out of a reading slump or that got us reading as kids. I struggled a little with this one, because my version of a reading slump is only reading two books a week rather than four, and I pretty much read anything and everything I could get my hands on as a kid. Still, I've managed to come up with ten books, so let's talk about them, shall we?

1. Dime Store Magic - Kelley Armstrong
I picked this up on a whim at the library a million years ago, and it led to Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld books not only becoming one of my favourite series, but to a long running love for urban fantasy as a genre.

2. Little House on the Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder
I got the complete box set of Laura Ingalls Wilder books for my sixth birthday, and spent the next three-ish years being completely and utterly obsessed with a) these books and b) the concept of pioneer life as a whole. I wore a bonnet and everything.

3. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
This was one of two books that I took with me on a three week school trip to France. Yes, you read that correctly. Three weeks. Two books (the other was Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca). I had them both read before we even landed in Paris. I think I read Pride and Prejudice about five times in those three weeks, and it well and truly got me back into reading classics.

4. Mossflower - Brian Jacques
This is one of those books that I can still remember reading for the first time. I was in the back of the car, driving to Wales (as one does), and we stopped for petrol. My mum insisted that I get out of the car and go to the loo, and I can remember being really cranky because OMG I'M IN THE MIDDLE OF A REALLY EXCITING CHAPTER. This, and the other Redwall books, are what got me into reading fantasy, as well as longer books. 

5. Down Under - Bill Bryson
My dad got a copy of this for Christmas the year it came out. I'd always seen it sitting there on the shelf and wondered if I should read it someday. I picked it up one day when I'd run out of library books, and I've been kind of in love with funny travel books ever since.

6. Guards, Guards - Terry Pratchett
One of two Discworld books that my little brother got for his birthday when he was about 13. He was all "OMG, YOU SHOULD READ THIS, IT'S SO GOOD", and I was like "....................really? That looks dumb." Oh, Past Kirsti. You so silly. 

7. Temple - Matthew Reilly
I think I picked this one up because it seemed like it would be an archaeological thing. It only sort of was, but I went through a massive adventure/action reading jaunt after I stumbled across this one.

8. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
The book that got me back into reading YA, for which I will be eternally grateful. It also got me into reading dystopian books. I'm not sure if I'm grateful for that one or not........

9. Scurvy - Stephen Bown
In my third year at university, I did a subject about medical history. I guess the subject was my gateway more than anything, but this book got me into reading non-academic books about medical history and solving the mysteries of particular diseases. From this, I went to a book about the plague, then malaria, then childbed fever, then smallpox, then cholera... Really cheerful stuff! 

10. Seven Up - Janet Evanovich
I found this at a university book sale for 50p when I was doing study abroad. I'd had several people rave about the Stephanie Plum books in the previous weeks, so I figured for 50p, I'd take the risk. I read it cover to cover in about 3 hours, and promptly went on to plough my way through the previous books in the series as quickly as I could get my hands on them. 

What are your gateway books?

K xx


  1. My mum was pretty obsessed with Little House. She must have read them to us a dozen times. ;) (But she loves all that Amish stuff too.) Me? THE HUNGER GAMES. THE SCORPIO RACES. YES PLEASE. XD I also grew up on a lot of Narnia.

  2. Bill Bryson was my gateway into funny travel books, too. Thanks for sharing some of your favorites.

    Here's my list of You-Can't-Just-Eat-One Books on My Reading Journey!

  3. The Hobbit and The Neverending Story were my gateway into fantasy books, which is probably why I still have so much love for them. Harry Potter for YA stuff. Reading Silent Bob Speaks made me interested in memoirs, but I haven't read a lot of them. I found Pratchett because I love Neil Gaiman, strangely enough. I've never heard of Bill Bryson, I think I need to check him out.

    Also, I love dystopian society books, so if you come across any really good ones let me know.

  4. Patrick Ness' The Chaos Walking trilogy is kind of dubious as far as dystopian books go - it's more sci-fi than anything. But they're SO FREAKING GOOD OMG YOU SHOULD READ THEM. And also read Bill Bryson because he's really freaking good at mixing fascinating information and hilarious anecdotes.

  5. I never got into Narnia. My little brother LOVED them, but I think by the time he was getting into them, I was sliiiiiightly too old to find them interesting. Or something. IDK.


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