Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. I thought this would be a fun way to share a condensed version of potential rambles and thoughts that I have.
This Week’s Theme:
Top Ten Gateway Books
In My Reading Journey
So April Fools, right? I had this thought of throwing off readers by stirring the pot and delving into choices that would sound absurd as a gateway book…but I can’t make cookie cutter judgments without reading the novels that I’d likely nominate. Alas, another run of the mill list will be produced. But more importantly, this journey of a list is more of a throwback and overall progression of gateway books corresponding to a particular age group. The books listed are in no particular order in each category and link up to their respective Goodreads sites.
Age Category: Zygote – Preschool
thoughts: just chillin’ like a villain.
Age Category: Elementary School (Morning SK – Grade 8)
thoughts: seeking out reads with minimalist required effort.
1. Jean Marzollo – I Spy
The gateway book of all gateway books. A picture book with stellar one liners that could keep me occupied for several minutes (or longer). This is literally your average child’s treasure trove of reading during library period (if you had this at your school). I remember there were only a few copies available and no one would share…
2. Roald Dahl’s BFG & Dr. Seuss’s Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
I didn’t particularly read a lot either author to begin with but I do remember these two in particular (and the old-school Lorax movie). You can’t be at fault for picking up any of Dahl’s or Seuss’ books. Literally, just grab one and enjoy.
3. Katherine Applegate – Animorphs
I actually don’t remember how many novels in the series I read (not many) because I also watched this show whenever it aired. And as one of my first true dabbles in science-fiction, it seemed pretty rad and entertaining at the same time – so props for that. Additionally, it’s cool to see actors of way back then still somewhat relevant. Well, actually, it was more of an “Oh, hey, it’s that kid!” when I first saw Shawn Ashmore in the X-men franchise but also more importantly in The Following (which still sort of gives me the hebejebes.
4. Jack Canfield – Chicken Soup for the X Soul
Not particularly memorable stories in the lot of these books (I think I’ve only read the original “…for the Soul” and “…for the Teenage Soul”) but they were still very present during this phase of growing up. I think there’s a lot of feel good contemporary content (for the most part, at least) in these books that make it easy reading and one of the earliest realistic fiction reads I can think of.
5. J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter
Ah yes, I remember when this blew up and I was one of the first kids at school to bring Bertie Botts. Then I got super lazy and didn’t continue reading this past the third novel after discovering how easy peasy it was to just watch the movie. Now I’m not saying it’s a replacement…but my adolescent mindset certainly favoured running around like an idiot outside and gaming as opposed to reading (except this might be a bad sample size to make this comment to…)
Age Category: High School (Grades 9 – 12)
thoughts: development of sci-fi elements as my core reading interest while growing to enjoy writing more (had a fanfiction.net account…) although creative writing class was a real bitch.
6. Margaret Atwood – Oryx and Crake // Handmaid’s Tale
I just realised how much high school novel studying was a driving force behind my speculative fiction/science-fiction in my reading (beginning early with John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids) and ending with Handmaid’s Tale – with a sleuth of other books intertwined therein (namely P.D. James’ The Children of Men and Ayn Rand’s Anthem.)
7. Neil Gaiman – Coraline
For the most part, you can do no wrong with any Neil Gaiman novel. Some of his novels are more content heavy than others (in my opinion, at least), but Coraline is a good quick read to introduce anyone into his mind.
Age Category: University
thoughts: I didn’t really read that much until the latter half of my studious career. Most reading was business-oriented textbooks. Super fun right?
8. Pierre Bourdieu – Acts of Resistance: Against Tyranny of the Market
This was an assigned reading for apparently thought-provoking business ethics discussions in my third year of study. Can’t say this really got me back into reading since I rarely understood the radical thinking this book delves into, but it was still a read that I can say returned me to holding an actual itty bitty paperback – not that massive three-pound textbook nonsense.
9. Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games // Veronica Roth’s Divergent
Both of these novels came at a time when my gaming ventures was stagnating (not saying I’ve stopped gaming though). Truthfully, I think it was the first trailer of The Hunger Games that really perked my interest due to my relative enjoyment of the Battle Royale film. I think this might have been the book that got me back into reading. And although the trilogy was already released, I decided to wait until each movie came out prior to reading each next instalment.
This isn’t the same for Divergent (because I didn’t know there was a movie deal at the time) so I just devoured the first two novels and the third one on the day Allegiant came out. It’s one of the first trilogies that I actually tried to finish and one that made me complain about novels to Savindi. So what does this result to? I’d say Allegiant is my gateway book into the whole concept of critical review blogging.
10. Patrick Ness’ More Than This, Rick Yancey’s The Fifth Wave, David Lomax’s Backward Glass
So before I actually started reviewing/rant blogging, I wrote reviews to two of these books way in advance as a way to vent out my thoughts. They’re all somewhat unique additions to my speculative/science-fiction additions and reads that I enjoyed quite a bit. And with the near-end of one chapter of schooling, my enjoyment of reading generally returned and here we are: me spamming my keyboard and you reading said nonsense.
Age Category: Meandering Adulthood
10.1. Just chillin’ like a villain (always)…but truthfully: undefined and always looking for that next read to spark interest in a particular genre or particular narrative element that speaks to me.
So yeah, this is more of a throwback post than any introduction to x genre list. Did you read any of these books in any phase of your life? Think I should have read something else in a particular agegroup? Shoot me a message and we can keep the dialogue going!