Tuesday, April 1, 2014

TTT: Gateway

Hosted here.

Top Ten "Gateway" Books/Authors In My Reading Journey

I really like the prompt this week. As a person that has been an avid reader most of her life, it's really fun for me to look back on the books that played a large role in my reading journey.

Although I couldn't find the exact book, this one will do as I believe the one I actually read was an abridged version of this. I found it in my library when I was really young - probably around eight years old - back in the days of The Babysitter's Club, Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. While those were all good, this book, for the first time ever, made me love a book. Everything after this has been this book's fault. Including my want to read everything even vaguely related to Sherlock Holmes.

In all fairness, this probably should have been the Wishbone TV series because it forced me down the path of loving to read. However, there were some books in this series, that were just too fun to pass up and this one was one of my favorites. Besides, it segues so very nicely (because of the mystery novel that was being read during the book) into my next choice.

Now I could be mistaken (it was after all, over fifteen years ago) but I do believe this was the first 'adult' book I ever read. My library had this wonderful collection of Christie's novels, all hardbacks and bound in black leather (or vinyl...). I remember making tracks between the children's section and the shelf with Christie's mysteries on it - with little deviation anywhere else.

I don't know how I was ever lucky enough to find a battered copy of this book at a used bookstore. But, in all honesty, my life has never been the same since. I'd love to say that's hyperbole but... Even before this book, I had a deep interest in Egypt and the archaeological method (even as boring and dry as most people say the truth is - and this book certainly isn't truth) but this book was the first time I'd ever read Egyptian fiction. The first time I actually wanted to do the job that was being depicted. The first time I ever wanted to live in the book I was reading. My Egyptian fascination has never waned, and I have this two dollar book from an author that I had never even heard of before to thank for all that.

I found this book years ago in my mom's book collection. Desperate for something to read, I decided to give it a go. Let's just say that I loved the book and this is what opened up the world of - as I call them - gothic mysteries to me. If you only know this story from the Hayley Mills movie, read the book. It is ten times better.

This was the book. Arilyn Moonblade and Danilo Thann. This was the book that got me into fantasy reading. I bought it in a little, out-of-the-way bookshop (that also served as a meeting place for all things D&D) and it was the first fantasy novel I ever read. Seriously, up until this point, I was strictly a mystery girl. But this book opened up a whole realm (do pardon the pun) of other characters for me. Elves! (And an excuse to like villains whose hobby isn't killing people.)

4: Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon
The first sci-fi book I ever read. I'd like to say that it started a wonderful trend, but as much as I love sci-fi in theory, I have a hard time finding books I like in practice. I did really enjoy this book, though I thought the series stretched on way too long.

3: Storm Warning by Mercedes Lackey
Back in my days of reading little besides the D&D, WoW and Magic setting tie-in novels, I remember reading this book and it gave me the first real look at fantasy novels that were not based around RPG style games. Honestly, without this book, I'm not really sure the direction my reading would have taken.

The first ever steampunk book I read. Ever. So, my strange infatuation with all things steam and punk-y can be blamed on this book. Yes, it was an interesting journey through reading this book - what with the popcorn vibe it had going for it, the borderline chick-lit atmosphere, the adaptation of bodice rippers - and, even though I wouldn't have said it a week after finishing the book, even the romance didn't stop me from ultimately loving the book.

1: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
This book was the first ever young adult novel that I read. Sad, I know, considering that I read it only last year. But when I was an actual young adult, I avoided the YA labeled books like the plague - mostly for the romance, which was very, very light in this book. But this book had been everything I looked for in steampunk and I am so glad I found it when I already adored the basis for the story.

So, after much thought, that's my list. They are roughly in the order that I read them in and I really think you can see the change in my reading. It's funny but the first half of this list is pretty firmly in the mystery genre, while the other half doesn't have a single mystery book to be found.