The Broke and the Bookish for this week is “Top Ten Gateway books.” I had to jump on this one because my reading habits have really changed over the years. I used to be a hard-core romance reader (yes, the rippling muscles and heaving bosoms sort of books.) Now I mainly read urban fantasy and mysteries. If you think about it, those urban fantasies really are mysteries, just in alternative universes.
Here’s my gateway books, in order of discovery:
The Potter books were on my reading list before they exploded on the reading scene and pulling kids back into reading. I started this series before The List existed, but I am pretty sure I was reading them in 1999 or 2000. I was definitely well-versed by the time that book 4 was published.
Patrica Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Books were next. Fantasy books were somewhat forbidden in my household because the church my family attended was against them. (Not that the bodice rippers were allowed but logic isn’t something that is easily applied here.) But these practically fairy tales and not controversial to my religious family’s beliefs.
A huge push to fantasy was Philip Pullman’s Dark Material series. This series really stretched my thinking and made me realize the power of books combined with religion. Just thinking about series makes me want to re-read it.
For the next several years, I stuck with books that were meant for young adult readers and mainly in the fairy tale realm. Then, I met Bethany. She was a huge influence on my reading choices; I’m positive she’ll attest that I influenced her’s as well. She does read Nora Roberts, after all <grin>.
Bethany introduced me to Garth Nix’s Abhorsen Trilogy, for which I am eternally grateful. After that we were told about Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden series, which quickly became her Morganville Vampires series. Then, I found the Dresden Files and convinced Bethany that she needed to read the first four books with the commitment that if she didn’t like them after the first four she could stop. She hasn’t yet.
Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next books are impossibly clever and I’m quite sure that I don’t get most of the jokes, yet, I love them. Kim Harrison’s The Hollows Series was recommended by a friend and I spend quite a bit of time with that series too. Then, I had to tackle a classic and picked out Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe.
After that point, it was all downhill, and romance titles are few and far between on my reading list, with most slots going to fantasy novels and mysteries.
My favorites are urban fantasy novels where mysteries are solved in a world that has more than just humans living in it.
Now, where did I leave my towel?