Top Ten Gateway Books

Top Ten Gateway Books

Top Ten Gateway Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. If you want to play along, post a link on their site to your blog post and then post a link to them from your blog.

This week I’m listing the top ten books that sparked my interest in reading in general or in a specific genre of book.

Mother Goose

1. Mother Goose. Doesn’t everyone start with Mother Goose?? Well, maybe not…I remember my children informing me how shocked they were when they learned that some of their friends did not know any nursery rhymes…



2. Tal and his Marvelous Adventures with Noom-Zor-Noom by Paul Fenimore Cooper. My third grade teacher (thank-you, Mrs. Catalini!) read this to our class as a chapter book over several months as a reward for getting our work done. The stories within the story lent themselves to this segmented reading and I bought it and read it to my children when they were that age as well.

3.  & 4. Nancy Drew; Trixie Belden. I read these series of books concurrently and loved them both, but actually felt more kinship with the down-to-earth Trixie than the more sophisticated Nancy. I was about 9-11 years old when I read these and knew I wanted to be a detective when I grew up as a result. I started a detective agency (The Grant-Churchville Detective Agency) with my best friend and she and I would ride our bikes around our small town “solving crimes.”

The Wuggly Ump

5. The Wuggly Ump by Edward Gorey. My gateway to All Things Gorey. The macabre humor struck me forcefully when I read this during one of the many sleepovers at age 10 or so at my detective partner’s house. It was her book and I read it over and over until I had it memorized. I’ve since become a Gorey collector.

6. & 7. Brother’s Karamazov, by Dostoevsky and Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. I read these in middle school at the recommendation of a friend and classmate who was obviously advanced in her reading choices for her age. (Thank you, Darlene Kobuszewski!) I didn’t understand all I read, but went on to read several others by these two authors and really enjoyed them (or I enjoyed the feeling of being a high-brow reader of great literature…)

Stranger in a Strange Land

8. Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein. This was my first foray into science fiction and I was immediately taken with Valentine Michael Smith. I admired his morality and purity. I didn’t dive right in to sci-fi after that, but did enjoy Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 when it was assigned in middle school and then picked up A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. about the same time. I remember that this one made a big impression on me. (Hmmm. both Fahrenheit and Canticle are about books…hmmm…maybe this was a bigger influence on me than I thought to propel me into the career of Librarianship…)

9. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. Up until this point I mostly read mysteries. Not sure what prompted me to pick up Gladwell’s book (“everybody’s reading it…?”) but I found it fascinating and followed up with his other non-fiction offerings. As my reading choices opened my eyes to new information, I became impatient and bored with the formulaic escapism books I had previously been reading.

Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

10. Once I got my appetite whetted with non-fiction, I branched out to include memoirs in my favorites; specifically the quirky, dysfunctional stories like Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel.



About Gail

Genealogist, librarian, writer, traveler, Mormon
This entry was posted in Books, Favorites, Life Lessons, Synchronicity and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Top Ten Gateway Books

  1. Hi Gail, your Mum must have been great at costume design. I often wonder about my ancestors every little snippet I learn about long gone relatives fascinates me in the way it helps me understand my present too 🙂

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Let's chat!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s