Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten “Gateway” Books/Authors In My Reading Journey

April 1, 2014 Top Ten Tuesday 5


Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! This weekly shared “meme” has a different theme each week and is shared by many blogs. We’re aiming to come up with ten things between us each week so they won’t be in any particular order!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. For a list of past and future Top Ten Tuesday topics and to find out more about Top Ten Tuesday, click here!


Top Ten “Gateway” Books/Authors In My Reading Journey


Song of Solomon

1.  Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Goodreads blurb: Song of Solomon is a work of outstanding beauty and power, whose story covers the years from the 1930’s to the 1960’s in America. At its centre is Macon Dead Jr, the son of a wealthy black property owner, who has been brought up to revere the white world. Macon learns about the tyranny of white society from his friend Guitar, though he is more concerned to escape the tyranny of his father. So while Guitar joins a terrorist group of poor blacks, Macon goes home to the South, lured by tales of buried family treasure. His journey leads to the discovery of something more valuable than gold, his past. Yet the truth about his origins and his true self is not fully revealed to Macon until he and Guitar meet once again in powerful, and deadly confrontation.

How it influenced my reading journey: This is the book that introduced me to the beautiful and wonderful world of Magical Realism – Natasha

2. J.K Rowling

How she influenced my reading journey: Harry Potter changed my life forever – Leila

JK Rowling

City of Bones

3. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Goodreads blurb: Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

How it influenced my reading journey: The Mortal Instruments were the first books I read out of college that served as a gateway to YA. – Leila

4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Goodreads blurb: Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.


It’s a small story, about: a girl, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.


How it influenced my reading journey: The Book Thief brought me back to reading – Hannah

The Book Thief

The Lord of the Rings

5. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Goodreads blurb: The Lord of the Rings cannot be described in a few words. J.R.R. Tolkien’s great work has been labelled both a heroic romance and a classic of science fiction. It is, however, impossible to convey to the new reader all of the book’s qualities, and the range of its creation. By turns comic, homely, epic, monstrous and diabolic, the narrative moves through countless changes of scenes and character in an imaginary world which is totally convincing in its detail. Tolkien created a new mythology in an invented world which has proved timeless in its appeal.

How it influenced my reading journey: Lord of the Rings got me into epic fantasy – Hannah

6. Margaret Atwood

How she influenced my reading journey: The Handmaid’s Tale was the first dystopian novel I read that completely blew me away. Atwood introduced me to a whole new genre of speculative fiction, and that lead me to Orwell, Bradbury and even Suzanne Collins :)! Then, she managed to do it again with The Blind Assassin, only this time made me fall in love with Literary Fiction all over again. I have the greatest respect for this lady. – Natasha

Margaret Atwood

Hunger Games

7.  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Goodreads blurb: In a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed.

When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

 How it influenced my reading journey:  The Hunger Games was my intro to the modern “ya” age group and dystopian stories in general. I was pretty horrified by the story but hooked on the genre. –  Angelya

8. The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

Goodreads blurb:  A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. To them, blond, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly–she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza’s way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge.

How it influenced my reading journey: This was my ‘transition’ novel. The first real adult book I read after years of Sweet Valley High and other ghastly teenage romances (cringe). Ayla was such a strong, self-sufficient female character, she stayed with me ever since. – Natasha

The Clan of the Cave Bear

The Chronicles of Pern

9. The Chronicles of Pern by Anne McCaffrey

Goodreads Blurb: Here is one of the most fascinating dragon tales ever written by Anne McCaffrey, when Fort Weyr was the only weyr, and when dragonriders and dragons were overcrowded to danger point. As the news broke of three fresh weyrs to be established, a young girl, Torene, came to realize that her dragon could be the next Queen of the newly formed Benden Weyr.

How it influenced my reading journey:  Chronicles of Pern got me into reading fantasy – Philippa

10. The Chrysalids by John Wyndham

Goodreads blurb: In the community of Waknut it is believed mutants are the products of the Devil and must be stamped out. When David befriends a girl with a slight abnormality, he begins to understand the nature of fear and oppression. When he develops his own deviation, he must learn to conceal his secret.

How it influenced my reading journey: The Chrysalids got me hooked into classic sci fi/dystopia – Philippa

The Chrysalids


Natasha lives in Brisbane, Australia with her husband and son. She is a self confessed bibliophile who enjoys literature and adult fiction. She also loves travelling and aims to visit 40 countries by the time she is 40 (current count 36).

5 Responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten “Gateway” Books/Authors In My Reading Journey”

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.