Tuesday, April 1, 2014

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

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

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

Books that got me reading about the Civil War and started my Civil War collection

Killer Angels by Michael Shaara was the first Civil War novel I ever read. It is the basis for the movie, Gettysburg, starring Tom Berenger and Martin Sheen. I went on to read Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure. These along with....

started my Civil War collection, which now fills over one shelf (two deep) and includes mostly non-fiction titles. 

Book that got me interested in Abraham Lincoln

David Herbert Donald's Lincoln is a superb biography of our sixteenth president. It encouraged me to read more about this amazing leader.

Books that got me interested in fiction again

For years, I read non-fiction only. This was mostly because I was interested in the Civil War and reading everything I could afford to purchase. But so many of my friends were talking about this Left Behind series of books about millions of people around the world disappearing and what happens to those who were "left behind," that I had to check it out. I think by the time I started reading, the third book, Nicolae, was already released. Once I read Book 1, I never wanted to stop reading. It was hard to wait for each new installment to come out once I caught up with the series. I haven't had a spell since the late 90s where I wasn't reading at least a bit of fiction regularly.

Books that allowed me to enjoy dystopian fiction

If anyone had asked my thoughts on dystopian fiction a few years ago, I would have told them I didn't care for the genre. My daughter received a copy of The Hunger Games as a gift from one of her teachers. Based upon what I heard from those who had read the series, I decided we needed to read the book together so I could figure out if she would be allowed to read the other two books in the series. Both of us enjoyed The Hunger Games so much that I purchased the other two and we quickly read through them. While I doubt this will ever be a favorite genre of mine, I've read other dystopian novels since then and I don't dislike the genre as much as I used to.

Book that helped me enjoy futuristic stories

In case you never noticed, I much prefer historical fiction to those stories set in the future. I'm not that much into gizmos and gadgets, flying spaceships, and computerized nonsense. My daughter, on the other hand, loves futuristic stories and wanted to give Cinder a try. We read it together, and I truly loved the character of Cinder, despite the modern setting of the story. For that matter, I'm not usually a big fan of fairy tale retellings, but this is a great book. 

First book I blogged about

As I began to embark upon my writing career, I knew an important part of improving my craft was to read often. Up until that time, I had stopped reading regularly because my young family kept me busy. Never one to give less than 100 percent, I dedicated myself to daily reading. The Ghost in the Little House was the first book I tackled after making that commitment. It had sat on my bookshelf for a while because I knew the content was controversial in the world of Laura fandom. I ended up digesting the book slowly and blogging about it in installments. 

Book that introduced me to Amish fiction

Amish fiction was already an impressive market by the time I started reading it. I had heard about it here and there, but hadn't read any until Plain Pursuit became available through the Amazon VINE program. Now it's one of my favorite genres to read. I try never to miss books by Naomi King and Charlotte Hubbard. I have several of Beth Wiseman's books here too.

First writing craft book I ever read

I can't even take credit for selecting this as the first writing craft book I've ever read. On Writing Well was sent to me as required reading for the writing program I enrolled in back in 2004 with Long Ridge Writers Group. This book made me realize I had a lot to learn about my craft. 

Book that made reading fantasy fun

Like science-fiction, no one will ever accuse me of being a fantasy reader. I've never picked up a Harry Potter book. Divergent is a book I'll probably never read. I couldn't make it past the first three pages of The Hobbit. But when Karina Fabian released Magic, Mensa, and Mayhem with its sarcastic, funny dragon P.I. named Vern, I thought I would give it a try. Loved it from the first word. 

Book that made me a Stephen King fan

My husband was always a fan of Stephen King. Horror, however, has never been a favorite genre for me in books or movies. I went to see some horror movies with him, but it really was painful to watch because he likes the bloody, creepy ones. 

When I decided to give Stephen King a try, I knew it wouldn't be Cujo, Carrie, or The Shining. I had seen bits and pieces of all these movies and there was no way I could stomach reading these stories. So, I opted for The Stand. Granted, it took me 600 pages before I truly enjoyed the book, simply because that was when all the pieces started coming together, but after that I flew through the remaining pages. This remains my favorite book of all time, and I ended up reading more of King's books a a result. I'll probably never go for his really creepy stories, but he's diverse enough to provide me substantial reading material.


Jessica @ a GREAT read said...

Nice list! Quite a lot of these are new to me!

Here's my Tuesday post

Have a GREAT day!

Old Follower :)

Milka Read.Read.Read. said...

Great list - haven't heard about a lot of these before. I really want to read some Stephen King as well - I need to keep The Stand in mind. :)

Katherine P said...

Interesting list! I haven't read the Killer Angels series but I know it's my husband's favorite by far. The Little House in the Prairie books were some of my favorites as a child but I've never heard of The Ghost in the Little House. I'm definitely intrigued! Thanks!

Cheryl said...

Thanks for stopping by.

Milka, The Stand is a must read. I loved the TV movie, too, but didn't care for some of the changes they made.

Katherine, The Ghost in the Little House is about Rose Wilder Lane's life. It's controversial in the sense that the author feels Rose should be listed as co-author of the Little House books. This book is probably the most complete biography of the Wilders' daughter.

chrissireads said...

Brilliant list. I love how diverse your reading seems.

AmandaEmma Nissen said...

I love how your list starts out with NF and then suddenly shifts to YA!

Great list and thanks for stopping by!

AmandaEmma @ Little Miss Reader