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1 April 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - Top 10 'Gateway' Books/Authors in My Reading Journey

'Top Ten Tuesday' is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Lately I've seen some other book bloggers being quite enthusiastic about this weekly meme, so I decided to join in with the fun and try it out myself as well!
Top Ten 'Gateway' Books/Authors in My Reading Journey
Today's Top Ten Tuesday is quite a tricky one, namely ten 'gateway' books/authors in my reading journey; in other words, books or authors that played a specific role in my book-reading life. A book that got me into reading, an author that got me interested in a specific genre... Enough to think about this week, and as I'm writing this I am already quite curious to find out which ten books will eventually make the list!

1. Jane Austen - 'Pride and Prejudice'

If you know me or visit this blog regularly, I suppose it is no real surprise that this book is number 1 on this list! Jane Austen is one of my all-time favourite authors and I love anything that has to do with her. I remember reading 'Pride and Prejudice' for the first time when I was 15 years old and even though I already loved books before reading this story, it definitely was the start of a new passion for me, a passon for not just Austen herself, but also for English literature in general. I ended up studying English literature for 6 years, and I still think back to my first experience with 'Pride & Prejudice' as a defining moment in my life and my love for books!

2. Josie Lloyd & Emlyn Rees - 'The Three Day Rule'

These days my favourite book genre is definitely chick lit, and I still remember the books I read as a teenager that made me more interested in this genre and made me want to read more and more. I used to love Josie Lloyd & Emlyn Rees' books and every time I went to the library and found another one of their novels I was over the moon. I especially remember reading 'The Three Day Rule' and not wanting to put it down until I had finished it!  

3. Lisa Jewell - 'Vince and Joy'

Another author who played a significant role when I was discovering chick lit as a teenager is Lisa Jewell. I remember getting really excited whenever one of her new books was released, but I especially remember how much I loved and was impressed by her novel 'Vince and Joy.' The pretty cover, the characters, the storyline... The book is a great read and still one of my favourite chick lit novels of all time. The love story at the centre of this book also inspired me to start writing myself, so it still has a special place on my book shelf.

4. P.L. Travers - 'Mary Poppins'

'Mary Poppins' has been one of my favourite films ever since I was a little girl. I remember wanting nothing more than a British nanny who could fly through the air with an umbrella and jump into chalk drawings on the street. When I was at university, I decided to write an essay about 'Mary Poppins' which is how I ended up actually reading the original books. I discovered that the books written by P.L. Travers are actually really different from the Disney film (some of you might know the whole story behind this, but I won't go into detail about it right now). This reading experience showed me that film adaptations of novels can be completely different from the original book, which is why I always want to read the book on which a particular film I enjoyed is based, whether it's before I see the film or after. So, also a book with a personal story behind it and one that belongs on this list!  

5. Emily Giffin - 'Something Borrowed'

Another chick lit classic that's still one of my absolute favourites. It encouraged my love for the chick lit genre, but also showed me that you should not judge people without knowing the personal story behind things. In the novel cheating plays a central role, but Emily Giffin really managed to show the other side, of how and why a person decides to cheat. A story that has stayed with me since I read it and one I can't recommend enough to others!  

6. Tasmina Perry - 'Perfect Strangers'

I used to not like books that dealt with any form of violence or murder or anything along those lines, which is also why I never read detective or action novels. However, last year I was asked to review Tasmina Perry's novel 'Perfect Strangers' which is an example of glamorous and exciting women's fiction in which murder plays a central role. I thoroughly enjoyed this, much more than I initially expected, and since then I've been more open to picking up novels like Tasmina Perry's work and to broaden my horizon a bit besides chick lit.

7. Nicholas Sparks - 'The Notebook'

Whenever I feel down or need a good dose of romance, I know I can just pick up any Nicholas Sparks novel and it will do the trick. Nicholas Sparks is one of my favourite authors and as a true romantic at heart I love every single one of his love stories. I can't get enough of his work, can't recommend it to others enough, and can't wait until his next releases, so he definitely cannot be left out when it comes to authors who played a significant role on my personal reading journey. 

8. E.L. James - 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

I was just as curious as a lot of other readers to what all the fuss was about when 'Fifty Shades of Grey' suddenly topped the charts. I decided to give the genre a chance and while I finished all three novels of the Fifty Shades series, I can honestly say erotic fiction just isn't for me. I was somehow captivated by Christian and Ana's story, but I thought the books were too long, not that well-written, and just not that interesting.  

9. Jonathan Safran Foer - 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close'

Lots of people think 'Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close' is one of the best books ever written which is also why I decided to pick it up. However, I didn't enjoy the book at all. Up to this very day I still don't understand why people are so incredibly positive and enthusiastic about it. This book showed me that a hype can be built around a specific story, but it can still disappoint you or not be your cup of tea, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's simply part of the reading experience.

10. Stephenie Meyer - 'Twilight'

I still think 'Twilight', the first part of the incredibly popular series by Stephenie Meyer, is one of the best and most captivating love stories I've read so far in my life. I love Bella and Edward's tale, and this novel really opened my eyes to the Young Adult genre. At first I thought I was a bit too old to enjoy YA, but that's definitely not true and I'm glad this book opened my eyes towards a whole new and thoroughly enjoyable genre.

Which books or authors have played an important role on your reading journey? I'd love to hear from you! :)


  1. I loved the Sound of Music movie and decided to try the book. Very different!

    Here's my list of You-Can't-Just-Eat-One Books on My Reading Journey!

    1. Oh yes, I love the film as well but have never actually read the book, it's still lying on my book shelf! What exactly is so different about it? And different in a good way or a bad way?

      Thanks for visiting, Deb! :)

  2. YES!!! FINALLY!! I TOTALLY agree about Foer's book! My husband loved it, thought it was so great, blah, blah, blah. I tried listening to it and reading it and didn't like either time. The movie was ok but the book was dreadful.

    Interesting list with loads of variety. I'm not as varied as I should be....

    Jessica@The Bathtub Reader

    1. Wow, I'm so glad to meet someone who actually had the same reading experience with Foer's book! I've only met people who think it is amazing and I was starting to wonder whether it was just me, haha.

      Thanks for visiting, Jessica, really appreciate it! :)

  3. Pride and Prejudice is a great choice! I adore the film version of Mary Poppins, and after seeing Saving Mr Banks I can't wait to read the books :)

    My TTT

    1. Thanks, Vicki, it's a brilliant read, isn't it? I still have to see 'Saving Mr. Banks', but I've only heard good things. You should definitely read the books!

      Thanks for visiting and replying! x

  4. YAY Pride and Prejudice! Happy to see it on some lists this week :)
    Also Something Borrowed - really loved the book but ended up hating the film.

    1. Yes, I've seen it on various lists as well, and it deserves to be! :) Why did you hate the film version so much? Was it the casting or what they did with the story?

      Thanks for stopping by! :)

  5. I'm with you on both Pride & Prejudice (and the Lizzie Bennet Diaries is probably my favorite YouTube show ever) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Great list!