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

So. When I first saw this topic for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, it didn’t seem too clear. However, I have since established that this intriguing theme has everything to do with those books/authors/genres you never really knew anything about but now, through the beauty of that ‘first’ novel…do!  A voyage of discovery. Something I’ve experienced most of all with my wonderful book group.


1. Alone in Antarctica; Felicity Aston – I never read non-fiction. Perhaps if I did I might learn something. Turns out that Felicity Aston; adventuress extraordinaire, taught me a lot.


2. Sense and Sensibility; Jane Austen – my first Austen, and my only so far. I love this book…perhaps I simply don’t want to peak too soon…


3. The Ocean at the End of the Lane; Neil Gaiman – Apart from Tolkien and my childhood fantasies, my first proper foray into this genre. Wonderful.


4. The End of the Affair; Graham Greene – Since I disliked Brighton Rock so much, I like to count this brilliant piece of literature as my first true experience of Graham Greene.


5. Jennie; Paul Gallico – This imaginative tale of a little boy stuck in a cat’s body will always represent both my first experience of literature at its best and, of course, the wonderful Paul Gallico.


6. Siddhartha; Herman Hesse – The path to true enlightenment also represents the birth of Literary Relish.


7. Someone Else’s Skin; Sarah Hilary – The thought of reading crime fiction after my working days spent hearing about real-life crime always seemed rather exhausting. Now I realise what all the fuss was about.


8. Mr Norris Changes Trains; Christopher Isherwood – Does anyone love Christopher Isherwood as much as I do?


9. Monsieur Le Commandant; Romain Slocombe – My introduction to the pioneering house of Gallic Books. Bravo.


10. Slaughterhouse 5; Kurt Vonnegut – My other half still won’t read this life-altering slice of dystopian fiction because Daddy Relish mentioned the ‘d’ word to him. For me, this was a word-perfect introduction to the genre.

Gateway by Riccardo Cuppini via Flickr

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

  1. Oh, I love this list! I really disliked Brighton Rock too and have thus far been put off reading anything else by Graham Greene, so it’s interesting to learn that you liked The End Of The Affair so much more. The Sarah Hilary recommendation also piques my interest – I love crime fiction and read loads of it, but there’s so much out there that it’s difficult to tell which will be above average reads. And finally, I have Mr Norris Changes Trains sitting on my shelf (in fact I think I initially bought it based on your recommendation) so this might just be the push I need to get it read!


    1. Oo read it Marie! I find Isherwood writes really really evocative, spare prose. Nothing much ‘happens’ in his novels but they’re just a pleasure to read. Sarah Hilary was great and I’d be really interested to hear what you think as someone who reads a bit more crime fiction than I do.

      And finally, Graham Greene….do have a go. Brighton Rock isn’t like anything else he’s written. I must say it’s been really interesting to hear lately how many people don’t actually like it all that much.


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