1. Dr. Seuss, my first favorite author.
2. The Boxcar Children, the first series I loved.
3. The 92s. That’s what we called a series of biographies in the Middle School library. These books talked about the early lives of famous people and were my first nonfiction passion. Well, that is, if you define nonfiction broadly. I now realize that they were written about people who we know very little about before they were famous, so they were nonfiction only in the sense that they were about real people who presumably had childhoods.
4. Little Men by Louisa May Alcott, the book that occasioned my first foray into the adult room at the Public Library.
6. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, my introduction to English Literature — I read it after the high school put on the musical, Oliver.
7. Emilie Loring, an author whose sweet romances started my love of the romance genre. She died ten years before I was born, but my small town library wasn’t particularly up to date, especially in this genre — the older and sweeter the better from the point of view of the librarian and Library Board.
8. The Williamsburg Series by Elswyth Thane, my gateway to historical fiction and the books that taught me I can learn as much history from fiction as I can in class — what I learned in these books helped me ace American History.
9. Wishcraft by Barbara Sher, my gateway book to the self help genre.
10. The End of Overeating by David A. Kessler, the book that started my journey to read 70 books and lose 70 pounds.
What are your “gateway” books?