Book Review | Start Here: Read Your Way Into 25 Amazing Authors


Book: Start Here: Read Your Way Into 25 Amazing Authors
Author: Jeff O’Neal (editor), Rebecca Joines Schinsky (editor)
Format: Ebook
Length: 174 pgs
My Rating: 5/5
2013 Reading Challenges: 2013 Books About Books Challenge (Wait, what? Yeah, look for a post on this in the coming week!)
I’d Recommend to: Basically everyone in my fictional and non-fictional universes

Goodreads Synopsis:
There are so many fantastic authors and great books out there that sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin. Start Here solves that problem; it tells you how to read your way into 25 amazing authors from a wide range of genres–from classics to contemporary fiction to comics.

Each chapter presents an author, explains why you might want to try them, and lays out a 3- or 4-book reading sequence designed to help you experience fully what they have to offer. It’s a fun, accessible, and informative way to enrich your reading life.

A wide array of writers, critics, and bloggers offer their expertise and passion for these authors to help you get started reading authors you’ve always wanted to try.

Includes chapters by Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus) on Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill (Heart-Shaped Box) on Bernard Malamud, Linda Fairstein (The Alexandra Cooper Series) on Edgar Allan Poe, and Kevin Smokler (Practical Classics) on Sherman Alexie.

Also includes chapters on reading your way Into:

Margaret Atwood
Jane Austen
Ray Bradbury
Italo Calvino
Philip K Dick
Charles Dickens
E.M. Forster
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Ernest Hemingway
Zora Neale Hurston
John Irving
Stephen King
Cormac McCarthy
Herman Melville
Arthur Miller
Alice Munro
Haruki Murakami
Richard Russo
Zadie Smith
David Foster Wallace
Colson Whitehead

My Review:
Well done, Book Riot. I’ve seen a handful of organizations put out products, and this is the first one I’ve purchased that is just a brilliant representation of the community. This isn’t a rehash of content already on the site with a few “new” bits thrown in (though Book Riot did have some cool “author pathways” posts leading up to this). You’ve got authors writing about authors, and you can feel the love. As an avid book enthusiast, both reading and writing them, that just makes my heart smile.

This is a short, easy read, folks. No excuses, read like a champion. I mean, even if you read only one author pathway a day, you’d knock this out in less than month. The sections are well-written, and they’re organized as the section author chose – sometimes in a list, sometimes an essay.

I got a lot out of Start Here – some of my favorite authors on the list (as evidenced by my Book Confessions post), and there were some books I haven’t read yet (Stephen King’s It is a memorable one). Likewise, there are a few authors in whose works I’ve dabbled, but I honestly don’t know where to go next (ahem: McCarthy, Munro, Whitehead). Embarrassingly, there were some authors I’ve never encountered (sigh: Alexie); happily, I expanded my book knowledge and there’s a new author friend I get to go out and meet (through books, not stalking).

The Bottom Line:
Just read it. If you love books, just read it. If you want to read more but don’t know where to start, just read it. If you are constantly looking for new authors/books to add to your TBR pile, just read it. Seriously: Just. Read. It.

2 thoughts on “Book Review | Start Here: Read Your Way Into 25 Amazing Authors

  1. Christine @Buckling Bookshelves says:

    Sounds like a really good reference to have! I’m looking forward to hearing more about this new challenge you joined — I really shouldn’t join another one, but considering I just posted a review of a book that would qualify, I just may have to think about it!


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