Book: Start Here: Read Your Way Into 25 Amazing Authors
Author: Jeff O’Neal (editor), Rebecca Joines Schinsky (editor)
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
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:
Philip K Dick
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Zora Neale Hurston
David Foster Wallace
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.