What was your gateway book—the book that made you want to read more—into reading or into a specific genre? 

My fantasy gateway book was The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster

I’m sure I’d read fantasy books prior to reading this one in middle school but I remember that I was amazed by this use of wordplay and absurdity and nonsense. It grabbed my imagination and didn’t let go.

I still love a fantasy book with a great dose of humor – the more absurd the better. Wordplay is great. Puns are delightful. Snarky banter is almost a requirement.

“Let me try once more,” Milo said in an effort to explain. “In other words–“
“You mean you have other words?” cried the bird happily. “Well, by all means, use them. You’re certainly not doing very well with the ones you have now.” 

“For instance,” said the boy again, “if Christmas trees were people and people were Christmas trees, we’d all be chopped down, put up in the living room, and covered in tinsel, while the trees opened our presents.”
“What does that have to do with it?” asked Milo.
“Nothing at all,” he answered, “but it’s an interesting possibility, don’t you think?” 

“Things which are equally bad are also equally good. Try to look at the bright side of things.”

“The only thing you can do easily is be wrong, and that’s hardly worth the effort.”