I would have to agree....you don't wade into calculus before you've got a handle on basic math. The best reading material for new believers, so I've heard, is the lives of saints, plus a little theology and Scripture. Things like sayings of the desert fathers, way of the pilgrim, way of the aesetics, etc. are really helpful in trying to build an Orthodox world view. The thing to be careful of, especially with saint's lives is discerning how to emulate them without imitating them. The latter is just insanity. That is to say draw the lessons and encouragement from them so far as you can as is appropriate to where you are at this stage of your walk, but don't try to undertake the types of labors that they did...you can't do it and neither can most anyone else apart from great preparation and great grace. You will just exhaust yourself trying to measure up to standards and a quality of inner life far beyond you. Grace will enable you more and more over time to follow as is appropriate for who God wants you to be and to become, but each thing in its time and season.
So, find the lives that make you sigh after God, whose faith inspires you to draw on that nectar to strengthen you on your journey....and above all run the type of reading you are doing by your priest. Many priests actually have reading lists for new converts to help them get grounded. He will have a better sense of what things are good to read right now and what might be better in a few months or couple of years.
The other thing to remember is to read purposefully, not just as spiritual snack food. As for the Philokalia, I've read monastic instructions which discourage reading most parts of it unless one is of a mature age (40ish) and of a very serious aescetical disposition...like a monastic. After all it was written by monks primarily for monks and was meant to inform their way of life and struggle not that of the workaday Christian struggling in the world.