Friday, April 26, 2013

My Twenty-Five Favorite Authors

As promised, another list of my book-related favorites!  

Interestingly, this one is inspired by the WXROZ blog as well, and a discussion Danielle and I were having about authors that I like and she hates, hee.  You'll notice that most of the authors on this list have books featured in the list of my favorite books, but they're in a dramatically different order here.  For instance, you'll notice that my favorite author of all, Raymond Chandler, doesn't have any books in my top twenty!  Because I love his writing, but I have a hard time choosing a favorite book, and my favorite of his tends to just be whatever I've read most recently.

I was considering dividing these up and doing a list of my favorite novelists, favorite non-fiction authors, favorite children's authors... and maybe I'll do lists along those lines another time.  But here are my favorite authors, spanning all genres except poetry, which I'll do another time.  They are all authors whose books I will try for no other reason than that this person wrote them, regardless of their subject.  That doesn't mean I like everything they've written, or have even read everything they've written, but it does mean their name on a spine makes me pick up a book.

(I've linked each name to the author's official website or other good site about them.)

1. Raymond Chandler

2. Thor Heyerdahl
3. Laurie R. King
4. Ernest Hemingway
5. Rex Stout
6. Rudyard Kipling
7. Jasper Fforde
8. Damon Runyon
9. Robert Louis Stevenson
10. Marguerite Henry
11. Jane Austen
12. Ray Bradbury
13. Arthur Conan Doyle
14. Louisa May Alcott
15. Jim Kjelgaard
16. Jan Burke
17. Robert McCloskey 
18. Patrick O'Brian
19. Rev. W. Awdry
20. James Herriot
21. Laura Ingalls Wilder
22. James N. Frey
23. Mark Twain
24. Alexandre Dumas
25. F. Scott Fitzgerald

(EDIT:  I added Fitzgerald to the end because I realized I love his writing, even though I don't love his books, but the same goes for Hemingway, so on Fitzgerald goes!)

How about you?  Have you read anything by these authors?  What did you think of them?  And who are your favorite authors?  Please share, either in the comments here, or do a post on your own blog and leave me a link -- I love learning about other people's favorites!


  1. Oh, this is so interesting! Especially the liking of an author's writing, but not liking their books! It seems that one would guarantee the other, but I suppose that's not always the case!

    1. There are some authors whose books I love, but who don't write brilliantly, just well enough. Jim Kjelgaard, the Rev. W. Awdry, and Jan Burke come to mind. Love their books, but I don't go nuts over their writing.

      I might have to expand this to thirty, at some point.

  2. Hello, great literary authors. :)

    1. Lol, thanks! And some that aren't terribly "literary" that I love too. (The Rev. W. Awdry, for instance -- he wrote the original "Thomas the Tank Engine" books.)

    2. Aw, that's neat trivia, Hamlette! Those are "classics" of their own right. :)

    3. Indeed, they are! I'd place Awdry a close third after A. A. Milne and Beatrix Potter in the realm of British children's authors...

  3. I've only read (and loved!) numbers 10 & 21. But this is a great list! As for Fitzgerald, I was traumatized by my high school english teacher who forced us to read one of his stories and then analyze every single line in the thing. (Well. It sure felt like every single line!) So I haven't wanted to touch any of his stories again.

    But I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder when I was younger! I suppose I technically still do, but I really loved her back then. I also just got a Laurie King novel from the library. So hopefully pretty soon, I can say whether I like her writing or not. :)

    1. As a writer and a lit major, I do enjoy dissecting a story now and then. However, unless you're really into the story or author, line-by-line analyzations are tedious and annoying.

      Which Laurie King book did you get? I've read all but two (one of which she published under a different name).

    2. I have The Beekeeper's Apprentice. I read some great reviews of this series, so I thought I'd start with book #1 and see what I thought. Did you like the series? Or at least that particular book?

    3. WONDERFUL! I was so hoping that was the one you got. Apprentice is in my top 10 fave books ever, and I adore the whole series. I've read LRK's other books too, and I'm not so fond of her Kate Martinelli series (though I loved one book), and some of her stand-alones I just like okay, but I really enjoyed Folly and its sequel Keeping Watch. But the Russell/Holmes books are awesome. I can't wait to hear what you think of it!!!

  4. Very interesting list! I totally agree with putting Jasper Fforde high in the list, he's one of my absolute favourites as well. For the rest, I've read books by 10,14,20 and 21 and once started on an Alexander Dumas book, but never finished it. But that was >5 years ago now, so maybe I should try again!

    1. I've actually only read a couple of Dumas' books: The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, and Twenty Years Later. I've also read part of an English translation of his French translation of Hamlet, which is actually hilarious (available here). But I love Monte Cristo so much, he had to be on the list.

      It's funny, because some of these authors, I've read everything they wrote and loved it all. Others, I've read one or two books and they were so amazing I had to include them. And two of them, Hemingway and Fitzgerald, I've read quite a few things by, and I don't love any of their books, but I love their writing so well, there they are.

    2. I know a bit what you mean about loving the writing, but not the books. I have the same with Thomas Hardy. I don't really like most of his books (apart from Far from the Madding Crowd), I hate his endings and his treatment of many female characters. But his writing is just so good!

    3. You know what? I have yet to read anything by Thomas Hardy. Would you recommend "Far from the Maddening Crowd" as a good place to start?

      Also, yay! I'm glad someone understands what I mean by the difference between liking the writing and liking the books. Thank you! I was a little worried I was weird or something. Oh, wait...

    4. I had to add my two cents to this conversation. Because I recently experienced really liking the writing but not the story. It was the Across the Universe trilogy by Beth Revis. Such great writing but I still didn't really like the story. So you're far from being alone, Hamlette! :)

    5. Yes, I would definitely recommend FFTMC! It's by far less depressing than any of the better known Hardy books (Tess of the D'Ubervilles etc), I really love the main male character (Gabriel Oak!) and I love that it takes place in a rural setting and shows you some of the goings on on a Victorian farm. But you could also start with Under the Greenwood Tree, it's a very small volume (FFTMC is Victorian-full length, so to say) and very light in it's subject matter etc.

    6. Kara -- I might have known you'd be sympatico :-D

      Birdienl -- I've added both FFTMC and UtGT to my library list. I'll get to them... some time! :-D

  5. I thought about writing a post like this on my blog, but I don't think I'm going to, so I thought I'd share my favorites. Don't worry, the list isn't long. :) My definition of a favorite author is someone whose works I'm almost guaranteed to enjoy!

    Favorite authors: Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, George MacDonald, Wendelin Van Draanen

    1. Hey, look, RLS made it into both of our top tens! I actually haven't read anything but Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte yet ::hangs head:: but I have a couple on my list at the library. Will get to them one day. I'm not a huge Dickens fan, though I adore A Tale of Two Cities. I've never read anything by George MacDonald, and never heard of Wendelin Van Draanen, though with a good Dutch last name like that, I should try to find some of her stuff :-)

    2. RLS is just that good... !

      Well, I'm not one of those types who think anyone should be ashamed of not reading this or that by any particular author! So no need to hang your head for me! :) I just love all the Brontes, and went on a binge and read all their stuff at once.

      That's funny, A Tale of Two Cities is the least Dickens-like of the Dickens novels, so that makes total sense! (It's my least favorite Dickens that I've read so far :) )

      George MacDonald is fantastic. I've heard he was super popular during his time, though many haven't heard of him now. He wrote a ton of stuff and was a big influence on C. S. Lewis. He wrote a lot of fantasy and a lot of children's but he's also written many adult novels. A bunch of those were actually edited by Michael Phillips and sold on the Christian market quite successfully. I think this is a sacrilege and a travesty, but... that's actually where I first heard of him. I read a bunch of his edited books in high school and loved them. At that time I didn't read any classics, so I didn't know how much I was missing by not reading the original text! I'm dying to get my hands on some of those books in non edited form, but they are hard to find. Someday! I'm not entirely sure if you would like his writing or not, perhaps you would like the children's but not the adult, or vice versa. But anyway, I love him! Sorry for the novel...

      And Wendelin is a modern author of juvenile fiction, most notably the Sammy Keyes mysteries, but she also wrote Flipped, which is awesome and is now a movie!

    3. Yup, I'm pretty sure the reason I like "Two Cities" best is because it's very non-Dickensian. Admittedly, I've only read "A Christmas Carol," "Great Expectations," "Hard Times," "Oliver Twist," and "A Tale of Two Cities," and I do really like "A Christmas Carol" too. I have several of his books and just haven't read them yet, but I need to be in the right mood to read Dickens, sort of a muddle-through-at-all-costs mood, lol.

      I'll have to see if the library has any of Goerge MacDonald's books. And "Flipped."

    4. Oh I haven't actually read most of those Dickens! Maybe you just picked the wrong ones! I loved A Christmas Carol. The other ones I've read are: Nicholas Nickleby, Bleak House, and Little Dorrit. All three are fantastic! I rave on and on about Bleak House. I even got a fellow blogger who hated Dickens to read it because of my enthusiasm, and she ended up loving it! So if you ever feel the urge to try another Dickens, go for Bleak House. It's hilarious, and wonderful! :)

      I hope the library will have some good selections! Let me know if you find any.

    5. Well, maybe I've just been reading the wrong Dickens! I'll try another some time, maybe "Bleak House."

      The library has zero George MacDonald books. But they have "Flipped," so I added it to my to-read list.


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