Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Authors

Hosted by The Broke and Bookish
 
 
This is like an impossible task, so I've set myself some rules:

1. I have to have loved (or pretty damn close to) everything I read by this author.
2. I have to have read more than one series (or book if they don't have series) and at least half of their published novels or series. (So not counting essays, short stories, or novellas.)

This has knocked out some serious contenders that I would have otherwise listed like Jane Austen (I love two of her books, thought the third was ok, HATED the fourth, can't bring myself to finish the fifth, and just need to dive into the sixth!) and both J.K. Rowling and Sarah J. Maas (who I've only read one series from as of yet).



Tamora Pierce

What She's Written: She's probably best known for her first books, The Song of the Lioness Quartet

Why I Love Her:  She's the most dedicated author I know of who consistently includes EVERY sort of diversity throughout her books. (Seriously - race, LGBTQA, body shape - she's got it all).  She also has such a wide variety of heroines (and heroes), is sex positive, has got some wicked world-building after spending 30 books exploring her realms.  Technically she should be disqualified since I finished Mastiff yesterday, and I super crazy hated the ending, but she could do anything at this point and I would still love her books to the ends of the earth.  After all, one in thirty books is pretty damn good!


 

Robin McKinley 

What She's Written: She's probably best known for her award winning book, The Hero and the Crown

Why I Love Her: She has pretty much my favourite fairy tale retellings. She also has gorgeous prose and imaginative characters and worlds - she's written in very different styles and genres too. She's the only other author on this list that I will forgive pretty much anything as well.  (If I can get over that cliffhanger in Pegasus, I can survive anything she throws my way). She also has a highly entertaining blog.




Roald Dahl 

What He's Written: Puhlease. Like you don't know who this is. My personal favourite is The BFG!

Why I Love Him:  Roald Dahl's books are the perfect mix of ridiculousness and truth.  He also never speaks down to his audience - his writing always treats kids as if they are equal, and trust me - kids KNOW when you're talking down to them, and they don't like it.




Libba Bray

What She's Written: She's probably best known for her Gemma Doyle trilogy.

Why I Love Her:  I actually hadn't thought of her as a favourite author til I was making this list.  I've consistently loved every book I've read by her (although I still have Beauty Queens to read, but by all accounts that's probably her most loved books) and Going Bovine would make my Top 10 ranking of most important books I've ever read. It was powerful and really shook me up - I still think about it all the time.



Natsuki Takaya 

What She's Written: If you read manga at all, you've at least heard of Fruits Basket.

Why I Love Her:  It's funny - both of my all time favourite mangas are written by mangakas who wrote another manga that I hated!  Fruits Basket is definitely in my Top 10 mangas though, so I'm glad I've had the opportunity to read Takaya's other works!  Takaya's stories are really quiet - yes there's a plot to it all, but it's kind of like a slice of life/magic realism sort of thing (the magic realism is more Fruits Basket than her other work) and the focus is on relationships - familial and platonic as well as romantic (probably even more so than romantic).   I have yet to read Tsubasa, but Hoshi wa Utau has probably my favourite artwork - it's kind of wistful.




gzhorizontalsmaller

What She's Written: Her newest book, The Storied Life of A.J.  Fikry, (which I haven't read yet) has been a huge hit!

Why I Love Her: With the exception of the last author on this list, I think she's written in the most varied genres. And without fail every book has been absolutely amazing.  She also has some of the most realistic characters - in fact her characters inspired me to do a series of posts just on them instead of writing a book review!




Madeleine L'Engle

What She's Written: Definitely best known for her A Wrinkle in Time Quintet.

Why I Love Her: Of all the authors on this list, this is the author I most come back to when I'm questioning my beliefs or am dealing with abstract things that are just more than I can handle at the moment.  A Ring of Endless Light was a huge staple in my reading when I was dealing with some really heavy life stuff. It's always both extremely enlightening and comforting - I don't usually find being enlightened about things comfortable, but Madeleine L'Engle has always been able to gently lead me places I need to go, even in stories I've read thousands of times.  I think of all the well known authors I read, she's the most undiscovered. Most everyone has read A Wrinkle in Time, a lot of people finished the series, and I very rarely find anyone who has read anything else of hers. She barely even qualified for this list - I think I've read exactly half of her books.  She writes for all audiences and she's just so insightful with family relationships, and does this amazing and respectful melding science and religion.





What She's Written: Best known for her The Lynburn Legacy.

Why I Love Her: The Lynburn Legacy is one of the cleverest twists on paranormal fiction I've read. It sets up everything the way you expect, and proceeds to twist it into something entirely new.  It's also LGBT positive, has some of my favourite female friendships AND family relationships.  The characters basically range from OH MY GOD. THIS IS ME. IN A BOOK. (Holly) To OH MY GOD I WISH THIS WAS ME. IN REAL LIFE. (Angela and Kami).  SRB also writes some really complex, manipulative, unlikeable characters - particularly in The Demon's Lexicon.




Deb Caletti 

What She's Written: If you're going to read a Caletti book, I highly recommend The Nature of Jade as a good starting place!

Why I Love Her:  First let me just say this: If you are a Sarah Dessen fan, I can almost guarantee you will love these books.  Deb Caletti is my favourite contemporary author (aka the only one I regularly read), and like Dessen she focuses a LOT of female friendships and family relationships.  Romantic interests aren't the main focal point in the story, and that's really important to me. She also has a lot of characters dealing with STUFF (mental illness, abuse, pregnant friends, etc.)  - but it never feels too dark or heavy (I am notorious for avoiding said things, so the fact that I can still devour says something).  And it always feels like said issues feel real, well researched, and dealt in a respectful manner.  I prefer her writing to Sarah Dessen's (who I do enjoy, but she's no Caletti) and Deb Caletti is SUPER unappreciated, so if I can get at least ONE person to read one of her books, I will feel like I've accomplished something in life.




 
Jacqueline Carey

What She's Written:  She's best known for Kushiel's Legacy. (Which I've mentioned several times. Because it's amazing.)

Why I Love Her: Holy COW this woman can write anything. I just read a paranormal series by her and it was fantastic (Multi-racial! A bi main character! Magic fun times!  Funny! Just a ton of fun to read) - and so, so, SO different from her Kushiel series, which I would basically describe as a better Game of Thrones.  YES I SAID THAT.  I mean...it's incredible.  Like Tamora Pierce, she's got loads of LGBTQA characters of many different races - most importantly? Both of her main characters are bi.  YOU JUST DON'T FIND THAT.  And the world building in Kushiel is...sooooo amazing. And it doesn't feel like it gets bogged down like it does in AGoT because the plot is intense and there's sex positivity (...so...much...)  and *FLAILS* it's basically one of my favourite discoveries of the past couple years.



So who made your list? Any of my authors?

22 comments:

  1. Savannah @ReadingBifrostApril 21, 2015 at 12:19 AM

    I love Fruits Basket! My current manga obsession is Skip Beat, and Dengeki Daisy just ended in the US. :( If you haven't yet, check those out!


    http://www.readingbifrost.com/top-ten-tuesday-top-ten-all-time-favorite-authors/

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  2. Roald Dahl is a great choice! I can't believe I forgot about him. I've only read one book so far by Sarah Rees Brennan but I really enjoyed it. :-) Great list!

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  3. I've only read Sarah Rees Brennan of these, but I have a lot of them on my TBR. I also really like how you've written this post. :) Great list! :)
    Here's my TTT

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  4. Some of these are so completely new to me! I feel the need to look up all their books now. xD I never really read a Tamora Pierce book but I DO own some, so I really ought to. XD And I loved Gabrielle Zevin's book...gah, what was the title? All These Things I've Done? I THINK THAT'S IT. I adore that book. One of my favourite apocalypse/dystopians to-date. xD

    Here's my TTT!

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  5. Great list! I love the way you broke down your list this week (what they have written, why you love them) :) Gabrielle Zevin's written other books? How did I miss that detail? *looks them up on GoodReads*

    Fruits Basket! <3

    My TTT

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  6. And I thought II was being a little on the strict side when I said I had to have read more than one book for an author to even be considered. Anyway, I've got exactly none of these authors on my list. (And I've only read a few.) I really want to read more Tamora Pierce, because if Terrier is any indication, I think she'll be making my list in a few years. I totally want to read the Gemma Doyle series - but I keep forgetting about it. Marking it as want-to-read right now. I saw the name Natsuki Takaya but couldn't put it together with Fruits Basket. Which is crazy because I've read like a third of the series. Then there's Sarah Rees Brennan and Jacqueline Carey who, hearing you talk about so favorably, I really, really am wanting to read. Too many other books come first though. *pouts*

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  7. Skip Beat is my FAVOURITE!!!! Manga. (I didn't like Tokyo Crazy Paradise though, hence it not making this list). Have you read Koi dano Ai dano? If you like Skip Beat, I think you'd love this one! And either I'm way behind on Dengeki Daisy (likely, since I am on everything right now. I'm probably a solid volume behind on SB!) or I just forgot I'd read the ending (also likely). It's definitely a lot of fun!

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  8. I think since most of us have read Dahl so long ago we don't think about him often haha. And hopefully you love the rest of her books too!

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  9. Clearly I'm biased, buuuut all these authors are awesome and any on your TBR should get bumped up!

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  10. Do it, do it! And..if you're anything like me, the more people tell me to read something the less I want to do it but.....READ TAMORA PIERCE DO IT. (Also what books do you own of hers?) And yes! I loved her Birthright trilogy! (I mean, I love everything by her so it's no big surprise). But I loved the way she frames female friendship and family relationships and romance and how complicated Anya is and ugghhh it's so good.

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  11. Oh good I'm glad I'm not the only one!

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  12. Aww, thank you! And yes she does! Loads of it, and in pretty much any genre you might want! (And now I really want to read FB. Maybe I'll do that at work tomorrow...)

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  13. You did such a great job laying out your love for these authors:)! Gabrielle Zevin was a surprise because 1) I'm not sure I've seen her pop up on your blog before though that's probably me not paying attention especially since you said you did a series of posts about her characters, lol (I'll check them out!) and 2) I thought A.J. Fikry was her debut! I'm intrigued and need to add her to my TBR! I also want to pick up Sarah Rees Brennan sometime soon.

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  14. Well, I think I have read nearly everything by Madeleine L'Engle! I know what you mean about her being overlooked though. Heck, I didn't even put her on my top ten, but it was a hard choice.

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  15. I'm not entirely certain why I decided THIS would be the one TTT post I actually stuck to only 10 entries haha! I'm actually a little surprised - I haven't made my rounds yet, but of the bloggers who have commented on my blog so far, there have been no Tamora Pierce entries! (Blasphemy!) And I'm a little surprised that a lot of the authors I picked appear to be unknowns. But hey, maybe one of them will pick these authors up!


    I definitely, definitely, DEFINITELY recommend Tamora Pierce. And a little bit of wants you to not finish the Terrier series first, because the ending of the last book has upset me SO. MUCH. (I read it this weekend) and I don't want you to think that is a normal Tamora Pierce thing to do! (But also maybe it won't upset you as much? I can't imagine that. But possible). But I really don't think you'll regret whatever Tamora Pierce you choose! And the Gemma Doyle series was really good :) And you should finish FB when you get the chance! I'm always surprised at how time consuming mangas actually are though!

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  16. You know, I really don't talk about her often which is kind of weird now that I think about it. I think it's because I read a couple of her things before I started blogging. You aren't the only one! I'm surprised how many people thought she was a debut author! Her Birthright trilogy (the one I wrote the posts about - I'd recommend you not read those too closely they're spoilery haha) has some of my favourite difficult characters. And I loved that the dystopia wasn't like...a huge government conspiracy taken down by some teenage ass kicking. It was basically just that our economy collapsed (or something like that), and it took the character a lot of hard work getting laws passed through the courts (which is how you ACTUALLY fix things)

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  17. Wowww! I'm so impressed! I keep finding out about series I've thought I completed but hadn't or that I just hadn't even known about haha! I'm going to be really sad when I actually do get through all her works :(

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  18. The only one I've read on your list is Roald Dahl, he is also on mine.
    Here is my TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/top-ten-tuesdays/

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  19. Zevin and L'Engle would definitely be on my list. As you know I am finishing up the Zevin "chocolate" trilogy right now, and I have read two of Gabrielle's standalones: Elsewhere, and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. I have read all but the last two A Wrinkle in Time spin-offs, only because I didn't know they existed until recently. I keep forgetting to look for them at the library. Frank Herbert (Dune) and Stephen R. Donaldson (Thomas Covenent) would be on my list. I have read The Casual Vacancy, so even according to your guidelines, JKR is sittng up there, too. I have only read one Maggie Stiefvater book, but I have a feeling she will be there soon, and Sherri L. Smith (Orleans). Even though I have only read To Kill a Mockingbird (I have no want to read whatever that new novel is), I would have to include Harper Lee. Dr. Seuess and A.A. Milne would finish the list up. I really need to read The Song of the Lioness books because you, and two other people whose opinions I also trust, keep mentioning them over and over. And, ah yes, I knew you would mention Going Bovine. :)

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  20. I'm so glad you love Zevin too! I'm really intrigued by The Storied Life because it seems like she wasn't on most people's radar til that came out and then BAM. So it must be pretty excellent! And L'Engle's books are SO confusing to navigate because the series are all intertwined - so I'm with you. I didn't realize An Acceptable Time was even part of the original quartet at first and I thought what is the first book in the O'Keefe series was the first in the Austin series and GOD WHY. So it's going to take me some time and effort to make a logical sense of what order I want to read which books in haha.



    I respect Dune, but man I couldn't even finish the third book in the series. I think it's just a little too detailed for my attention span haha. I don't know anything about Stephen R. Donaldson though! And unfortunately, the very first books I read by Stiefvater I hated so that's why she didn't qualify for this list, but man the books I've read by her since are so magical she definitely qualifies for my less strict list haha!



    There's so much controversy with the new Harper Lee book that I'm definitely not going to be picking it up. Or at least very unlikely too...it makes me feel icky :-/. And I LOVE A.A Milne! Dr. Seuss and I fluctuate - I love some books, hate others so I honestly never know how I'm going to feel about one of his books til I try it. (Although at this point I've probably read almost all of the one's Theodore Geisel wrote). I have a deep abiding love for Tamora Pierce so I hope you do make your way to her series at some point and that at least one of them really clicks with you :) (And what would one of my TTT be without a Going Bovine mention ;)

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  21. Robin McKinley, Tamora Pierce, and Madeleine L'Engle all made my list, too! I like the restrictions you put on your list. I think a lot of us had to do that, in order to make the topic manageable. I restricted mine to authors whose books I re-read and re-read and still love... and even so, I ended up with an honor roll of people who didn't quite make it for one reason or another or just didn't fit on the list but are still favorites.

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