Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Top Ten Autobuy Authors

Hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl

A few disclaimers and notes about my choices:

1. The author photo is either from their Goodreads account or website, and the book chosen was the most popular on their list.

2. I either don't own every book they have written, or they are still alive and being published

Tamora Pierce  Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, #1)

This is OBVIOUSLY going to be my number one choice. I have been buying (or have books being bought for me) her books since I was seven years old. She is one of three authors on this list I automatically pre-order books from (see the next two authors on the list for that) without question or hesitation.  I know I'm not the only one in saying that Tammy's writings have been hugely influential on my life, and in some ways have shaped who I am both as a read and a person.  

As an added note, like most bloggers I know, I grew up on her Tortall novels and am most familiar with those.  I know a lot of people who have read her Tortall novels, but not her Circle of Magic novels and I think that is such a shame!  While they are geared, for more of a middle grade audience, rather than a young adult one, there is SO much she puts in there that you don't necessarily get in her Tortall books until much later. (Racial diversity? Check. LGBTQ representation? Check. Different body sizes, including fat? Check.  All of the above found in at least one main character?  Check.)

Robin McKinley   Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast
*I am....kind of surprised? I would not have pegged this as her most popular book by a LONG shot, but according to Goodreads I am Extremely Wrong about this. It is in fact my least favourite of all her books, although still a pretty good book regardless.  I would have thought The Blue Sword was more popular *shrugs*

Robin McKinley is another author I've been reading and buying since I was about seven years old.  She writes fantasy, many of which are classic retellings (my favourites being Deerskin and Spindle's End).  I will say she's an author I don't think is for everyone - I absolutely ADORE her long tangential descriptions, but I'm not sure everyone has the patience for that.  For me they add the perfect about of humour, as well as help deepen understanding of characters and world building.  She has a blog she used to regularly update, but she's been MIA for the past year and hasn't published a new book in quite a few years now (she lost her husband a few years back and it's been very heartbreaking) and it's made me worry about her a bit. So here's hoping I DON'T actually own all of her books and that she is doing ok!

Intisar Khanani   Thorn

I met Intisar at a con I go to see Tamora Pierce actually!  She is the only author I can think of who I met and then read.  So I'm telling you now, if you're on the fence about it at all, you SHOULD go read her books.  (Especially since in my list of three auto-no-hesitation-buy books she's the youngest of the lot and I would like her to keep publishing books FOREVER).  Also, if she is at a con near you, you should definitely go hear her speak and then say hi.  I own every single one of her books (some in multiple formats, which is something I only do for authors who I need to be able to read their books AT ANY MOMENT and still hold a special place for the hard copies.)  In fact, my last post was about her rerelease of Thorn! While you'll have to wait until 2020 for that one, her Sunbolt Chronicles are available now. If you like non-Western based fantasy, magic, resourceful heroines,  and racial diversity in your characters - this is for you!

Tanith Lee     Wolf Tower (Claidi Journals, #1)
*While Wolf Tower was my own introduction to Tanith Lee's work, and I do highly recommend the series, I don't think it is very representative of her writing as a whole. For something a little more in line with the rest of her writing, but still as a good starting point for her I'd probably recommend The Silver Metal Lover.

I've mentioned on the blog before that I have a weird relationship with Tanith Lee's writing.  Her writing is just so....weird.  Sometimes delightfully so, sometimes confusingly so, but always unapologetically so.  That's really what the key is in her writing - no matter how she frames her characters (almost entirely unlikeable the lot of them) they are always extremely unapologetic in their power, or their apathy, vulnerability, or sometimes even in their choice to be powerless.  No matter their choices - good, bad, or just plain stupid - they are fierce.  At the end of the day, even if I find problematic things, Tanith Lee was writing all different types of women back in the 70s - and she was writing it in genre fiction at that!  I have often lamented that it is a shame she is not nearly as well known as she deserved given the sheer magnitude of her catalogue, influence on other writers, and many awards, but I try to make up for it for finding as many copies of her work as I can (which, while easier than when I spoke of it in my earlier post, is still somewhat of a challenge at times).

Madeleine L'Engle   A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet, #1)

There's a theme here that the authors I automatically buy are from my formative years, but I suppose you grow up with an author and you know you'll love them.  I've just now started reading some of L'Engle's journals and adult works, and unsurprisingly they contain in them many of the things that I find joyful and inspiring in her fictional books and work for children.   I have always loved that L'Engle finds ways that science and Christianity (or perhaps religion in general, but from what I remember it was Christianity specifically) not only coexist, but make MORE sense together and enhance the understanding of the other.  In doing this she always makes both seem magical and wondrous.  As a nonreligious person, particularly one who grew up in an area where during the evolutionary unit of science parents could choose to have their students take a bus to bible study instead, I have always appreciated this.  Her writing always has this sense of wonder to it, and is interspersed with science, philosophy, as wells as a quiet contemplative style.

Jessie L. Star   So Much to Learn
*Her most popular book is actually one I haven't read yet, which bodes well for me!  

I actually originally read Jessie L. Star when she was publishing on!  I was delighted when she decided to publish her works and if I haven't bought all of them quite yet, I'm pretty close.  (And for you Aussies out there, here's another Aussie author for you!)  I am extremely picky about contemporary and contemporary romance, so the fact that I have anyone writing in that genre on this list should tell you boatloads about the quality of her work.  There's plenty of banter and snark, but her stories still have real substance in them to offset any fluffiness, and all of her characters feel like real, wonderfully flawed people.  Private Lives, Public Property is my personal favourite (I've reread it SO MANY TIMES), but really you can't go wrong with any of her works.  Pick your favourite trope (hate to love? wallflowers? friends to lovers? secret romance? second chance? fake romance?  SHE HAS THEM ALL).

Anne McCaffrey   Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, #1)

Anne McCaffrey is arguably one of the most influential science fiction writers of her time (don't be fooled by the dragons - it IS science fiction).  She was the first woman to win the Hugo Award as well as the first woman to win the Nebula Award, and she was publishing science fiction all the way back in the 60s!  So...needless to say she's an author I've always admired.  While I am most familiar with her books set in Pern, The Ship Who Sang (the first in her Brainship series) made my best of 2018 books for being so ahead of its time (let alone books we see now).  Her different series are really very different from each other, and I really think there's something for anyone who like science fiction (and fantasy - because while the dragon books are science fiction, fantasy lovers will definitely enjoy them).

Author Jacqueline Carey   Kushiel's Dart (Phèdre's Trilogy, #1)

The Kushiel series is one of my all time favourite fantasy series.  For me (and many others), it is the sexier, more feminist version of Game of Thrones - just as intricate and filled with political intrigue, but with more female power and lots more sexy good times instead of rape.  The whole world-building is around sex, but not in a titillating sort of way, and again very empowering.  While her Kushiel's series isn't for everyone, Jacqueline Carey also writes plenty of very fun paranormal romance! Her work features a lot of diversity both racial and romantic (and maybe trans? I can't remember). An extra big bonus in my book - lots of bi representation!!

Sarah MacLean   Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1)

No matter what book it is Sarah MacLean is one of the most reliably excellent romance authors I read. I don't think I've ever rated one of her books poorly.  While she isn't as quippy as Julia Quinn (who I also recommend), there's plenty of humour and she has all my favourite romance tropes, while still managing to stand separate from many other romances with the same tropes.  I am particularly forgetful, and when I read romance it tends to be a large binge, so the fact that I remember any of her characters, let alone most (all?) of them is a testament to them feeling fully realized.

   Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)

Gail Carriger is just pure steampunk-paranormal romance FUN. There's simply no other way to put it.  It's fluffy and hilarious and ridiculous and just all the best things.  I always know that I'm safe to buy something I will reread when I get one of her books. (Added bonus, she has a very cool blog dedicated to fashion  that I definitely recommend).

Honorable Mentions

Both of the following authors get a special category because it's not so much that I'll autobuy their books (although I would, but I'm usually broke so I don't.  Almost all of the above authors I autobuy and used bookstores or thrift stores (minus the first three), so I can afford to autobuy them!). It's more that they have a book that every time I find a copy I will buy it - I will buy ALL the copies just so I can give them to people so that they can read it because they MUST.

Neal ShustermanUnwind (Unwind, #1)         

Unwind was a book that SHOOK ME.  I mean...I mentioned it on the blog oh, I don't know only a billion times, and devoted a rare post solely to the necessity of reading this book.  I don't want to say too much about it because it's been so long I won't be able to remember what is spoilers or not, but the general premise is that abortion is no longer legal. If you don't want to keep the baby you can "stork" them (leave them on a family's doorstep) and they have to raise them.  But as a compromise, between the ages of 13-17, if you have a troublesome teen you can't manage (or if they are orphans), they can be sent to the government to be "unwound"...or in other words, their body parts can be used to save other people's lives.  Yeah. And the crazy thing is that so much of the technology discussed in the series EXISTS.  I don't think many books should be required reading (in fact it is a list of two and it is this book and the one below) BUT EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS.

 Libba Bray   Beauty Queens

Ok, I'm betting that any of you who are regular readers thought I was going to out Going Bovine since that book absolutely WRECKED ME and I went on about it forever.  PYSCH!  (It is an excellent book, but very weird and not for everyone I admit).  Beauty Queens is the book we are here to discuss today, and if you have not read it, you should!  It's cynical, and hilarious, and feminist, and I'm not kidding - it should be required reading. For everyone.  


  1. Oh, Tanith Lee. Her unicorn trilogy, especially the first book, has enchanted me since my lil' elementary school days.

    I've read a few of Robin McKinley's but never quite clicked with her style -- I think my favorite was The Door in the Hedge. I was surprised I didn't see her name more often this week, though; I always think of her as a big name, but maybe my perception of big names stalled out in the early 00's.

    1. I'm still waiting to find copies of the next two, but I loved the first book!

      Yeah, I think the fact that she's not published anything since 2013 has definitely had an effect (at the very least she's not on most people's tip of the tongue anymore). And she definitely has a very windy style (reading her blog is needs a ROAD MAP I swear haha!) that wouldn't work well for everyone so you're not alone on that!

  2. Tanith Lee is someone I've always kinda wanted to try but just never have. I might have even started a book of hers when I was a kid and probably wasn't sophisticated enough for it yet- I know I didn't get very far! But I'd like to try again! Tamora Pierce is another- I've heard great things about her over the years, but have yet to take the plunge.

    1. You seem to have a pretty high tolerance for the weird, so I think you'd do pretty well with her books! The Silver Metal Lover isn't too long or too weird so I think it's a good place to start with her (although you do spend a good portion of the time being very frustrated with the lead character...but as I said that's pretty common in her writing).

      And of course I'm Tamora Pierce's fangirl til the end of time, but I'd have no idea where to tell you to start with her!

  3. Ah yeay for seeing Intisar here. She is such a lovely person even though I've only talked with her online.

  4. Madeleine L'Engle is a great choice! I love her stories.

    My TTT.

  5. I wrote a big long comment about the Pern books and Blogger ate it. 😞😞😞

    Anyway... I am hoping to dig back into them and finish the dragonrider books and look at how many spin-offs there are. 🐉

    1. Oh no! That's the WORST! I'm toying with putting Disqus back on the blog (it was malfunctioning for a while and wouldn't let anyone sign in, had weird ads, etc.) We'll see though, I'm not excited about putting it back on the blog (other than all my deleted comments would return which I WOULD like)

      There are SO MANY. I don't know if I'll ever get to all of them!


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