21 April 2015

Top Ten Favorite Authors

Yay!  Another Tuesday!  This week, The Broke and the Bookish is discussing our top ten favorite authors.

I actually thought about this one quite a bit.  A lot of my favorite books were written by authors who wrote the one book (or wait 50 years between publishing things), so it's kind of difficult to call them a favorite author because I only know the one book OR I've only read one book by that author, which makes it difficult to say they're a favorite author.  Here we go...



1.  John Steinbeck  Wowzers!  Steinbeck was a fantastic storyteller.  He painted great pictures within his stories, completely fleshing out the setting so that you feel like you were there.  I absolutely adore East of Eden (definitely need to reread this summer! [or sooner]).  I'm taking a volume of his novellas with me this week when I leave town so I can see what he does on a smaller scale.

2.  Ernest Hemingway  I love Hemingway's art of brevity.  He was a master storyteller.  I'm not sure he could have written a fully fleshed out female character to save his life, but I can't help loving him.  He mastered the novel and the short story.  Most of all, though, I love Hemingway's precision.  He said exactly what he meant, was able to write a vivid account, but he said nothing more.  There is very little fat and gristle to his work.

3.  Gabriel Garcia Marquez  Another master storyteller.  He kind of did it all as well--novel, novella, and short story (though I'm not very familiar with the last two forms).  He wrote one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever read and one of the most fantastical epics.  His work is always a pleasure to read because I know it's going to be a great story.

4.  William Faulkner  Faulkner is basically the polar opposite of Hemingway.  And I love Faulkner for his highly descriptive style as much as I love Hemingway for his precision.  His works are epics in and of themselves.  I love how the characters bleed over from one novel to the next.  I had to suppress a loud "Heyyy!" when I came across a reference to Colonel Sartoris in Light in August.  I had the pleasure of visiting Faulkner's home last spring and it was fantastic.  I would love to just dive into his world.

5.  Hunter S. Thompson  This guy is a trip, but he's so much fun to read.  He was an astute observer of the social and political climate of the 60s and 70s.  I think he introduced a lot of people to the counterculture, which is truly interesting (at least to me).  An oral history I read about him after his death illuminated an extremely interesting man who lived by his own code.  And don't even get me started on The Rum Diary.  I love that novel!

6.  Truman Capote  Without Truman, we never would have had Holly Golightly.  The world--at least the world according to Lori--owes him a huge debt for this.  His true crime fiction In Cold Blood is completely creepy, but utterly compelling.  I love that he's written something for my two predominant reading moods--Southern stories and New York stories.  Plus he was a character.

7.  Elizabeth Gilbert  Disclaimer--I haven't read any of her stuff before Eat Pray Love.  But I love how open and honest and raw her writing is.  I follow her on social media and I love reading the snippets she shares regularly.  Her attitude really inspires me to be more introspective.  Her recent novel, Signature of All Things was beautiful and sweeping.  I can't wait to see what she continues to come out with!

8.  Frances Mayes  The first time I started Under the Tuscan Sun, I was bewildered because it was NOTHING like the amazing Diane Lane movie that I adored.  I had to push through.  But I really appreciated the writing.  The whole book is about renovating this dilapidated farm house.  Literally.  She walks you through the selection process for new fixtures and other renovations and includes bits about the culture and the formation of their lives there and I was completely fascinated.  She eventually wrote a cookbook of favorite Tuscan foods, which I love dipping into.  I love her travel writing.  I love what I've read of her memoir Under the Magnolia.  Like so many others, I still haven't gotten into her poetry. :/

And a bit of a throw back to my childhood...

9.  Shel Silverstein  My dad and I read Silverstein's poems regularly at bedtime.  Very, very regularly.  Silverstein had such a great way with language that made it fun to read the rhymes.  Granted, I still haven't gotten into a more serious study of poetry, but I think fondly of these poems.  Also, let's not forget The Giving Tree.  That was a great story!  Though I know there are debates about whether it teaches selfishness or selflessness, I don't feel like it warped me as I grew into adulthood.

10.  Ann M. Martin  Best known for The Babysitters Club series, yes, but I LOVED the California Diaries series.  At least what I read of it.  I have the first ten books.  I have no idea if there are more.  But I remember reading this starting in the 4th or 5th grade and being enthralled.  The girls were a little bit older and their problems were so damn sophisticated compared to mine!  Their problems were a little bit grown-up, but, for me, that really kind of played into being an only child surrounded by adults.

5 comments:

  1. I totally forgot about putting Harper Lee on my list because of the exact reason you mentioned -- TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is my favorite book, but I don't think of Lee as a favorite author because she only wrote the one book (at least until recently). Margaret Mitchell is the same way. Interesting.

    Anyway, nice list. Happy TTT!

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  2. Finished reading One Hundred years of Solitude not so long ago. I was overdue!! New GFC follower. My TTT

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  3. I love Shel Silverstein, I too read his poems when I was young!

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  4. Beautiful list! I adore all of the authors you included, especially Shel Silverstein, Truman Capote, and Steinbeck! Happy reading! :)

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  5. Francis Mayes - I could not get over how different the book was than the movie but part of that was listening to it rather than reading it. Because she was actually reading it herself and she's maybe not the best choice. Also she's Southern and it so didn't fit the voice I wanted to hear. But since you recommend her, I'll have to give her another chance.

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