Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Favorite Authors

The Broke and the Bookish want to know: What are your Top Ten Favorite Authors?  (Personal qualifiers:  have read more than one book by the author, would recommend and re-read books.)  I thought this was going to be super easy, but once again I was surprised.  I'm starting to think that coming up with my Top Ten ANYTHING is a challenge!
  1. Jane Austen.  Not necessarily because of the great love stories...more for the insight and wit.  Persuasion is my favorite, though I've read each of her 6 novels.  In the past I've started each new year by reading a Jane Austen novel I hadn't yet read, now I'm going to have to start moving on to her unpublished pieces. (btw, the FB quiz thinks I'm Emma.  it is so wrong. pfft.)
  2. Willa Cather.  I've so enjoyed her Prairie Trilogy (O Pioneers!, Song of the Lark, My Antonia) that I've decided to start over at the beginning of her published works and just start making my way through chronologically.  Her writing is evocative, insightful and touching.  Love it.
  3. Sandra Dallas.  One of the few modern adult fiction authors that I consistently enjoy.  Each book is different than the last, but each is enjoyable.  Heartwarming without being flat and trite.  Her novel Tallgrass even (coincidentally) had a character that shared a name (first/last) with my uncle-in-law.  How fun is that?
  4. Leo Tolstoy.  I've only read Anna Karenina, War and Peace, and part of The Kreutzer Sonata, but I just love how the guy thinks.  I wish I could have had some depressing philosophical Russian conversations with him.
  5. Bill Bryson.  Even though I'm pretty sure he wouldn't like me back.  Witty and concise nonfiction?--sold.
  6. Elizabeth Gaskell.  Her writing isn't quite as breathtaking as some, but she's a pretty good story teller.  I've enjoyed everything I've read.  Favorite is Wives and Daughters (esp. the adaptation with Michael Gambon--I've a soft spot for gruff old teddy bears)
  7. Cynthia Voigt.  This started with Homecoming and Dicey's Song when I was young, but I've rediscovered her recently.  I've loved Jackaroo and On Fortune's Wheel.  She's on my "Must Read More" list for sure.
  8. Joyce Carol Oates.  I don't really like any of her stories, but I love her writing.  Her characters, setting, plot, pace, language...all very well drawn.  I know that I can pick up one of her books and be impressed with something...just wish her stories weren't quite so depressing.
  9. Silas House.  Lovely writing, (and about time to do some re-reading now that I think about it.)  Clay's Quilt, The Coal Tattoo, and A Parchment of Leaves all stand alone and go together.  I need to get my hands on Eli the Good.  Wish he had more books!
  10. Betty Smith.  Okay, so I've only read one of her books (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) but it is brilliant.  Besides, Joy in the Morning is on my wishlist.  Live with it.


  1. Great list. Sounds like my kind of authors! :)

  2. Why wouldn't Bill Bryson like you back? He made my list too. Have you read Northanger Abbey by Austen? What did you think? I always hear mixed opinions.

  3. Hi
    I'm a new follower, saw your link on the broke and bookish. Loving the list, Although I haven't heard of a lot of them. I'm going to have to look some up tonight!


  4. Thanks for the list. Some of my favorites there and some new authors for me to try.

  5. Yours is my favorite list so far. I love so many of these authors. I read Death Comes to the Archbishop by Willa Cather this year and I loved it. Her descriptions of the desert were so different and beautiful. Have you read that one?

  6. Great list. My favorite Cather is The Professor's House.

  7. Sandra Dallas. Of course. I haven't read one of her books for several years but I was a big fan for a while there. Has she written anything you like in the last five years? I haven't been paying attention.

  8. Jinky--thanks for coming by! Glad you saw something you liked. :)

    Sarah--I guess I just get the feeling that he's universally somewhat cynical and I wouldn't escape his wry eye...I'd love to have the chance to test that theory though! I loved Northanger Abbey, but I think that some exposure to Austen and the Regency Era prior to reading it is beneficial. You'll get more of the humor I'm guessing.

    Kelly--nice to meet you! Thanks for coming by; I'll head over and check out your blog too.

    NotaSupermom--thanks for chiming in! hopefully something will catch your fancy. :)

    IngridLola--I haven't read that one yet, (I do own it though, does that count?) but I agree that her descriptions of the land just capture it in a beautifully unique way.

    Thomas--Good to know. It seems like there is a lot to love with her different novels, which makes me all the more eager to read them.

    Anne--I haven't read her newest, (Whiter Than Snow) Prayers For Sale was heavier on the heartwarming side, I enjoyed Tallgrass (about Japanese internment camps in WWII). I feel like her earlier novels were a bit spunkier, but that could be just because it has been a while since reading them.

  9. OK. Seriously? You *just* read W&P and AK? I see them on my shelves and cower.

    I also love that you put Voigt on your list. I found her when i was a kid and read Izzy Willy Nilly. I was hooked ever since. :)

  10. Haha! okay, I really wasn't trying to sound so...Fanny Price. I just figured you could see into my head and read all the backstory. :)

    So the reason why I said that? I read AK in high school and I'm starting to feel like I can't really count it. But mostly it just reflects that I want to read everything of his...so what I have read seems insufficient.

    I was convinced to dive into War and Peace when my friend was told that it was the Russian Pride and Prejudice. (I found them to be very different, but it still had me swooning with delight.)

  11. AND, lest you think I was the type that typically read classics in high school (I wish) I should probably disclose the fact that I only read AK because my mom made me read it because she was tired of me reading fluff. (Her shock when I told her the storyline was priceless.)

  12. This is a great list!
    I love Austen too, though for some reason I forgot to put her on my list. She has such brilliant social commentary. Persuasion is my favorite of her books that I've read. It's so subtle.
    I also love Bill Bryson, and I actually remembered to put him on my list. I like to pretend that he would like me too, but I'm not so sure. My favorites of his are In a Sunburned Country and A Short History of Nearly Everything.
    I just recently checked out My Antonia from the library, though I haven't started it yet. I'm excited to see how it goes. I've heard so many good things.


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