Top Ten Tuesday is a blog-link up hosted every week by BrokeandBookish. This week’s theme is nothing short of torture:
Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Authors
This was a hard list to cobble together, but I asked myself: if I had never read this author’s work, would my life be — even just slightly — worse? So, these are ten authors whose books came to me at just the right time in my life, taught me something I needed to learn, or were just there for me when I was in need of a friend.
1. Truman Capote
I have to include Capote, I mean, in my Yummy Yummy Words: All Time Favorite Sentences post, I quoted him twice. My Capote binge came when I was 18 or 19, just starting to seriously write myself, and I was heavily influenced by his poetic, gorgeous, and yet simple prose.
2. Shirley Jackson
Queen of the creeping terror, Shirley Jackson creates worlds that are just not quite right. We Have Always Lived in the Castle is one of my all-time favorite books. I shivered when I read it, just because it happened to be everything I wanted at that moment: it’s short, concise, creepy, it’s about sisters, and death, and ostracism, and murder — it’s just fantastic.
3. JK Rowling
I mean, how can I not? I’ll admit I haven’t been the biggest fan of her post-Potter work, but that doesn’t negate the influence Harry Potter had on me growing up. There’s a quote on Tumblr about how JKR didn’t change our lives, she shaped them. I think that’s absolutely true.
4. Phillip Pullman
Again, this isn’t an author I’ve read widely outside of one work of his, but that one work was so important to me, I’ve got to include him. His Dark Materials is everything I wanted and needed as a teenager. A children’s book with adventure, atheism, a female protagonist, so many animal feels, and gay angels to boot? Love that trilogy, I’m so happy I found it when I did.
5. Stephen Fry
I think I’ve read all of, or almost all of, Stephen Fry’s work to date. His first memoir, Moab is My Washpot was fantastic. I mentioned the Hippopotamus in my Cake Book Tag post as Eggs: A Book You Thought Was Going to be Bad But Actually Turned Out Quite Enjoyable. And Making History is just one of my favorite books of all time. A time travel plot to kill Hitler that has both drastically dire consequences and a male/male love story? YES, PLEASE.
6. Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman is so easy to recommend to people, because he’s got such a wealth of books to pull from. His writing is poetic, something to savor, his worlds dark and fantastical and always just a little bit creepy and lovely all at the same time.
7. Rainbow Rowell
Rowell’s books are just fun. They make me feel good, like I’m slipping into a warm bath or eating something sweet and comforting. I was giddy the first time I read Fangirl, because I’d never identified so much with a protagonist — Cath is introverted, shy, comes off too abrasive and judgmental, she’s a writer, she’s in LOVE with fic and fandom. We need more books with fan fic writers and fandom-y main characters!!
8. Jane Austen
These are total comfort books for me. Emma is another protagonist, like Cath, that I identified with strongly — and Pride and Prejudice is just an all-time favorite read. (Plus, I think I’ve loved just about every Austen movie or mini-series adaptation I’ve ever seen. Seriously, there’s something amazing about all of them. I love period romances so much?????)
9. J.R.R Tolkien
As someone who is writing a fantasy book series that required the creation of an entire world and the constant looping and rearranging of strings whose natural state is to want to tangle up irreconcilably, I have mad respect for Tolkien; he devoted his life to Middle Earth. He created an entire world, an entire language, generations upon generations of characters, mythology, everything.
Now, it’s no question that, looking back on it today, there’s a lot of dubious racial content in these books, and I completely respect and understand people who have a problem with Tolkien’s work. But I still really love his world, and really respect the time and effort and mental determination that goes into keeping so much information straight while simultaneously delivering some absolutely wonderful, suspenseful, exciting stories about adventure and friendship and the fight of good against evil.
10. Someone I Haven’t Discovered Yet
This is both a cop-out and a serious choice — I don’t know who my tenth favorite author is. I’ve racked my brains and my bookshelves for all of my favorite people, and I came short at nine. But I kind of like that. I like the thought that my tenth favorite author is out there somewhere, I just haven’t read them yet. Someday, I’m going to come across a writer with a body of work that speaks to me, that floors me, even, and I’m going to excitedly announce they’re one of my Favorite Authors of All-TIme, joining the ranks with the people aforementioned. I’ll just have to keep reading, so I can find them. 🙂
So, who are your favorite authors of all time??? How do you even begin to pick a favorite author? Is it someone who wrote that one perfect book you read at just the right moment? Or someone who consistently produces quality books? Or someone who is an author, who just seems like a great, kind, awesome person, regardless of if their books are technically your favorites?! Leave a comment, let’s talk!