I’m joining in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish for the first time, and the topic this week is pretty epic: Top 10 Favorite Authors. I initially thought listing my ten favorite authors would be difficult, but it turned out to be pretty easy. (It helped to remember that this was favorite authors, not favorite books.)
First of all, I’m a huge nerd, so I actually already had an Evernote note with a list of my favorite authors. (Why do I have this? I don’t know. I like lists.) The problem was, the list had 16 authors on it. So I went through and eliminated a few authors I love but that I’ve read a relatively small percentage of their total works (i.e. Charles Dickens.) I was left with 13 authors then, and found it fairly easy to identify 3 I loved just a bit less than the other 10. The 10 that made the final list feel just right – they feel like the core of who I am as a reader (and in a way, as a person).
So here they are, in alphabetical order, with a brief note about why each one makes the list.
- Jane Austen – 6 or 7 years ago I read all of Jane Austen’s novels in the span of about a year. I was reading all of them for the first time, except for Pride & Prejudice. I loved each one for the masterful writing and storytelling, the great humor, the unforgettable characters. She also wins the prize for my favorite movie adaptations of any author.
- Bill Bryson – I love everything about Bill Bryson and his books. I’m convinced he could make a book about socks turn out to be a fascinating read. He has a wonderful sense of how to make information not only interesting, but delightful. I laugh out loud many times while reading his books. I’ve met him briefly at several author events, and he is always extremely kind and good natured.
- Jhumpa Lahiri – I love her beautiful writing, and the way she seems to place you right into the beating heart of her characters so that you feel pain and happiness right along with them.
- Maud Hart Lovelace – I grew up with the Betsy – Tacy series and they helped to form the foundation of my personality. Returning to Deep Valley and spending time re-reading that wonderful world is still one of my absolute favorite reading experiences.
- Lucy Maud Montgomery – Anne Shirley, and by close extension Lucy Maud herself, are kindred spirits. The sheer delight and passion for life that her books convey are food for the soul.
- Mary Oliver – Her poetry brings me so much joy, and reminds me to be still and appreciate every moment of life.
- J.K. Rowling – She created an imaginary world that made my real world even better – so many great memories with friends talking about the books or going to the movies or The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and so many wonderful hours spent immersed in Hogwarts.
- J.D. Salinger – I am definitely not one of the people who “outgrew” Salinger. I’ve read each of his books multiple times, and am obsessed with his writing style. His sentences are perfectly crafted, and they express the moods and desires of his characters perfectly.
- George Saunders – His short stories are incredible. I think they are masterpieces. And his graduation speech on kindness is so, so good.
- Kurt Vonnegut – He’s one of my greatest heroes, as I’ve posted about often. A great writer, and an even better human.
Here are the Honorable Mentions, the 6 authors on the original Evernote list that did not make the final cut. I still love them all: Billy Collins, Junot Diaz, Charles Dickens, Jon Ronson, Cheryl Strayed, P.G. Wodehouse.
I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s lists! If you don’t have a blog / didn’t post your list, please feel encouraged to share yours in the comments!