Just thought I'd start a new thread. I'm always on the lookout for a new book to read and would love some favorite author recommendations. I'd also like to know why you like a particular author.
For example, I like Barbara Kingsolver quite a bit. I feel like she writes in an intelligent, but accessible way. I always feel like I learn something from her books, but it rarely seems like drudgery to finish one. They don't require a lot of effort to read (which is good, because I don't have a lot to give), but they're not fluffy. They're well-crafted and tight with no plot holes. I enjoyed her last one, The Lacuna, but the pacing did lag a little bit at times, however, she has an absolutely pitch perfect sense of place. And I'm sure that all the historical or geographic details in her books are absolutely true and complete.
My dd1 got me started on the Harry Potter books, and one thing I really like about JK Rowling's work is the pacing and description. I found there were plot holes, but she could pull me along ("don't look over there, come along this way") and it was a good ride.
A similar author for me is Diana Gabaldon. She's got great pacing and description/characterization, but is a little haphazard with some plot elements (really, that character isn't dead after all?) and sense of place. Her places are evocative, but just not necessarily accurate at all. She uses a whole lot of artistic license. Her historical elements are good, though. Huge thick books, but super easy to read and a fun ride.
I'm reading "The Complaints" by Ian Rankin right now and I'm enjoying it. I like an author who writes about a place he/she really knows and his books are set in Edinburgh where he lives so it's got that great sense of place. It's a nice taut mystery. I can't really fault it at all, but it hasn't pulled me in like some other books. It's really a lovely book, but doesn't have that crack-addict can't put it down, must read while I'm tying my shoes type thing going for it.
So, your turn. Got any favorite authors and why?