Favorite authors and why? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 01-25-2012, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey y'all,


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?



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#2 of 10 Old 01-26-2012, 09:14 AM
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I have had several favorites through the years, I loooved John Irving for many years. (Still do, actually.) A prayer for Owean Meany  was and is a favorite.


I also adore everything written by Paulo Coelho. His books speak to my soul.


Same goes for Cecilia Samartin. Her books give me a warm feeling inside. They just make the world a better place. Cheesy, I know. :D


Right now I am reading a book by Joyce Carol Oates. I have just started, but it looks very, very promising. :D


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#3 of 10 Old 02-01-2012, 12:06 PM
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 If I had to narrow it down it would be Isabel Allende, Rudolfo Anaya and Charles De Lint.

Why? Because with all of them I've loved everything I've read with the exception of a few short stories

 All 3 authors create fantastic characters that are also very likeable and real.

All three writers convey the magical, but are still rooted in real life with real issues.

I  enjoy many authors but chose  these 3  as my favourites because as I said, I like about everything they write.

I loved The Alchemist and Veronica Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho,but did not like the Witch of Portobello. Same for Barbara Kingsolver I love some of her books but not all.

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#4 of 10 Old 02-10-2012, 03:31 PM
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Sue ****** (complex family dramas,) Alice Munroe (superb writing) and Margaret Atwood (plausible yet fantastic ideas and characters.)  I only wish they wrote more often!


I also really enjoy Ruth Rendell, who writes very clever psychological thrillers that explore class, fate, obsession and circumstance. "The Tree of Hands" and "The Crocodile Bird" were two of her best.





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#5 of 10 Old 03-01-2012, 11:14 AM
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I love Isabel Allende, although I thought Portrait in Sepia was terrible, and I didn't finish it.  There was just no depth.  Daughter of Fortune was OK, but not up to her usual standards, I thought.  I loved Eva Luna, Of Love and Shadows, The Infinite Plan, House of the Spirits and Zorro.  I read her books in the English translation, and I think part of what I love is the work of her translator.  Maybe that's part of the problem with Daughter of Fortune.


I also love Amy Tan.  I don't think she's written that much, but I've loved everything that I've read by her:  The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter's Daughter, Saving Fish from Drowning and The Joy Luck Club.  The first two I listed are my favorites.


I love Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible, but my favorite is Prodigal Summer.  I haven't read any others.  I actually thought I would hate The Poisonwood Bible, so I held off reading it for years.


I have really enjoyed some of Alice Walker's books, but I haven't read them all. I loved Possessing the Secret of Joy.  I also love Anne Tyler.  I don't love all of her stuff, and at first I wasn't sure I even liked her at all--The Clock Winder and Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant were just kind of weird, I started Celestial Navigation many times before finishing it.  But I've read so many of her books now, and most of them I think are pretty good.  Accidental Tourist, Digging to America and Saint Maybe are my faves of hers.


I want to list Kazuo Ishiguro too.  I adored The Remains of the Day.  The only other one I've finished is When We Were Orphans.  I've read a good portion of The Unconsoled, but it seemed rather surreal, so even though I enjoyed the part I read, the non-linear storyline didn't compel me to come back to it when I had to put it down for awhile.  I'll give it another go one of these days.


I read a lot of Joyce Carol Oates in my teens, for some reason, but I haven't read one of her books in years.  I think what makes her unique is that her style changes from one novel to another, you never know what you're going to get.




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#6 of 10 Old 03-01-2012, 04:47 PM
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Barbara Kingsolver is my favorite author.  I have loved everything I've read of hers.  Why is a hard question though!  I guess because though her books are really easy to read, they are also beautifully written and they always make me think of things in ways I hadn't before.

Chrissy, lucky mama to Noah (9), Lilah (6), Rowan (3) and Laney (1).
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#7 of 10 Old 03-30-2012, 08:02 AM
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I love James Baldwin. I can't put into words why. I can only say that he speaks to my soul.

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#8 of 10 Old 03-31-2012, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Viola View Post

I want to list Kazuo Ishiguro too.  I adored The Remains of the Day.  The only other one I've finished is When We Were Orphans.  I've read a good portion of The Unconsoled, but it seemed rather surreal, so even though I enjoyed the part I read, the non-linear storyline didn't compel me to come back to it when I had to put it down for awhile.  I'll give it another go one of these days.



Have you read "Never Let Me Go" by Ishiguro?  Really enjoyed that book.  It has also been made into a movie, but I don't think it held a candle to the novel.  I won't go into the story line, since the way it unfolds with the narrator and the reader both making discoveries at the same time is one of its charms. 


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#9 of 10 Old 05-06-2012, 01:08 PM
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I like Anne Tyler and C.J. Box. I just like their writing styles. Tyler is like a neighbor telling you a story, and Box keeps you turning pages.

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#10 of 10 Old 05-16-2012, 01:04 PM
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A few of my favorite authors are:

Neal Stephenson - geeky sci fi and fantasy but also totally mind-blowing

Marge Piercy - I love her characters

Margaret Atwood - again fascinating science fantasy but I'm not as fond of her two most recent books

Elizabeth George - fabulous crime novels set in England

P.D. James - another fabulous crime author

Ralph Ellison - Invisible Man is one of the most profound books I've ever read



And a few that don't make the favorite ranking but have written some great books:
Gregory McGuire - the Wicked series.  He writes alternate versions of classic stories.  Wicked is based on the Wizard of Oz.  Again, after reading several I found the framework gimmicky but I loved it at first.

Jasper Fforde - writes about someone living in books.  Cute idea.

Ken Follett


Oh, so many more but I can't think of anymore names right now!

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