Monday, April 20, 2015

My Current Favorite Authors -- And Why It Was Hard To Choose

This week's Top Ten Tuesday prompt from The Broke and the Bookish was a deceptively difficult one. Favorite authors, how hard could that be? Ten, even five, years ago I could've easily rattled off a list of authors I loved, but my tastes have changed and so have my reading habits.

Before I started blogging -- and working at a library where want to devour pretty much everything in sight -- I would go to the library or a bookstore, browse around, find a book that looked interesting, and if I really enjoyed it then I'd probably go ahead and read a bunch of other works by that author.

But a quick glance at my Goodreads stats will tell you that nowadays I rarely read more than one book by a given author in a row -- or even in the same year. Now if I find an author I like, I always vow to make my way through the rest of his or her books... but then I seldom do, at least not in one fell swoop right away. I'm almost overwhelmed with the number of books I want to read, from brand new releases to books published in the 1800s, and it's hard to go back to a familiar author when there are so many more to discover! It's nice that I get exposure to huge variety of writers, but I'm also worried I'm missing out on a lot of authors who could easily become favorites if I'd read more than one of their books, people like Kate Morton, Barbara Kingsolver and Spencer Quinn.

While there are some authors who are automatic reads for me, like Dan Brown, Emily Giffin and Donna Andrews, they're not necessarily favorites. An author's writing really has to be something special to receive that accolade.

Below (and in no particular order because they're all great) are authors I'm constantly recommending and raving about -- my favorites.

"Red Rising" and the sequel, "Golden Son" were two superb books that I blew through this year. I can't wait for the trilogy finale next spring! Also, I must say that Pierce Brown is my new crush -- an attractive writer with geeky interests and good fashion sense. Sigh... He's a little bit dreamy!

Deborah Harkness's All Souls trilogy is currently my favorite series (although it may just end up being tied for first or eclipsed by the Red Rising and Bone Season series). Harkness is an amazing writer and I'm anxiously awaiting whatever she might put out next!

I love Tasha Alexander's Lady Emily novels and I hope the series never ends! I adore Lady Emily, and like that these period mysteries are cozy but not at all cheesy.

I have read every single one of the Stephanie Plum novels as well as most of the standalones, and I love the Wicked series. I'm so excited for the next book to come out in June! Janet is always good for a laugh.

Both "Seabiscuit" and "Unbroken" were phenomenal reads. Hillenbrand is a master at writing non-fiction that's as engrossing as a novel. I wonder what topic she'll tackle next? I will definitely be reading it, whatever it is!

"The Mime Order" was absolutely unputdownable and is tied with "Red Rising" (and "Golden Son") for the best book I read this year. There are five more books coming in Shannon's Bone Season series, which means five more years of awesome reads!

I'm slowly working my way through the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series. Featuring an older Holmes in semi-retirement and a young genius named Mary, these books are a must for any Sherlock fan.

"Me Before You" was such a moving read and I'm looking forward to both the sequel, out this fall, and the movie adaptation -- which, by the way, has the PERFECT cast: Emilia Clarke (aka Daenerys on "Game of Thrones) and Sam Claflin (aka Finnick in the Hunger Games movies). I also really enjoyed "One Plus One" and I am committed to eventually reading all of Moyes' books. Do you have a favorite? I think "The Girl You Left Behind" will be my next selection.

Do tell: who are YOUR favorite authors? Have you read any of mine? (If not, you should!)


  1. I've not read any of your choices, although Red Rising and The Bone Season are sitting on my TBR pile at home.
    Check out my Top 10

  2. LOVED Discovery of Witches. But wasn't crazy about the second or third book in the trilogy. I am looking forward to the new Wicked book as well! Thanks to your post I am definitely going to check out Tasha Alexander's Lady Emily series AND the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes. Those sound right up my alley.

    1. What a bummer that you didn't love the rest of the All Souls trilogy! What didn't you like about the books, do you remember? It's rare, but sometimes I get so caught up in a story that I don't even notice flaws like plot holes or writing style problems!

      Definitely check out those mystery series! Tasha Alexander is awesome. You can jump in anywhere and be ok, but I'd recommend starting with the first book, "And Only to Deceive" so you get some background info. But Lady Emily's character really grows from there -- she's a pretty badass lady for her time period!

  3. I really enjoyed your list. I own The Bone Season and Red Rising but haven't gotten to them - to many review books on the pile right now. Did you know Laurie King owned Boxers at one time too? I think I read something by her years ago and did some research because if I recall correctly, there is a boxer in the book. Your list did a fine job of making me want to move some books up in my TBR list. Although, I am waiting to see if BookOutlet gets The Mime Order soon so I can grab a cheap copy before starting the first one.

    1. One more thing. I just read your profile and saw you are from Ohio so Hello Neighbor (I hail from WV).

  4. I agree with you about the whole author thing, how hard it is to actually read so many books by the same person when there are just so many books you want to read in the first place! I tried to come up with a list but it was only like 5 people because of this.

    I need to read more of the Mary Russell books; I read the first but my husband has read I think all except the latest. He obviously enjoys them.

    I haven't read any Pierce Brown, but he is attractive!

  5. I still have yet to read anything by Jojo Moyes, which I think is some sort of crime in the book world :). I'll need to check this one out asap.
    I really want to read Unbroken, too. I love good non-fiction, especially ones that read like a novel.
    Fantastic list!

  6. I enjoyed both SEABISCUIT and UNBROKEN, neither of which are really the kind of books I typically read. I just love how accessible and readable Hillenbrand's non-fiction is. The Tasha Alexander series looks excellent. I've heard lots of good things about it. I definitely need to check it out.

  7. I would put Jo Jo Moyes under my favorites list too.


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