Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future weeks’ topics can be found here. This week’s topic is…
Authors I’ve read the most books by
I like to think I have some good qualities as a reader. I’m open-minded in terms of genre, not remotely snobby (yay for the trashiest of trashy thrillers) and won’t give up on a book just because the first chapter doesn’t grab me. But one quality I seem to lack is loyalty.
Rather than commit to an author I like, I hop around between them, never getting too invested in any of them. For some of the authors on this list, I haven’t read more than four or five of their books. But for me, that’s a big commitment! Here are my top ten…
- Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl probably bears at least half the responsibility for my love of reading, dark humour and female villains! As a kid, I read almost all his children’s books and could recite whole chunks of James and the Giant Peach. But my favourite was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, because chocolate.
2. Jacqueline Wilson
Maybe I was a more loyal reader as a kid, because I read heaps of Jacqueline Wilson books along with the Roald Dahls. Looking back on them, I’m really impressed that she managed to write about heavy stuff like homelessness, mental illness and eating disorders in a way that was neither overly scary nor patronising.
3. Diana Gabaldon
I rarely read long series, but I’m hooked on the Outlander novels. I’ve been reading them since I was fourteen, which is maybe too young considering all the sex, violence, sexual violence, gory surgical scenes, etc. But I’m addicted to Jamie and Claire’s adventures, and the Lord John Grey series is just as good.
4. Margaret Attwood
I first read The Handmaid’s Tale as a seventeen-year-old, and the “particicution” scene was the most disturbing thing I’d ever read. It probably still is. Luckily, this didn’t put me off Attwood’s amazing writing. I’m not sure how many of her books I’ve read, but it’s a fair few. My personal favourite is The Robber Bride.
5. Philip Pullman
The His Dark Materials trilogy is brilliant, obviously, but he’s written plenty of other fantastic books.
6. JK Rowling
To address the big, transphobic elephant in the room, I am no longer a fan of JKR. But there will always be a special place in my heart for the Harry Potter series. The books and films are pure magic, and so is the wonderful, creative, diverse fandom.
7. Nicholas Evans
I think that reading Nicholas Evans at thirteen was the first time I consciously recognised “good writing”. Specifically, I noticed his ability to get right inside the minds of his characters and give each one a distinctive voice, and was very impressed.
8. Jane Austen
Austen didn’t write many novels but I’ve read all of them. It wasn’t exactly love at first read because I used to get frustrated with the stifling, judgemental world her characters inhabit. But then I realised that in many ways, it’s not so different from 21st century Britain, and I finally started to appreciate Austen’s subtle satire.
9. Patrick O’Brian
O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series has about 20 books and I’m not even halfway through it. But I’m fully committed to finishing it because this shit is amazing! It has oodles of old-school adventure, plus brilliantly written characters, lots of humour and a complex, heart-warming central friendship.
10. Terry Pratchett
I was a latecomer to Sir Terry’s satirical fantasy. I read The Colour of Magic a few years ago and I’m still playing catch-up with his series of 41(!) Discworld novels. My favourite so far is the festive classic, Hogfather.
I’m kind of annoyed with myself that certain authors haven’t made it onto this list. Why haven’t I read more Zadie Smith? Surely Neil Gaiman should be on there? If you’ll excuse me, I have A LOT of reading to do.
Meanwhile, have you read any of these authors? Are any of them on your top ten list?