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1 Challenge Books 003

I have mentioned before that sometimes I have read the first book of an author and was not impressed, but then I read a second book in the series, sometimes at the urging of a friend, and realized that I did like the author’s stories very much.  I then continued on and read all their work.  

Sometimes I have liked the author, but not all of their books.  That is fine.  

I have been thinking about what makes a writer a favorite author.

Recipe for Books by a Favorite Author

Mix together

One cup of authentic thoughts to share
One and ½ cups of great descriptions
Two cups of memorable characters
Two sticks of careful plotting
A package of inspiration

Add in

One cup of good dialogue
One cup of research well done
½ cup of careful crafting of words
6 TB of humor
2 TB of understanding the human condition

Fold in progressive ideas

Beat until the writing is smooth

Bake until all revisions come out clean

As you all may guess I have tons of favorite authors.  I keep lists of those whose new books I am waiting for.  I praise them here, often.  I realize that authors on my list have written in more than one genre.  

I will choose only ten of my most favorite for each genre, but it will be hard to stop with ten.  This list should leave you with hundreds of favorite authors of your own to mention below.


Ellis Peters
Louise Penny
Tana French
Julia Spencer-Fleming
C. J. Box
Andrea Camilleri
Robert Crais
Lindsey Davis
Susan Hill
Dana Stabenow

General Fiction

Isabel Allende
Barbara Kingsolver
Margaret Atwood
James Michener
Gail Tsukiyama
Mary Renault
John Irving
Chaim Potok
Michael Chabon
Cormac McCarthy

Historical Fiction

Dorothy Dunnett
Morgan Llywelyn
Edward Rutherfurd
Kenneth Roberts
Sharon Kay Penman
Margaret Walker
Alexandre Dumas
Michael Shaara
Irving Stone
Anya Seton

Fantasy/Science Fiction

(I moved Pratchett to humor)

Patricia McKillip
C. J. Cherryh
Naomi Novik
J. R. R. Tolkien
Anne McCaffrey
James White
Michelle West aka Michelle Sagara
Janny Wurts
Guy Gavriel Kay
Robin Hobb
Kelly McCullough

Children’s and YA stories

Madeleine L’Engle
Lloyd Alexander
A. A. Milne
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Robert Louis Stevenson
Mildred Taylor
Lucy Maud Montgomery
J. K. Rowling
Frances Hodgson Burnett
S. E. Hinton

Short Stories

Isaac Asimov
Eudora Welty
Connie Willis
Isak Dinesen
Stephen Vincent Benét
O. Henry
Ray Bradbury
Arthur C. Clarke
Italo Calvino
Edgar Allan Poe


Jane Austen
Charles Dickens
Louisa May Alcott
Mark Twain
Leo Tolstoy
James Joyce
Harper Lee
John Steinbeck
Jack Schaefer
Herman Melville


Dee Brown
Taylor Branch
David McCullough
Stephen Ambrose
Stephen Sears
Barbara Tuchman
Ben Macintyre
Tony Judt
John Hersey
Adam Goodheart

Biography, Autobiography, Memoir, True Adventure

Eugenia Ginzburg
Vaclav Havel
Vera Brittain
Dave Eggers
William Least-Heat Moon
Rory Stewart
Neil Peart
Frank McCourt
Robert Kurson
Richard Feynman


Terry Pratchett
Patrick F. McManus
P. G. Wodehouse
Bill Bryson
Donald Westlake
James Herriot
Somerville and Ross
Erma Bombeck
Will Cuppy
Garrison Keillor


William Shakespeare
Tennessee Williams
Thornton Wilder
Eugene O’Neill
Robert Bolt
George Bernard Shaw
John Millington Synge
Jean Anouilh
Lillian Hellman


Thomas Merton
Dylan Thomas
Federico García Lorca
Walt Whitman
John Keats
William Wordsworth
Lord Byron
Robert Frost
Pablo Neruda
Rainer Maria Rilke


George Orwell
Molly Ivins
Jim Hightower
Paul Krugman
Barbara Ehrenreich
Giovanni Guareschi
John Howard Griffin
Al Gore
Norman Cousins
Amy Goodman

Your turn!

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Robert Fuller says:

Chapter 4 of my novel "The Rowan Tree" has now been posted online.

 I welcome reviews - especially on Goodreads and personal blogs. I'm also thinking of rewriting the book's description to include the theme of struggling to define and reach  manhood in the post 60s era of equality.

NOTE: plf515 has book talk on Wednesday mornings early

I know there is going to be a revolt for not including “all of the above” in the poll, but I am hoping you will still vote for the one you like best.  

Originally posted to Readers and Book Lovers on Wed May 01, 2013 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter.


What do your favorite authors do?

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11%5 votes

| 42 votes | Vote | Results

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