I’ve mentioned a handful of times that I really like to read and that I average about a book a week.
While I lean toward science fiction, I will read almost anything. Right now I am reading an autobiography of Ozzy Osbourne, I Am Ozzy, which I’m finding very amusing. This is odd because I don’t really care for Ozzy, like heavy metal and I don’t read celebrity biographies. Let’s just hope he doesn’t read the audio book. ;-)
There a 5 authors that I read every book that they have written. Even if some of their books disappoint me, I will read their books as soon as they are released or as soon as I can get it from the library.
- Carl Hiaasen – Carl Hiaasen writes “mysteries” that always take place in Florida, where Hiaasen is from, and that contain strong environment themes and corrupt government and corporate officials. The books contains some of the wackiest and bizarre characters who also somehow believable. And while I believe Hiaasen intends to make a statement about how the environment of his home state has been destroyed by greed his books are also laugh-out-loud funny. I read my first book by him two summers ago and quickly went through all of them. He is also the author of Hoot and other YA novels.
Two of my favorites are Sick Puppy and Skinny Dip. His most recent is Star Island, published in 2010, that is a strong statement about celebrity culture. It wasn’t my favorite but I still enjoyed it quite a bit.
- Alice Hoffman – Alice Hoffman has written 22 novels in addition to YA and books for kids. Her first novel was published in 1977 but I didn’t start reading her until the mid 1990’s and, like many others, the first one I read by her may have been Practical Magic.
Her books are in the genre of magical realism and often contain magical or fairy tale elements and have a dream-like quality to them. This doesn’t mean, however, that the stories are happy – many of them are incredibly sad and terrible things can happen.
After Practical Magic, I read all of her previous novels and will read a book by her as soon as it comes out. I’m not sure if I can pick my favorites but I loved her most recent one, The Red Garden, and stayed up and read it in one night. It is a series of connected stories about one town and the people who lived there from the time the area was settled until the present day.
I also really enjoyed The Story Sisters, although I had a difficult time starting it because I had this sick feeling in my stomach that horrible things were going to happen.
- Kate Atkinson – I’ve read Kate Atkinson since her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, which won the Whitbread Prize for book of the year and have read everything by her as the books are published. Her novels have strong characters and surprising plot twists.
Her recent novels feature a sort of mysteries and feature a former detective named Jackson Brodie. Her novels can be funny and brutal all at once. I’ve never been disappointed by any of her books although I wasn’t as fond of Emotionally Weird. Her newest, which was just released, is Started Early, Took My Dog and I waiting for my library reserve to be available.
- Jasper Fforde – I’ve also been reading Jasper Fforde since his first novel, The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel. The novels are hard to define but are a blend of alternate history, fantasy, mystery and science fiction. The Eyre Affair and subsequent novels in that series feature a literary detective named Thursday Next. She works for Spec-Ops investigating crimes in the book world, a place in which characters from literature exist, and there are issues with things like page runners, characters who escape from their own novel into the pages of another.
What I love about his novels are the literary allusions and the word play. I mean any book featuring a character name Jack Schitt (you have to say it aloud) has got to be awesome.
In addition to the Thursday Next series, Fforde has also written two novels in the Nursery Crime series and started a new series about a world where the colors you see in the world depends on your social class and began with Shades of Grey.
Fforde’s first novel was rejected over 30 times before he finally found a publisher. He also never includes a chapter 13 although it is often listed in the table of contents.
- China Mieville – The first book I read by Mieville was his second, Perdido Street Station. I couldn’t put it down even though it completely terrified me. I suppose his books are in the dark bizarre fantasy genre. I haven’t liked any of his novels as well as Perdido Street Station but, for some reason, I keep reading them. The last one I read, The City & The City, won the 2010 Arthur C. Clarke Award, 2010 Hugo Award, and 2010 World Fantasy Award, as well as being a Nebula Award nominee in the Best Novel category. Maybe I don’t know my books as well as those giving the awards but I didn’t care for the novel at all. It took over 100 pages to figure out what was going on and I got bored. His next novel, Kraken, is sitting in my pile of books to read – I hope I like it better – otherwise, Mieville might be removed from the list of authors I always read.
There are a couple of authors that I have read a lot of but not everything so I didn’t include them on this list. Or I am still working though their novels. Three that fall into this category are Neil Gaiman, Connie Willis and Lois McMaster Bujold.
Do you have any authors that you have read everything they have written? Who are they and why do you like them so much?
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photo credit: moriza