I decided to write this blog post because people are constantly asking me who my favorite authors are, and in the moment, I always blank. I am very picky about the term “favorite author”, because I feel like you have to like everything by an author for them to be considered your favorite, and sometimes amazing authors just come up with a total crap book! So I am defining favorite authors as those people who you get super excited about when you hear they have a new book out. Either way, here is a short list of some of my “favorite” authors.
I fell in love with Barbara the way most people do, through Poisonwood Bible. I would have to argue, however, that Prodigal Summer and The Lacuna are just as good. Kingsolver’s style is hard for me to describe. “Realistic” does not give her enough credit, while “descriptive” is not accurate either.
Most recently, I finished Pigs in Heaven, the sequel to The Bean Trees. I loved both of these novels. While sorrow and heartache is always present in Kingsolver’s novels, they skirt the outsides, instead of invading the main frame. This is true in these two novels, which follow the story of Turtle, a Cherokee girl who was abused and then adopted by Taylor Greer. The story develops as Taylor fights the Cherokee nation for the right to keep Turtle.
I’ve read almost everything Chabon has ever written. I even read his nonfiction account of fatherhood (don’t ask me why). The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and Summerland are both on my list of top 20 best books I have ever read, while The Mysteries of Pittsburgh was hard for me to finish. I love recommending Summerland to people when we are discussing Chabon because very few people know he wrote a YA novel, and that it is SO GOOD. While Kavalier & Clay and Summerland were some of his earlier works, I also love his more recent stuff. Gentlemen of the Road, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, and The Final Solution were all really enjoyable and quick, easy reads. I was conflicted about Telegraph Avenue. It reminded me a lot of Mysteries of Pittsburgh, but the characters were easier for me to connect to and the novel did not drag as much as MoP.
What a dude. Coelho writes about super cool things, like divinity and death and demonism. And other things that don’t start with a D. I think my favorite book by Coelho is Veronika Decides to Die. This is one of three novels written by Coelho that focus on regular people who have something crazy happen to them. In Veronika’s case, she is told she only has one week to live. The novel follows her struggle with the belief that she has not lived her life to the fullest, because she did not know she was going to die. Deep stuff, but a VERY worthwhile read, especially if you are struggling with the idea of mortality. Next on my list of books to read is By the River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept.