Monday, 13 January 2014

My favourite authors through the ages

Happy Monday everyone
I got to thinking the other day how my tastes have changed over the years and also how, where in the past I would have one favourite author whose books I would snap up at the first opportunity, over the years their number has grown considerably.
So, I decided to put pen to paper and note down who my favourite authors have been, starting with my earliest memories.

Topsy and Tim books - I had to look up who the authors were - I dare say at age 3-4 I wasn't caring - Jean Adamson & Belinda Worsley
Enid Blyton - yes, complete with Noddy, Big Ears, golliwogs and all. I particularly liked the Five Find-Outers and Dog series, as well as The Secret Seven, The Famous Five and the St Clare and Malory Towers boarding school books. I also have a particular penchant, still, for The Magic Faraway Tree and can't wait until I can read it to baby Antonia!

Elinor M Brent-Dyer - The Chalet School books

CS Lewis - The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - I so wanted to be Lucy!

Carolyn Keene - Nancy Drew series
Franklin W Dixon - The Hardy boys series  - these, naturally, go hand in hand

For some reason I can't recall quite what I was reading for part of secondary school, and I pretty much read nothing during my whole time at university which wasn't a prescribed text. (I did a degree in Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese literature - as you can imagine, it left little time for anything else)
I think I read whatever my parents had at home, so Jeffrey Archer - Kane and Abel was the first, and I read all of his up until he went to prison and I haven't read any since!
Christine Marion Fraser - I know, random, but they were set in Scotland and my mum had them.
Sue Grafton - I think I got one of these out of the library and it appealed to me that each book was of the format, A is for Alibi, B is for Burglar, etc.

But I know what I was reading the day after I left university - Agatha Christie and I then worked my way through at least 90% of her works.

Maeve Binchy - it started with Circle of Friends and ended with her last book. I have yet to read the stories from the Irish Times, which have been put together into a volume, but I've read everything else.

Then they all started to come together in droves, round about the time books became more affordable.
Jill Mansell - I still buy/read all of her books
Carole Matthews - ditto
Katie Fforde - still read most of Katie's stuff
Cathy Kelly - similar to Maeve Binchy, but slightly more modern
Patricia Scanlan - as above. Patricia and Cathy tend not to bring books out as often as Jill, Carole, etc and I've read almost all of both their works.
Jane Green - love her stuff. Read A Patchwork Marriage last year, but have been reading her for well over a decade.
John Grisham - I do love me a legal drama! Also loved Skipping Christmas, a very fun, short book. But Bleachers and a few of his other more recent books didn't inspire me. That said, I will be picking up Sycamore Row when it comes out in paperback.
Ian Rankin - love the whole Rebus series
James Patterson - I read all of James's books for years, but when it got to the silly stage of one coming out every 6-8 weeks and being co-written, I chucked him! I did, however, love the Maximum Ride children's series in particular. I remember those, whereas after the original Cross books, many of them became interchangeable. Who can recall the details?
Henning Mankell - Swedish crime writer - even saw him at the Edinburgh Book Festival. Didn't like his non-Wallander stuff so much.

Alexander McCall Smith - loved The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series and the Scotland St books. He started bringing books out too often, too and it was costing me a fortune. Little Bertie's mother had started getting on my nerves, so I stopped parting with my cash! Fortunately I saw Alexander at the Edinburgh Book Festival too.
Sophie Kinsella - it started with Confessions of A Shopaholic, but the best one for me so far has been I've Got Your Number
Jodi Picoult - love her moral dilemma books, but Lone Wolf put me off, as it was just a bit odd.
Cecelia Ahern - another Irish writer whose books I always buy
Michael Connelly - the crime writer. I was so delighted when he tweeted me last year!
Dorothy Koomson - love her books - contemporary fiction, the later ones are rather dark
Victoria Hislop - love her books set in Greece and Spain.
Jo Nesbo - Norwegian crime writer. Read the first six books, but was having bad nightmares! Too dark!
Diane Chamberlain - have quite a few still to read, but downloaded a few the other day, too. Akin to Jodi P.
Carlos Ruiz Zafon - The Shadow of the Wind series and also his YA books like The Midnight Palace.
Latterly, Jenny Colgan - I read one of Jenny's books over a decade ago and didn't like it, but Rosie Hopkins Sweetshop of Dreams convinced me to try again and since then I've read quite a few more.
Sophie Hannah - her thrillers are so dark!
Emily Barr - again I read one of Emily's books about 15 years ago and didn't really like it. Last year I discovered I loved her other books. So glad have a few more to read this year.

Anyway, you get the picture and this list is not exhaustive - far from. I just need to get to bed!
I would love to hear about the authors you can't and couldn't live without. Recommendations gratefully received.

Tune in on Saturday for a surprise visit.


  1. I notice there is not one 'indie' writer in your lists - one of the many things that explains why we're not traditionally published!!

    I loved the Magic Faraway Tree, Narnia and Jeffo Arch's early ones too - I stopped reading them when I read a boring one. I did love Kane & Abel! Apart from them and dear Emily, we have few in common though.

    1. Well, I think that's because I am referring to books where the authors have quite a few books and I've gone on to read their back catalogue. Most indie authors I have read only have 1 or 2 books out, except for your good self, of course, and as you know, I've read and enjoyed all of those, so you can happily add yourself to my list. I did say it wasn't exhaustive!!! I was exhausted when I finished the post!

  2. I can recall the days of reading Agatha Christie and Franklin Dixon as a wee lad. Thanks for bringing back memories. These days, there are so many writers, I usually just read one piece of writing from their work and then move on. Jean Thompson, Jonathan Franzen, Christoph Paul, Rachel Thompson, Wright Forbucks, Paulo Coelho...the list goes on and on, doesn't it?

  3. Your list bought back sweet memories! I believe it was the Nancy Drew series that set off my love for reading. A lot of my favorite authors are on your list. I did read "Sycamore Row" and enjoyed reading the old Grisham style! Jodi Picolt does make me think! Wally Lamb is someone I would add to my list. Oh... and if Michael Connelly tweeted me I would have freaked out!! Nice meeting your through #MondayBlogs!

  4. Your childhood favourites are an almost exact replica of mine... I saw myself as Joey from the Chalet School (and she is actually Jo from Little Women, don't you think?)
    Interesting comment, though, that, although we usually like working our way through the back catalogue when we discover a new writer we like, sometimes a writer can become too prolific and put us off!