"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Top Ten Authors

The Broke and the Bookish
Top Ten Authors
(The first three are in order, the others are authors I like but not in order)

1. Barbara Kingsolver...I love everything she writes, fiction and non-fiction; she speaks for me on many issues or gives voice to my thoughts.  Poisonwood Bible; Bean Trees; Small Miracles, etc.

2. Jane Austen...I remember once being judgmental of a friend who was on a Jane Austen jag...that was before I went on my first Jane Austen jag!  I even read the Jane Austen knock-offs! Pride and Prejudice; Persuasion; Sense and Sensibility, etc.
3.  John Green (YA)...I met John a few years a go at a conference and he was just like I thought he'd be, whatever that means.  I devour his books the minute they are published.  He's a little too edgy for some of my students. Looking for Alaska; Paper Towns; Will Grayson-Will Grayson, etc.
4.  Libba Bray (YA)...With the award winning book Going Bovine Ms Bray showed her versatile talents as an author.  Love both styles I've read. A Great and Terrible Beauty series.

5.  Alexander McCall Smith...I am a huge, huge fan.  I've read books in all his series and adored them all.  I went to hear him speak and he is captivating and hilarious, and he was dressed like his picture.  A true gem. 44 Scotland Street series; #1 Ladies Detective Agency series, etc.

6.  Jon Krakauer (Non fiction)...Jon grew up in Corvallis, Oregon, as did I.  His writing is so mesmerizing that one forgets they are reading about a subject they care nothing about. Into Thin Air; Into the Wild; Under the Banner of Heaven, etc.

7.  David McCullough (Non fiction)...Reading anything by David McCullough is the most painless way to learn about history that I know of.  Better yet, listen to him read his own audiobooks.  (Check out the typewriter he is using!) He is a masterful narrator and a first rate historian. 1776; Johnstown Flood, etc.

8.  Chris Crutcher (YA)...A champion against censorship and book banning, Chris also understands the plight of the underdogs in school.  His stories are very real and very easy to relate to. Deadline; Staying Fat for Sarah Brynes; etc.

9.  Marcus Zusak (YA)...I love his books The Book Thief and I am the Messenger so much that I had to put him on my list.

10. Francisco X. Stork (YA)...The two books that I have read by Stork included issues that are difficult for all of us to deal with---death and learning disabilities.  I feel that his writing is done with the utmost of integrity. Marcelo in the Real World and The Last Summer of the Death Warriors.

11. and, of course, Bill Bryson (Non fiction)*... Bill Bryson is phenomenal.  He can take any subject and make it fascinating and hilarious at the same time. Take for example his book A Short History of Nearly Everything which is essentially the history of science.  Sounds boring.  Not in the hands of the master, Bill Bryson.  I was completely captivated while I  learned all kinds of new bits of information. In a Sunburned Country; A Walk In the Woods; etc. 
*late addition to the list.

I just looked over the list and think I was leaning toward older, white guys.  Sorry.  If I made the list tomorrow it would probably have a very different look to it.


  1. Nice list! I like Barbara Kingsolver, too.

    I also like Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, and Jennifer Haigh.

    I've never thought before in terms of favorite authors, but here is a list of favorite novels from a while back:


    Like the new blog look!


  2. Did you find making the list a challenge? I had a hard time narrowing it down. Our only similarity is Jane Austen-it will be interesting to see how many lists she's on.
    What's your favourite title by her?

  3. I tried to listen to No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency on audiobook but I couldn't get into it… Love Jon Krakauer and Bill Bryson though!

  4. I like the new blog layout! I love to see Bryson on so many people's lists. He could write about paint drying and it would be interesting

  5. Great list--A couple of these I've never heard of, but you have such great taste that I'm sure those few are awesome too!

  6. I love McCullough! I also like Ron Chernow - his Hamilton book was great and I'm very excited for his new Washington book. Bill Bryson is another favorite.
    Alison Can Read

  7. First off, I love the title of your blog!!

    I like your list. Have read several of the authors. I have not read John Green yet, but his book Looking for Alaska is sitting on my bookcase.
    Very cool to see Alexander McCall Smith on your list. I really like the Ladies Detective Agency books. David McCullough is fantastic. The way he writes his biographies is as if he is telling story. I read Francisco X Stork's book, Marcelo in the Real World and loved that book! I need to more by him, but I hesitate for fear that I will not like his other stories as well.

  8. Hello, Anne Bennett!

    Tahnk you so much for your comment on my blog http://allthatglistensisnotold.blogspot.com/!

    - as you did not know all authors from my list Idon't know all names on yours - seems that there are many books and authors to "invastigate".
    I totally agree with Bill Bryson - he is great!! And Jane Austen of course!!

    I hope you allow me to follow your blog - even if I couldn't stand Markus Zusak's "The Book Thief".. But don't worry - most German readers I know adored that book - for that I am not respresentative. ;")

  9. I actually haven't read most of these authors yet- I'll have to add them to my list! I do love the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, and I have a Bill Bryson book on my physical TBR shelf. They all sound great!

  10. I've really wanted to pick up Bill Bryson's work, but have been in a non-fiction slump. I'll take your word. I also want to read Kingsolver's The Lacuna, but haven't gotten to it yet either! Sooo many books. Ps- I just received The Book Thief from the library. The anticipation is killing me... only one more book to finish and I can start in on it! Thanks for the post!

  11. I started with the women writers and them added the males afterwards.

    My big shame is not having one author who writes in my native language to put on my list. Three of them did make it onto my top 20 list, but I have to face it: I like reading books in English better than I do in Icelandic.

  12. I hope you like The Book Thief as much as I did.

  13. I like your list. I must say that there are few names here that I have read, but I've heard great things about them. I loved Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible when I read it years ago, and Bray's Gemma Doyle series was fantastic. If I venture back into nonfiction territory, I'll definitely consider picking up some Bryson!


Your turn. Please comment below.