Top Ten Tuesday is a meme started by BrokeandtheBookish.com
I don’t know about all time, but here are some authors for whom I have a long-standing (and some of more recent but no less fervent) admiration.
- Diana Wynne Jones, author of Howl’s Moving Castle, Hexwood, Deep Secret, the Dalemark Quartet, and the Chrestomanci series – among other novels and short stories. There is no one like DWJ for writing an easy-seeming story with serious undercurrents and characters you walk away from the book with living in your head.
- Megan Whalen Turner, author of Instead of Three Wishes (a collection of short stories) and The Thief and its sequels. I need say only one word: Gen. But, naturally, I’ll go one with a few more. MWT is the queen (ha! see what I did there?) of stories that reveal new depth with every reading, and of characters whose revealed aspects only gain in complexity the more they are studied.
- Elizabeth Wein, author of the Aksumite cycle, Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire, a number of short stories, and, released this month, Black Dove, White Raven. (I haven’t got my hands on the latter yet.) Sometimes I’m not sure why I read E Wein’s books, because I always wind up in tears. (Even the short stories are that powerful.) And then I remember: the characterization. People, situation, era. The brilliant, brilliant prose, the meticulous historical detail, and most of all, the characters. Like DWJ’s characters, like MWT’s characters, E Wein’s characters live in your head long after you’ve closed the page. Fly the plane, Maddie. Ride the bike, Janet.
- Garth Nix, author of the Old Kingdom books, Shade’s Children, and several short stories, among others. The Old Kingdom books – Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen, and recently Clariel – were hugely influential on me, and still are. The world itself as much as the characters (who, I should emphasize, are fascinating and heroic and complex, and any any given point at least half of their internal struggle is implied rather than stated) moved into my head and declines to be evicted. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since I’ve read the series, get deep enough in the woods and pass a running stream, and I start calculating the best way to escape the Dead from here… and from here… and from here.
- Jane Austen, author of Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and several other novels as well as various snippets of stories. Understated, precise, and concerned with her character’s inward journeys even more than their outward changes in circumstances, JA is critical and kind, merciless and merciful toward her subjects; she prompts laughter, shudders, and empathy – and above all, recognition.
On the off-chance that any of you are like me and bizarrely slow to discover the amazingness that is (are?) the online fan communities of these authors, here are a few places to start. For DWJ, the Official Fan Page is here – not updated frequently, but some excellent stuff on there; see also here. MWT’s page is here and a super-friendly bunch of people and their conversations can be found here. Also, (although I haven’t found fan pages, unfortunately) Elizabeth Wein’s page is here, and Garth Nix’s page is here. Both of them are on twitter.
- Jaclyn Moriarty
I’ve read almost all her books and the one I haven’t read is because I don’t want there to be nothing of hers left for me to read because who knows when her new book is coming out? WHO? Tell me.
- Melina Marchetta
I don’t like contemporary fiction and she made me like it. Her books are always amazing.
- Kate Elliott
I’ve read six of her works so far and all of them have pretty darned near blown my socks off.
- Haruki Murakami
I haven’t exactly loved his recent works but that doesn’t negate his awesomeness as a writer. I’ve read about ten of his works.
- Martha Wells
While I don’t always love her books (the subject not the writing), she has written some of favourite fantasy novels so immediate inclusion in this list.
- Franny Billingsley
Her poetic prose makes me weep.
- Laini Taylor
Dreams of Gods and Monsters was AMAZING.
- I must also mention Libba Bray, Yoko Ogawa, Yoshiki Nakamura (who created Skip Beat), Alison Goodman, Cinda Williams Chima, Marie Lu, and Banana Yoshimoto.
*twirls around in confusion*
There. Are. Just. Too. Many.
- Jo Rowling, Eoin Colfer, Neil Gaiman: They got me into reading contemporary stuff and stop being snooty. I’m always going to owe them.
- Benjamin Alire Saenze, Samhita Arni, Sherman Alexie: He’s written that one YA book and I keep re-reading it. (Maybe this means that BAS isn’t my all-time favourite writer, maybe it just means that Ari and Dante are the OTP I have been waiting for?) Same goes for Arni and Alexie.
- Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, Libba Bray: Each of whose books helped me find the other’s and I love every world these women create.
- Thanhha Lai, Jacqueline Woodson, Nova Ren Suma, Courtney Summers, Jandy Nelson, Tanuja Desai Hidier: All ladies I’ve had the pleasure of reading since we started this blog. I barely remember life before them. I will always be excited for whatever they publish.
- Marie Lu, Ellie Marney, Rin Chupeco, Corinne Duyvis: All of ’em write such exciting books! I don’t know when I’ll get over them; honestly hope I don’t.
Can’t wait to add more names to this list after this year! 🙂