Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: My Most-Read Authors

Today's Top Ten, sponsored as always by The Broke and the Bookish, is a list of the ten authors you've read the most.

For the purposes of this post, I'm going to disregard the authors I read to my kids. Otherwise, Cynthia Rylant would make the list.  We love us some Mr. Putter & Tabby and Henry & Mudge.  I will, however, count books I read myself as a kid.

I'm doing the countdown.  Drum roll, please...

10.  Robin McKinley--11 books read.  She's a love or hate author for me--some of her work I adore, and some I'm like, what?

9. Judy Blume--12 books read.  I had a boxed set when I was a kid, I've read a couple of her more recent books.  She's good people.

8. TIE  Beverly Cleary and C.S. Lewis--13 books read each.  Besides their classics, I've read Cleary's autobiographies, Lewis's sci fi, and some of his religious work and autobiographical work.

7.  Skipped due to having two in 8th place.

6. Charles Todd--14 books read.  This surprised me.  I wouldn't have said I've read a bunch of their stuff.  (Charles Todd is a mother/son writing duo.)  Pretty solid historical mysteries.

5. Laura Lippman--18 books read.  I think I've figured it out--these are authors I started reading after I joined Goodreads.  Chances are good I've actually read as much or more Ellis Peters or Anne Perry mysteries--or Agatha Christie for that matter--but I've actually logged these particular authors.  I think Lippman's series is a cut above Sue Grafton's, and her stand-alones are even better.

4. Elizabeth George--19 books read.  Now we're talking.  George is one of my all-time favorites.  Her mysteries are literary, atmospheric, and altogether genre-busting--all while remaining great mysteries.

3.  Terry Pratchett -- 20 books read.  Like McKinley, I have a range of opinions about different Pratchett books.  Everything about Sam Vimes is a win.  Anything with the witches is a loss.  With Death, you never know.

2. Reginald Hill--29 books read.  I am still selfishly sad about his recent death, because it means I will never read a new Dalziel and Pascoe book again.  His early work was mediocre, but he developed into the greatest mystery writer I've ever read.  Like Elizabeth George, his works both define and transcend the genre.

1.  Ursula le Guin--35 books read.  This is the only author on my list that lets me have any intellectual pretensions at all, but I must confess, I love her books best when they are the most plot-driven.  I do also admire her essays and collections.  Such a wise and thoughtful woman.  I've always been glad to share a city with her, and I keep my eye peeled for her when I'm in her part of town, but the only time I've seen her in person was at a signing.  My very favorites are: The Tombs of Atuan, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Compass Rose, Malafrena, Sixty Odd, and Dancing at the Edge of the World.  That includes fantasy, sci-fi, short stories, historical fiction, poetry, and essays.  She is awe inspiring in her talent, intelligence, and creative force.  I am glad that she has still more works for me to read, that many or her books are worth re-reading, and that, at age 87, she's still among the living--and writing.

I do read a lot of mysteries, don't I?  Also, mystery writers tend to write series, which keeps me coming back.  How about you?  Any commonalities amongst your most-read authors?


  1. Hm, I didn't do this meme but off the top of my head my most read AND most-owned authors are Diana Wynne Jones and Robertson Davies. (Have you never read DWJ? Once you start it's hard to stop.) Ursula K. LeGuin would be up there too, though I've read less than half of her work. Robin McKinley used to be a must-read/buy author for me but I've been too disappointed lately. Mystery series do add up -- my top author there would probably be Dorothy Sayers, I've read all of hers. Josephine Tey, too, but she didn't write so many. I think I"ve read nearly all of Georgette Heyer's books, EXCEPT the mysteries and the boring historical ones. Madeleine L'Engle too, I read all her books for a school project once.

    1. I did read a bunch of DWJ about ten years ago, after my niece kept raving about her. But I have yet to read (or see) Howl's Moving Castle. I may have read all of Sayers and Tey too, a long time ago. The only Heyer I read were her regency romances, also a long time ago. L'Engle is another one I read a bunch of in my younger days. This list is skewed towards books I've read since I started GR, and books I read in grade school. I don't think I re-read as much when I was a teen, so I'm not as confident as to which ones I actually read from any given author.

  2. I think we sometimes underestimate the power of the authors we read the most as children. Honestly, it's these authors that keep kids reading. And that's most important.

    Here's my Top Ten Authors I've Read the Most. Love to have you stop by!

    1. That is a great point. There's a tendence as adults to feel like we should push kids beyond the familiar, but falling in love with an author, reading everything they've ever written, re-reading your favorites--that's the way to build readers.

  3. Beverly Cleary & C.S. Lewis both almost made my list too - they were right at the cutoff. If only it were Top 15 Tuesday lol. My TTT

  4. i need to read some books by Pratchet! i also hear people raving about him! great post this week!
    Emily @ Wholly-Books

  5. Isn't it interesting to see who we read lots of titles from? I reread a lot of Cleary when my daughter was 4, 5 and 6 - she loved those books!


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