Monday, July 6, 2020

TTT: My Most-Read Authors Throughout My Life

TTT (Top Ten Tuesday) is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl .  If you want to quadruple the size of your TBR AND find a bunch of great book blogs to follow head on over and check it out!

The topic this week is: authors I've read the most books by. Goodreads gave me a good idea, but there's also the fact that a lot of books I authors a ton of as a kid might not be recorded there very well, so I can't swear that this is The Definitive List. Also, series authors will clearly have an advantage here, even if I don't LOOOOVE them as much as another author.

I counted 106 authors that I've read five or more books by. It's hard to evaluate which ones to count, so in classic Falconer's Library fashion, I'm giving you groups of top ten lists. I listed the number of books I've read from each author.

13: Beverly Cleary
12: C. S. Lewis
11: Judy Blume
10: Dr. Seuss
9: Roald Dahl
9: Lloyd Alexander
8: Laura Ingalls Wilder
6: L. M. Montgomery
5: Louisa May Alcott
5: Joan Aiken

32: Mo Willems
15: Cynthia Rylant
12: Gary Paulsen
8: Jane Yolen
8: Patricia Polaccio
6: Gary Soto
6: Dav Pilkey
6: Allen Say
6: Jacqueline Woodson
6: Cynthia Voigt

30: Reginald Hill
22: Elizabeth George
20: Laura Lippman
16: Walter Mosley
14: Charles Todd
14: Agatha Christie (this is likely a gross underestimate, as I read everything I could find by her in middle school)
13: Sophie Hannah
13: Ellis Peters
and unknown, but large, numbers of Anne Perry, Dorothy Sayers, Martha Grimes, PD James, Sue Grafton, Ruth Rendell, and Janet Evanovich. 

12: Neil Shusterman
11: Robin McKinley
11: J.K. Rowling (including her books for adults)
10: Matt de la Peña
10: Neil Gaiman
10: Margaret Peterson Haddix
10: Chris Crutcher
9: V. E. Schwab (writing as Victoria Schwab as well)
9: Laurie Halse Anderson
8: Patrick Ness

24: Brian K. Vaughan (kind of unfair since he writes comic series, which mean one good novel is spread out over 14 volumes)
21: Terry Pratchett (give or take a few)
11: Barbara Kingsolver
9: William Shakespeare
9: Douglas Adams
7: Charles Dickens
7: Armistead Maupin
7: Anne Lamott
6:  Roddy Doyle
6: Ray Bradbury
6: Jane Austen

And for my number one most-read author, I am proud to announce that this honor belongs to my all time favorite author, Ursula K. LeGuin. 

Ursula K. Le Guin

I've read 37 of her books, and have plenty more to go!

From Goodreads: Ursula K. Le Guin published twenty-two novels, eleven volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, twelve books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation. So that's what, 59 total? As long as she was translating INTO English, I think I can do it.

I enjoyed working on this list, because I came across several fun surprises along the way, like "oh, that author writes YA and picture books!" or "Why have I never gone back and read more by this author that I loved?" or "What do you mean I've only read four books by this author I consider a fave?"

I'm also noticing that a grand total of 3 of the above authors are members of the global majority, and all the rest are white. There were more BIPOC authors on the full list, but they didn't tend to be the ones I'd read more than ten of. Something to keep working on for sure! My plan for the near future is to read two books by a BIPOC author for each book I read by a white author. I tried that in June and had a 8:3 ratio, which was quite satisfying. 

Who are your most-read authors? Do you consider them your favorites, or have they just churned out a lot of decent books? Has your list changed over time? 



  1. I always admire the way you "deep dive". I read so much as a kid, but we didn't have this internet thing to keep track back then. I read a lot of Beverly Clearly as a kid and teen, loved the Little House books, Blume and Seuss were read A LOT too.

  2. Excellent work. I'm ashamed to say I've never heard or Ursula!

  3. Ursula K. LeGuin and L.M. Montgomery were on my list, too! And I also do deep dives into the works of authors.

    My TTT .

  4. Oh, I'm so glad you participated this week! As soon as I saw this link I knew I could count on you for an awesome children's list, and I am not disappointed.

    (warning: this got very unexpectedly long, so I'm not expecting a similarly long response -- but I hope you at least somewhat enjoy reading it)

    From the childhood list: every name a familiar and mostly similarly-well read one, with the exception of Aiken (I just never got into her work) and Alexander (the only one I don't know). Though I only ever got as far as Little Women/Men for Alcott. I always meant to read more of her work...there were just so many Distractions.

    From the Second-Childhood list: Now it gets fun, because over half those names are also familiar. Cynthia Rylant only one book -- though I'm interested in more; I get the vague sense she had quite a heyday once, but she seems to have largely disappeared from enduring classic-author lists in recent times -- but I've read half a dozen of Voigt's as well, 7 of Gary Paulsen's (I really thought he'd be higher; I considered him a favorite). And while I've never actually read Patricia Polacco, I'm sorry I missed her as a kid because I just heard of her this year, and her books look so appealing. A few I'm planning on looking up now just for my own benefit, starting with Mrs. Mack.

    From the YA: yep, I've read at least 1 from everybody except de la Pena, Schwab and Ness. I love that you included Chris Crutcher -- I've only read a couple, but he has a very niche style and I consider him another classic staple.

    I'm surprised that no one else, as far as I saw, has mentioned Laurie Halse Anderson! Just by happenstance, I've ended up reading 5 of hers, and that's without Vet Volunteers (which I'm sure Younger Me would have loved if they'd been around), and I would have thought from the sheer popularity of Speak that more people would be champing at the bit to read her whole back catalog.

    I've read 4 or 5 from the the lovely Margaret Peterson Haddix as well, whom I also assumed I'd see more than I have.

    Of course I can't talk because I barely had any pure YA authors on my list, but some that almost made the cut at 6-9 include Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, Francesca Lia Block, Norma Fox Mazer, and Gillian Cross.

    And finally, though I've only read 1 or 2 of hers, Ursula K. LeGuin is the best name I've seen so far for an Ultimate Champion. Great selection.

    P.S. I had all those same surprises while compiling my list too, haha. (I really love when I look up a picture book from childhood, click on the author, and find heretofore unknown middle grade/YA options) On the bright side, it unearthed lots of options for my TBR! On the downside...same statement.

  5. Wow, you put a lot more research into this than I did. I didn’t read a lot as a kid, but I know I read Dr. Seuss, Beverly Cleary, and Roald Dahl. I remember their books.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!


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