Booking Through Thursday-Favorites

 This weeks Booking Through Thursday asks: Do you have a favorite author?  Have you read everything he or she has written?   Did you LIKE everything?  How about a least favorite author?  An author you wanted to like, but didn’t?

When anyone mentions “favorite” author, I feel myself getting anxious, for I’m just uncomfortable naming a favorite anything.   I have favorites, certainly, but picking only one is extremely troublesome for me.  

I have authors whose writing I love to read – from Jane Austen to Barbara Pym, Susan Miller, Jhumpa Lahiri, Gail Godwin, P.D. James and Elizabeth George, Richard Russo – a small list of favorites whom I turn to time and again when I feel the need to savor writing that’s graceful and timeless.  I have read or will read anything these writers place on the table before me.  On occasion, just like any loved one will do, they have disappointed me.  But it’s in my nature to be forgiving, and I return to their next offering with eager anticipation.

There are other writers whose lives interest me perhaps more than their work…Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Eudora Welty…I have devoured journals, letters, and multiple biographies of each.

I confess no great love for the work of these “masters” – Charles Dickens, Jack London, Thomas Hardy, or Ernest Hemingway.  Nor do I care for the popular novels of John Grisham, Dan Brown, or Tom Clancy.  Just not my cup of tea.  And though I hear great praise for the work of Toni Morrison (her new novel, A Mercy, seems to be on every “best of 2008 list”) I’ve never been able to finish any of her books. 

Now tell me, who are your favorites?

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11 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday-Favorites

  1. Wally Lamb is probably my hands down favorite. I haven’t read his newest book, and even though it’s getting mixed reviews, I’m still hopeful. Tana French is a new favorite this year; I’ve read both of her books and I’m impatiently awaiting her third. I’ve read everything Ann Patchett has written (I think), and she’s a favorite.

    I have authors that I think will become favorite authors, though I’ve only read one of their books: Meg Waite Clayton, Dennis Lehane, Michelle Richmond, Larry Watson, and Garth Stein. And that doesn’t include all the authors in my TBR pile whose books I’m confident I’ll love! 🙂

  2. I get that same feeling! I hate picking favorites. I am a victorianist at heart, so I love all those dead ole’ Brits! I also LOVE John Irving, and I wish that he would get on already and put something new out there! I dig Wally Lamb too, I want to read his new book. I love Toni Morrison, oh and a guy named Rick Bragg. I have never been able to get into James Patterson or Dan Brown or any of those things either.

  3. I had a hard time picking a favorite too, but chose Anne McCaffrey because she has been one of my favorites for so long, and her books are my fun, comfort reading.

    I don’t care for Dickens or Jack London either.

  4. Can I have a favorite today and change it tomorrow? Okay. Good. It’s settled.

    Today my favorite is Michael Ondaatje, and yes I own all his books and all books written about him.

    Tomorrow my favorite will be Alice McDermott. And yes, I own all her books, too.

    Phew. Glad that’s over with.

    On Saturday my favorite will be Colum McCann.

    I also own both of Fae Myenne Ng’s books, and I favorite her, too.

  5. I guess you’ve hit on the reason I was able to choose one author among all my many “favorites” – Barbara Pym is the only writer who’s never, ever disappointed me!

  6. I’m going to re-read Beloved before I start her latest release, A Mercy. Toni Morrison is difficult. Too many layers of meaning that one has to fully comprehend in order to make sense of her story.

  7. I’m with you on Jack London. I think I just have an aversion towards any book/movie where an animal is the protagonist, though. I remember really hating ‘Black Beauty’, even though I used to “love ponies” (I was scared of horses in real life, hahah)

  8. I certainly couldn’t tie it down to one. I enjoy all the authors you mention in your list of ‘preferred’ writers, but haven’t read Gail Godwin or Jhumpa Lahiri – I think I should take a chance on both of them!

  9. I agree with you that it is difficult to pinpoint one ‘favourite’ author – they seem to come and go when more books come out. But I disagree with your verdict on Toni Morrison as too difficult: I think she needs time and effort but it’s time and effort well spent: A Mercy is a fantastically well written book even if difficult (not as difficult as Beloved, which required perseverance). I think there are events and things in this word that are just too difficult to comprehend and cannot be written about in a simple way. I agree with you about Dan Brown etc. 🙂 too easy? I used to love Iris Murdoch and must have read every single one of her novels….

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