So today’s prompt for the GrimDragon Bookstagram Challenge (which if you’re a fan of books and taking pictures of books, I highly recommend you participate in! It’s just a super fun community and the challenge is run by two amazing people who are incredibly passionate about books) was “Five Favorite Authors.”
Now of course the prompt could be taken as just five of my favorite authors, but I wanted to try to pick my actual top five favorite. Hence, the caveat of it being “May 2017 Edition”—there are several authors I think will be in my top 5 or 10 soon, but aren’t yet. The reasons being:
I’m very finicky when it comes to calling books/authors/film directors/etc. “favorite.” I know it matters to no one but myself, but when I call someone/thing a favorite I want to be 100% wholly invested and sure. It’s why I’m trying to collect everything Tolkien/Gaiman/GRRM/Murakami/Brian K Vaughan/etc. that I can, why I’m collecting all of the films of Spielberg/Nolan/Scorsese/Fincher/etc. Of course films are easier because they take less time, so those directors I just named I can easily claim as my favorites as I’ve already watched a majority of their work, but even so I plan to do it for all my favorite creators. Because my favorite parts of my collection are my Tolkien shelves, my Gaiman shelves, my Spielberg shelves, my mythology shelves–my favorite parts are when I can look at a collection I have and be completely a “fan”. That’s why I decided to stop collecting Chuck Palahniuk, as I really only loved Fight Club. I’ll still give more of his a try, but I don’t need a Palahniuk shelf anymore.
And so for books, because they take longer to read, besides Tolkien and Gaiman, and Scott Snyder for comics, there’s not another author I’m 100% “okay with” calling a favorite—either the author only has one or two books, or because I haven’t read enough.
Examples of books/authors who I love but don’t want to quite put in my top 5 at the moment: The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern (her only novel); Haruki Murakami (really enjoyed everything so far, but I’ve only read three books); We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (amazing, and I’m definitely going to read everything she’s written but just haven’t yet); Patrick Rothfuss (I love the first two Kingkiller books, but since he hasn’t done anything else besides novellas I want to wait until he writes more); Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clark (her only novel); Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel (I have her others but haven’t read them yet); The Bear and the Nightingale, by Katherine Arden (her only novel so far); City of Glass, by Paul Auster (only read the one novel, but it was incredible); Alan Moore and Geoff Johns (both of whom I’ve loved everything I’ve read, but haven’t read a lot).
And so I’m planning to do a long/continuous series of blog posts highlighting some of my favorite creators, whether that be writers, artists, directors, film studios (I’m looking at you, Pixar =P), etc. This will allow me to fully experience all of the creators whom I think will be among my favorites, and again, is also just for me so I’m fully comfortable with calling them favorites, because yes I’m weird like that haha. Otherwise, in the back of my mind there’ll always be something saying “is the author really one of the best, or just their one work you love?” (I should make it clear that it’s not just because I’m trying to figure out if a creator is one of my favorites, but also just because I want to be able to rant about my favorite creators, and this allows me to do both) Granted, for the authors who only have one or two books there’s nothing I can do, but for those who have a book or two I’ve absolutely loved, I want to read more.
I also will probably want to separate novel writers with graphic novel writers to make it easier for me to choose a top 5/10, haha, but for now I decided to combine them so I could feature the authors I can most-easily place on this list with a “sound mind.”
Five Favorite Authors–May 2017 Edition
1. J.R.R. Tolkien. So Tolkien is my all-time favorite author. I’ve read a large number of his works, Lord of the Rings if my all-time favorite book, and I just love him as a person from what I know. Easy pick.
2. Neil Gaiman. Another very easy pick for me—in fact, I usually amend what I said about Tolkien with “Tolkien is my all-time favorite; Gaiman is my favorite living author.” Because I’m absolutely, unabashedly obsessed with everything Gaiman. And again, I’ve read a large amount of his work, American Gods is my second-favorite book and basically all of his books I would be perfectly happy with having in my top ten, and he’s an incredible human being and feminist.
3. Scott Snyder. Here’s where my list gets tricky, and it’s completely because of my own weirdness. I love Scott Snyder, and I’ve loved everything he’s written (I’ve only read vol. 1 of American Vampire, but otherwise I’ve read basically everything of his). That said, I don’t feel quite the same about him as I do with Gaiman and Tolkien, and if I were ranking “best authors” (whatever that means—which, yes, I’ve thought about what that means a lot, but that’s for another time haha) they would stay where they are but Snyder would probably be a little lower, and any one single book of his would be pushed down for other graphic novels like Maus, Watchmen, etc. Because as much as I love his work, he hasn’t had a single work that’s quite the same as those works are. But I love his stuff, and I truly think he’s one of the best comic writers working today. And because I’ve read the majority of his work, he certainly deserves this spot right now. I also have to just give a shout-out to his prose short story collection, Voodoo Heart, which is fantastic.
4. George R.R. Martin. Another author I’m obsessed with, but I just feel like I haven’t yet read enough of his work. Besides A Song of Ice and Fire, I’ve only read three Wild Cards books (which he only edited/contributed to), The Ice Dragon, and his novella Sandkings. But he has a few stand-alone novels from before his Game of Thrones fame, and until I read those he gets knocked down a bit.
5. Brian K. Vaughan. Saga, Paper Girls, Pride of Baghdad, We Stand on Guard, Y: the Last Man (the first 20 issues at least—catching up soon I hope), The Private Eye…all incredible, incredible works. But I haven’t finished everything, and I haven’t read any of Ex Machina or Runaways (which because of their length I’d say are important works of his). I expect once I read those two series, though, he’ll definitely be “officially” one of my all-time favorite authors.
And there you have it. There’s many other authors I absolutely love (Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, J.K. Rowling, Patrick Ness, Jim Butcher, Vince Flynn, etc.), but I haven’t read in a while and because my reading tastes have changed I’m not sure how high they’ll still be.
So at this point in time, until I fully read everything (or at least a majority) by so many of the authors I’m planning to, these are my five favorites. ^^
Anyone have their own favorite authors they’d like to recommend? Or anyone have the same problems I do? =P