Last month I noticed that I had written exactly 10 posts in April and 10 posts in March. which I thought was pretty neat 🙂 and then the other day I noticed that it’s coming up to the end of May and I have only written 7! This can not do! Anyone who knows me knows that I’m just a tad obsessed with order (cue for all my friends to say “just a tad?”) so, to rectify this situation I will be writing a special “Top 10” post each day on the three last days of May. The first post will be my Top 10 Authors.
In no particular order (besides the order in which they came to me :P) here are my Top 10:
1. Craig Silvey
If you read my post from a few days ago you’ll know that Craig Silvey is my favourite author, mainly because his two novels – Rhubarb and Jasper Jones – are two of my fave books. He’s a wonderful local author and I can’t wait til he writes another book :).
2. Markus Zusak
Markus Zusak is the author of another couple of my fave books – The Book Thief and The Messenger – as well as a bunch of YA books (The Underdog; Fighting Ruben Wolfe; Getting the Girl) and an upcoming novel The Bridge of Clay, which I’m really looking forward to :). He’s another wonderful Australian author and I would recommend The Book Thief and The Messenger to anyone who wants to read a very inspirational and insightful book with a clear, simple premise.
I have read all of Joanne Harris’ books, from the famous Chocolat; it’s sequel, The Lollipop Shoes; and others in the same vein of food and magic (Blackberry Wine; Five Quarters of the Orange) ; to her darker early work (The Evil Seed; Sleep, Pale Sister) ; to her YA fantasy (and first in a series) Runemarks. Her other works are: The Coastliners; Holy Fools; Gentlemen and Players; a collection of short stories called Jigs and Reels; and her newest triumph blueeyedboy. She also has released two cooking books (which I haven’t read) with Fran Warde called The French Kitchen : a Cook Book and The French Market.
Tracy Chevalier is another author whose work I devour. There is only one novel I have yet to read, Remarkable Creatures, and that is on my “to read” pile, so hopefully I’ll get to it soon :). Her work is mostly historical fiction and based around a famous artist or art in general. Her most famous work, The Girl with the Pearl Earring is about the Dutch painter Vermeer and his painting of the same name; her first book The Virgin Blue references many paintings of the Virgin Mary; The Lady and the Unicorn is about the creation of medieval tapestries with the same name; and Burning Bright is about a couple of children that befriend their neighbour, writer and poet, William Blake. Tracy Chevalier has also written Falling Angels, a beautiful little book set right afer the death of Queen Victoria. She has also written several non-fiction books: Twentieth-Century Children’s Writers; Contemporary Poets; Contemporary World Writers; Encyclopedia of the Essay and Concise Encyclopedia of the Essay.
Sir Terence David John “Terry” Pratchett is a fairly recent favourite author of mine. I loved the Discworld cartoons, Wyrd Sisters and Soul Music when I was a kid, and later on the movie Hogfather, but it was only a couple of years ago that I got around to reading the books, and I have since read the first 6 Discworld novels. He has written far too much to list here, but if you want to know all the titles follow the link (click on Terry Pratchett) and see them all on his Fantasticfiction page. The books are fab – very good for random bouts of giggling on the bus – and If you’re a fan of fantasy, but think sometimes it’s a genre that takes it’s self too seriously, then the Discworld books are for you.
I’ve had an interesting reader/author relationship with Jeanette Winterson. When I was younger I loved her early works: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit; Sexing the Cherry; and most of all The Passion. I also enjoyed some of her later books, like Lighthousekeeping and her sort-of YA fantasy novel, Tanglewreck. However, I had mixed emotions about her sci-fi love story The Stone Gods , which had great elements but was confusing and not as….engaging as the other books I had read. And Gut Symmetries really wasn’t my cup of tea. Because of this somewhat mixed experience I am nervous about reading the remaining novels: Written on the Body; Art and Lies; The Powerbook; and The Battle of the Sun, but I will carry on because when she writes a good one, it’s amazing.
I have loved Isobelle Carmody’s fantasy books since a friend of the family gave me Scatterlings. I am a fan of the Obernewtyn Cronicles ( Obernewtyn; The Farseekers; Ashling; The Keeping Place; The Stone Key) and have been hanging out for the next book, The Sending to come out. Besides the Obernewtyn series she has written the Ledgendsong Saga, the Gateway Trilogy and The Legend of Little Fur series. She has also written 7 stand-alone novels, a collection of short stories called Green Monkey Dreams, and a few picture books: Wildheart; The Wrong Thing ( or Magic Night), Night School and Journey From the Centre of the Earth. I still have to read the Ledgendsong series, and 3 of her stand-alones: The Landlord, Dreamwalker, and Firecat’s Dream.
My love for Charlaine Harris is a new one, and thanks mainly to a Southern belle with an unique ability: Sookie Stackhouse. Since I saw True Blood early last year I have been reading the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Mysteries series and now I’m 8 books in and completly addicted :). Besides the Sookie series, Charlaine Harris has written the Aurora Teagarden mystery series (which has 8 books), the Lily Bard mystery series (which has 5) and the Harper Connelly series (which has 4), as well as two stand-alones, Sweet and Deadly, and A Secret Rage, so she’s quite an ambitious lady. I own the first Harper Connelly: Grave Sight, and a Lily Bard omnibus and they’re on my “to read” pile, so hopefully they’re just as fun as the Sookie books :).
Ahhhh Kerry Greenwood, the author behind two of my favourite female characters from the last two years – the hon. Phryne Fisher, and baker turned detective, Corinna Chapman. Thanks go to my friend Sarah for lending me the first Phryne book (or the first 3) in the form of an omnibus containing: Cocaine Blues (aka Death by Misadventure), Flying Too High, and Murder on a Ballarat Train. Since then I’ve read 5 more Phryne books and the first two Corinna Chapman books: Earthly Delights and Heavenly Pleasures. And, lucky me, I still have 10 Phryne books; 3 Corinna books, plus two other series’: the Delphic Women series and the Stormbringer series to read (plus if I’m really keen she’s written 13 stand-alones!).
10. Clive Barker
If you’re keeping up-to-date with what I’m currently reading you wouldn’t be surprised that Clive Barker is one of my fave authors – since I’m reading two of his books at the mo’. I’ve loved his work since my friend (Sarah again) lent me a great fantasy epic of his, Abarat which is filled with Clive Barker’s colourful and twisted paintings. She then gave me Sacrament for a christmas present, and I’ve been into his bizarre, often fucked-up style of writing ever since :P. Beside Abarat (and the second Abarat book, Days of Magic, Nights of War) and Sacrament I have read (and own) The Great and Secret Show and Imajica.
So there you have it, my first top 10 :). We have a good mix of male and female authors, and authors from Australia (Craig Silvey, Markus Zusak, Isobelle Carmody, Kerry Greenwood) the UK (Joanne Harris, Terry Pratchett, Jeanette Winterson, Clive Barker) and the US of A (Tracy Chevalier, Charlaine Harris), plus a mix of genres (Literary, Historical, Fantasy, YA, Mystery, Horror) which gives you all an insight into my reading patterns :).
Stay tuned tomorrow for the next “Top 10” – the Top 10 books from my childhood, and let me know in the comments if you think the “Top 10” should be a regular feature 🙂