Top Ten All Time Favorite Authors

 

Who are your top ten favorite authors of all time? Such is the question asked here today, the answer for which took me about ten seconds.

I think about them all the time; I read and reread their books often.

  • Haruki Murakami
  • Margaret Atwood
  • Madeleine L’Engle
  • Leo Tolstoy
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • J. R. R. Tolkein
  • E. B. White
  • C. S. Lewis
  • A. S. Byatt
  • Donna Tartt

Are any of these your favorite?

 

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42 thoughts on “Top Ten All Time Favorite Authors”

  1. Not sure I have any true favorites. Oh, I have favorite books but I’m not sure that translates into a favorite author. I do like Wilder, Tolkien and Lewis from your list though.

    If I could only have one book, it would be To Kill A Mockingbird, which could make Harper Lee my favorite author. I guess we’ll find out in July when her second book comes out.

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    1. I knew we’d have some favorites in common. You make me want to reread To Kill A Mockingbird; it’s been far too long since I’ve read of Atticus Finch, and I suspect I was far too young to fully appreciate him. Although, maybe not. Men of integrity have always appealed to me.

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  2. I think I’ve only read one of those authors (C.S. Lewis), but I really should read more of them!

    I think my Top Ten would have to include Jim Butcher, Christopher Fowler, Terry Pratchett and Roald Dahl.

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    1. Oh, Roald Dahl for sure! I almost wish I’d made a top ten list for children’s books, even though Laura Ingalls Wilder, C. S. Lewis and E. B. White could be considered such. I just don’t think of them as purely for children since they have so much to say to me as an adult. But no elementary classroom should be without a Roald Dahl read aloud.

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  3. I love your list of ten – they are all brilliant authors. I would definitely have Murakami on my list, along with Jean Rhys, Kurt Vonnegut, and John Irving.

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    1. For some reason, John Irving has never made me swoon, and I havent yet read Jean Rhys though I have The Wide Sargasso Sea on my shelf. My son loathed Kurt Vonnegut, whom I also haven’t yet read, but he loathed High School period, so what does that prove? 😉 Of course we share our love for Murakami, you and I.

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  4. It’s difficult to ignore compiling lists of this sort but I always get in a bit of a mess. I could easily narrow it down to about 25 (by ignoring comic-book writers) and then boiling it down to 11 and then couldn’t decide who to ditch. Well, I ditched Samuel Beckett in favour of Sherwood Anderson….and I feel bad about it 😦

    Anyway, here goes:
    L.F. Céline, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Paul Auster, Kurt Vonnegut, Philip K. Dick, Flannery O’Connor, Émile Zola, Dostoyevsky, Sherwood Anderson, Charles Bukowski

    And, yes it is dominated by male authors and US authors…I know, I know, but it’s the truth.

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    1. It is exceedingly difficult to narrow one’s list. Some I saw today went far beyond ten which I consider only fair had I thought of it. Anyway, I’m so glad you left me a few of your favorites. You are the second to mention Kurt Vonnegut, and Dostoyevsky (whom I should have included as well). I loved Therese Raquin, by Zola, so that is another top novelist. As for E. T A. Hoffman, I’ve only read The Nutcracker, which bored me silly. But, what is wrong with a dominance of male and U. S. authors? 🙂 We like what we like, and no one points a finger Chez Bellezza.

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      1. Re: E.T.A. Hoffmann – give The Sandman a read and if you don’t like it then it probably won’t be worth reading anything else by him.

        Our lists are very different. Of yours, only Tolkein was a serious contender for my list. I still haven’t read any Murakami but so many people rate him that I’ve got to read something by him.

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        1. Thanks for suggesting The Sandman; I will give it a try. I’m not surprised that my list is very different from many of the people with whom I love to blog. It’s a list which has been developed from childhood on, whereas many people stuck with authors who are more recent in their repertoire. As for Murakami, he appears to be an author people either or love, or don’t. He’s unusual, but wonderful. Perhaps a good place to start with him is After Dark, or even Norwegian Wood which first launched his fame. Norwegian Wood is more realistic, After Dark gives you a taste of his magical realism.

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  5. My favourite author is George Eliot. But to try & then come up with a definitive list of the next 9 is nearly impossible 😉 I really like Murakami and Atwood too – your list is really interesting!

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    1. The only thing I’ve read by George Eliot is Middlemarch, with which you have your picture taken if I’m not mistaken. I can’t say that I was overly taken with it when I read it years ago, but perhaps I should give it another try. I know she developed the characters spectacularly. So glad you like Murakami and Atwood, and think the list of mine interesting. Quite possibly it’s difficult to define my reading tastes; I like so much from translated to classical to children’s literature. But our preferences are what makes book blogging so much fun.

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      1. Yes, I do have it in my picture – well spotted! My tastes are wide too – it’s great that there’s so much for us to choose from nowadays. You’re right – I love hearing about other bloggers passions for books, even when it’s not something I would read, it’s so interesting to hear what they have to say.

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  6. Not only not, but it’s because they’re largely undiscovered by me (except for Laura I.W., and that was a few years ago). But I like thinking they could be — what an intriguing and gorgeous looking bunch they are. So is the lady in the sidebar, btw…

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    1. I like how you said they are an intriguing and gorgeous looking bunch they are; I’d hoped to achieve that by putting their photographs in black and white. I agree that they are a most eclectic bunch, who have so richly added to my life. I can point to a decade for each one, and yet they continue to influence the way I think as I age. And thank you, friend, for the compliment.

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  7. That’s quite a list! You have good taste. 🙂 I read my first Atwood book last year and really enjoyed it. I hope to read more by her at some point in the future. J.R.R. Tolkien should have been on my list, but I didn’t think of him when I was compiling it. I loved Anna Karenina, but I haven’t been able to get through War and Peace. And Haruki Murakami is on my must read list.

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    1. My favorite Atwood is The Robber Bride, followed by Cat’s Eye. I know many people enjoy her later work, but it is too dystopian for me. Now I’m wondering which one you read…

      I have read Anna Karenina several times, what a powerful book with much to say.

      As for Murakami, once you try this man of powerful imagination (a term I read applied to him) I suspect you will be hooked. At least, I hope so.

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  8. I too like your list. I love Murakami, C.S. Lewis. I would add Kurt Vonnegut, Anne Tyler, Frank Water (The Man Who Killed the Deer) Wallace Stegner and Kenzburo Oe, Yukio Mishima and Takeshi Kaiko

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    1. Look how many we both like! I was about to put Anne Tyler but somehow went past her name. And you have added marvelous Japanese authors, many of whom I would have liked to add myself. Particularly Yoko Ogawa and Keigo Higashino.

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  9. This is so interesting. There’s not a single name on your list that I would include on mine, and, in fact, there are several I haven’t read. (So: perhaps they will be on a future list.)

    Who do I turn to, again and again? Lawrence Durrell. Paul Theroux. Flannery O’Connor. Annie Dillard. Joan Didion. James Barry. John McPhee. May Sarton. William Faulkner. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Such pleasures, all of them!

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    1. I’m so glad that you left me your list, shoreacres! I have loved May Sarton, but like with you and my list, there are so many I haven’t read. It is a great richness to have a list of my friends’ beloved authors to which I can turn in the future. I have Faulkner’s Light in August, so perhaps this summer I will read him!

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  10. Atwood, L’Engle and Lewis were not on my list, but could have been. And I think Laura Ingalls Wilder is sadly underrated as a writer. I have not read Tolstoy yet but I’m determined to read Anna Karenina this year. The new translation from Oxford is awaiting me!

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    1. I think I could read Anna Karenina every year. I love that novel! With the new translation, you will probably love it, too. As for Wilder and White, I am amazed at the quality of their writing for children. No one writes like they do for children today. There is a lesson on every page, and the vocabulary is exquisite.

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  11. At 5.07 am my list is
    Laszlo krasznahorkai
    Sjón
    Italo Calvino
    Georges Perec
    Lawrence Durrell
    Roberto Bolaño
    Alberto Manguel
    Ryunosuke Akutagawa
    David Foster Wallace
    Kobo Abe
    Shusaku Endo
    Ryu Murakami
    Haruki Murakami

    An hour later it could be slightly different an hour after that different again. So all I can really say that at 5.07 am these are some of my favourite writers.

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    1. You make me smile. First, because you’re writing a list at 5:00 in the morning! Secondly, because it could change with any given moment of time. I so understand that because there are so many authors we love. I’m thrilled that you put so many Japanese authors, with many of whom I concur completely (Shusaku Endo, Kobo Abe and Akutagawa especially). I don’t think Bolano will ever make my list, nor Perec. While I’ve read them neither author thrills me, but I know I’m in a significant minority there. Thanks so much for leaving your list!

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  12. That’s a great list. Bellezza. I loved the Chronicles of Narnia when I was a little girl.

    My list of favourites would have to include F. Scott Fitzgerald and Raymond Chandler. Others with the potential to join this list (as I’m working my way through their books): Javier Marias, Joan Didion, Penelope Fitzgerald and Edith Wharton. 🙂

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    1. The Chronicles of Narnia have such deep truths for me. My son bought me a collection of them which has now been out of print, and it is selling at a ridiculously high price. I’m glad to have that token of affection from him. I do love Javier Marias, too, although I’ve only The Infatuations as you know. I also like Raymond Chandler very much. I’m glad to have your list for reference, Jacqui, as I trust your choices with all my heart.

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  13. definitely Murakami, then Banana Yoshimoto, Lilly Brett, Kathy Reichs (for a while), SE Hinton (when I was 15 and then again this year), Paulo Coehlo, Jhumpa Lahiri, Arundhati Roy….. I think I run out there….. it’s more about the genre and style than the author for me, although some authors I just return to…. I admire many of the lists here – Emile Zola, F Scott Fitzgerald, Kobo Abe… but Attwood doesn’t make my list – too difficult to engage with.

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    1. Jhumpa Lahiri and Arundhati Roy’s writing is absolutely gorgeous! I have thoroughly enjoyed those two women as well. I like the other names you left as well, particularly Banana Yoshimoto and Kobo Abe. If you didn’t like Atwood, perhaps it is because you tried one of her later works. To me, they are just weird and annoying. But, Surfacing, The Robber Bride and Cat’s Eye are wonderful!

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    1. It is, admittedly, heavy on the authors from my childhood. But they were significant in steering me on my course to literature, to truly excellent writing. I guess one could make a thousand top ten lists: for translated literature, for childhood literature, for currently read literature.

      Perhaps you’ll find someone from my list who speaks to you, too.

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  14. Wonderful list (and presentation), Bellezza! It would be very difficult for me to choose 10 favorite authors of all time. A dozen “older” favorites are (in no particular order): Louisa May Alcott, Maya Angelou, Lois Lowry, Harper Lee, Ann Morrow Lindbergh, James Joyce, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Carson McCullers, Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, Kafka, J.D. Salinger–but I have many others (more contemporary) as well now! 🙂

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    1. Don’t you love the circles? WordPress can just do that with a collection, almost automatically, for you. As for your list, I would have to say I’ve loved Louisa May Alcott and Ann Morrow Lindbergh. No Japanese authors for you? 😉

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  15. I like your list, all except Donna Tartt (I just don’t like her style). I’m not sure it’s easy to pick favourites though, it changes every time I read or reread someone. My bookshelves are usually a good indication of what I do love, because I wouldn’t be mad to cart certain old favourite with me through multiple house moves and country moves unless they were favourites, so I do love Dazai Osamu, Jean Rhys, Dorothy Parker, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Virginia Woolf, Proust, Shakespeare… But new favourites emerge all the time…

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    1. I understands bout Donna Tartt. The bleakness which represents her life view, I’m assuming this from both The Secret History and particularly The Goldfinch, makes it hard to like her style. Still, I was so very taken with The Secret History.,.

      But, you’re right of course. New favorites emerge all the time, and that’s what’s so beautiful about being a reader. As well as sharing books with one another.

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      1. That’s the best bit – sharing one’s passion and recommendations with others. I learn so much from you all! As for Donna Tartt – it’s not the bleakness, I do bleak pretty well, but she is too long-winded for my taste.

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  16. My list would include two you list, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein. Others I would add are Patrick O’Brian and Anthony Trollope. Six more to go!

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  17. I’m late.
    My 10 favorite authors and I’ll be leaving some.
    Umberto Eco
    A.S.Byatt
    Michael Ondaatje
    M.F.K.Fisher
    Virginia Woolf
    J.R.R. Tolkien
    Graham Greene
    Antoine de Saint Exupery
    Thomas Merton
    Rainer Maria Rilke

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