Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Have Read Most Books By

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

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This is an interesting and lovely idea for a list: the old favourites, the familiar friends, the comfort of a warm hug. Those one-off gems will always be popping up on the list here and there but sometimes these familiar (and prolific) writers seem to fall out of them. It does raise a couple of questions though:

  • do I include classics, because I can readily populate this with Shakespeare, Dickens, Austen..? I have decided that for this list I will avoid the classics – at least for now…
  • how do I calculate how many I have read? I’m not going to be hugely mathematical about it – a subjective list of writers whom I feel I have read a lot. Don’t comment if you find that the maths doesn’t quite work, but I shall, I think, use a mathematical order.

So, here we go… there is going to be a slant towards the fantasy series and detective series here I think!

Terry Pratchett

CURRENT BOOK COUNT: 42

The late lamented Terry Pratchett.

Discworld.

Need I say more?

Well, yes probably: Good Omens too.

Hilarious, cracking good fun… yet also literary and irreverent and deeply deeply humane. Surely one of the most wonderful fantasy worlds ever created – from the stinking bowels of Ankh-Morpork to the distance mountains of Lancre – and populated by the most wonderful cast of characters: Lord Vetinari, Moist von Lipwig, Carrot Ironfoundersson, Sam Vimes, the Wizards of the Unseed University but above all the witches and Granny Weatherwax. Her death in The Shepherd’s Crown was heartbreaking and heart warming at the same time and can be applied to Pratchett himself.

“FOR I CAN SEE THE BALANCE AND YOU HAVE LEFT THE WORLD MUCH BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT, AND IF YOU ASK ME, said Death, NOBODY COULD DO ANY BETTER THAN THAT. . . .”

Brandon Sanderson

CURRENT BOOK COUNT: 15

Let’s take a moment to count here, because Sanderson is prolific

The Reckoners Trilogy: Steelheart, Firefight, Calamity

The Mistborn Trilogy: The Final Empire, Well of Ascension, Hero of Ages

The Wax and Wayne series (Mistborn 2.0?): Alloy of Law, Shadows of Self, Bands of Mourning

The Stormlight Archive: The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, Oathbringer, Edgedancer

The Skyward series: Skyward, Starsight

High fantasy, fun, great settings and intricate magic systems are the hallmarks of Sanderson. Simple, joyful imagination.

Susan Hill

Current Book Count: 14

I’m The King of the Castle was my first entry into Susan Hill’s writing, which I remember reading years ago – possibly in school – and from there to Strange Meeting and The Woman in Black. The Woman in Black has of course become iconic thanks to its run on the theatre – and it has even survived its inclusion in GCSE Set Text lists! – although I think I probably preferred her The Small Hand.

Whilst I enjoy Simon Serrailler series of detective novels, I do find her main character a little problematic – especially in his relationships with women – but maybe that is the point.

Susan Hill is a fantastic writer – even if I find her politics on Twitter a little difficult.

Neil Gaiman

CURRENT BOOK COUNT: 8 novels (plus 4 children’s books)

You could spend your life reading Gaiman and his work will grow with you. My daughter’s favourites include The Wolves in the Walls and currently Unfortunately, The Milk which is anarchic and silly and wonderful, and she is seven. I am looking to moving her onto Stardust, Coraline and The Graveyard Book as soon as possible – and then using The Ocean at the End of the Lane as a stepping stone to Good Omens, Neverwhere and American Gods!

Anarchic, chaotic and riotously funny, with a deeply humane sensitivity and philosophical themes. Wonderful.

And The Sleeper and the Spindle! Divine!

Patrick Ness

CURRENT BOOK COUNT: 8

Wonderful, tender, exciting narratives are Patrick Ness’ forte and he is the undisputed master. The Chaos Walking Trilogy was my introduction to him as he was nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal – and then, oh my poor heart, I read A Monster Calls.

He is also a hugely important and vital advocate for gay relationships in young adult fiction and from The Rest of Us Just Live Here to Release and his most recent Burn, the diversity and representation of same sex relationships has become a key feature.

China Miéville

CURRENT BOOK COUNT: 7

Miéville is one of my favourite authors and I am so excited to be able to include him on this list. He is deeply political and intellectual in his novels (and with a vocabulary that is immense) without ever – or almost ever – losing sight of the core of a novel: enjoyment and excitement, vivid and engaging characters. His genres range of high fantasy to western to detective fiction and he is the king of the macabre and weird and most speculative of speculative weird fiction.

I first came across him with the Bas-Lag Trilogy and Perdido Street Station, quickly looking for the others in the trilogy: The Scar and Iron Council. From there, I picked up Kraken, The City & The City, Embassytown, Railsea and each book is unique and thought-provoking.

Ben Aaronovitch

CURRENT BOOK COUNT: 7

This is accounted for in the Peter Grant Rivers of London series: a delightful romp through the ways in which the Metropolitan Police might manage the occult – and it works as both a police procedural and a fantasy novel. The basic premise is that magic is real and follows Newtonian rules, and the (possibly immortal) Nightingale of The Folly, and a motley crew of nerds, geeks and hangers on, is our last line of defence against its abuses.

The core image however is of the genii loci the embodied personifications of the spirits of the rivers of London, from the tyrannical Lady Tyburn to the sultry Beverly Brook to the ancient Old Father Thames.

Great fun!

Frances Hardinge

CURRENT BOOK COUNT: 6

Oh that iconic hat! How to create a media brand image very quickly!

Frances Hardinge is a writer who wears a black hat. Notoriously unphotographable, she is rumoured to be made entirely out of velvet.

Her stories are highly wrought and fantastical and Gothic and fairy tale and philosophical and the epitome of the unheimlich. My favourites are essentially neck and neck: The Lie Tree and Cuckoo Song but everything by her is well worth a read for readers of any age!

Tana French

CURRENT BOOK COUNT: 6

The Dublin Murder Squad series – one of the most engaging and intriguing detective series around. I love the way that French slides from one detective to another to narrate each book. We have always met our narrators previously, often causing us to re-evaluate our views as none of these detectives are terribly reliable or stable. Gothic, unnerving and tense, these are incredible novels. And my favourite? Broken Harbour without a doubt: the beast hiding in the walls of the house is almost out of a Gaiman novel!

And oh her interview scenes are divine!

I fear the series may have come to an end: The Trespasser had an end-of-cycle feel to it – and French has turned to other writing with Wych Elm that I have still to read. I do hope I am wrong however.

Kate Atkinson

CURRENT BOOK COUNT: 5

I avoided Kate Atkinson for so long – primarily because my mother had kept a waterlogged and mildewed and wrinkled copy of Behind the Scenes at the Museum beside the bath for years when I was at a vulnerable age and that combination of associations put me off… and what a waste! I am still catching up with her Jackson Brodie crime novels, and loving them – thankfully there was a gap of nearly a decade between Started Early, Took My Dog and Big Sky which will help me keep up.

And Life After Life was just beautiful and wonderful!

So there we have it, the ten authors from whom I have read most books – and it will be so exciting to see who is on your lists! I am guessing that Sir Terry Pratchett is going to be a familiar face this Tuesday, and quite deservedly too!

Forthcoming Top Ten Tuesday Topics

  • July 14: Books That Make Me Smile (For any reason! Maybe tell us why? Submitted by Julia @ pagesforthoughts)
  • July 21: Book Events/Festivals I’d Love to Go to Someday (Real or Fictional. Submitted by Nandini @ Unputdownable Books)
  • July 28: Freebie (This week you get to come up with your own TTT topic!)

76 comments

  1. What a fabulous list! And we definitely have quite a few crossovers! I’ve read six of Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London books and have the other two waiting for me on my TBR pile! And although I haven’t read quite as many of Terry Pratchett’s books as you, I fully intend to plough my way through Discworld! I have just read Postal Service and absolutely loved it!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patrick Ness is on my list too! Ben Aaronovitch looks nothing like what I expected, but he does look like an old police detective so he fits his books. 😂 Frances looks EXACTLY as I expected, like she would be burned for Witchcraft in the 1600s.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are the expert on Pratchet – 42 books is impressive.
    Oh, I was so happy to read you liked Broken Harbour. My favorite is the Likeness but Broken Harbor is right up there, so many people said they didn’t like that one. My husband and I are in the minority because I thought that was brillant. Hope you are wrong about the continuation of Dublin Murder Squad but this next book doesn’t feature it. Still – it’s Tana so I’ll read it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sadly, I haven’t read many of these authors yet (except for Gaiman), but I own books by Ness and French. Someday I’ll get to them! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This a great list with so many authors I want to read more of! I read my first Sanderson book last year, and I’ve bought a few of his other books now so I can dive more into his writing because I loved it so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My extended family (aunts and uncles) all love the Discworld books and have urged me to read them multiple times. I know I’ll love them, just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Your list is full of authors I keep saying I need to read yet still haven’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “You could spend your life reading Gaiman and his work will grow with you.” That is such a wonderful thing. I feel like I kind of missed the boat on Gaiman, since I’m not really into fantasy anymore and none of his titles presently appeal to me, but if I ever have kids I plan to introduce them early.
    RS

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Interesting authors, I’ve read some of them and loved those that I did read.
    I loved your answer to Terry Pratchett. LOOOOOL

    Thanks for visiting my TTT earlier.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have heard a LOT about Terry Prachett’s books, but never read any of them. 🙂 Thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland’s post on this week. Appreciate your visit.

    Liked by 1 person

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