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You know how it is with favorite authors. You read a book you’re completely wowed by and you immediately plan to go back and read everything that author EVER wrote. Well, maybe you’re more disciplined than I am. Maybe you actually follow through with that vow. I, however, am rather hit or miss on reading all of a favorite author’s books and the reasons (or perhaps excuses?) are as varied as the authors themselves.
Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
I was a huge fan of Life After Life and like its sequel A God in Ruins almost as much. Since then, I’ve heard so many people rave about Kate Atkinson’s earlier detective novel, Case Histories, but still I’ve not picked it up. My excuse? I’m not a fan of most detective novels and the fact that Case Histories is also the first in a series makes me even more skeptical that I’d like it.
I’ve read nearly every book that Chris Bohjalian has written and I can’t say that about many authors. My all time favorite has to be Skeletons at the Feast. I think Bohjalian’s writing is at its best when he steps away from mystery/thrillers as he did with Skeletons. My excuse for missing The Buffalo Soldier? I really have none. It’s exactly what I like most from this author. Time to step up!
How is it possible that I’ve only read one book from the prolific author at the top of My Best Books of 2017, The Heart’s Invisible Furies? (my review) Even before I finished this book I’d looked Boyne up and was shocked to find he’d published so much. Perhaps most famous of his earlier works is The Boy in the Striped Pajamas which is actually a young adult novel. I know I need to read it, but that YA moniker is often a hurdle for me.
If you haven’t read Wiley Cash it’s time. I fell in love with his writing in A Land More Kind Than Home, a dark story of two brothers growing up in small town riddled with evil. Cash’s next novel, This Dark Road to Mercy was also very good. So, what’s kept me from The Last Ballad which came out nearly a year ago? Honestly, the publisher’s blurb comparing it to the films Norm Rae and Silkwood make me feel like I already know the story.
I’ve read a lot of WWII books and The Nightingale is definitely in my top three, but that and this year’s The Great Alone (my review) are all I’ve ever read from Hannah. The truly remarkable thing about that it that she’d written MANY, MANY books. However, much of her earlier writing falls in the arena of chick lit and/or romance neither of which I go for often. Night Road published in 2011 looks to be an exception and one I really should read.
Alice Hoffman is another prolific author that I stumbled on later in her career. The first book I read was The Story Sisters which I loved so much it sent me on a tear of reading earlier Alice Hoffman books. Then I started picking up new ones as she published, some I’ve loved, others not quite as much. Somehow I missed The Dovekeepers. It sounds like a bit of a departure for Hoffman, but departures are often my favorites.
Patchett is truly one of my very favorite writers. The first book of hers that I read was Bel Canto which made me an immediate fan. Commonwealth (my review) in 2016 easily made my Best Books of 2016 list. I’ve read several more of Patchett’s more recent books, but her debut, the book that first brought her attention I’ve failed to go back and read. I plan on picking up The Patron Saint of Liars and fixing that very soon!
I’m relatively new to the Anna Quindlen fan base, so my excuse for not yet reading Miller’s Valley is simply time. I only read my first Anna Quindlen book, Every Last One (my review), this past winter. Since then I’ve read two more, with Every Last One still being my favorite. I suspect I’ll pick up Miller’s Valley soon, perhaps even before the end of the year. That would give me four Quindlen books in 2018. An accomplishment to be sure!
Anne Tyler has been writing for a long time and produced many great books. I’ve read most of her work and though I occasionally find one that doesn’t work for me like this year’s Clock Dance (my review), for the most part I love her writing. A Spool of Blue Thread was among my favorites. Vinegar Girl came out in 2016 right when I was getting this blog going and somehow I’ve missed it. That’s my excuse, but since then there’s truly been plenty of time.
I love Meg Wolitzer! Her books speak so well to women and their lives. The Interestings ranks as one of my very favorite books and I also loved this year’s The Female Persuasion (my review). This woman knows how to tell a story! So why have I never picked up Belzhar? All I can say is that even now, the description just doesn’t do much for me. It seems to read a little young adult. So tell me, would I enjoy Belzhar?
Like everyone else, A Little Life just blew me away and still remains my most beloved book. Once my crying slowed down, I headed to the computer to find out about this amazing author. What I found then remains true today. Hanya Yanagihara has only written one other book, The People in the Trees. I thought I’d read it immediately, but three and a half years later I still haven’t. Why? Simple. I’m afraid that the earlier work just can’t live up to A Little Life.
What books have you missed from your favorite authors?
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Photo Credit: Anthony from Pexels.
Deb Nance at Readerbuzz says
What a magnificent list of magnificent authors! So many helpful suggestions for me here. Now you’ve got me looking at A Little Life again. Really? It’s that good? But it’s so loooong….
Really! It’s that good. It has some harsh themes, but a fabulous cast of characters that I’ll never forget. It is long, but I flew through it in only a few days.
Susie, A Little Life is my favorite book ever as well and I just can’t pick up her first one…there’s just no way it can compare…I think. I also haven’t picked up The Boy in the Striped Pajamas because it’s YA and like you said, that’s a hurdle I don’t usually try. I really enjoyed Night Road!
Nice to see our similar taste in books goes all the way to the top. I’ll definitely need to get to Night Road soon.
I also have Chris Bohjalian on my list. But haven’t read ANY! 😯
So many books, so little time! Here’s my list: https://orangecountyreaders.com/2018/09/25/top-ten-tuesday-10-books-by-my-favorite-authors-that-i-still-havent-read-9-25/
I’d start with Close Your Eyes Hold Hands for a first Bohjalian book. So good!
I own a lot of Kristin Hannah’s, and for me The Nightingale is the best one. I haven’t read The Great Alone yet.
I love these lists! I’ve heard The People in the Trees disappointed a lot of readers, so I’m not rushing to pick that one up either.
I do remember liking The Patron Saint of Liars, but it wasn’t at the same level of Patchett’s magic in her other books.
I think I need to try out A Spool of Blue Thread. I’ve read The Accidental Tourist and didn’t love it, and Vinegar Girl was fine but nothing special–it was an easy audio listen, though.
I still haven’t read any Bohjalian! I have Before You Know Kindness on my shelf; I’m hoping that one’s a good first read to make a fan out of me.
And I’m probably one of the only readers out there who still hasn’t read The Nightingale.
Allison I was with you, I didn’t read it until last fall. I resisted it for so long because of the hype but I ended up loving it and it made my top 10 list.
If you like historical fiction at all, I can almost promise that you’ll love The Nightingale. It’s one of my top ten books.
I too was amazed that Boyne had written so much. I’m rarely a fan of YA but I did go back and read The Absolutist (WWI) and The History of Loneliness (Catholic Church in Ireland). Both were fabulous. Next of Kin (set against the politics of Edward VIII’s abdication) had some problems but still worth a read for the incredible central character Boyne creates. I am anxiously awaiting his next book, Ladder to the Stars, due out in November.
My favorite Tylers are Accidental Tourist and Breathing Lessons. Overall I like her older works better than the new ones. Her husband died in 1997 and I date that to a decline in the quality of her output.
I loved Breathing Lessons, too. That’s and interesting note about her husband’s death and Tyler’s writing.
It’s great to hear that the John Boyne books you’ve gone back and tried have worked so well. You inspire me!
JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing says
I see several of my favorite authors here. Belzhar is considered YA, but I still loved it. Miller’s Valley was a favorite a couple of years ago, and I remember enjoying The Patron Saint of Liars, too. Vinegar Girl is still on my wish list. Such a fun topic this week!
I think Patron Saint of Liars is the one I most want to try, and I may listen to Miller’s Valley soon. (I’ve listened to all the Quindlen books I’ve read so far.)
Sarah's Book Shelves says
I haven’t read Patron Saint of Liars or Belzhar either! Blezhar is YA…maybe another reason you haven’t gotten to it? I really liked Miller’s Valley and read The Buffalo Soldier awhile back and I think it was okay, but really remember nothing about it.
Have you read Bohjalian’s The Double Bind? That’s my favorite of his!
I didn’t realize Belzhar was YA. A good excuse to knock that one off my list. We should read The Patron Saint of Liars together some time.
Resh Susan says
I have been reading The Female Persuasion by Wolitzer and it is absolutely stunning. Also Ive been keeping Boyne and Kristin Hannah on my TBR forever. Sometimes I wonder when I will read all the books I want to read.
Right? Every time I do a post like this I think the exact same thing. If only I had no other commitments maybe I could come close to reading all the books on my back list.
Linda S. says
A great list Susie! You have encouraged me to read books by Wiley Cash as I have hesitated because his books seem to deal with harsh/intense issues. But I am going to dive in. Thanks.
You’re right. Wiley Cash’s books can be harsh, but they still have a beauty to them.
I’ve got to read Kristin Hannah – period! I feel like I’m missing out! I love the layout of your post! 😀
Thanks, Maggie. If you like historical fiction, you should start with The Nightingale.
Jade @ Reading with Jade says
The size of Kristin Hannah’s backlist is what has put me off reading her books so far, despite hearing so much positivity surrounding her books and writing. I really want to pick up The Great Alone though.
I like how you’ve gone about sharing for this TTT topic.