If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you know I have a war going on in my own mind over the identity of my favorite author. I’ve always told people that my favorite writer is Ernest Hemingway, but the older I get and the more I read, the more I realize that my favorite author really depends on many factors.
One of my new favorites is M.C. Beaton, author of the Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth series. I read her books when I want a good laugh and a quick read. I love finding a new M.C. Beaton book, but I think I’ve now read all of them, and I’m having some of the symptoms of withdrawal. I know she has a couple new books coming out soon, and I can’t wait.
I also really like Elizabeth Peters, author of a number of books about a family of Egyptologists who solve mysteries in and around Egypt and the Middle East. Her sense of humor is subtle and sharp. I read her books when I want a want a really meaty, complex story with lots of subplots. Incidentally, the woman who writes under the name Elizabeth Peters also writes under the name Barbara Michaels. I haven’t read any Barbara Michaels books yet, but I will look into them as soon as I have a chance.
And then there’s Jane Austen, who’s in a class by herself. In my opinion, one of the best books ever written is Pride and Prejudice. I could read it again and again, but I haven’t because there are so many books on my nightstand and Kindle right now waiting to be read. A Jane Austen book is best when I have lots of time on my hands, like on a long car ride or a plane trip.
And the best book by Ernest Hemingway? It’s got to be For Whom the Bell Tolls. There are people who will disagree with me, but no one can change my mind. This is another book I could read again and again, and have done so. I also have a book called By-Line: Ernest Hemingway, which is a collection of dispatches he wrote for various newspapers and magazines over a forty-year period. This book is great because it gives the reader a glimpse of the very rich and full life Hemingway led. I don’t have to be in any particular mood to read Hemingway, but once I’m done with one of his works I usually feel the need to decompress and read something lighter.
And no list of my favorite authors is complete without Dr. Seuss. I love everything he wrote, from How the Grinch Stole Christmas to Oh, the Places You’ll Go! to The Lorax. The illustrations are just as wonderful as the words, and I used to love reading Dr. Seuss books to my kids and their classmates. Anytime is the right time for Dr. Suess.
Mark Twain is another of my favorite authors. I like to read his stories when I’m on vacation because he writes so well about travel and adventure. My son just finished The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and loved it.
How about John Grisham? My favorite book of his remains A Time to Kill. I read John Grisham whenever I want a good legal thriller. For some reason, I only like reading his stories in the summertime. Probably because so many of them take place in the South and I always feel the humidity and heat in his books. You’d think I would want to read his books in the winter, when I want to be reminded of warmth, but it’s the opposite.
The last writer I’ll mention is “Carolyn Keene,” with quotation marks because she wasn’t really one author, but many who wrote the Nancy Drew mystery series. As a child I devoured the Nancy Drew books one right after another and was sorry when they started coming out in paperback. There was just something about that yellow hardcover spine that was thrilling…still is, whenever I see one of the Nancy Drew books in an antique store or vintage shop. I passed on my love of Nancy Drew to one of my daughters, who has my entire collection in her bookcase right now.
I don’t usually say anymore that I have one favorite author. I have many, and my favorite this week might be different from my favorite next week and last month. It depends on where I am, how much time I have to sit down and read, and my mood. The more I read, the more I find that my list of favorite authors is getting longer and longer.
Do you have a favorite author? Who is it and why? Do you have lots of favorites? I’d love to hear what you have to say.
Until next week,