Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s all about books, lists and sharing the love we have of both with our bookish friends. This week, we’re checking out the authors we read the most.
Specifically, I’m looking at the authors I’ve read the most over the past 5 years, which happens to be when I started tracking my reading on Goodreads. This happens to coincide with when I started blogging, dived into BookTwitter and discovered read-alongs – so I shouldn’t have been surprised to find read-along authors in particular make such a big appearance (reader, she was surprised).
It does leave me wondering to what this list would look like if I did dive into my archives to look at the 10 year picture (which is about as far back as I can go). I suspect that would be skewed by re-reads rather than read-alongs, as that timeframe spans full re-reads of both the Deverry saga and (most of) The Wheel of Time.
…I haven’t adjusted for novels vs novellas (although I’ve capped contributions to Serial Box at one nod per series) – so I’m also curious to see what this would look like on a novel-only slate. Fair to say I may revisit this prompt in future when I have time to do more digging and look at it through a slightly different lens!
Let’s start with three authors who I barely knew a full five years ago, but who have had a huge impact on my heart and reading lists. I fell in love with Becky Chambers aboard the Wayfarer, and her work sits firmly on my list of comfort reads (To Be Taught, If Fortunate is the only one I haven’t already reread, but it’s only a matter of time). Yoon Ha Lee won my heart with flash fiction about fox spirits, then stole it forever by turning to a space opera (or is it space fantasy? You decide) of sweeping revolutionary politics and rebellious undead. Dave Hutchinson got me with his signature combination of tense thriller and down-to-earth tone of voice. From cartomantic spy thrillers to post-apocalyptic family feuds, he always sells me on his characters and sucks me into their predicaments.
While all four of these win their spot with our read-alongs of their long-running series, one author is not like the other three: Marie Brennan stands alone in having tempted me into reading books beyond The Memoirs of Lady Trent. For whatever reason (oh yes: books 6-9), I’ve been reticent to explore the further works of Naomi Novik in spite of how much I love Temeraire and Will (yes, I have a copy of Uprooted, although it keeps drifting down my TBR). No such qualms about Ben Aaronovitch and James S A Corey; the limitation here is that they have written little beyond the long-running magnificence of their respective series (I’m just not interested in reading Doctor Who and Star Wars tie-ins, however much I love them on screen).
This final group is fuelled by rereads and novellas: I adore Paul Cornell‘s affectionate if sometimes scathing pastiches of supernatural mayhem in an English market town; and I remain very sad that Mark Gelineau & Joe King have dropped off the radar completely since finishing the second phase of their excellent exercise in building a fantasy world by exploring different subgenres.
But if there was one thing that didn’t surprise me about this top ten, it was that Aliette de Bodard came top of the list. I’ve just completed a reread of the Dominion of the Fallen (the newest novella, Of Dragons, Feasts and Murder is out today) and I lap up her Xuya short stories and novellas. The only surprise is that I haven’t yet read Obsidian and Blood – but don’t worry, it’s only a matter of time.
Whose books do you read most often?