Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Errant Dreams Author Meme

My fellow blogging friend, Heather came up with this great meme. I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and give it a try.
  • Answer the questions as you see fit. Although they’re all phrased to ask about a singular author, feel free to respond with multiples, or even a list.
  • Where possible & convenient (you don’t have to go as crazy as I did!), include a link here or there to an author’s website, your review of one of their books, or a review that inspired you to try the author(s), so your readers can get more information on anyone that sounds interesting.
  • Tag five people and drop by their blogs to let them know you tagged them, or open-tag your readers.
  • It would be nice if you included a link back to your tagger.
I struggled with this meme for several reasons, the biggest being that I am no good at singling out one or two or three authors as favorites, and add to that all-time favorites! That's a tall order. Then I start wondering if I can count an author as a favorite when I've only read one of his or her books. After hemming and hawing, I finally decided the best way to approach this meme was to start with the last question first.

Who’s your all-time favorite author, and why?

Jane Austen's writing warms my heart. Her novels appear simple on the surface and yet they are quite complex. Jane Austen's writing is beautiful, so easy to lose myself in. Of the books I have read by he so far, they each have left me with a satisfied smile on my face as I finish reading that last paragraph.

I met and fell in love with Harry Dresden, modern wizard extraordinaire, long before the television series came out (and yes, I finally did get to watch it). Jim Butcher can do no wrong in my mind. I am always out of breath when I finish one of the Dresden Files' books--oh, the suspense!--I don't know how Harry does it! He's such a good soul, even when the darkness threatens to cave in around him. I haven't yet read Jim Butcher's more traditional fantasy series, but you can bet I have the books in my TBR room waiting their turn.

Sue Grafton never strays far from the top of my favorites list. Her hard-boiled Kinsey Milhone series has been a favorite of mine since I picked up the first book. While many mystery novels tend toward being over the top, I can count on Sue Grafton to offer up a reality check. The author has gotten some criticism in recent years for straying from her usual formula, but I think her books keep getting better and better. Kinsey Milhone herself is a protagonist after my own heart--she's tough, edgy, and independent while still being vulnerable.

Charlaine Harris quickly became one of my favorites when I started reading her Southern Vampire series featuring her mind reading heroine, Sookie Stackhouse. After reading the first book in the author's Lily Bard series, Charlaine Harris' spot on my all-time favorites list was cemented. For me, these books fall into the comfort reading category--they are fun, light, and yet also have surprising depth to them. And I love the characters. Love them!

Who was your first favorite author, and why? Do you still consider him or her among your favorites?

The first names that come to mind are Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume. I could not get enough of their books when I was growing up. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Blubber were my favorite Judy Blume books. Beverly Cleary won be over with Otis Spofford and her Ralph S. books. And who can forget Ramona Quinby? These two authors were not only entertaining to read, but they also took on issues that were important to me when I was growing up. I could relate to the stories and felt a real connection to the characters.

I still think of both authors fondly. I have read one of Judy Blume's adult books, but it was years ago. I enjoyed it quite a bit. I consider both to be childhood favorites to this day.

Who’s the most recent addition to your list of favorite authors, and why?

Two authors in particular that I was introduced to this year have caught my fancy. One of them is Craig Johnson who is the author of the Sheriff Walt Longmire series set in Wyoming. I took an instant liking to the sheriff and I am quite drawn to the rural setting, which is kind of surprising considering how much of a city girl I am. Adrian Hyland is the other author. His first novel, set in the Australian Outback, is rich in culture and character. I look forward to reading more by both of these authors.

If someone asked you who your favorite authors were right now, which authors would first pop out of your mouth?

Other than those listed above: Jodi Picoult, Karen E. Olson, Elizabeth Kostova, Diane Setterfield, Mark Bowden, Amulya Malladi,, Kelley Armstrong, Minette Walters, J.R.R. Tolkein, J.K. Rowling, Lisa See, Ian McEwan, Stephanie Kallos, J.A. Jance, Anne Bishop, Charlotte Bronte, P.D. James, Susanna Clarke, Thrifty Umrigar, Anne Rice, Alice Hoffman, Clea Simon, and Carrie Vaughn just for starters. I really could go on and on if you let me.

Truth be told, I always feel inadequate when answering questions like these, especially when reading other people's lists. I am reminded of just how little I have read. There are so many books and authors that I still want to explore.

I have lost track of everyone who has taken part in this meme. If you haven't yet, consider yourself tagged!


  1. Darn, I was just about to tag you with a similar meme.

    Isn't Harry Dresden great? I just found Jim Butcher's books this year (possibly last) myself. Nice choices there! Doesn't it feel like choosing your favorite child?

  2. I've wondered about Jim Butcher's books. I've seen them at the store but haven't read any. I stumbled across the Harry Dresden shows on SciFi channel sometime in the last year and really enjoyed them. Sounds like I should try reading them!

    My husband brought home the Sookie Stackhouse books and he liked them so much I just had to see what was going on. I've read 3 so far and enjoyed them. Haven't read any other Charlaine Harris series

  3. I tried so hard to like Jane Austen but she just doesn’t do it for me :( I couldn’t for sure say who is my favorite author but Laurell K. Hamilton is definitely up there on the list (I’m not good at picking favorites since they change almost day to day). Jim Butcher is an author that I’ve heard so many good things about but I’ve never had a chance to read anything by him. Hmm... maybe I can nominate his first book for my reading group Books Into Movies since there is a TV show based on his books (which I won’t watch yet). Charliane Harris is one of my top 5 favorites too. I can’t wait to start the newest Southern Vampire mystery.

    I think my first favorite author was Stephen King. I didn’t pay attention to authors when I was a kid and none of the books I read were parts of series- plus I discovered his and Anne Rice’s books at an early age.

  4. I always find it difficult to pick favourite authors too! Glad I'm not the only one. :D

  5. I've already decided that I'm not doing this meme. I'm not good at singling out favorites anyway, and when it comes to books and authors, I just can't do it :-)!

    Your favorite childhood authors were two of mine as well.

  6. This is a great meme! I don't think I'm able to come up with a perfect answer for each question because I have too many favourite authors in mind, and moreover there are just more new authors out there waiting for my exploration! But I enjoyed reading your answers though. :)

  7. I didn't know Jim Butcher was one of your favourites...now I want to read the Dresden Files even more. And I'm really looking forward to finally reading Jane Austen for the Classics Challenge!

  8. Very cool and glad you played! I wanted to tag you in the first round but I know you've been busy, so I figured I'd let you grab it through the open tag if you felt like it. Hope things are settling down again!

  9. Am I seeing things!? You seem to have a duplicate paragraph about Harry Dresden!!

    Sorry to be so picky!! ;-)

  10. I'm with you on Beverly Cleary, and am just beginning Henry Huggins on audio tonight (for the third or fourth time)!

  11. What a great idea for a meme!

  12. Great answers! I have seen Charlaine Harris at the bookstore and wondered if she was any good. Now I think I will try it out! Thanks for another recommendation!

  13. Carrie K - I got a little impatient and decided to post it before being tagged. :-)

    I adore Harry Dresden!

    And yes, it does feel like choosing a favorite child. I almost didn't do the meme because it feels unfair somehow.

    Terri - I'm quite partial to the books. The TV show was fun, but not nearly as good. I know not everyone feels that way though. I do hope you will give the series a try sometime!

    The Sookie books are so much fun. I am glad you are enjoying them too.

    Jen - Austen isn't for everyone even though I wish she was. ;-)

    I thought about putting Laurell K. Hamilton on my list but I decided against it. I really liked her earlier books, but the later ones just haven't had the same impact on me.

    I didn't discover King until I was an adult. I knew about him. Watched some of his movies, but never really thought about reading his books. I've only read two of his so far and while I know I won't read all of his books (some just don't interest me) there are several that do that I would like to read one day.

    Eva - It's really hard choosing a favorite! This isn't even a complete list.

    Florinda - I nearly decided not to do it but decided I might as well give it a try. It's definitely an every changing and growing list, that's for sure.

    Melody - I'm not sure there is a perfect answer. What I write this week will be completely different two weeks from now, no doubt. LOL

    Nymeth - You really should give Jim Butcher a try. I hope you will! And hopefully you will like your first visit with Jane Austen.

    Heather - I admit that I've been working on my answers for this one since you first posted the meme. :-) I almost didn't do it. It's a great meme--I've enjoyed reading other people's answers.

    Sam - I'm so glad you said something! How embarrassing! I meant to go back over my post before it automatically posted (I had it scheduled to post ahead of time), but I completely forgot.

    Nan - I adored Beverly Cleary books growing up. :-)

    Monica - It was really hard to answer, but it was fun.

    Jaimie - You haven't read anything by Charlaine Harris? You must remedy that!

  14. Some interesting coices. I read my first Jim Butcher book this year and will read the rest of the series. I had ben meaning to get around to it for ages and got distracted when the TV show was released here in the UK. Love both so far and am gutted they cancelled the show :(

    I have some Charlaine Harris to try this year and have read great reviews of her many series. I am glad you included Anne Rice, Anne Bishop, Tolkien and Alice Hoffman as some of your other favourite authors as I love them all! Now all I have to do is get you to add Nick Hornby and Charles de Lint and it's perfect :)

  15. I hate that there won't be any more Dresden Files on TV. Although I prefer the books, I did like the TV show. It was just too short!

    I guess I had better get around to reading Nick Hornby and Charles de Lint so I can add them to my favorites list. :-)

  16. I have been working my way through the alphabet with Sue Grafton. I love her books!


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