Beloved Authors

Ever wonder if I would read a book I haven’t read? This page will give you a better idea of my reading style (if there ever was such a thing)…

Of the Greats, I love:

Ernest Hemingway - The first Hemingway I ever read was A Farewell To Arms when I was 15. It remains one of my all time favorite books. Hemingway had many interests outside of writing. He loved big-game hunting (lions and tigers and bears, oh my!), deep-sea fishing, and bull fighting (Is it just me, or was everything this guy did BIG). He was a war veteran, and used  his experiences with war and politics (and his hobbies) in his writing. This is something I love about him, after reading one of his books, you feel like you know him a little bit better. He was also a journalist and an avid letter writer. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954, and was always married within the year of his previous divorce (he was married three times). He was also a drunk, an obsessive/perfectionist, and eventually shot himself with a shotgun. I prefer his younger, more lively and passionate self, personally.

Hemingway and I have a deal. This deal is exactly like the deal that Desmond has with Charles Dickens in LOST (any fans out there know what I'm talking about?). In LOST, Desmond carries a Dickens' book with him wherever he goes. We find out that he believes Dickens' is the greatest writer who ever lived. Desmond had read every single word the man had ever published, except the book he carried with him. He wanted it to be the last thing he ever read before he died. 
Since A Farewell To Arms, I've read The Sun Also Rises, and The Old Man and the Sea. I own six of his other novels/short story collections, and a collection of his letters. I don't intend on carrying one of his books around for the rest of my life, but I do intend to pace myself and savor each work, and I always want to know that there will be more, waiting for me when I want to pick it up. So Hemingway reviews here will be few and far between, though I LOVE his writing.

J.D. Salinger - For such a talented writer, J. D. Salinger did not publish much of his work. After publishing a few stories and serving in World War II, Salinger released The Catcher in the Rye in 1951. It was an instant success, but Salinger didn't like the lime-light. He was a very spiritual person, a whisked away his new wife into seclusion. He would often disappear to write, and come back with nothing, or less than nothing - a destroyed manuscript. He struggled internally with his success, couldn't face it. Though he lived to be 91 (he died in 2010), his last published work was in 1965. He is rumored to have up to 15 unpublished novels, even labeled for publication after his death, so perhaps we have not seen the end of this genius' work. I love his writing for the realistic and intelligence in his characters. His writing isn't necessarily humorous, but sometimes I find myself giggling. Salinger is a huge fan of italics, and sometimes highlights only half of a word to lay emphasis. His characters have huge personalities (/attitude) and his work is a joy to read.

Edgar Allan Poe - Poe is known most widely as the American Classic Gothic writer. He began his career as a poet, though did not get recognized until publication of his short stories. Once 'The Raven' was published, Edgar Allan Poe became an instant household name, though he was paid only $9 for the poem. Mostly Poe was known as a literary critic, even accusing Henry Wadsworth Longfellow of plagiarism, to which there was no reply. One day in 1849, he was found in a ditch in critical condition in another man's clothes. He was dead within 24 hours, his death certificate, lost. Some speculate he died of his severe alcoholism, others suggest syphilis or rabies. Whatever the cause, it is lost now. Poe influenced several ground-breaking authors such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes) and Jules Verne (Science-Fiction extraordinaire). His writing demands your attention, and most certainly deserves it.

Other authors I love, and have loved:

Stephen King - Considered the 'King' of Horror writing by most, Stephen King has written well over 50 books (novels, collections of short stories, and non-fiction). He was a teacher before he was published, and soon thereafter, was able to quit teaching to write full time. While he has written many scary books, he has written many that aren't scary at all. I avoided his books for quite some time because I didn't think I'd like scary. The first book of his I read, The Eye of the Dragon, wasn't a horror novel. It had a very evil character, and some tense scenes, but to me, it read more like a thriller. If you have been avoiding Stephen King for those same reasons, please, give him a try. I would recommend The Green Mile, The Stand, or On Writing, a non-fiction book of his that I adore.

Sarah Dessen - Sarah Dessen is the author of many young adult novels. She has a very elegant, clear writing style that gives you a tendency to read through meals, and through the night without realizing it. I recommend reading any of her books to kids from 12-20, depending on maturity levels. Some of the books have very serious issues (abusive relationships, abandonment, premarital sex), so if you are looking for a book for your teenager, make sure you know what you are getting them into. I would recommend The Truth About Forever as a great book for everyone. Sarah is also very active in the cyber-space community. She has kept a regular blog for ten years, which can be found here. Also, she is very active on twitter. 

Margaret Atwood - A poet, novelist, and non-fiction writer, Margaret Atwood knows what she loves to do. I've so far only read her fiction, but what I've read, I've adored. My favorite book of hers so far is The Blind Assassin, which I actually liked the least of all when I began reading. She writes great political science-fiction (The Madd Adam Trilogy, The Handmaid's Tale), and is a widely respected Canadian intellectual. She may even run for office. I've enjoyed her writing style, and the political issues she brings to light.

Jodi Picoult - Picoult (Pronounced Pee-Co) chooses very controversial subjects for her contemporary fiction novels. Her writing is captivating and thought-provoking. Each of her chapters is told in switching perspective between characters, which can be incredibly insightful. She has a talent for tackling even the most taboo subjects, making them real, and working through them. If you are looking for something new to read, one of her novels is sure to be a good one.