February 26, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors That I'd Put On My Auto-Buy List

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is about authors that we'd put on our auto-buy lists. In other words, we should compile a list of authors that we love so much that no matter what they wrote next we'd buy it regardless of genre or subject matter. Regrettably, most authors that I love THAT much are dead by now. So, there is only a slim chance that they write a new book. :-D Nevertheless, I have had to include some of those on my list, because they're very dear to my heart, and I couldn't sleep well, if I wouldn't mention them. :-D But I restricted myself to put only five authors on my list who are walking across the Elysian Fields by now. The remaining five authors mentioned on my list are still alive, and even though only time will tell whether they make it big, I've loved a book or two by them that much that I'm planning to buy and read other books by them too.

So, here are the Top Ten Authors (dead and living) That I'd Put On My Auto-Buy List:

01. L.M. Montgomery
L.M. Montgomery was a Canadian author and she is most famous for the Anne of Green Gables series. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Montgomery's success and her beloved character's popularity is quite inexplicable—the magic is hard to capture—though Margaret Atwood has tried to give an explanation. In my humble opinion, the secret of Anne's success with female readers is that many women see her as the personification of perfect femininity. Anne is not breathtakingly beauty, but she always looks smart and never slovenly. Anne is very clever, but also industrious; she is ambitious, but always favours her family over her career. She's passionate and makes mistakes, but she always learns from her mistakes. And so on. Anyway, if you haven't read the Anne of Green Gables series yet, you missed out on meeting one of the most popular characters ever, not to mention a beautiful romance! And, if you're going to delve into Montgomery's world, you shouldn't forget to check out the Emily of New Moon and the Story Girl series either.
L.M. Montgomery (1874–1942)

02. Jane Austen
Jane Austen is certainly the uncrowned Queen of the Regency Romance, but what I love about her writings the most is her thorough knowledge of human nature and her great sense of humour. I am convinced that every people on this earth could relate to at least one of her books, regardless of their social status, native country, gender, race, or religion. Why I think so? It's because while I'm reading Austen, I keep giggling, for I see myself, my friends, family, acquaintances, work colleges, and other distant relations in Jane Austen's characters. In other words, in Austen, you will encounter all archetypes of human beings and you will discover that human nature is timeless. From the five completed works by Austen, Pride and Prejudice is my very favourite; Sense and Sensibility and Emma are close second and third. Compared with those three, even Mansfield Park, Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey seem inferior, but to kindred spirits they are highly recommended anyway.
Jane Austen (1775–1817)

03. Jean Webster
Regrettably, Jean Webster is a less known, less popular author, even though her character Jerusha (Judy) Abbott bears many similarities to Anne Shirley and is similarly loveable, in my opinion. Jean Webster's life was tragically short, which is why she didn't have the opportunity to write long series, even though she seems to have been very talented. Besides Daddy-Long-Legs and its sequel Dear Enemy, I've read and loved Webster's Patty novels, which take place at an American women's college in the Victorian/Edwardian era—a favourite setting with me. I only wish they would make a good movie adaptation of Daddy-Long-Legs, because the musical with Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron is just bad...
Jean Webster (1876–1916)

04. Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott's Little Women is a "compulsory reading" for American girls, no wonder that the above-mentioned Judy Abbott is ashamed of not having read this classic. Or as Judy says, "I find that I am the only girl in college who wasn't brought up on Little Women. I haven't told anybody though (that WOULD stamp me as queer)" (Daddy-Long-Legs). Even though Alcott's novel was first translated into Hungarian in 1948 (I own a copy), it wasn't popular or even recognised in Hungary until much later. Which is no wonder, for that first translation was not only bad but also had a fascist touch. It was not until 2004 that a new Hungarian translation of the Little Women series was published. However, owing to my obsession with books, my inquisitive nature, and my good command of English, by that time, I was already an Alcott fan. I was so addicted that I even recorded the Japanese animated Little Women and Jo's Boys series in German. :-D Of course, Jo March is my favourite character, even though I see myself in Amy and Meg too. I haven't read Eight Cousins, Rose in Bloom, An Old-Fashioned Girl, and The Inheritance by Alcott yet, but they are on my unofficial "Classics Club challenge 2" list.
Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888)

05. Agatha Christie
I believe that my previous Top Ten Tuesday post made my love for Agatha Christie crimes pretty clear. Hence, at this point, I only want to mention some things, I didn't mention before. First, I don't believe that there would be any mystery authors today who could hold candles to Dame Agatha. I was once bitterly disappointed in this regard: I bought A Christmas Odyssey by Anne Perry, because its dust jacket said: "If Christmas puts you in the mood for a good Agatha Christie, try Perry." But in reality, this book was a big DNF book for me! So, if you follow my advice than you always reach for Christie, if you are in the mood for a good crime fiction. Second, my favourite novels by AC aren't that that most people would choose: I prefer The Mystery of the Blue Train over Murder on the Orient Express and Five Little Pigs over Ten Little Indians. But what I love about AC the most is that she often combines my two favourite genres—romance and crime—in one. That's why novels such as The Mystery of the Blue Train, Why Didn't They Ask Evans?, The Secret Adversary, The Seven Dials Mystery, or The Moving Finger are firm favourites with me.
Agatha Christie (1890–1976)

06. Philip Pullman
Philip Pullman is the only man who made it on to my list! Haha! I told many times that I am biased towards female authors; by contrast, I usually give male authors a hard time. Pullman has, however, won me over with his beautiful trilogy. I don't care that there are people who would like to put His Dark Materials on the list of banned books and consider it a work of devil. In my opinion, Pullman's trilogy is a wonderful fairy tale, a YA romance, but what is more it's an appeal for an end to any kind of tyranny. Living currently in a country where priests of the Catholic Church keep telling the people for whom they ought to vote as "good Christians," and where the prime minister believes that he's the Messiah, I can certainly relate to Pullman's story. But, I believe that one of the worst kinds of tyranny is that which adults want to impose over children, and Pullman speaks out loudly against that kind. So, thank you, Mr Pullman for having written this wonderful piece of writing!
Philip Pullman (* 1946)

07. Helen Fielding
I love to laugh. And, Helen Fielding knows the secret of making me laugh. What's interesting that Bridget Jones and I have not much in common except for the fact that we are both thirty-something spinsters. But, my mother is a far cry from her mother, I've never had weight issues (thank God and my good genes), I've never smoked or been drunken, and I've always been tidy and well-organized. Nevertheless, every time I read Bridget Jones's Diary or Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, I laugh so hard that my belly aches. Hence, I was very happy to learn from an article in the Guardian that one of my favourite bookish characters will return this year in a third novel!
Helen Fielding (* 1958)

08. Natasha Solomons
I discovered Natasha Solomons debut novel, Mr Rosenblum's List (aka Mr Rosenblum Dreams in English) by pure chance. I tried to cure a bad mood I was having that time by going into a bookshop. :-D And there it was, a book with a charming cover and a very promising story. Even though I have to disagree with whoever wrote the blurb—I think, Mr Rosenblum's List isn't a comic but a very dramatic novel, Solomons's debut novel clearly charmed me and I became a fan of her immediately. I still have to read her latest book The Novel in the Viola (aka The House at Tyneford) and am looking forward to read her third novel with the very intriguing title The Gallery of Vanished Husbands.
Natasha Solomons (* 1980)

09. Jennifer Weiner
I have to make a confession; I love good chick-lit. Psst..! Please never tell this secret any of my former colleagues at grad school who are all highly serious, overly intellectual, who only read Philip Roth, Ayn Rand, or other distinguished authors, and who would be shocked, if they knew that someone with a PhD in political philosophy reads "low-quality" literature. To tell the truth, I believe that people that never read out of the box have not only less fun but also will never manage to understand people who are different from them. In a word, they will remain in their own "little boxes on the hillside" and be less tolerant. Anyway, I love good chick-lit in general and the two following authors in particular. Although I must confess that I didn't know anything about Jennifer Weiner until I saw the movie In Her Shoes (2005) on TV. But, upon reading the original novel, I became a fan of her, and went on to read more books by Weiner, namely, Good in Bed and Certain Girls. Fortunately, Jennifer Weiner is a very active writer; thus, there are many books by her that I can look forward to.
Jennifer Weiner (* 1970)

10. Emily Giffin
Emily Giffin is another chick lit author who I am a fan of. So far I've only read Something Borrowed and Something Blue, but I loved both stories very much. Even if I have never been in a love triangle (thank God!) and have also never made the experience of getting pregnant by a friend of my fiancé and then breaking up with him. But, I don't believe that we only can enjoy a book, when we can relate to the characters or if we are in a similar situation as the characters are. I have to admit that I liked both Rachel and Darcy, even though it's almost certain that I would behave differently in their situations. Be that as it may, I like Giffin's books and am looking forward to read more.
Emily Giffin (* 1972)

These are thus the authors whose books I'd put on my auto-buy list. Do you agree? Which are your favourite authors? Are there some among those who you would particularly recommend to me?

4 comments:

  1. Lovely TOP10. Christie is divine and I also very much loved Pullmann's trilogy.

    I won't make my own list today, as there is only one author among the living who I could think of to put there (Murakami) and I don't want the list to consist of passed away authors only.

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  2. I really enjoyed reading your reasons for picking the authors on your auto-buy list.

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  3. Emily>Anne for me. I never made it through the Anne books on multiple tries. I find her extremely annoying and I can't take her incessant chattering....and she's not even speaking in real life, just on a page! I get the urge to shake her and shout SHUT UP ALREADY.

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  4. Great list, love the classics that you added!
    Beth @ YA Vixens
    Vixen's Top Ten!

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