I devoted my first Thursday Thirteen post to my favorite female authors, so I thought that it was about time I did the same (better, actually) for my favorite male authors. This time, I hope to convey why I enjoy their books. Here they are, in no order whatsoever:
1. Neil Gaiman: My introduction to his work was from a man I'd been dating. He had boxes of Vertigo comics in his office, and he encouraged me to read them when I'd come over. The Sandman series and Stardust were my favorites of what I'd perused, and I slowly found more titles to get excited about long after I'd broken it off with Parks and Wildlife Guy.
Works read: Books of Magic, Sandman vols. 1&2, Death: High Cost of Living and The Time of Your Life, Good Omens, Coraline, Stardust, Wolves in the Walls, and American Gods.
Titles on Mt. TBR: Neverwhere (for the Seconds Challenge), Fragile Things (R.I.P. Peril the Third), Anansi Boys, Sandman vols. 3-10.
I check in with Neil's online journal every 4-5 days or so, he's fun to keep up with, and his daughter Maddy has made a few guestblogger appearances. What a dad!
2. Terry Pratchett: Now, it may seem foolish to put someone in my top 13 on the basis of having read only one book. Which, technically, is more like half a book. And for all I know, Neil was the one writing the comical bits of Good Omens. But, I have heard very good things about his Discworld series from other readers who I trust, and I've been slowly acquiring the necessary books. Mr. Pratchett claims that readers can start anywhere in his world, but I'm one of those "begin at the beginning" sorts. I managed to find a reading order guide that gives me a nice visual map to follow. Honestly, I will probably not get to start until well into next year. I intend to follow through with the Series Challenge and catch up at least 10 before I start this or any other.
3. Stephen King: I don't know who, of the girls at my high school, started reading King's books when I did. They are probably the ones I wish I'd found then, and might still have as friends now. He was one of the first authors I'd found intriguing the summer I'd self-transitioned from the children's room to the adult fiction room which shared the bottom floor of our town's Carnegie library. My first was either Christine or Salem's Lot. Firestarter and the Shining were read next, then I took a long break, starting back up with Carrie over 10 years ago.
Others Read: Bag of Bones, Cell, Dolores Claiborne, Dreamcatcher, From a Buick 8, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Rose Madder, The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer.
On Mt. TBR: Danse Macabre (for the R.I.P. Challenge), On Writing (for the Awards Challenge), Needful Things, Different Seasons, Everything's Eventual, Eyes of the Dragon, Four Past Midnight, The Green Mile, The Stand, Hearts in Atlantis, Nightmares and Dreamscapes.
4. Tim Cockey: I don't read very many male mystery authors, but after I'd heard about his undertaker protagonist Hitchcock Sewell, I devoured his first book The Hearse You Came in On, and proceeded to acquire the next few in the series (of 5 total). I just might have a chance at finishing this series within 6 months time (for the upcoming challenge).
5. Jeff Abbott: This author has two different series and two stand-alone novels under his belt. I've read three out of four of his first (with protagonist Jordan Poteet--a small-town librarian). I hesitate to classify his first outings as "cozies," but the Poteet mysteries are definitely on the lighter end of the spectrum. The last book that will finish the series for me is Distant Blood.
6. Fred Saberhagen:I reviewed one of his books recently, so I'd like to direct the reader's attention there for my opinion of Saberhagen, who passed in June of this year.
7. Dennis Lehane: I stumbled upon his Kenzie/Gennaro series during a really slow day at the library. I was packing up discards for the annual used-book sale and started reading Gone, Baby, Gone. When I found out that it was the 4th of 5 in the series, I put it down and added Lehane to my list of TBR authors. I also have Mystic River on Mt. TBR. His latest offering is a short story collection; it will be be on the shelves within the week.
8. Gregory Maguire: Wicked was a surprisingly good read; I really like how he'd turned the Oz world onto its head and spun it around. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister was OK, but left me confused at times (it could be that the house move I was wrestling with occupied too many brain cells). I have two different versions of Mirror, Mirror (audio and trade paperback), neither of which I've cracked yet, and I've also a copy of Lost (Maguire's retelling of Dickens' Christmas Carol) that is gathering dust. Maybe I will read that one for my Christmas Challenge. I did manage to listen to Son of a Witch fairly soon after its release; it didn't disappoint.
9. Tom Robbins: I borrowed Even Cowgirls Get the Blues from my local library and listened to it during my "commute" to various tutoring gigs I had back in California. Another Roadside Attraction and Jitterbug Perfume have been on Mt. TBR for a while. I really want to read them, but haven't yet been able to fabricate a good excuse.
10. Wil Wheaton: Yes, that Wil Wheaton. Didn't know he's an author? He certainly is, and I'm not talking about his blog or his column at Suicide Girls. My husband and I got the chance to meet Wil at a combination Stand By Me showing/Just a Geek booksigning at the Alamo Drafthouse a few years back, and I just got around to reading it a few months ago. Wheaton tells a fine tale, and gives his fans and readers (not completely mutually exclusive) a real sense of how he grew up while also being an actor and what his life is like now as a writer, geek, father, and actor. When I get less out-of-pocket (half a pocket?), I plan to buy a copy of Dancing Barefoot (his first book) and a copy of his latest, The Happiest Days of Our Lives (to be offered any day now).
11. Dan Simmons: A longstanding and prolific writer, Simmons has produced award-winning short stories and novels in several genres (science fiction, horror, mystery). I'm currently reading Lovedeath for the Short Story Sunday Peril of the R.I.P. Challenge, and I have A Winter Haunting on Mt. TBR. My introduction to Simmons was Children of the Night, which was both scientifically intriguing and sufficiently creepy for my tastes.
12. Spaulding Gray: I took a "drama for non-actors" course during my senior year of college, and one of the assigned movies was "Swimming to Cambodia." I've picked up a few other titles since then, and might be able to read one for the In Their Shoes Challenge.
13. Lemony Snicket: His is a 13-book series, and I actually saw the movie (A Series of Unfortunate Events) before I started listening to any of the installments. I'm currently up to #8, Hostile Hospital, and hope to get a good start on it this weekend while I'm traveling to one friend's wedding and another's birthday party. See my review of Vile Village here.
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