Lists, Reviews

Being thankful: A top ten list

Today I am thankful. I am thankful for the authors and books that inspire me. Books, and the authors who write them, have made me happy and sad and angry and afraid and fulfilled and understood and a little less alone. I am in awe of you.

So in honor of this, I am giving you the top ten contemporary authors I am thankful for (as hosted by The Broke and The Bookish). This in no way reflects their talent (though of course I think they’re talented), it solely reflects the way I feel about their work. I am limiting it to contemporary authors because I don’t know that anyone wants to read about my love for Charlotte Brontë, E. M. Forster, or Jane Austen again (although you’re still stuck with the top four).

  1. John Irving
  2. Richard Russo
  3. Stephen King
  4. Jeffrey Eugenides
  5. Ian McEwan
  6. Cormac McCarthy
  7. George R.R. Martin
  8. Joe R. Lansdale
  9. Donald Ray Pollack
  10. Tie: John Sandford/Elmore Leonard
  11. Honorable mention goes to the readers and commenters of this blog, it goes without saying that I am thankful to each and every one of you who take the time to read and comment.

Although I’ve always fancied myself a feminist (and an extremely liberal one at that), I cannot explain why my top ten lists are dominated by men. It is a mystery, though I have a few guesses. I feel like I should say (and it is true) that there are several contemporary women writers that I admire and enjoy, including, but not limited to: E. Annie Proulx, Margaret Atwood, Judy Blume,  Alice Hoffman,  A.S. Byatt, Isabelle Allende, J. K. Rowling,  etc.

Image: Modern Hepburn

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  • http://www.thebridgeofdeaths.com mariacatalinaegan

    I love, love, love John Irvings books!

    • http://taftandco.wordpress.com Rory O’Connor

      He is amazing, isn’t he? Well, most of the time, everyone has a few duds (I’m thinking of The Fourth Hand).

  • http://barefootmeds.wordpress.com barefoot_med_student

    I wouldn’t be worried about a male-dominated list. I feel that we’ve really stepped beyond gender typing when we can speak and compare honestly without worrying about the genders of our subjects. Great list, by the way :)

    • http://taftandco.wordpress.com Rory O’Connor

      Thanks! I mostly just find it interesting that every single author I identify with (well, their characters anyway) is male. It makes me wonder, as I’ve never done a comparison, if there is a stylistic difference in the way people write…

  • http://asoutherngirlsbookshelf.blogspot.com monica

    Great list! I adore John Irving. Feel free to checkout My TTT

  • http://booksaremyfavouriteandbest.wordpress.com booksaremyfavouriteandbest

    There’s a topic coming up in a few weeks for TTT that is ‘authors that were new to me in 2012’… it might be the first week that our TTT lists don’t include John Irving 😉

    • http://taftandco.wordpress.com Rory O’Connor

      That’ll be a fun one to do, half the time I feel like my top ten lists are repeats. First one on the list that I can think of – Ernest Cline (I loved Ready Player One).

  • http://justcaffeinated.wordpress.com Lianne @ rulethewaves.net

    Ian McEwan also made my list this week, his work is just amazing, I love his prose. Great list!

    Here’s my TTT this week =)

  • http://picturemereading.wordpress.com picturemereading

    Love George R. Martin as well!

  • http://joriesreads.wordpress.com Jorie

    You make a very good point w/ #11. Thanks for the reminder and thanks for visiting Jorie’s Reads!

  • http://inkkreviews.blogspot.com Katie

    stephen King is a great pick! great list! Check out our TTT ~ Katie @ Inkk

  • http://twitter.com/fiktshun rachel clarke (@fiktshun)

    I haven’t read John Irving in ages! I must read something else by him. His stories are quite fascinating. And I love Jeffrey Eugenides though I haven’t read his latest. Where does the time go…

    What a great group of authors you picked for your list this week! It’s awesome there are just so many different writers to be thankful for. :)

  • http://froodianpseudoanalysis.wordpress.com DrFrood

    Judy Blume is da bomb, yo.

    I literally, figuratively and metaphorically can’t believe that Dan Brown hasn’t made your list. Also, 50 Shades of Grey, where is it? Shocking, frankly. I mean yeah, Stephen King fine, and Elmore Leonard, ok, but did either of them come up with anachronistic (and plain stoopid) interpretations of Da Vinci’s Last Supper? No they didn’t. Did Elmore turn Twilight into badly written erotica? No.

    Exactly. You should think about what you’ve done.

    • http://taftandco.wordpress.com Rory O’Connor

      Okay, I’ve reconsidered. Dan Brown gets included for his use of realism.

      On a totally separate note, I think I’ve spent the last two days making those around me nervous. I keep laughing, a bit hysterically, every time I think of Dan Brown as a safe word.

      • http://froodianpseudoanalysis.wordpress.com DrFrood

        Ha! Thanks, glad it was good for you…

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