Authors I Love, Books I Love

Playing Favorites

I was on a fellow author’s website the other day and under his bio he had a list of his favorites: Favorite color, favorite drink, etc.  I thought that was a good idea.  But I decided to limit mine to favorite books.

Favorite Author:  Tie: James Rollins and JD Robb

Favorite Sci FI Book:  Ender’s Game by Scott Oswald Card

Favorite Action AdventureJurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Favorite Romance:   A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux

Favorite Horror:  Cabinet of Curiosities by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston (not sure it belongs here but that’s what popped into my head)

Favorite Book I was Required to Read:  I’m completely blank on this one.

Favorite Kid Book:  But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton

Favorite Comic Strip:  Calvin and Hobbes

Favorite Kids Series(Read as an Adult):   Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Favorites Kid Series (Read as a Child): The Famous Five by Enid Blyton

Favorite Mind Blowing Book:  The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Favorite Food:  Hamburger (Just seeing if you’re paying attention.)

Favorite Guilty Pleasure Series:  The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyers

Favorite Genre:  Thriller

As I look over my list, I agree with each statement.  Yet, I also realize that not one of the books by my favorite authors can be found in any of the above categories.   But Rollins and Robb are, without a doubt, my favorite authors. Whenever I see their name on a book, I pick it up without question.  Sometimes I don’t even bother reading the description before purchasing it.

So why weren’t my favorite authors responsible for my favorites reads? Because I assume I’m going to enjoy whatever they publish. My favorites, on the other hand, were a unique occurrence. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the book as much as I did.

I’ve read other books by those authors but they don’t grab me the same way. Even though they wrote one of my favorite books, I am not a guaranteed customer for their next publication. I’d read the blurb and decide if it worked for me. So being thrilled by their book was a happy surprise, but not the beginning of a life long love of all the author’s works.

There was some recent research on best sellers that somewhat backs that up. The authors that are the most successful are those with a dedicated readership who publish regularly. And most of them do not dominate the number one spot for weeks and weeks. They do however make the list of the top sellers year after year.

For others, they are a bit of a one hit wonder. By the next year, they are off the list.

Anybody else find their favorites coming from their non-favorite authors? Feel free to comment below.  🙂

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3 thoughts on “Playing Favorites”

  1. What? My books weren’t on your lists? Fine. I won’t bother to comment on this post. 🙂

    I can’t begin to list my favorites in any of these categories. There have been so many great books over the years I wouldn’t know where to begin narrowing them down.

    What I did find illuminating about your list, and what I’m finding in my own reading, is I don’t think any of these books or authors were written by Indie Authors. I’ve read several Indies whose work I enjoyed, but there have been many, I’ll probably not read another of their stories. Because of that, like you with Robb or Rollins, I find myself alternating to my favorite traditional published authors when looking for an engaging read and to learn from their style.

  2. No, I’m the contrary. My favourite books tend to come from my favourite authors. It isn’t a rule, I mean, there are titles I like that aren’t from my favourite authors, but normally the two things match.

    For example, one of my favourite books is “Reservation Blues”, and Sherman Alexis is indeed one of my favourite authors. David Gemmell is one of my favourite authors and I love nearly all of his books, and “Waylander” is one of my favourite books ever.
    But for example, “If He Hollers, Let Him Go” is one of my favourite books, still Chester Himes, who I always enjoy reading anyway, isn’t necessarily one of my favourite authors.

    I understand what you say, but I still find it funny that not even one of your favourite books falls into the work of one of your favourite authors.
    I understand that an author who you don’t particularly fallow may write a book (and just one) that blows you away, but how is it that an author you love and follow doesn’t write one single book that you cherish? Yes, you may expect to like the work of your favourite authors, but if they never produce a book that is among my favourite, I’d hesitate to say this is one of my favourite authors. And consider that – as in the case of Gemmell and Alexis – my favourite authors wrote more than one of my favourite books. I’d say these authors are among my favourite not because I generally like their work, but because they hit the target with me more than once.

  3. Just a quick comment that I love all the books and authors you listed also. Another of my favorites that does not have the same type of fantasy but does have a strong resourceful female character is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. And by the way the author of Ender’s Game is Orson Scott Card…. I have just discovered your books and am happily immersed in the Belial series. Thanks for the great books!

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