Monday, July 29, 2013

My Ten Favorite Authors

I love to read.  Reading is pure bliss for me.  I spend my day getting stuff done so I can go lay in my hammock and read or my bed or the beach, or just about anywhere.  I have always read authors.  If I find a book I love, I look for more books by the same author.  Authors all have a style, a voice, a worldview that comes across in their writing...if I like it, I read all of their books.  The authors I love tend to share my interest in emotional analysis, they tend to have the same morals and values and views on politics and religion.  It's not uncommon to find out that they love Bruce Springsteen or each other's novels.  Sometimes I find myself missing the voice of a favorite author, I want to hear her message and so, I read another of her books or search for when her next novel is coming out and make sure to pre-order it!

The authors I tend to go back to over and over are:

1.  Jodi Picoult
 I love how Jodi Picoult shows things from different characters' points of view.  In Nineteen Minutes, she took the readers inside the head of the boy who shot several classmates in a Columbine-type shooting and she made me cry for his mother.  In The Tenth Circle, she brings you inside the world of a girl who becomes trapped by a web of lies and all of those that are affected by her lies.  I have read every single one of her books and they are all awesome.
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2.  Laura Moriarty
I just discovered Laura Moriarty this fall, just before Hurricane Sandy.  So, while the power was out, I read all four of her books.  The Center of Everything is an amazing book about a girl who is exactly my age, it starts when she is 8 and ends when she is in college and she nails what the world was like then.
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3.  Lisa Genova
I just recently discovered this writer, who is a neurosurgeon.  She combines her vast knowledge of the brain with fiction to help readers understand autism, amnesia and left neglect.  I love her voice and that her characters are so real and likable.
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4.  Elizabeth Berg
Simple.  Elizabeth Berg's writing style is so simple and sometimes I just crave that.  She has a simple way of looking at things and she touches on so many women's issues.  I just want to hang out with her because I am sure she would reassure me that everything is going to be okay and sometimes, when I need that, I read one of her books.  Talk Before Sleep, which I read back in the late-nineties, about a woman dying of breast cancer and her friends gathering around her, remains one of my favorite books of all time.
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5.  Jennifer Weiner
Jennifer Weiner is light and funny but she delves into complicated issues.  Sometimes I just need her sense of humor.  Jennifer Weiner went to Princeton and she lives in Philly, so she writes about an area that I know, love and live in...I love that familiarity.
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6.  Elin Hilderbrand
Summer would not be summer without Elin Hilderbrand.  All of her books are set on Nantucket.  One glorious summer, I read every single one back to back while at our local swim club.  When I went to Book Expo, Elin Hilderbrand's booth gave out full-size Corona beer.  I was one of the first in line and right up front when she came out, there was a several minute wait between when she came out and when she started signing books and we chatted it up.  She was very down to earth and likable.
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7.  Kristin Hannah
Kristin Hannah takes a whole year to write a book.  Her books are so well researched.  Years ago she wrote romance (I am not such a fan of those).  Then she wrote about women's relationships, that was when I discovered her books and couldn't get enough.  Now she tackles even more emotional topics.  The Magic Hour, about a feral child is one of my favorite books of all time.
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8.  Luanne Rice
I have read every single book.  Even her very first and several articles and short stories that she wrote before she published a novel.  Most of her books take place in the fictional art colony, Black Hall, in Connecticut, on the Long Island Sound.  She has very distinct political views and I find myself feeling very understood when I read her books.  She is also an avid Springsteen fan and I was one of her first followers on Facebook and we have sent personal messages back and forth and even "chatted" on Facebook.  Once, when the girls and I were watching "Beach Girls" on DVD, she and I started chatting on FB and she posted her photos of the real people and places that the movie was based on--that was a pretty amazing experience for me!
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9.  Barbara Delinsky
Like Kristin Hannah, she used to write romance and I am not a big fan of that part of her career.  Coast Road was the first book I read by her and it remains one of my favorite books.  She has a deep, rich style of writing that really allows you to get inside the heads of her characters.
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10.  Marisa de los Santos
Another Philly author, Marisa de los Santos writes about women and family and sacrifice and love.  Her second novel, Belong to Me, actually made me sob, not just cry, but sob out loud in a doctor's office.  She tackles very modern problems for women, such as: is being a mom enough?  should we want to also have a career?  What if we don't want a career, does that make us less of a person?
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