For me, favorite books, favorite books series, and favorite authors are three very different lists. In this post I’ll be talking about the last of three. My qualifications for favorite authors is that I’ve read a large body (if not all) of their work, and I’m totally here for it.
In no particular order, let’s get into it.
I was going to open this up to say I have read everything she has had published, but checking goodreads, it seems I have fallen behind in the last few years. Well, I still have read every novel she’s ever published, just not all the short stories or graphic novels.
From YA to new adult to adult, from realistic to other world fantasy to magical realism, Rowell’s novels cover a lot of territory. However, no matter what muck -- emotional or magical -- the characters have to trudge through to get their happy endings, they make it in her heartfelt and introspective tales.
Does this man need any introduction? From A Series of Unfortunate Events to All the Wrong Questions to any number of his picture books, I’m a fan. I started reading him as a child when ASOUE was originally being published and continue to keep up with his work, including using some of his picture books like The Dark, which makes a regular appearance in my story times in my librarian career.
His dark and humorous stories, his cheeky turns of phrase, and unique narrative voice will always keep me engaged and entertained.
Sharp Objects? Yes. Gone Girl? Hell yes. Dark Places? Eh, that one was a bit of a misstep for me -- the plot really didn’t come together. The Grownup, though? Here for it.
I’m eagerly awaiting Flynn’s next dark, psychological thriller starring a woman with certainly enough twists to give you the whiplash. She is the queen of this trend.
I just love her. Beautiful prose. Clever prose. Original prose. Great settings and atmosphere in character-centric genre fiction.
Also, following her on social media is a riot. She gives great writing advice, answers questions about her published materials in clever, humorous ways that usually aren’t straight answers but reveal something anyway, and continually teases about her ongoing/upcoming projects.
I’m still working my way through her writing-ography as I got on the fantrain of hers late, but even one of her books isn’t my cup of tea, such as All the Crooked Saints, I can appreciate the craftsmanship of it.
I haven’t read him in a while, but their was a time from 2012-2014 that I picking up all of his titles. Beautiful prose telling beautiful stories about LGBT teens. Not all of his novel’s have been home runs for me. His experimental Every You, Every Me didn’t really land, for example, but Everyday and The Lover’s Dictionary were brilliant.
Levithan has also co-authored a lot of books, which must mean he is easy to work with, but every time I try one of his co-authored titles, I can’t help but want to skip the other author’s section because his are so much more engaging!
Looking at this list and the explanations, there are some unifying factors. One is prose, which I brought up for three of the six. There are also disunifying factors -- Rainbow Rowell and Gillian Flynn couldn’t be writing more different styles and types of stories.
While I didn’t mention “good storytelling” they all are good storytellers, or I wouldn’t be freaking out over them and wanting to read all their books after just reading one. In different genres and for different age groups, they all write strong, interesting, insightful, thematic stories.
Insights from the life of an aspiring, struggling writer; a passionate reader, and a working librarian.
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