Reading list: my ten favourite authors

Jennifer

Faculty: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
School: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Course: BA (Hons) Writing and English Literature
Category: Art and design

26 July 2019

As a Writing and English Literature student, books are definitely my thing. But which are my favourites? Here's my rundown.

I must say, my list cannot possibly reflect the order in which I love these writers, as this changes with each new moon. Some days one author is my undisputed favourite, some days it is another, some days it is three at once. There is no in between!

George R R Martin

A Song of Ice and Fire (the series that Game of Thrones is based on) – I cannot begin to describe how much I love these books. I’ll try and come back to it in a later blog and see if I can then. I need time to make notes and gather my thoughts. Let’s just say I have my own blog series where I complain about how the TV show has failed in comparison. It's called Game of Moans.

Stephen King

This man can write. I have read Misery too many times to count. That’s not even planned readings – I might just be re-arranging my bookcase and I’ll pick it up and glance at a random page and no more cleaning, we are reading for the rest of the day.

Anne Rice

I know a lot of people whose teenage romance obsession wasn’t Twilight, it was Anne Rice. I don’t think I can come up with another writer who has managed to capture the voice of a character that is so distinct, so immersive that his true form cannot be captured in any way other than in a book. Respect to Tom Cruise, he did a fantastic job playing Lestat DeLioncourt on film, but the books are on a whole other level.

Tracey Chevalier

Of Girl with a Pearl Earring fame, Chevalier’s focus is historical fiction that dramatises unknown aspects of the lives of famous characters from the creative arts. Vermeer and William Blake, to name a few. Her most recent is New Boy, a reimagining of Othello as a 1970s playground drama, which I read in about an hour as I couldn’t put it down.

Philip Pullman

I remember seeing the film The Golden Compass when it first came out and thought it was a great idea for a film. Then I read the books a few years later and was disgusted at the film industry. The His Dark Materials series did something that only one other book has made me do – I nearly cried. Such a powerful build of emotion that other writers can only dream of. Some of the passages read like a Greek myth. Others read like poetry. And Pullman wrote it all in his garden shed. Show off.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This woman has the unusual talent of being able to put bizarre, intensely emotional, almost spiritual feelings into words. I first came across her work at age 15 when our class read Purple Hibiscus. I was the only one who read the whole book and to this day I feel pity for my classmates who couldn’t be bothered to introduce themselves to her wonderful work.

Roald Dahl

OK, who doesn’t love this guy? His books are some of the most imaginative, inspiring stories you can read as a child. And they are funny, seriously funny. I can’t be the only one who wishes that they had adapted Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator into a film, just so Gene Wilder could play Willy Wonka again.

Helen Fielding

Author of the Bridget Jones series. I am always surprised when people say they have seen the film but not read the books – genuinely surprised, as the books were a part of metropolitan culture long before the film was.

Truman Capote

Here’s an author that I’ve also actually studied! I’ve read a selection of his works: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, In Cold Blood, his short stories. Unfortunately this guy was the one who convinced me that long, winding sentences of intellectual description are the best way when sometimes, that simply isn’t true. It probably was during Capote’s lifetime but when you’ve highlighted 80% of Stephen King’s On Writing for help in your own writing, as I have, it leaves you feeling a bit disillusioned. But that doesn’t stop my enjoyment of Capote’s work.

Jacqueline Wilson

Who didn’t read every book of Jacqueline's in primary school? Even a few months ago, when I found she’s written a new book about Tracy Beaker being a mum, I went and bought it. There’s something about the way she captures her characters' voices that I find unmatched even in a lot of adult books.

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