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Old 07-10-2019, 04:57 PM   #1
Rellwood
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Regarding a favorite author

I was going through my Goodreads shelves today and I noticed the "add to favorite authors" option under the author follow button. So I go through my library (almost 5000 books, over 1500 read) and and try and find authors to add to this list. It isn't too hard since I have a shelf already dedicated to my favorite authors.

This is when I realize that there are a lot of authors who are my "favorite" but only because they have written or currently writing a series that I follow. I haven't read any of their other books (although I intend to) but it is only because of these specific series that I chose them to be a favorite author.

My question for discussion is...

What are the attributes that an author should/would have that would qualify them for "favorite author", and do you have to read more than one of their series or books to consider them a favorite?

I seem to have mixed up a favorite book, or a favorite series with a favorite author.

To me, a favorite author is one where if you see that they published a new book, you immediately get it and read it. I have authors who always publish on Kindle Unlimited, but I will buy the book instead of borrowing it.

There are a list of authors I stalk on Amazon or Goodreads in hopes of a new book to a favorite series or just a new book. There are pre-order no questions asked and authors and "mark the calendar because their Christmas Novella drops" authors.

There are authors whom I contemplate sending Christmas cards to because their books were just that good.

So, should I add the authors whom I have only liked a few books or a single series out of a larger collection?
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:20 PM   #2
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For me, there are authors who I would always consider reading. For example, Anne Tyler. I don’t always like her books, and have yet to get through A Spool of Blue Thread. But she is a favorite author of mine.

On the same note, I don’t care at all for GoodReads. I find the site confusing and visually cluttered. I rarely go there. I do follow some authors on Amazon.

Just because an author was a favorite in the past doesn’t mean I will always feel that way. Years ago I liked Dean Koontz and Robin Cook. Now I can’t stomach the books I liked as a teen or youngish adult.
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Deskisamess View Post

Just because an author was a favorite in the past doesn’t mean I will always feel that way. Years ago I liked Dean Koontz and Robin Cook. Now I can’t stomach the books I liked as a teen or youngish adult.
I laugh because you are right about the liking of authors in the past, because Dean Koontz and Robin Cook were considered favorites back in my early 20's.

Hell, I still have all of their books and think I will re-read them, but haven't gotten around to it.

I am reading the Odd Thomas series though, I started it when it first came out and put it down, but need to finish the last three.
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:43 PM   #4
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I think of a favorite author as one who, a decade or more after reading his/her books I still think about them and have plans to re-read them.

Just because I'm enjoying someone's book today doesn't mean I'll remember it in the future.

I've been re-reading Grace Metalious' books since the 1950s. The same for Pearl S. Buck's books and Nevil Shute's books. And a few others. Those are favorites.

When I was younger I really enjoyed reading books by Richard S. Prather and I re-read one a couple of years ago after not reading one for decades. It wasn't bad but I probably won't read any more of them.

I guess to me, favorite means more than that I'm currently enjoying their books.

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Old 07-10-2019, 05:48 PM   #5
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Just because an author was a favorite in the past doesn’t mean I will always feel that way. Years ago I liked Dean Koontz and Robin Cook. Now I can’t stomach the books I liked as a teen or youngish adult.
Your tastes always change and often your favorite author, just like your favorite music group goes down avenues that you hate.

For me, a favorite author is simply one whose books I enjoy. In some cases, the author might write stuff you don't like but you do like it under a particular pseudonym such as J D Robb (detective crime) vs. real name Nora Roberts (romance).

As to checking stuff off on Goodreads, naw, my account gets full of too much junk. I use Fantastic Fiction to check off books I'm actively reading in a series or authors whose books I wish to be notified about (since the demise of FictFact). Otherwise, I don't really need to track. I participate with a couple of reading groups, but I also have a spreadsheet for tracking for the day that I get fed up with the advertising on Goodreads.

Also, it's funny. I didn't read Koontz or Cook until about 5 years ago and now read all their stuff.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:03 AM   #6
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For me, a favored author is someone who I like most of their stuff. Most authors will eventually put out a clunker. Authors change and my reading taste change. Many successful authors tend to have a 10 to 20 year run when they are most productive, then they slow down a lot.

Basically, there are some authors where I like everything they write. I can't think of a single Pournelle book I didn't like. That's a pretty small group. Other authors, I like most of the books they write, but not all. David Eddings and David Gemmell fall into this category for me. Still other authors, I like some books they write, but not most.

I tend to buy favored authors via pre-order. Once an author puts out a few clunkers, they drop down to wait and see if it's any good before buying it. At any one time, there are likely only 10 or 15 active authors who I buy via pre-order.
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:38 AM   #7
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...I don’t care at all for GoodReads. I find the site confusing and visually cluttered. I rarely go there.
I agree.

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Originally Posted by Rellwood View Post
What are the attributes that an author should/would have that would qualify them for "favorite author"
For me, a favorite author has to write multiple books that I really enjoyed. Enough that their name is a bigger attraction than the synopsis of the book.

Of the top of my head, my favorites would include John Steinbeck, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Raymond Chandler, Amy Tan, John Irving, Stephen King and Peter Straub.

I didn't enjoy every book these authors wrote, but I'm happy to read their work.

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and do you have to read more than one of their series or books to consider them a favorite?
Yes. Probably my favorite book is The Hobbit, because I read it as a kid and then several times later on, getting something different out of it on different reads. But Tolkien is not a favorite author. I'm not a big fan of Lord of the Rings and have no interest in his other work.

Similarly, I enjoyed C.S. Lewis' Narnia books, but have no interest in exploring him further.
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:32 PM   #8
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There is one author of whom I have read only one book, such is the impact Testament of Youth had on me. The author is Vera Brittain and she remains a favourite writer.

Many of my erstwhile favourite authors have fallen by the wayside. E.g David Baldacci, Stephen King, Anne Perry and maybe Jim Butcher.

In some ways I no longer have a favourite author and it makes me sad.
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:01 PM   #9
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My favorite author tends to be the one I'm reading at the time. Now I'm reading some Elmore Leonard.
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:52 PM   #10
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My favorite author tends to be the one I'm reading at the time.
Does that make every book a five star book?
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:22 PM   #11
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Does that make every book a five star book?
No, since it's only a tendency.-)
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:21 PM   #12
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Favorite author: re-readable over and over. Book after book.
One or two won't do, no matter how good. More is better.
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:02 AM   #13
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It would have to be authors I enjoy more than one book by and am a general fan of. I've had authors marked as favorites with long-running series I've enjoyed, but then didn't end up enjoying their other work as much that came later....it gets somewhat awkward.
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Old 07-17-2019, 03:43 PM   #14
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Favorite author: re-readable over and over. Book after book.
One or two won't do, no matter how good. More is better.
Likewise. I have had a lot of authors for whom I hung out for their latest (eg Stephen King and Dean Koontz) but I have never re-read any of theirs. On the other hand, I have read (I think) everything Ben Bova has written (not those he collaborated on) and re-read most. And I will do it again, because every time I read, I get more out of the books. The same may well apply to James S.A. Corey (who is actually two authors collaborating on The Expanse series) ... I'm finding the books illuminating in a way the TV series is not. That is entertainment. The books give one much to contemplate. I'm only on my first read through the series (halfway through book 8, and 9 has not even been released yet). Bova is definitely a favourite. So is Stephen Baxter. Can you tell I like SciFi? and alternate history?
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Old Yesterday, 11:27 AM   #15
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Likewise. I have had a lot of authors for whom I hung out for their latest (eg Stephen King and Dean Koontz) but I have never re-read any of theirs. On the other hand, I have read (I think) everything Ben Bova has written (not those he collaborated on) and re-read most.
How funny. I've re-read Stephen King, but not Ben Bova.

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Bova is definitely a favourite. So is Stephen Baxter.
I love Stephen Baxter. To me, he is Arthur C. Clarke junior. I loved their collaboration, The Light of Other Days and have recommended it to others.
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