My Top 10 Authors: Jane Austen

Who doesn’t adore Jane Austen? Probably several people, but none that I speak to (YAY for an acceptable group of friends!) There isn’t much that I can say that readers don’t already know. Her writing is lovely, and Pride and Prejudice will always have a special place in my heart. 

AUTHOR: Jane Austen 
BORN: December 16, 1775 in Hampshire, England (d. July 17, 1817)
GENRE: Romance, Classics
KNOWN FOR: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, and Emma

Austen continues to be among the most widely read authors, and lets hope she stays that way. She possessed a unique ability to charm her readers and transport them to British countryside, and has continued to do so centuries later. Also, three cheers to this lovely lady for creating dear Mr. Darcy *swoon* 

My Top 10 Authors: Aeschylus

I feel the need to share at least one ancient author and as I adore The Oresteia, and most people only think of Homer, Aeschylus was an easy choice. Also, I’m partial to the Greeks over the Romans. 

AUTHOR: Aeschylus 
BORN: C. 527 BCE in Eleusis (died c. 456 BCE)
GENRE: Greek Tragedian 
KNOWN FOR: The Persians, The Oresteia, Prometheus Bound (authorship is disputed for the later)

Aeschylus was the earliest of the Greek tragedians whose work still survives and is read today (the other two that are best known are Sophocles and Euripides). Some have even labelled him as the Father of Tragedy. As far as I know, this is true but it is impossible to know for sure. 

Since he lived so long ago it is difficult to determine fact from fiction in terms of his life, but we do know that he was a playwright and a soldier during the Persian wars. In fact, he was celebrated for his participation in the battle of Marathon (Nerd alert over here! Sorry guys). 

I won’t get into an extensive biography, although trust me I could, but I will tell you that his work is certainly worth a read and I practically demand that you do. We owe a lot to the ancient Greek playwrights and you would be surprised just how monumental they have been to the medium through the ages. 

My Top 10 Authors: Jean Auel

I have a strange urge to share my favourite authors with you all and so here they come in no particular order. Trust me, there are MANY others, but here are the few that I read over and over. 

Author: Jean Auel 
Born: February 18, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois 
Spouse: Ray Bernard Auel (5 children)
Genre: Pre-Historical Fiction 
Known For: Earth’s Children Series 

Now this fine lady was my idol growing up - I’ve read her books every summer for years and I can nearly recite them to you by now. Except for the last one. I STILL can’t bring myself to read it, I know I’ll just get depressed when I finish it. Her research is phenomenal, as I’ve said in previous posts, and I’ve been hard pressed to find it matched by another author. 

How many authors will take a survival course, learn how to build an ice cave, study primitive flint knapping, tanning, and fire making techniques and travel across Europe to study the sites they are writing about? I’m sure many would like to, but Auel has set the bar for research and even anthropologists are impressed by her. 

Oh, she’s an amazing writer. Her characters are believable and admirable, you will fall in love immediately. 

My Top 10 Authors: Suzanne Collins

Although I have only read her Hunger Games trilogy I still love this woman’s work. I’m on a mission to read The Underland Chronicles at some point, but I’m sure they will live up to my expectations. 

AUTHOR: Suzanne Collins
BORN: August 10, 1962 in Hartford, Connecticut 
SPOUSE: Charles Pryor 
GENRE: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Children’s Literature 
KNOWN FOR: The Hunger Games Trilogy, and The Underland Chronicles

Collins has had quite an impressive career thus far and I’m sure she will continue to make headlines in the years to come. I read somewhere that she has some of the most highlighted passages on Kindle and Amazon, and did you know she began her career as writer for children’s television shows? A little bit of a shocker for me after reading about battles to the death being broadcasted live. 

Although I haven’t known of her work for all that long I still adore her and am so happy she exists. Thank you Collins for your lovely words and for bringing to the world a heroine we can be proud of. 

My Top 10 Authors: George R.R. Martin

Here is a prime example of a love/hate relationship between a reader and  an author. How can you love someone so much that has upset you so deeply again and again? Meet George R.R Martin. 

AUTHOR: George R.R. Martin
BORN: September 20, 1948 in Bayonne, New Jersey
SPOUSE: Parris McBride
GENRE: Science fiction, fantasy, horror
KNOWN FOR: A Song of Ice and Fire series

As most of my followers already know I adore this man’s writing. I find him absolutely brilliant, if not rather sadistic, and he has a great knack for making his readers oblivious to their own lifes and completely obsorbed in his world instead. I highly recommend reading his A Song of Ice and Fire series, especially if you have no problem being drowned in feels. 

Martin has also written a children’s novel and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that. Does he kill off every character you learn to love in that book as well? If anyone else has read it please let me know. 

I never knew that George R.R. Martin also had a successful career in television before writing his best selling series, but to be honest I’m not surprised. I’d probably believe any outlandish claim about him. Now if only we could fastforward to the release of the next novel and all would be well. But at the same time, no rush Mr. Martin. I want an acceptable followup to A Dance with Dragons.a

My Top 10 Authors: C.S. Lewis

I should probably get around to reading his other works, such as The Screwtape Letters or his Space trilogy, but I shall base this on the Chronicles of Narnia alone because had he never written anything else I would still adore him. 

AUTHOR: C.S. Lewis
BORN: November 29, 1898 in Belfast, Ireland (d. November 22, 1963)
SPOUSE: Joy Davidman
GENRE: Children’s Literature, Fantasy, and Christian Apologetics
KNOWN FOR: The Chronicles of Narnia, Mere Christianity, The Space Trilogy

Lets just focus on the fact that he was close friends with J.R.R. Tolkien for a moment. Apparently Tolkien and his other friends held a lot of sway in his return to faith/Anglican Communion which in turn impacted his writing. So, I guess we should be thanking Tolkien & Co. for influencing such great works! 

Also, this may just be the nerdy scholar in me but Lewis worked for both Oxford and Cambridge - that, my friends, is pretty damn impressive. Finally, I never made the connection but C.S. Lewis passed away on the same day that J.F. Kennedy was assassinated. Tragic coincidence there, but if you want to hear tragic look up his wife, Joy Davidman, and their short time together. 

Overall, I have grown up with the Chronicles of Narnia and have read them again as an adult. They never get old, and they continue to make me teary eyed at the end. His works truly live up to his own words, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”

My Top 10 Authors: J.R.R. Tolkien

No list is complete without a reference to Tolkien, I simply couldn’t resist. 

AUTHOR: J.R.R. Tolkien
BORN: January 3, 1892 in Bloemfontein (D. September 2, 1973)
SPOUSE: Edith Bratt
KNOWN FOR: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings

This man’s fame says enough about him, and his skill, that my work is basically already done; However, I will give my schpeel just the same (: A professor at Oxford, fought in WWI suffering from trench foot and trench fever, worked for the Oxford English Dictionary (call me a nerd, but I find that amazing), and eventually came to hate his popularity. Well Tolkien, I’m sorry. But I love your work so you’ll just have to make your peace with that. 

My Top 10 Authors: Charlaine Harris

HBO really knows how to pick ‘em. I love this woman’s writing, it’s quick, witty and highly entertaining. The Southern Vampire Mysteries are definitely the sort of books that you can read in a day so it’s a good thing there are so many of them. I don’t know what I’m going to do when the final book comes out. Probably cry. 

AUTHOR: Charlaine Harris 
BORN: November 25, 1951
GENRE: Mystery Fiction, Fantasy 
sPOUSE: Hal Schultz (Three Children)
KNOWN FOR: The Sookie Stackhouse Series/The Southern Vampire Mysteries

I have yet to read any of her other books, unless you count her short stories based on Sookie Stackhouse as well, but hopefully I will get to them eventually. Actually, her latest series (The Harper Connelly Mysteries) may be made into a television series as well so she must be doing something right. 

Complete side note but I never knew this about her, apparently she used to be a weight lifter and into karate. Bad ass? I think so.