Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Top Ten Authors I've Read the Most Of

This week the Broke and the Bookish are asking people who their most-read authors are.

1. Isaac Asimov 

It's been a while since I read the dear doctor here, but after discovering his fiction in 2007 I went a little mad. Now I have an entire bookcase of short stories, essays, and novels by him. Shelfari says I've read fifty-seven titles by him, and I own a few dozen I've not even touched yet.  He's appeared on the blog 63 times.

2. John Grisham

Guilty pleasure here, obviously.  I've read all of Grisham's adult fiction.

3. R.L. Stine

How much Stine have I read? Good lord, who could count? I've read all of Goosebumps, all of Goosebumps Millennium, all of Nightmares on Fear Street, and  far too many Fear Street novels.  It's probably close to a hundred. For the inexplicable few who have never heard of Goosebumps, it was a series of fantasy-horror novels for children, always with twist endings at the end of every chapter and book.

4. Gertrude Chandler Warner

Technically, I suppose I haven't read as much of Warner as I think I did. She only penned the first dozen or so of Boxcar Children novels, after which point the children became something like cartoon strip characters: static figures against a changing background, always solving mysteries.  That went on for 70+ books or so.

5. Beverly Cleary

My first favorite author, who penned the Henry Huggins series. Okay, that's probably better known as the Beezus and Ramona series,but the first book of hers I read was about Henry and his lost dog, Ribsy.

6. Bernard Cornwell

My favorite author of historical fiction, a man who has taken me into the Napoelonic Wars a few dozen times. We've also visited the Viking era extensively.  He's appeared on this blog...44 times, second only to Asimov.

7. Harry Turtledove

I have subjected myself to Turtledove almost forty times, going by Shelfari, which is sad.

8. Jeff Shaara

The only thing this man has written that I haven't read is his last Civil War book, which opens with the burning of Atlanta. Things just go downhill from there, really, and so I stopped. The Shaara style is to take the reader into the mind of the men who lived history; their thoughts are part of the narrative. It works wonderfully, but I didn't want to be in Sherman's head.

9. Steven Saylor

Saylor writes detective mysteries set in the Roman Republic,  and has created a couple of epic novels I rather enjoyed.

10. K.A. Applegate

I didn't quite finish the Animorphs series, but I think I made it about 50+ books. They were published around the millennium, and were about six kids fighting an alien conspiracy by morphing into animals.  It sound kiddy, but the series grew dark as the tweens came of age as hardened warriors.


Honorable Mentions
Wendell Berry, whose entire bibliography I aim to read.
Lemony Snicket...counting the entire Series of Unfortunate Events.
 Spangenburg and Moser, the authors of a series of scientific history books
Frances and Joseph Gies, medieval historians who specialize in social history
Will  and Ariel Durant, of the Story of Civilization series.


  1. I'd definitely have Asimov, Turtledove and Cornwell in my list of most read authors.... but who else...? [muses]

  2. If I limited this to authors I've read as an adult, Carl Sagan would have registered as well. Have you read much of his work?

  3. I've only read one Sagan. It was: The Dragons of Eden – Speculations on the Evolution of Intelligence. I thought it was very good. I've been meaning to pick up others of his but haven't managed it yet. What's your best recommendation?

  4. The two Sagan works I remember most fondly are "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors", which convinced me about evolution, and "The Demon-Haunted World", which boosted my enthusiasm for the skeptical movement. Most of my Sagan reading predates the blog (2005, 2006), so I can't link to much. There's Contact, of course, but it's different!

    Pale BLue Dot was probably more mesmerizing than those two, but I remember them better because they were my first exposure. Such a shame that he died early.

  5. Great list! The historical novels of Shaara and Saylor sound interesting but I have not read them. I have read some Asimov, like you some time ago, and Beverly Cleary. Also some Sagan which you noted in the comments. It looks like a fun exercise so I will have to publish my own list.


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