Who Are Your Favorite Authors?

Hope everyone is having an amazing holiday weekend!

I’m finally caught up on the books I’ve bought, or close enough to it. I’d appreciate it a whole lot if you could recommend me your absolute favorite books/authors. For what it’s worth, my favorite authors are all people with really specific voices and points of view. My three favorites at the moment are Hubert Selby Jr. (by a lot), Paul Auster and I love me some good ol’ Kurt Vonnegut.

Oh, and also, one of my improv teams is an official selection of the LA Improv Festival! My teammates are all super talented and I would be willing to bet good money that at least one or two of them will be household names in the near future. You can buy tickets here: Spaceman’s Promise





83 thoughts on “Who Are Your Favorite Authors?

    1. bohemianspiritedmom says:

      I agree with the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Jamie—Oooh my, the Scottish highlander that has stolen every woman’s heart who ever read these books

  1. Sheila Morris says:

    Hi…you should read the short stories of Eudora Welty, particularly “How I Came To Live At The P.O.” She was a very funny woman! I love southern writers – maybe because I’m from the south…:) You might enjoy my memoir Deep in the Heart – A Memoir of Love and Longing. Check it out on Amazon. Thanks for following The Red Man’s adventures!

  2. People and Chairs says:

    Love Selby! (Heavy, but amazing.) My all-time faves are ‘Ludes by Ben “Anyone…? Anyone? Bueller?” Stein, anything by Martin Amis, Michael Ian Black or Harlan Ellison, Linchpin by Seth Godin, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels.

  3. paralaxvu says:

    OK, here goes. I hope you like at least a few… Elizabeth Berg, Tom Robbins, Ann Rice, Anne Tyler, Lisa Genova, Barbara Kingsolver, John Gardner. I have a short list of authors of whom I’ve only read one and loved it but haven’t looked further into their writing, but if you want I can give you those too. Good Reading…and thanks for the question…I can’t wait to see who else offers titles I haven’t read!

  4. iampeterstorey says:

    Phillip K. Dick is great, as are the other sci-fi guys, Asimov, Clarke, Niven, Heinlein, etc. I also love Conrad, recently developed a liking for Zola, and am reading and enjoying Wodehouse (jeeves) and Herriot. Hope you dig them.

    1. ashleyjillian says:

      I read the book Bladerunner was based off of, so good. I’ve also been reading deep into the Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow series. I am a big Sci-fi fan, will check out the others 🙂

  5. Zen says:

    I like a diversity of authors, and some I’d recommend include Jostein Gaarder, Terry Pratchett, Sophie Kinsella, Lisa Lutz, Walter Moers, Jasper Forde, Mil Millington…

    Off the top of my head, of course. xD

  6. greercn says:

    RD Blackmore’s Lorna Doone is my favourite ever as it taught me girls can do everything. I love Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and James Lee Burke’s The Tin Roof Blowdown is modern, but is terrific about Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath in New Orleans.

  7. LKD says:

    Another vote for Murakami and Phillip K. Dick Plus Paul Auster (!) Iain Banks and Michael Chabon. Amy Tan, Anne Tyler, Siri Hustvedt, Rebecca Wells, Jonathan Safran Foer. Recent favourites have been The History of Love and The Art of Fielding.

  8. JamieRene says:

    Sigh. I love Vonnegut too. So very much. My other faves are Ray Bradbury, Frank McCourt, Jonathan Safran Foer, Robert A. Heinlein, and Christopher Moore. I think there’s likely a list that’s a dillion times longer, but these are the guys I’ve picked up recently 🙂

  9. Danielle says:

    Off the top of my head, Terry Pratchett does amazing satire, and I love Neil Gaiman…his Sandman series, of course, and his novels and short stories are all brilliant. Harlan Ellison, Osho, Roald Dahl’s children stories (never get too old for that), and the classic horror writers H.P. Lovecraft, and M.R. James…

  10. RedheadCarol says:

    José Saramago has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember. I’ve read his book Blindness both in the original (in Portuguese) and in English, and I have to say I’m pretty sure I’ll read it again some time soon.

  11. tomburkhalter says:

    Among fiction writers it’s hard to name any one favorite author, but Nevil Shute stands out for me. Robert A. Heinlein is also a favorite, as well as John le Carre (I’m a major fan of George Smiley!) and C.S. Lewis. James H. Schmitz is well worth reading. Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, Edward Lord Dunsany, H.P. Lovecraft — all good writers in the fantasy/horror genre.

  12. generationgbooks says:

    What a great question! I might have to do this at my blog- but you, my dear, will get full credit.. 🙂
    Mine are Kurt Vonnegut(totally with you on that), Roberto Bolano, Tom Robbins, A.Lee Martinez, Carlos Ruiz Zafon…so, so many.

  13. Tim Birchard says:

    Haruki Murakami. His latest, 1Q84, was great. His old stuff is awesome. Wind-Up Bird Chronicles is probably (arguably) still regarded as his masterpiece. I love it all, when I’m in the mood for craziness. That, and Hunter S. Thompson. But when it’s time to cut through the B.S., Thich Nhat Hanh (ANY of his) and David R. Hawkins (Reality and Subjectivity) do it for me. But only with Steely Dan. And Fritos.

      1. Clip Snark says:

        That’s OK. 🙂 That’s how I felt when everyone and their brother was raving about how great the movie Slumdog Millionaire was and I thought it was terrible.

      2. ashleyjillian says:

        I am with you on that boat! I think it’s hard to experience any media after it’s been hyped. It makes me much more critical and much more likely to be “meh”

  14. Jeff Whelan says:

    Read any Clive Barker? His “Abarat” series (3 out of 7 book so far) is pretty phenomenal. Love Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy and Patrick Ness’s “Chaos Walking” is another fantastic trilogy. For grins, there’s always just about anything by Tom Robbins or Douglas Adams and T.C. Boyle is always good for a read.

  15. lawman83 says:

    I second Jeff on T.C. Boyle. From “East is East,” which is about a young oriental who jumps off a freighter and swims ashore on the Outer Banks to “Tortilla Curtain,” which is about Mexican illegals, to “The Road to Wellville,” which is about cereal barons in Battle Creek, to “Drop City,” which is about hippies who move to Alaska, no two novels are even remotely similar. Every novel is a fascinating look at unique characters in a time and place that Boyle brings to life in a way that seems well-researched and true to the time when the story takes place. You never know where he will take you, or in what era.

  16. Dan Harris says:

    Ooh. Good question. Sticking to my SF/F wheelhouse, Iain M. Banks: the very best kind of space opera SF. Steven Erikson – his Malazan Book of the Fallen might not just be the best fantasy ever written but the best literature ever written. Seriously. And of course China Mieville. Defies categorisation, so they created a new one just for him – ‘weird fiction’.

    What else. Oh yeah – all the books Stephen King wrote as Richard Bachman. There are some classics in there – The Long Walk is utterly gripping.

  17. scottcarberry says:

    Well I am going to give you a very “scott carberry” answer but for a fun, informative, clever read, that won’t take up too much of your time, I recommend John Waters’ “Shock Value” and “Crackpot: The Obsessions of John Waters”. You are someone who is smart and funny and is immersed in the creative pursuits and I feel that you would feel a closeness to the text. These books aren’t novels. They are a collection of essays that cover a wide range of topics, most involving his movies, muses and inspirations. Before there was a Wes Anderson and Guy Maddin making incredible independent cinema, there was John Waters making movies on borrowed money and stolen film stock and cameras. Before Sarah Vowell and David Sedaris released books of witty and thoughtful essays, there was John Waters doing it while they were still kids. Of course, I can’t wait to read his next book that he is researching right now. It’s about hitchhiking. He just hitchhiked from Baltimore to San Francisco. Maybe he’ll thumb a ride down to LA to see you!

  18. kmj98 says:

    Classic Authors: John Steinbeck, D.H Lawrence
    Current and Living: Danzy Senna (recent short stories), Julian Barnes (loved Arthur and George and latest short stories. Say what you want about my final recommendation, I think he is extraordinarily talented and unfairly maligned, James Frey. Just my opinions and suggestions.

  19. kmj98 says:

    Julian Barnes, Danzy Senna, James Frey (I think he is extraordinarily talented and was unfairly maligned. Bright Shining Morning is a great book.) More classic authors, John Steinbeck and D.H. Lawrence never disappoint.

  20. Typehype says:

    I also like Paul Auster. Read lots of him. I’ve been reading lots of short stories, lately. Latest favorite is David Vann (both short stories and his novel). Also, Nathan Englander’s short stories! Wells Tower short stories (“The Leopard” — wow)! Every so often, I really do enjoy a T.C. Boyle novel (very strong voice) — especially, “The Women” about Frank Lloyd Wright and his relationships — loved it. John Banville, too! What I love about reading is discovering new authors. In the latest issue of Harper’s magazine — there’s a fantastic short story called “Fun Won ” by a writer that’s new to me: Karl Taro Greenfeld.

  21. allthingsboys says:

    Hands down all time fav, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Historical fiction, but HANDS DOWN the best male protagonist ever. The only caveat is, every other guy will fall short. 🙂

  22. thelastsongiheard says:

    Phillip K Dick. If your brain isn’t warped before… it will be after.

    Nothing’s better than reading the science fiction speculations of a paranoid schizophrenic on LSD. Brilliant.


  23. dtlentz85 says:

    My favorite authors are: Stephen King, John Grisham, & Ray Bradbury. My favorite books are: Born to Run, The Shack, Angels & Demons, Ishmael, My Ishmael, and A New Earth.

  24. EllaDee says:

    Great topic. I have Julia Cameron & a Barbara Kingsolver on my to read list… There are so many great authors… I’ll be coming back to this post & comments to check out some of the suggestions. I’m currently reading Russell Banks’ Lost Memory of Skin, and have enjoyed every one of his novels.

  25. freewriter777 says:

    A few of my favorites are (btw my weekend sucked the big fat one) George Orwell, Robert Bloch, Stephen King, and Dennis N. Griffin.

  26. amusingdays says:

    After reading all the comments here, I don’t know if my comment is worth. But I think Amy Tan is a great author too.and The Hundred Secret Senses is my favorite. 🙂

  27. drewpan says:

    I am a big fan of Mike Gayle! He writes like, the male version of chick-lit, so it’s all relationships and growing up and that sorta deal. Very, very funny stuff.

  28. Cultural Caboodle says:

    My all-time favourite is Wuthering Heights. Quite fond of the Bronte sisters. Currents favourites, most of what I’m reading is YA (it is as far away from my thesis Holocaust-related material as I could get without turning to pictures books). I’ve found I quite like them. Maria V. Snyder if you like fantasty. Otherwise, mostly supernatural/fantasy: Kenyon, Moning, Showalter. Peter Carey is excellent for short stories. As is Henry Lawson if you’re into 19th century Australian authors. Diana Gabaldon, Dan Brown. I second the China Mieville recommendation. If you like essay books, Walter Benjamin’s Illuminations is interesting.

  29. actionfiguretrish says:

    Katherine Dunn (Geek Love) – i can’t say enough about the perspective she writes from in that book. it takes my breath away just to think of the narrator…the “too normal” albino midget child in a family of “real” circus freaks. poignant as hell. nothing else like it. i also second the richard brautigan recommendation.

  30. Curmudgeon-at-Large says:

    I could lie and give you a list of classics – Dickens, Melville, Hemmingway, Joseph Heller or Vonnegut – but if I were stuck on a desert island with a set of books to read and re-read, I would probably choose Kingsley Amis (Lucky Jim), John Mortimore (Rumpole of the Bailey) and Jean Shepherd (In God We Trust; All Others Pay Cash).

  31. evea192 says:

    As i am from South-Africa, my favorite author is Wilbur Smith.Wilbur Addison Smith (born 9 January 1933 in Broken Hill, Northern Rhodesia, now Kabwe, Zambia) is a best-selling novelist. His writings include 16th and 17th century tales about the founding of the southern territories of Africa and the subsequent adventures and international intrigues relevant to these settlements. His books often fall into one of three series. These works of fiction draw on history and help to explain the rise and historical influence of the Dutch and English whites in southern Africa that eventually claimed this diamond and gold rich and disputed territory as home.

  32. semiblind says:

    Edward P. Jones, The Known World

    I absolutely love this book. All-time great, winner of the 2004 Pulitzer.

  33. rayworth1973 says:

    My favorites are nothing deep or esoteric, so I’m sorry if I disappoint. What the hell, here is the latest list. Clive Cussler, James Rollins, Preston & Child, Bentley Little, Scott Nicholson, Carol Davis Luce, Lester Dent (Kenneth Robeson), Franklin W. Dixon, Carolyn Keene, Andre Norton, Dean Koontz (when he writes third person), Edgar Rice Burrows, Jules Verne, Elizabeth Forrest, Andy McDermott, J.A. Jance, Scott Sigler… the list goes on.

  34. F. Kenneth Taylor says:

    1. Sister Souljah: author of “The Coldest Winter Ever” & “Midnight”
    2. Keith Lee Johnson: author of “Pretenses” & many more
    3. Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins: authors of “Left Behind” Series

  35. wordofexcellence says:

    Glad to see someone else loves Richard Brautigan (the book is “IN Watermelon Sugar”); his stuff was amazing – colorful, meandering here and there. How about Norman Mailer, Joseph Heller, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult is one I’m getting to like…lots of authors from years past to the present…Toni Morrison….much to think about!

  36. rodalena says:

    This list will read like a mental illness, but, eh, here goes:
    Steinbeck, Shakespeare, Stephen King, King David, P.G. Wodehouse, Harper Lee, Ayn Rand, Jonathan Safran Foer, Mark Helprin, Larry McMurtry, and Bill Waterson (I consider “Calvin and Hobbes” literature. My definition is rather…fluid…)

  37. mosesjackson1976 says:

    1. Walter Mosley
    2. Malcolm Gladwell
    3. Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution by Terence McKenna.
    4. The Family by Mario Puzo.
    5. Alan Moore
    6. Grant Morrison

  38. Matthew Wright says:

    Heinlein. Tolkien. Kerouac. Clarke.

    Plus, often, whoever I’m reading just now. I always take pleasure – as a writer myself – in simply enjoying the poetry of others’ words as a pastime. The problem, as always, is finding enough time to do it.

  39. EM Vireo says:

    i agree on Murakami, but thought Wind up bird chronicle was way better than anything else. Also, JG Ballard, Luke Rhinehart (the diceman), Tim O’Brien, and I always go back to Hesse

  40. Mudface says:

    For one, I LOVE Improv! I’m in an Improv team too! Exciting! Two, Augusten Buroughs is in incredible author. I’d recommend A Wolf At The Table. Also, a book called, “The Alchemist” or “Aleph” by Paulo Coelho are equally awesome.

  41. Nathaniel Gage says:

    I realize this post is a ways in the past now, but if I can put in another vote for Michael Chabon (Summerland or The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay), that’s enough for me. I read the latter last semester and did not waste a minute of my time. William Gibson (Neuromancer specifically) is also worthy, as are Philip Pullman (the His Dark Materials Trilogy) and Garth Nix (the Abhorsen Trilogy).

    You’ve probably been overloaded with suggestions already, but I have an enduring love for all the books I’ve listed, and can’t recommend them highly enough. Hope you’re enjoying reading!

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