Author Appreciation Week – Why I Love to Read

Author Appreciation Week is being hosted by Heidi R. Kling, the author of the upcoming release, SEA.  I didn’t find out about the event until the middle of the week, and then things were so hectic that I decided to wait until today to get a post up with a big shout out to some of my favorite authors.  Instead of focusing strictly on YA/MG authors, I wanted to spotlight writers who helped turn me into a book geek.  There are many, many more, but these are authors I consistently recommend to my friends.  Or strangers on the street,  while waiting in line at the bank, or even in the waiting room at the doctor’s office.  It’s kind of scary how many people you don’t even know will discuss their favorite  books with you!

Orson Scott CardEnder’s Game and Speaker for the Dead blew me away the summer that I read them.  I have since re-read Ender’s Game, and I enjoyed it just as much.  Speaker for the Dead felt like a much more mature work, with an older, wiser, and very repentant Ender seeking to make amends for his deeds in Ender’s Game.  The entire series is worth a read, but these two books are outstanding. 

Sheri S Tepper – I love Sheri S Tepper.  King’s Blood Four was good, but it is her later works, like A Plague of Angels, Grass, and The Awakeners held me captive from the moment I opened the books.  Everything I have read by her I have loved, and I think it might be time to catch up on her books that I have missed.

Rumiko Takahashi kind of got me started on the whole manga thing.  I was already reading comics, mainly X-Men titles, when Takahashi’s Ranma 1/2 appeared at the comic book store.  It was so fun and so different from the superhero comics, and I immediately had to track down all of the issues that I had missed.  There weren’t many manga titles available back then, but you can rest assured that I sampled most of them.  I owe a great big nod to Rumiko Takahashi for showing me how much fun comics can be.

Octavia ButlerMind of My Mind is another book that I read when I was a teenager that has stayed with me over the years.  It’s another title that was better the second time I read it.  Butler is a brilliant writer whose narrative just sucks you into her stories. 

Brenda Hiatt – I will always be grateful to Brenda Hiatt, but not for the reason you’d think.  After reading her book, Taming Tessa, about a woman who trains horses, I mentioned to Dean, once again, how badly I wanted to take riding lessons.  This book ended up changing my life, because Dean looked at me and said, “Honey, your bones aren’t getting any stronger.  If you really want to learn to ride a horse, you need to do it soon.”  The next day, I called and made my very first riding lesson.  Now when I look back at this one book, I realize that I got so much more for my money that I would have ever guessed.  I can ride, I have two horses, and have made so many wonderful friends, and it’s all because of Brenda Hiatt.  Thank you, Brenda!

Patricia McKillipThe Forgotten Beasts of Eld is another one of the few books that I have read more than once.  It is haunting and beautiful, and it is still one of the best books that I have ever read.  That’s saying a lot, because I read an awful lot of books.  I think that it is about time for another re-read, to see if it has still withstood the test of time.

 George RR Martin – I loved the Sandkings and Dying of the Light, but it is Martin’s sweeping fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, that has captured my imagination.  Moving, shocking, heart-breaking, there are few works that get my heart pounding like this one.  Starting with the first word of A Game of Thrones, I have been hooked.  Now, the wait between volumes is agonizing!

This is a just a small sample of the authors who have entertained me over the years.  I have been reading voraciously since I was a small child, and these are some of the books that I have treasured over the years.  It would be fun to dig through the boxes of books stored in the basement, so see what books I loved when I read them, but have forgotten about as time has ticked forward.  Maybe I will save that for a future project.

Who are some of your favorite authors?  What are some of the books that have made you love to read?