This week, The Broke & the Bookish’s top ten prompt is favorite authors in whatever genre we so choose. Sometimes I feel like I recycle a lot of the same books/authors on these lists, so I’m going for classic writers so I can switch things up!
1. L.M. Montgomery. You guys, Anne Shirley is the reason I love reading. That series has a permanent position on my short list of all time favorites, and if you haven’t read them yet, I am failing you as a book pusher. You think you can call yourself a YA reader before you’ve had a crush on Gilbert Blythe? I THINK NOT.
2. Aphra Behn. Thank you, college literature survey course. You were good for something! After reading Oroonoko, I chose this author to write about for my research paper. It remains one of my absolute favorite projects. This lady was seriously awesome. Not only was she one of the absolute first women to learn a living as an author…she was a SPY YOU GUYS.
3. Charles Dickens. Admittedly, I need to read more of his books before I can talk about him with any sense of authority whatsoever. But what I have read from him so far definitely impresses me. (I’m actually reading David Copperfield right now.) He is such a genius with social critiques and his characterization – in my opinion – is fabulous. Apparently he isn’t exactly of sterling character, but hey…not like he still gets royalty checks if you decide to buy his books.
4. Elizabeth Gaskell. I rave about this lady all the time, her book North & South is absolutely fabulous, BBC miniseries aside. It is one of my favorite books of any genre. Everything else I’ve read by her is also pretty great, and I own several more to read. I should definitely fit one in soon!
5. Wilkie Collins. An underrated dude if there ever was one. He and Charles Dickens were best buds, and he is constantly overlooked. Total bummer, because his two most famous works – The Moonstone and The Woman in White – remain two of the best classics I’ve ever read. His books are considered one of the precursors to the modern mystery/detective novels we know and love.
6. Alexander Dumas. I haven’t read a whole lot of his stuff yet, but believe me: I WILL. I read the unabridged Count of Monte Cristo for the first time this year, and it was a fantastic experience. I have The Black Count, a non-fictional biography of his father (who apparently several of his characters are based on) sitting on my soon-to-be-read pile.
7. The unknown author of Silence: A Thirteenth Century French Romance. Okay so, I feel a little silly including this one on the list since I don’t even have a name. But seriously, this book rocked my world. I absolutely love stories where women pretend to be men (Lioness Quartet / All Men of Genius). Considering this book was written in the 1200s, I’d say it pretty much paved the way for that whole sub-genre. An Arthurian story about a girl raised as a boy so that she could inherit property, she becomes a knight and ends up capturing Merlin. I should really write a full review of this one, because I could gush about it all day.
8. Jane Austen. Yeah yeah, usually when I’m mentioning her it is because I’m trying to convince people that Elizabeth Gaskell is better, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate my JA. Persuasion is one of my favorite books, and the characters of Pride & Prejudice are among my all-time faves.
9. Harper Lee. Relatively speaking, To Kill a Mockingbird isn’t really that old. But try to tell me it isn’t a classic and I will laugh in your face. That book rocks. If you’re only going to write one thing in your lifetime, you gotta make it count!
10. Arthur Conan Doyle. I haven’t read all the Sherlock Holmes books yet, but it’s definitely a goal of mine. Even though I can’t give him credit for the invention of Benedict Cumberbatch, I CAN for creating one of the best characters ever.