Monday, March 3, 2014

Top Ten Popular Authors I've Never Read

Hosted by the Broke and Bookish

The topic for March 4: Top Ten Popular Authors I've Never Read. I am having a bit of trouble deciding if this means authors I haven't read that I plan to at some point or authors that I haven't and, unless someone pays me an obscenely large amount of money or blackmails me in some way, never will even if someone staples my eyes open. (This is a reference to Rita Ruder's movie rating system)

The official movie ratings are "General," "Parental Guidance," and "Restricted." I have my own ratings. They are "See at Movie Theater," "Wait for Video," and "Not Even If/When It Comes on Cable Someone Comes to My House and Staples My Eyes Open."
     Rita Rudner, Naked Beneath My Clothes:
     Tales of a Revealing Nature (1992)

And yes, I have read this book. It is pretty funny, but her standup routines are better. It helps if you can imagine her voice and delivery when you read the stories. Mostly remembering this book has made me infinitely glad that as much as my daughter loves dancing, I seriously doubt that she has any intention to try and become a professional ballerina.

So ... Top Ten Popular Authors I've Never Read ... that I might actually read someday. I am using the Amazon Most Popular Authors to decide who counts as popular.

1. Markus Zusak - one of these days I will get around to reading The Book Thief.  I am shooting for contention for the title, Last Person in the Blogosphere to Read The Book Thief.

2. Rick Riordan - I am assuming that one day my son (or eventually my daughter) might take to these books, at which point I will feel obligated to read them. So far that hasn't happened.

3. Diana Gabaldon - I have the feeling tribalism will eventually force me to at least read Outlander. I really don't think this is going to be my jam, but the drums are loud and with a live action version coming, I have a feeling I will have to give it a go just to say I did.

4. Jojo Moyes - I have an ebook of The Girl You Left Behind so eventually I will get around to reading it - I started it but wasn't in the mood. 

5. Barbara Kingsolver - I have wanted to read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle for a while now. Yes, I know she has other more famous books, but this is the one that interests me.

6. Jim Butcher - the Dresden Files gets talked about quite a bit and sounds vaguely interesting. I can see myself getting around to reading at least the first book at some point.

Eep!  I have a bit of a problem now.  I have run through their top hundred and am only at 6.  I need another source for what counts as popular.  Humm...  So now I have switched over to the List of Bestselling Authors on Wikipedia

7. Enid Blyton I am curious about ... I have seen some Noddy cartoons and have heard of The Famous Five. I know that these books play a large role in British culture, though there are some seriously problematic attitudes on display. I would be interested in reading some just to see what it is like. 

8. Someday when I retire I might finally get around to Leo Tolstoy.

Right, I have basically run out of options here too - I have either read at least one book by most of these authors, they are romance authors I am not interested in reading (not my jam, though at various points in my life I have been stranded and read a few of these authors, so I say not my jam from a position of actually having tried some of the books), are things I have no plans to read (I am way to old to read Babysitters Club or Goosebumps books at this point in my life, why should I read R. L. Stine when I was reading Stephen King as a teen?) or are authors who write in languages other than English and of whom I have never heard (I need to work on that - I find that I am interested in Jirō Akagawa's mysteries though I have no idea about availability in English.  I will have to look them up.) 

So now I have wandered over to Top Books and Authors at LibraryThing

Now I am looking at authors like Haruki Murakami and Gabriel García Márquez, which I was skipping because I am interested in reading them eventually, but at the moment I am afraid that they sound too much like homework from a literature class.

9. I have been wondering about Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books.

10. Ah - Khaled Hosseini - I want to read The Kite Runner

Hurray!  I made it to ten.  I am vaguely impressed by the number of authors on these lists I have read or at least tried to read. That is pretty cool.

That being said, there are several popular authors I have not read, nor have I any intention of doing so. For example: Stephenie Meyer, Barbara Cartland (actually I have this vague idea I might already have read one years ago when I was stuck in Wyoming with no reading material other than romances or horse journals), Danielle Steel, Sidney Sheldon, Dean Koontz (actually, now that I think about it, I might have read one of these too), or Clive Cussler (I know that I haven't read one of these at least!).  There is nothing like being a voracious reader stuck someplace where your choice is books by an author you don't really want to read or the back of cereal boxes. 

This was a really odd list to try to make.  I am really curious as to what other peoples' lists are going to be like.


  1. Oh, Jim Butcher! Someone who should be on my TBR list, but somehow isn't. Should probably go put him there.

    I've had Outlander pushed at me a few times, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

  2. I had Diana Gabaldon on my list too, though I know I should read her, since she also writes super-long historicals. I pretty much haven't read any modern, popular writers, since I'm such a timewarped dinosaur. And you're not missing anything with The Book Thief. One of the most overrated books I've ever read. Just thinking about the hype it continues to get, and the smug, spoilerific narrator still makes me angry.

    1. I just have to comment that I find the juxtaposition of these comments hysterical. This is one of the reasons that I just haven't worked up the energy to read it yet.

  3. The Book Thief is amazing ! you have to read it :) I haven't read Famous five either.
    My TTT
    Rimsha@Ramblings of a Bookworm

  4. Ha! I love your sense of humor! The Book Thief is great but it is sad. I can see not being excited to read it. I have read and really enjoyed The Dresden Files. I think they get even better the further into the series you get too. Love when that happens instead of starting out loving a series and then hating them by the end. I haven't read Outlander either and I am just not sure I would like it. Hmmm. I also love that I did the same thing you did to find authors I haven't read, started finding lists of them on the net. Haha! Fun list. And Nice to "meet" you. I don't think I have been to your page before, I am glad I did today!

    1. Hi, nice to "meet" you too. I think I am much more likely to start reading the Dresden Files than I am either The Book Thief or Outlander. Without the lists, I am not sure how I would have tackled this TTT - it is way too easy to simply select authors that I would never read.

  5. Great list! Stephenie Meyer made my list too. I probably read 80% YA books... and I never did read any of her books, even back when she was popular.

  6. Nope, sorry, you'll have to share that title, because I haven't read The Book Thief yet either! I forgot Danielle Steel, she ranks up there with James Patterson, John Grisham and Dean Koontz as "Authors I See Most Often At Large Used Book Sales." This always makes me think the books aren't good enough for the people to actually keep them!

    Here's my TTT!

    1. There was a time that just seeing a Danielle Steel, Dean Koontz etc. etc. book was enough to make me run screaming. Well meaning people would just hand them to me assuming that I would be thrilled to get them. Eep!

  7. If it makes you feel better, I haven't read/finished any books by these authors either. I've read about 1/4 of the book thief, but that's it.

  8. I read Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible in high school and it was one of my favorites. I haven't worked up the energy to read anything else by her, though — it takes a lot of effort.

    My mom read and really enjoyed the Ladies Detective series — they're pretty quick reads, from what I recall.

    Here's my TTT for the week. Happy reading!

    1. I actually have acquired a copy of The Poisonwood Bible from somewhere but have not been able to plow into it for some reason. I kind of hope that Animal, Vegetable, Miracle helps me work into it.

      I am much more likely to try Alexander McCall Smith first.

    2. Yea, McCall's a much easier read than Kingsolver. But she's got such an amazing way with words. I still dream about some of her paragraphs from The Poisonwood Bible.


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