Originally this post was going to be about some of my favorite authors. But picking favorite authors is like picking between your children (or in my case, pets...or something. I don't have kids,whatever you know what I mean).
So instead of saying "favorite" authors I decided to go with "most influential in my reading life" authors.It was still tough to hack the list down to 5.
Here they are in no particular order:
He's kind of an indie author I don't know if you've heard of him.He's pretty underground.
(Joke break, why did the hipster burn his mouth? Because he ate his pizza before it was cool. Bazinga. Back to our originally scheduled programming.)
I did the Shakespeare thing in high school (like almost everyone else) and I really enjoyed it because I had several enthusiastic teachers who made all of it make sense. In college I had ANOTHER teacher who really made Shakespeare interesting and through that teacher I ended up interning with a local Shakespeare company in town. Seeing people passionate about Shakespeare and theater and seeing the fabulous plays that they did has made Shakespeare have a permanent spot in my heart.
(Don't ever call him Willy Shakespeare, I will cut you.)
Stop reading this, go to your local library or book store, get the Handmaid's Tale, read it, be stupefied and amazed, come back and continue reading. I'll wait......So now that you know the book that made Ms Atwood famous take it as a jumping off point to read her Maddaddam Trilogy.Margaret Atwood was the first female author that I read that blew my mind and I'm eternally thankful. She is also really active on twitter.And she's Canadian,which has nothing to do with anything but it's a fact.
A love letter from me to Ray could go on for pages and pages.Well, not to to Ray, but to his work. Though when he died last year I was legitmatley heartbroken. I (like a ton of others) started with Ray's Fahrenheit 451. (No matter how many times I read that book I will never be able to spell Fahrenheit right on the first try). Ray is a wordsmith.His descriptions are so detailed and wonderful that when he talks about late fall evenings you can feel the warm breeze on your face and hear the leaves that swirl down an empty street. After falling in love with 451 I started to work my way through the considerably sized Bradbury canon. The biggest effect that Ray had on my early reading years is that sci-fi/fantasy/supernaturally stuff is not all aliens and witches and is not just for D&D nerds and the like. He made this genre feel accessible to me and not something that I'd be embarrassed to confess to reading.
I'm incredibly late to the Neil Gaiman party. People have been rabid for this man for a long time and I just found him this past year.Better late than never, yeah? (This was my own fault because generally I try to avoid reading the "it" book by the "it" author and sometimes/often it bites me in the ass, case and point - Neil). I'm going to be talking specifically about one of his books in another of my posts but Neil has a Bradbury-like quality about great descriptions and amazing characters. This man makes the best villains in literary existence. Ever. Thanks goes to Neil for showing me that sometimes authors are the "it" author because they are the sh"it".
(Did you see me fall off the no swearing wagon? Especially right before we talk about C.S.? Impeccable timing, as always).
C.S. is beyond words for me. I remember reading the Screwtape Letters and I kept gasping. I kept thinking "You too? I thought I was the only one!." In short, besides the Bible, many of C.S.'s books have been huge influences on my faith and my spirituality.He takes the abstract and the heavy and makes it approachable and understandable. He's also funny. He's also a quote machine.Like almost everything the man writes could be embroidered on a pillow. (I also have a funny story about Mere Christianity that will come up later.I know I will read his books for the rest of my life and I no matter how often I read them my soul will feel refreshed and my heart at ease. Oh C.S., thank you.
There they are! Did any of mine overlap with any of your most influential authors?