Auto-Buy Authors

This book changed my life.

This book changed my life.

I saw a post fairly recently about “auto-buy authors.”  The general definition for this is an author that you love so much, that when they release a new book, you automatically buy it, no matter what, because you have to have it, and you have to read everything this person has ever written.  When I saw this, it got me to thinking about who my auto-buy authors are.  Some were obvious, others I only realized qualified when I took a good look at my shelves.

One of my obvious (to me) is Bryce Courtenay.  Someone I admired greatly recommended The Power of One to me when I was quite young.  She knew I loved reading and would often recommend books to me when she came to visit. I read it and it quickly became my favourite book of all time.  I read and re-read it so often that it got to the point that I could pick it up and open it to any spot and start reading with no problem.  My copy is so battered, but only because it is so well loved.  After reading this I bought everything I could by him and there were other favourites too, including Tandia and Four Fires.  Courtenay died in 2012, and though I haven’t read them all yet, I’m pretty confident that I have everything he’s ever written on my shelves.  The Power of One changed my reading life and opened me up to so many other books.  It got me away from the stereotypical teen books and romance novels (which I still love and I’m not knocking them at all) and broadened my horizons to historical as well as contemporary literature.

Another obvious auto-buy author for me is JK Rowling.  I started reading the Harry Potter series after cuckoo's callingGoblet of Fire came out.  I was hooked.  I truly love this series and the world that Rowling has created.  I became that person in line at the bookstore at midnight, or at the movie theatre hours before the show started on opening day to get a good seat.  I am a shameless Potter Head, and the day I finally walk through the gates at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando will be one for the history books.  So I obviously own all of the Harry Potter books, including the spinoff books from them, such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  Naturally, when she started writing other books after the Potter series finished, I scooped them up.  Though I haven’t yet read The Casual Vacancy, I do own it.  I was also very impressed with The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm, both written by Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.  I look forward to the next installation of that series. I know that going forward I will continue to buy anything that JK Rowling releases, both because she is an exceptional storyteller, and also because I feel like I almost owe her, as thanks for the gift of Harry Potter.

Oh Heaven help me.

Oh Heaven help me.

I’m starting to realize the more I think about it that this list I longer than I thought, but one more obvious author that I must mention is Diana Gabaldon.  Outlander is a book that has stuck with me since the first time I read it.  I fell in love with Jamie and Claire and cared about them and what happened to them so much, that I recommend the series to anyone who will listen.  I am not caught up on the reading of the series, but I own them all and will continue to purchase anything she releases.  It is my intent to get caught up, and I was fortunate enough to have the 8th instalment of the series signed by her when I purchased it last June at my local Chapters.  She is as captivating in person as she is by what she puts on the page.  I was blown away by her and think she is amazing.

Last year Outlander the TV series premiered on Starz.  It was everything I hoped it would be, I thought it has kept to the plot and integrity of the story very well, and I can’t wait for the second half of the season to start, which I believe is in a week or so.  If you’re an Outlander fan, I highly recommend tuning in.  You will not be disappointed.  And I believe it has been picked up for a second season already.

I have several other auto-buy authors.  One is the Canadian author Kelley Armstrong, whose first book thatstill alice I read Bitten, grabbed me and compelled me to buy and read everything else she’s ever written, which I’m so glad that I did, because I have never been disappointed by her.  I love books with strong, vital female characters, and her books are full of them.

Lisa Genova is another one.  Still Alice has gained a lot of popularity lately with the movie coming out and Julianne Moore gaining so much recognition for her role.  I read it a long time ago and loved it.  I have also read everything else she has ever written and think she is a brilliant author who is especially gifted at telling a story from the point of view of someone that is actually suffering from Alzheimer’s or other neurological issues.

Others on this list that need to be mentioned are Sue Monk Kidd, Anita Diamant, Veronica Roth, and yes…Lemony Snicket – just for fun.

Who are your auto-buy authors?  Anyone from my list?  I’m looking for suggestions to add to my TBR list – as if it wasn’t long enough already.

Have a great weekend!

 

Pictures from here, here and here.  Here too.

Exploring the World of….Comic Books?

My first literary love.

My first literary love.

As if I needed further proof that I’m a nerd.  I love being a nerd by the way.

First of all, let me start out by saying that I learned how to read with comic books.  I was completely addicted to Archie Comics.  We went out shopping, and where most kids would be begging for a candy bar, I would be standing there in the checkout with my parents begging for the latest Archie Comics….and a candy bar.

I was an only child and if you were looking for me, you could likely find me with my nose buried in a book growing up.  I remember as I got a little older I loved reading In Grandma’s Attic books, Babysitter’s Club, and then Sweet Valley High, before graduating to Danielle Steel, and eventually broadening my scope to where I would read just about anything.  But it all started with Archie.  My mom tells the story of how I would be sitting there at 4 or 5 years old, comic book in hand, giggling as I read.  She went up to me and asked me if I knew what I was reading, suspecting that I was simply laughing at the pictures.  She sat down with me and I started reading them to her.  So I wasn’t kidding when I said that I literally learned to read with Archie.  I still have boxes and boxes of books in my basement that I haven’t looked at in years, that contain Archie comics, Babysitter’s Club, and almost the entire Sweet Valley High series.  I just can’t bring myself to throw them out.  I feel like it would be throwing my childhood away.

I hadn’t read comics in a very long time, until recently when I was browsing YouTube and came across thisSaga 1 video that talked about comics.  It got me thinking about them again, and I went to the store and picked up Saga Volume 1.  I had heard a bit about it and thought it may be a good place to start again.  I read the first, and got totally hooked.  It’s a far cry from Archie, being a much more mature series, with mature scenes and language.  Overall though, it’s very engaging and I proceeded to head back out to the bookstore to pick up volumes 2, 3 and 4.  I also picked up the first trade for the latest Ms Marvel, which I also read and quite enjoyed.  In a way I feel like I’m a kid again!  But I really have to say that I’m enjoying comics a lot again.  Not only do they make great literary palate cleansers, which are great to read in between books as something that isn’t intellectually taxing, but they are great on their own, and I can really see myself getting into several of the stories.  Of course my husband and parents look at me like I have two heads, wondering why I am wasting my time on kid’s stuff, ms marvelbut I really don’t look at it that way.  In a way, I feel like I’ve come full circle.  Comics are great to read in between more difficult books or chunkies, they’re great for car trips or plane rides as they don’t require a huge amount of concentration, and you can look up from them for a few minutes and then quite easily get back to where you left off.  They’re nice if you just want to read for a few hours and don’t want to get into anything too heavy, or don’t have a lot of time to read and don’t want to commit yourself to starting a new novel.

It really makes sense that I would get back into comics.  I like to read all kinds of fiction.  I like historical fiction, romance, mystery, horror, etc.  But I also appreciate YA and sci-fi, including reading about vampires, werewolves, witches, wizards, hippogryphs, and dragons.  Comics to me seem like a perfect addition to my reading list.  Though my TBR just doubled in size, I’m pretty stoked to read more.

Are you interested in comics?  Do you think I’m crazy?  Do you have favourites you can recommend?  I’m certainly open to suggestions.

Pictures from here, here, and here.