Top Ten Authors I’d Love To Share A Thanksgiving Feast With

23 Nov

I’m making a vow to post the Top Ten Tuesday every week from now on…

This week The Broke and the Bookish have given us the task of picking 10 authors to invite to Thanksgiving dinner. And we thought our families were too much to handle during the holidays. Imagine if you had the following folks there as well.

1. Carrie Ryan

Not only is Carrie Ryan one of my favorite YA authors, but from what I hear she is a really interesting person. Of course she would have to be in order to write such awesome YA horror(ish) books as The Forest of Hands and Teeth, The Dead Tossed Waves, and The Dark and Hollow Places.

The mix of zombie horror, romance, and searching for self-identity she manages to encompass in her novels is awesome.

Even friends of mine who seriously do not like zombies claim her books were amazing.

Just to make awesome dinner table conversation I have thought of a couple of questions for Ms. Ryan.

• What do you think your zombie-rific future society members would think of our Thanksgiving celebrations?

• Would they understand our mass consumption as celebration or find it too similar to the way a horde of  zombies reacts?

2.Neil Gaiman

I love Neil Gaiman. Ever since I was “forced” to read American Gods by a friend I have loved Neil Gaiman. When I read Coraline I loved Neil Gaiman. When I finally picked up Stardust I loved Neil Gaiman. So I’m definitely a fan.

 But what about Neil Gaiman do I love even more than his books? I love his   books…

When I first saw this picture a few years ago I immediately fell in love. I know Neil is much wealthier than I and quite a bit older as well, and therefore has had more time and opportunity to build such a collection, but I am still completely jealous. It might be possible that Neil Gaiman owns more books than I have ever read.

Having good ole’ Neil at the dinner table would be both entertaining and a complete honor. Plus all of my friends would be jealous and I would probably have to host the biggest Thanksgiving dinner my family has ever seen.

3. Margaret Atwood

I’ll be honest… I’ve only read 1 book by Margaret Atwood, but it is probably the best one to have read.

The Handmaid’s Tale totally threw me off course. It was the first dystopian novel I ever read and it spawned a slight fascination with further dystopian based fiction, television, movies and comics. The haunting world Atwood wrote about made me start thinking about the way women are viewed and treated today. Sure we’ve come a long way, but the women in Atwood’s novel had accomplished a lot prior to the major events that changed the United States into a woman hating theocracy.

4. Marion Zimmer Bradley

I probably talk about MZB a lot… maybe even a little too much, but it is with good reason. Mostly it is because she wrote my favorite book of all time, The Mists of Avalon.

If you like historical fantasy, read it. If you like Arthurian legend, read it. If you like tales of strong women overcoming obstacles in a male dominated society, read it. If you like complex love stories, read it. It is pretty awesome. It is also about 900 pages long, so make sure you have a lot of free time.

Unfortunately, Ms. Bradley passed away in 1999. I was actually in the middle of reading Mists for the first time when she passed and I was greatly saddened. Although Mists is my all time favorite I also encourage reading of The Priestess of Avalon, The Forest House and The Lady of Avalon.  These are all prequels/sequels to Mists and are just as beautiful and passionate as the first Avalon book… although not as many pages long.

5. Justin Cronin

Okay… I mentioned recently that I haven’t actually finished The Passage, but from what I’ve read it is amazing. And from what others have told me I really need to finish it. However, I would like to have this particular author attend my Thanksgiving feast because I am dying to know how he transitioned from one style of writing to a totally different one and make such a success of it. Here is the Amazon blurb from his first book, The Summer Guest:

“With a rare combination of emotional insight, narrative power, and lyrical grace, Cronin transforms the simple story of a dying man’s last wish into a rich tapestry of family love.” 

And here is the blurb from The Passage:

“An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy—abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl—and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape—but he can’t stop society’s collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world.”
What?! Going from such a wishy-washy kind of premise to something this dark and full of suspense is not something we normally see from authors, but I’m glad he made the switch. The Passage will also take a considerable amount of time to read with 800 pages in paperback form.

6. Tamora Pierce

Another author I mention a lot, but again with good reason. The Song of the Lioness Quartet came into my life at a very hard time for me. I was 12, living in a town where no one liked my family. I was home-schooled and my parents’ marriage was falling apart. I needed a strong young woman role model during a time when 90210 and Spice Girls were about the only things out there. The character Alanna was about my age and was willing to go after what she wanted no matter what. It was exactly what I needed and I fell in love with Tamora Pierce’s imaginative worlds and characters. If you are ever looking for good YA fantasy you really should start with Ms. Pierce’s work. She has inspired so many authors as well as lost pre-teen girls.

7. Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Even if you are tired of vampires, shape-shifters and other supernatural being, you have to admire Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. She wrote her first book In the Forests of the Night when she was only 14 years old. And it was a success. Born only a few months before myself I felt a very close connection to her books because they were written by someone my own age. Books for teens, by teens are hard to come by. Even after growing up, her books are still beautiful and unique. They may be in the same genre many of us are sick of seeing, but the difference here is that her stories will stand the test of time and in my opinion will still be relevant  when my daughter is old enough to read them.

8. Marjane Satrapi

 Even if you don’t like graphic novels I beg you to read Persepolis. This beautiful book is autobiographical and   portrays the life of the author growing up in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution, as well as her high school  years in Vienna. The artwork isn’t flashy or complex, but black and white (literally) and easy to take in. I missed out on the chance to hear Marjane Satrapi speak at a local university a few years ago and I can’t wait for her to come back this way so that I may have the chance once again.

9. Lois Lowry

This is probably my favorite author from my pre-teen years. My absolute favorite book in 4th grade was Number the Stars. I think I read and re-read the book 15 times between age 9 and 18. Although the backdrop of Nazi Germany isn’t exactly the best of situations, the characters were so true and inspiring. A couple of years ago I was browsing my local used book store and I found a hardcover copy of Lowry’s book Gathering Blue, the sequel to one of her most popular books The Giver. I didn’t own a copy and bought it. When I got home and started to glance through it I found that it had been signed by Lois Lowry herself. It is one of my most prized books and am very pleased to be able to pass it on to my daughter one day.

10. J.K. Rowling

Well this should be pretty obvious. I love Harry Potter. I loved it before it became a craze.

My almost 6-year-old daughter also loves Harry Potter. We just recently started reading the first book aloud and she is actually willing to pay attention to 25 minutes of reading without pictures.

I don’t think I need to go on and on about the greatness of J.K. Rowling, but I will say one thing. I admire her not just because of how amazing Harry Potter books are, but because of who she was when she wrote the first one. A single mom, basically alone in the world, trying to finish school and figure it all out for the benefit of her daughter and self. I get that.

My life isn’t so different… too bad I don’t have the same amount of imagination as Ms. Rowling.

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