This week’s That Artsy Reader Girl topic for TTT is one of my favorites. I wrote a post a million years ago about my auto-buy authors, and while I could go scroll pack in my posts to try to find it, I’m not because that would take forever, so let’s consider this a kind of updated one! Also, I recognize that this list is going to be a surprise for literally no one because I just shout about my love for these authors all the time.
In typical Mary fashion, the first Leigh Bardugo book I read was Six of Crows, and I thought the Nikolai plot twist was AMAZING only to then realize, months later, when I was reading the Shadow & Bone trilogy that I was a total fool, and if I’d just read in publication order, there wasn’t actually a plot twist. Of Bardugo’s 9 published novels, I’ve read all 9, and I’ve got to say, in a totally unexpected real plot twist, Ninth House is my favorite. And look! I’ve met her twice! Once for King of Scars in January 2019, and then again in October 2019 for Ninth House.
I’ve told this story before, but one of my friends bought me City of Bones when it first came out, back in, oh gosh, 2007? I feel so old. Like the asshole that I am, I refused to read it because it had a shirtless man on the cover, and it looked trashy. Fast forward to 2013, and one of my then favorite actors, Jamie Campbell Bower, was going to be starring in a film adaptation, so I thought I should probably give it a chance. One and a half months later, I’d absolutely devoured the first five books and was ready to become a forever Cassandra Clare fan. Of Clare’s 18 published novels, I’ve read 11, and my favorite is definitely still City of Bones.
I am cackling at Joe Hill’s picture, what a dork. I’ve long been terrified of Stephen King, and though I’m slowly getting over that, I’ve still only read two of his books. But when the trailer came out for Horns, and Daniel Radcliffe was starring in it, I knew that I had to give King’s son a chance. AND WOW, HELLO, FAVORITE AUTHOR ALERT? Of Hill’s 13 published novels (including the Locke & Key graphic novels), I’ve read all 13, and I am desperately awaiting a new one. My favorite is–oh, this is hard. I mean, it’s Locke & Key, those books are my heart and soul, but if we’re going full novel, I’d have to say The Fireman. And I’ve met him once for Full Throttle in October 2019!
I don’t actually think I’ve read an Ellen Hopkins book in forever, but I own a lot of them, and I read a heck ton back in high school (I think?) when she was really popular. This is going to be short and sweet because I honestly don’t remember what a lot of them are about. Of Hopkins’ 16 published novels, I’ve read 10, and I can’t in good conscience pick a favorite because I don’t remember them.
This is another case of a movie made me read the book, and then I was hopeless. Cloud Atlas starred Ben Whishaw, who I shouted about a couple weeks ago, and I almost never watch the movie before I read the book, if I can help it, so I quickly grabbed this strange little book by David Mitchell, fell in love about 10 pages in, and then read everything I could get my hands on. This post is coming at you in July, so I’ve already received his recent release Utopia Avenue, but I’m drafting it in June, before it comes out, and let me tell you, the noise that came out of me when I saw the news was unholy. Of Mitchell’s 8 published novels, I’ve read 7, but don’t worry, I’ll rectify that shortly. And my favorite is The Bone Clocks. I also haven’t met either of these two authors, but wow, what I wouldn’t give to meet Mitchell and let him know the way he’s connected his books has completely changed my writing life.
There are definitely some authors that could replace Madeleine Roux on this list, but they’re all ones I either don’t want to talk about or don’t really read anymore, and I plan on reading everything Roux puts out for as long as she’s writing, so it felt fitting to include her here. The House of Furies trilogy is easily one of my favorites ever, and I am never going to get over the truly perfect ending of the third book. Of Roux’s 10 published books, I’ve read 4, and my favorite is, without a doubt, Tomb of Ancients.
Damn alphabet is making me split these two up because I want to show you all the pictures! My first VE Schwab book was, like many people, I think, A Darker Shade of Magic. It was a naive little purchase, not realizing how I was soon going to be sucked into the void, and I quickly gobbled up everything I could. It took me a while to get through Schwab’s backlist because there were just truly so many, which ended up being great because that meant I could stave off this lonely feeling of no new Schwabs to read for quite some time! Of Schwab’s 13 published novels, I’ve read 12, and my favorite is still ADSOM. And I’ve met her once in October(?) 2018! It was for Vengeful, and I’d been glitter-bombed literally minutes before I left, so I was in truly the best mood possible.
Gosh, I’ve met Maggie Stiefvater so many times now, we could sit here forever going through them, but we’ll go with the one that represents pretty much every time I meet her–stupid expressions for both of us and just giggling uncontrollably. She always makes me laugh, and getting to attend her writing seminar in New York in February 2019 was one of the coolest experiences of my life. The first time I met her was on the Forever tour, so back in 2011, I think? After that, it was 2016 for The Raven King and 2017 for All the Crooked Saints. Of Stiefvater’s 18 published books, I’ve read, you guessed it, all 18, and my favorite is always going to be Shiver.
My first Laini Taylor book was Strange the Dreamer, and oh, how fateful that was. Strange was 100% a cover & title buy. The cover was gorgeous, which is weird for me since I’m terrified of moths, but it’s just so pretty and shiny, and the title? I mean, come on. Strange the Dreamer, of course I’m going to read that. The summary, however, left a lot to be desired, and it stayed on my shelf for some time. When I finally just said screw it and picked it up, I wasn’t really digging it at first, and then, let me tell you about my own personal instalove. I went from eh this book is okay to WOW 10/10 WOULD DIE FOR THIS in, like, a chapter? By 80 pages, I was ready to fight to the death for Lazlo Strange, and I’ve never looked back. Of Taylor’s 8 published novels, I’ve read 6, and my favorite is–well, yeah, I was going to say DOSAB, but it’s Strange the Dreamer. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t do my standard herald of KAROUUUUUUU
We’ve saved the best for last! Seriously, this picture of JRR Tolkien just makes me smile like a dope every time I see it. I love this little cutie so much. My dad first handed me Fellowship of the Ring right before the film adaptation came out in 2001, and I was a goner from the first few pages. I’m currently in the middle of a project, An Adventure in Tolkien, during which I’m slowly going through everything Tolkien’s ever put his hands on, and if someone pointed a gun at me and said, “Top three favorite authors, GO,” my little hobbit boy would be there. Of Tolkien’s 5 published novels (I’m only counting the main legendarium), I’ve read all 5. I’ve also read his letters, translations of other works, and other things, but we’d literally be here all day if we tried to go through it all.