As is the case with many avid readers, I have a gaggle of fave authors from over the years. Some of them are from my childhood, some very recent, but they all do what I yearn to, which is make a fake world real to the reader. We know how amazing it is to climb inside another life.
Most of these authors are well known, and very successful, which stands to reason I believe. Popularity is simply the most liked, and I think these are considered that for very good reason.
Here’s a quick list of who my classic favourites are, which series of theirs I love in particular (if relevant). I’ll add quick explanations as to why i love them and links to their websites, some of which are simply brilliant. This list isn’t in order.
John Marsden– Tomorrow When The War Began.
This series is the winner in the ‘I couldn’t put it down’ competition. From the first chapter of book one, I was completely taken. As an Australian teen reader, – at the time – I identified with the characters who were real and gritty. This series gave me a great week of life (even if I barely slept, and had a few nightmares when I did!) and these are my tattiest books from being read and carted around so much.
Peter Allison – Whatever you do don’t run & Don’t look behind you – One of my newer faves. Stories about African animals, from the view of a bumbling but lovable Aussie just trying to do his job as a safari guide on a continent on the opposite side of the world to where he grew up. Each chapter is a great little anecdote of different animal encounters or dangerous/hilarious pickles Peter gets himself – and sometimes other people – into. Follow Peter on Twitter @SafariPeter for mini versions of these narratives and great info on conservation in Africa.
J.K Rowling– Harry Potter.
I held back from Harry Potter for a long time, wondering what on earth the fuss could be. When I was convinced to open ‘Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone’ I totally understood. All those great stereotypes about magic like flying broomsticks, magic wands and good versus evil were played out in a lovable and exciting tale. The escalating level of reading difficulty and the aging of the teen characters in each book is the best series progression I have ever read. I can only assume many children were extending their reading levels simply because they were so in love with the story, and that is not a bad thing.
Richelle Mead- Vampire Academy.
This was my second ‘vampire’ novel reading attempt, and I am not disappointed I went for it. Meade’s understanding of a real teenagers angst on top of the whole blood-sucking-creatures-world thing is great, and I think the choice of the protagonist is fantastic. Rose is a dhampir, half vampire half human, a guardian in training for the ‘good’ vampires, the Moroi. Rose is bad ass yet vulnerable, her personality and the pace of the novels matching perfectly. Do yourself a favour, when you finish this series, start Meade’s spin-off series ‘Bloodlines’.
Charlaine Harris– True Blood.
Yes, another vampire series, and again brilliantly done. As an adult series, True Blood is more sexy than the others. More animalistic and raw, with sexy telepath Sookie Stackhouse our fantastic protagonist. If you like something a little dirtier and probably closer to ‘real’ vampires, have a read.
J.R Tolkien – Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit.
The Hobbit is the book that taught me not to judge a book by its cover. Not immediately though. The copy I had been given had a picture of Smaug the Dragon on the front, and ugly mean looking creature was he who I thought was the Hobbit, and I thought ‘I hate the look of that Hobbit, I won’t like it, it’s yukky.’ Mum insisted, and I remember even lying to her and saying I had read it. Eventually I opened the book and also my mind and found the Hobbit, Bilbo, to actually be a lovable and creative little character whose quest was epic. Lord of The Rings was harder to get into, nevertheless, absolutely amazing. The imagination of Tolkien astounds me still to this day, and anyone who has ever enjoyed even just one small fantasy story should not live their life without experiencing these novels.
Enid Blyton- Malory Towers/The Faraway Tree/The Famous Five/Children of Cherry Tree Farm/Willow Tree Farm.
I read tons of Enid Blyton in my youth, most passed down by my mother (who now insists she was just ‘lending’ them, so they really are still hers!). The journeys of these children on wild adventures, living on farms, and being educated at boarding schools, where all lives I never would have heard about anywhere else. I loved them, and wished they were real so I could play with them. Fantastic memories.
Some other absolute favourites are…
Burnt Snow – Van Badham. Effing brilliant.
Jurassic Park and The Lost World – Michael Crichton. Have likely read these more times than any other novels I own.
Eleven Hours – Paullina Simons. Can’t wait to play Dee Dee in the movie.
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee. Have undertaken a new understanding from this amazing story each time I’ve read it, which is probably every 3 years since I was 11.