Author Topic: Authors or Books?  (Read 142 times)

Offline Amara

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Authors or Books?
« on: November 10, 2018, 09:06:35 pm »
I know we likely all switch back and forth, but I am wondering if you find yourself tending to stick to authors and their books or do you look mostly at individual books rather than authors?

I have a (very) few authors I always check out but I cannot think of one whose entire output I have read. Those authors include Mary Roach, Simon Winchester and to a lesser extent Bill Bryson. I also like most of Sinclair Lewis. Of course I also have a strong preference for nonfiction and fiction, mostly classical like Tolstoy and Mary Shelley made rare appearances. But when they do, I like them very much!

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Offline Airelenaren

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Re: Authors or Books?
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2018, 10:19:00 pm »
I used to really like Joy Fielding's books, but after a while I felt they got predictable and a bit too dramatic for my taste.
I still like the books I enjoyed originally, though.
Otherwise, I go by individual book. There are a few authors of whom I like more than one book (for instance, Andrew MacKenzie's different books on the paranormal), but it's more the exception than the rule.
I tried the Little House books once and found them so-so. Parts were charming, but parts just rubbed me entirely the wrong way so I didn't want to get any more of the books.  :-\

Offline Lynn2000

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Re: Authors or Books?
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2018, 05:17:02 pm »
A very interesting question! I'm usually first drawn to a book by the subject matter, then if I really like it, I will see what else the author has written and read it if it's generally within my sphere of interest. But I'm not like, "Oh, I love everything this author writes, so if she's written a horror novel about baseball [combining two genres I dislike, horror and sports], I'll give it a try."

There are too many books in the world, and I like too many subjects, for me to feel obligated in any way to support a certain author, or whatever.

But for example, I like fairytale retellings. So I have been collecting one or two from various authors as they go on sale (because I'm cheap). I try the first book by Author X, and if I like it, I'll see what else they've written, even if it's in a different genre (within reason). If I don't like it, I cross them off my list (and then try to remember I don't like them, which is sometimes difficult).

I really like Amazon's feature to "follow" authors, so I get an email if they have a new book coming out. Actually, I often end up NOT being interested in that book, if they are straying from the genre I prefer from them, but it's nice to know about it at least. (Also sometimes I think the algorithm isn't very smart and conflates authors with similar names.)

With actors I'm different--if I really "fall for" an actor, I will go through their resume and try to watch a lot of their old films, even if I wouldn't normally watch that sort of film (avoiding only a few genres I really can't handle, like horror). Ah, for the love of Ewan McGregor I have watched a LOT of weird films in my day... But a film is only like two hours, whereas a book takes a longer time commitment because I guess I'm a slow reader.

Offline lowspark

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Re: Authors or Books?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2018, 04:36:14 pm »
I do like certain authors like Bill Bryson and Stephen King. Back in my youth, I read a ton of Agatha Christie and still go back and read some now and then.

Lately I'm trying to get through every one of Michael Connelly's books but I have to intersperse them with books for my book club and other items of interest which pop up.

Often I just go to the library and throw a dart, so to speak, and hope for the best. I listen to audio books in the car and I have no qualms about ditching a book if I'm not enamored fairly quickly but when an audio book ends, if I don't have one waiting, I just take a chance.
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Offline Winterlight

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Re: Authors or Books?
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2018, 01:44:55 pm »
I will generally happily read everything by an author as long as I like one book or series. This hasn't always panned out, for example, Sheri Tepper's fantasy books never worked for me, but I loved her A. J. Orde mystery series. As long as the topic is of interest to me, I do the same with nonfiction. I liked Laurence Gonzales' Deep Survival, and have read his other books which branch off that, but also his book on Flight 232 which crashed in Sioux City, IA, in 1989. However, I tried his novel and didn't get into it.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

Offline Athersgeo

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Re: Authors or Books?
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2018, 04:24:10 pm »
I liked Laurence Gonzales' Deep Survival, and have read his other books which branch off that, but also his book on Flight 232 which crashed in Sioux City, IA, in 1989. However, I tried his novel and didn't get into it.

This is me with Tom Holland (the historian, not to be confused with the much younger actor). I've enjoyed his books on Greco-Roman history, so when I discovered he had a novel (or two) to his name I was down for trying one. It was...not good.

To answer the wider question, I'm definitely a books person rather than an author person.Or, perhaps, a genre person rather than an author person. I read widely across fantasy, folklore, history and sporting biographies, so I'm far more likely to pick up something that falls into one of those four categories than if it doesn't. Which isn't to say I don't read other stuff from time to time, but I'm much, MUCH more discriminating. I will drag myself through the dullest of history essays (Edward Said's Orientalism*, I'm looking at you here!) or the most tedious of fantasy sex scene (why are so many fantasy novels thinly disguised **** with a side order of Stockholm Syndrome?!) but anything else, the second I stop enjoying it, across the room it goes. (Mostly in a figurative sense - I think I've only ever actually flung one book in my life and it was a Dan Brown so it was a decent missile...or indecent, depending on your opinion of Dan Brown!)



*I read it as a result of having followed a bibliography in someone's history of the near-east and was too darn stubborn to admit defeat. Unless you are a MASSIVE languages/linguistics geek I don't recommend it!

Offline Winterlight

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Re: Authors or Books?
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2019, 10:03:56 am »
I liked Laurence Gonzales' Deep Survival, and have read his other books which branch off that, but also his book on Flight 232 which crashed in Sioux City, IA, in 1989. However, I tried his novel and didn't get into it.

This is me with Tom Holland (the historian, not to be confused with the much younger actor). I've enjoyed his books on Greco-Roman history, so when I discovered he had a novel (or two) to his name I was down for trying one. It was...not good.

I felt the same about Alison Weir's historical novels. The Jane Grey one was OK, but the rest ranged from meh to "should sue for libel."
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

Offline Lynn2000

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Re: Authors or Books?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2019, 05:10:35 pm »
I liked Laurence Gonzales' Deep Survival, and have read his other books which branch off that, but also his book on Flight 232 which crashed in Sioux City, IA, in 1989. However, I tried his novel and didn't get into it.

This is me with Tom Holland (the historian, not to be confused with the much younger actor). I've enjoyed his books on Greco-Roman history, so when I discovered he had a novel (or two) to his name I was down for trying one. It was...not good.

I felt the same about Alison Weir's historical novels. The Jane Grey one was OK, but the rest ranged from meh to "should sue for libel."

How interesting! I'm a big Alison Weir fan although so far I've only read her non-fiction. I have a couple of the royal novels to try. The last non-fiction book I read by her was Henry VIII, and it included a section at the back where she was pretty hard on film adaptations that took liberties with history, especially stuff like costumes and sets but also larger behavior. (I rented one that she really praised, and it was so incredibly boring and stilted that I couldn't finish it. Apparently the costumes were great, though!) So it would be quite surprising to me if she was THAT inaccurate herself when it came time to do a novel! It must be very freeing, though, because I feel like her non-fiction is quite scrupulous, with all the footnotes and details and primary documents.

Though, I already have a quibble, because someone was promoting her "Henry VIII wives" series as "the first time any one author has written a book about each wife" and I'm like, "Um, Jean Plaidy, anyone?" Since she wrote a book about pretty much EVERY British royal.

Offline highpriestess

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Re: Authors or Books?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2019, 07:10:58 pm »
I read by author. It's actually pretty annoying because it's hard for me to switch when I run out and I end up re reading things a lot. I've read all of Mary Higgins Clark, Robert Heinlein, Terry Pratchett and a lot of chick lit authors.  I need some new stuff!

Offline Winterlight

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Re: Authors or Books?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2019, 07:22:13 pm »
I liked Laurence Gonzales' Deep Survival, and have read his other books which branch off that, but also his book on Flight 232 which crashed in Sioux City, IA, in 1989. However, I tried his novel and didn't get into it.

This is me with Tom Holland (the historian, not to be confused with the much younger actor). I've enjoyed his books on Greco-Roman history, so when I discovered he had a novel (or two) to his name I was down for trying one. It was...not good.

I felt the same about Alison Weir's historical novels. The Jane Grey one was OK, but the rest ranged from meh to "should sue for libel."

How interesting! I'm a big Alison Weir fan although so far I've only read her non-fiction. I have a couple of the royal novels to try. The last non-fiction book I read by her was Henry VIII, and it included a section at the back where she was pretty hard on film adaptations that took liberties with history, especially stuff like costumes and sets but also larger behavior. (I rented one that she really praised, and it was so incredibly boring and stilted that I couldn't finish it. Apparently the costumes were great, though!) So it would be quite surprising to me if she was THAT inaccurate herself when it came time to do a novel! It must be very freeing, though, because I feel like her non-fiction is quite scrupulous, with all the footnotes and details and primary documents.

Though, I already have a quibble, because someone was promoting her "Henry VIII wives" series as "the first time any one author has written a book about each wife" and I'm like, "Um, Jean Plaidy, anyone?" Since she wrote a book about pretty much EVERY British royal.

She wrote Eleanor of Aquitaine, one of the most interesting queens ever, as a sex-crazed bimbo. It was ridiculous. And really, really dull.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls