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Day 2: Your Most Read Author

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Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship (emmadeploresgoodreadscensorship) | 103 comments Mod
Sadly, Goodreads no longer has a feature to show us this, but I'll bet you know anyway: whose books have you read in the largest numbers? What keeps you coming back (if you still do)? Where should a new reader start?

I tend to move on pretty quickly, so if I read 3-4 books by the same author, that means I was very impressed and is also usually my limit. That said, fantasy often comes in series, and my tastes in it are pretty specific, so here are a couple of authors whose books I've read in unusual numbers:

Kate Elliott: This is a bit of an odd choice because none of her books are among my top favorites, but she's probably the most reliable author I've ever read in that I've read an unheard-of 15 of her books and still enjoy her work, without feeling that it's gotten old or repetitive. Her worldbuilding is consistently interesting, detailed and thoughtful, and she's always been strong on representation (of pretty much every demographic). Sadly, perhaps my favorite of her books is Black Wolves, and the publisher cancelled the sequel. The Spiritwalker trilogy, beginning with Cold Magic, is great fun if you like YA adventure, and the Crossroads trilogy, beginning with Spirit Gate, is really fantastic and ultimately subversive epic fantasy, though it gets off to a slow start. Her massive 7-book series, Crown of Stars, starts out great with a well-researched medieval world, but I generally lose patience with long series after a few books and this was no exception.

Juliet Marillier: I love to pieces her Sevenwaters trilogy, beginning with Daughter of the Forest (though each book picks up with a new generation so you can also start with the awesome Son of the Shadows if you like a more empowered heroine). They're historical fantasy with a strong fairy tale influence, particularly in the first book, and some really wonderful romances, though they're also quite dark and intense in places. On the strength of that trilogy, I've read a total of 12 of her books, plus a Kindle short, and some of the others were pretty decent but with time I found her work to become more and more recycled and sentimental, to the point that I ultimately stopped reading them. She later wrote a follow-up trilogy to Sevenwaters that was mostly awful, though at least the first book of it made a good romance. I'll always love the original trilogy though.


message 2: by Melindam (last edited May 20, 2020 10:44PM) (new)

Melindam | 162 comments 1st place is shared by Jane Austen & Terry Pratchett without any doubt.

There is a bit more uncertainty about 2nd/3rd places, but contenders in no particular order and according to my favourite genres are:
Classics: Anthony Trollope
Fantasy: Ilona Andrews, Sharon Shinn
Women's fiction: D.E. Stevenson, Maeve Binchy
Golden age detective fiction: Agatha Christie, Erle Stanley Gardner

The common denominator: I not only love their books, but I am able to read and re-read them all the time. :)


message 3: by Kaśyap (new)

Kaśyap | 2 comments From English fiction I guess it’s Charles Dickens and the fantasy writers Robin Hobb and Jacqueline Carey. Read most of their books, they have these emotional stakes and even melodrama that I always look for.


message 4: by Mahoghani 23 (last edited May 20, 2020 11:48PM) (new)

Mahoghani 23 (mahoghani23) There are so many to choose from because i love series books but here goes:

1st place - James Patterson
2nd place - Fern Michaels
3rd place - Harlan Coben

I try not to do favorotes but if a book catches my attention, im off with my head in a book.


message 5: by Henk (new)

Henk | 35 comments I think it would be Stephen King, I read so much of him growing up and his output is prolific. Loved The Stand and The Dark Tower series.


message 6: by BrokenTune (new)

BrokenTune | 11 comments Kaśyap wrote: "From English fiction I guess it’s Charles Dickens and the fantasy writers Robin Hobb and Jacqueline Carey. Read most of their books, they have these emo..."

And from non-English fiction?


message 7: by Two Envelopes And A Phone (last edited May 21, 2020 04:11AM) (new)

Two Envelopes And A Phone That’s easy - my most read author is also my favourite author: P G Wodehouse. From Tales of St. Austin's (1903), to Sunset at Blandings: A Blandings Story (published unfinished in 1977, two years after he passed away), it has been stated that Wodehouse wrote one book for each year of his life - that’s 93 books. I’ve been pretty thorough...maybe most especially delighted, near the end of my Wodehouse journey, to happen upon The Swoop! and Other Stories, Wodehouse’s rare SF Satire from 1909 (plus early short stories) in a used bookstore.

I also, over the years, grabbed up any Non-Fiction relating to Wodehouse, from Thank You, Wodehouse to In Search of Blandings, plus the many biographies. My favourite Wodehouse novel is Quick Service.


message 8: by Melindam (new)

Melindam | 162 comments I love Wodehouse and you made me curious about nonfiction books about him!


message 9: by Ange H (last edited May 21, 2020 06:11AM) (new)

Ange H | 47 comments Well number 1 is no question: Jane Austen

Then based on my Goodreads history, it's a series of women with "L" names:

Liane Moriarty

Lisa Jewell

These two write compulsively readable psychological thrillers/family dramas

Lilian Jackson Braun

Author of the Cat Who... series.


message 10: by Mark (new)

Mark (kilimaro) | 20 comments Did they really take away the "most read authors" list? Geez. I guess the fact that they did it whenever and I only became aware now shows it wasn't that important, but still... it was cool to look at sometimes. I suppose I'll have to guess on what's at or near the top:

Robert Jordan - The Wheel of Time mostly speaks for itself.

Brandon Sanderson - Though sometimes I swerve hard into hate-reading, I still read and mostly enjoy most of the books in his connected Cosmere

Robin Hobb - I ended up going through a whole lot of her Realm of the Elderlings universe a few years ago

Tom Clancy - As my GR shelf is labeled, "I was young and dumb, okay?"

With all of the fantasy authors who take forever to write the next book in the series, it is nice to have a few who keep the pace moving.

Emma, Kate Elliott is one of those authors who I don't even think about most of the time but as soon as you brought her up I was like, "I liked that Spirit Gate trilogy!" Though it was a while ago and I don't totally remember why, I mostly just remember how different it felt and that was interesting. Looking at its GR rating I guess the masses don't agree.


message 11: by BrokenTune (new)

BrokenTune | 11 comments Well, if we go by largest numbers, this would be Agatha Christie, but I always felt the widget was a bit unfair because some authors I love just as much just were not as prolific, or haven't had a chance to be yet.
And 66 books + various short stories and plays is a tough act to beat.

So, I'll add a few others, because they are runners up and/or I enjoy re-reading their books, and those are all authors that have caused me to read their entire oeuvre :

- Dorothy L. Sayers
- Graham Greene
- Josephine Tey
- Ali Smith

It's difficult to say what attracts me to all of them but they all share that they require their readers to have a sense of humor, invest some thinking, and a sense of adventure when it comes to using language.


Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship (emmadeploresgoodreadscensorship) | 103 comments Mod
BrokenTune wrote: "Well, if we go by largest numbers, this would be Agatha Christie, but I always felt the widget was a bit unfair because some authors I love just as much just were not as prolific, or haven't had a chance to be yet.
And 66 books + various short stories and plays is a tough act to beat. "


See, reading 66 books by a single author is near unfathomable to me (at least as an adult - I may have done about that in my childhood quest to read all the Boxcar Children, but I'm not counting books read under age 10!). What's even more impressive is being able to write that many, though, along with other stuff and without being a total hack. It seems like most authors who write a book a year, or more, lack much staying power.

Mark wrote: "Emma, Kate Elliott is one of those authors who I don't even think about most of the time but as soon as you brought her up I was like, "I liked that Spirit Gate trilogy!" Though it was a while ago and I don't totally remember why, I mostly just remember how different it felt and that was interesting. Looking at its GR rating I guess the masses don't agree."

The first book started really slowly. If she'd rebooted the first 200-250 pages, while changing nothing else about the trilogy, I suspect it would have done a lot better.


message 13: by Jen (new)

Jen  (jennsps) | 10 comments Melinda, you are my Sista from another Mista, because I am just going to repeat your Jane Austen and Terry Pratchett. Though I will add Stephen King and Jake Burt, as well as Andrea K Host. :)


message 14: by Melindam (new)

Melindam | 162 comments Way to go, Jen! :D


message 15: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin (beniowa79) | 17 comments Back when the "most read" feature was still around, the author with the most listings was George R. R. Martin because he's listed as the editor on all the Wild Cards books. That made his count something like 50. His actual bibliography is much shorter, but he's still one of my favorite authors.

I think I read almost all the Cat Who books by Lilian Jackson Braun when I was younger so that's a big chunk of my library.

I also have 25 books by K.J. Parker. He's proven to be one of the solidly consistent authors I've ever read and has at least two all-time favorites. I tried reading one of his comic fantasies under his real name, Tom Holt, but it didn't work for me. Know what's funny? I find his dramatic fantasy under K.J. Parker funnier than his comic fantasy under his real name. Make of that what you will.

My newest go-to author is Adrian Tchiakovsky. I had trouble getting into the first book of his Shadow of the Apt series, but I've really enjoyed almost everything else so far and found several favorites.


message 16: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited May 21, 2020 02:07PM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 43 comments Back from when the feature did work, I believe GR's answer was Agatha Christie.

As to 'where a reader should start' - doesn't really matter, even with her 'series books.' As they are pretty much 'series in name only.'

As for why I keep coming back to them: most of them are well written, they are a 'comfort' read, and with most of them I can't remember who did it, so I can read it again for the first time.

That said, I like Christie, but I don't think I'd list her as my favorite author. That's probably Austen or Dickens. (Order doesn't matter there, either.)

ETA: If the question is actually either "what book have you read most?" or "who have you read the most pages from?" those have different answers. (Christie wrote short novels!)


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 43 comments Yes, Mark, and it must be several years ago now, because I remember several people asking where the feature went, back at GR Feedback. So before they killed that group, obviously.


[redacted by S.H.I.E.L.D.] (noyoucant) | 10 comments I still read every Terry Brooks book and I am not ashamed, dammit! OK I'm a little ashamed.

The obviously answer is Stephen King. If we're going by numbers I'd have to go look but Robin Hobb and Katherine Kerr certainly. And Kate Elliott is always a must buy 1st day read.


message 19: by Nathan (new)

Nathan (skynjay) | 5 comments Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship wrote: "BrokenTune wrote: "Well, if we go by largest numbers, this would be Agatha Christie, but I always felt the widget was a bit unfair because some authors I love just as much just were..." I really enjoyed Crossroads as well, even though my copy had a weird editing error in which an entire section was out of order. I still maintain most A Song of Fire and Ice fans would love this series.


message 20: by Nathan (new)

Nathan (skynjay) | 5 comments Terry Pratchett is probably the top of my list. Back in the day I read every Tony Hillerman mysteries so he is probably a close second. I also think my child hood love of Anne McCaffrey (and all the rereads I did in Jr High) would giver her a place near the top of my all time list.


message 21: by Yoana (new)

Yoana | 1 comments Hi! My most read author is probably J. K. Rowling, if you count the HP books as seven separate books, and I've read the companion books, the Cormoran Strike novels and The Casual Vacancy.

Apart from her, I've read almost everything by Jane Austen except Mansfield Park and her Juvenilia; next would probably be Pavel Vezhinov, Tove Jansson, Stephen King, Agatha Christie, Jackie Collins, Roald Dahl, Shakespeare, William Faulkner, Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, Robert van Gulik, J. D. Salinger, Deyan Enev, Ivan Vazov, Olga Krasteva - all with 5 or more books.


message 22: by Gogol (last edited May 22, 2020 10:05AM) (new)

Gogol | 113 comments I take it, by the answers given, that you’re asking whose works we re-read a lot? I have periods where I fall in love with one genre or a certain writer and I read and reread their works for several months or even years and then I stop, until several years later. But through out all my mood swings and changes, these are the consistent books that I keep turning to every few months Throughout all the years.

Lord of the rings is the book equivalent of my security blanket. There have been times when I have shoved my tattered volumes in my tote and taken them to work, not because I had even time to spare to even look at their covers much less read them, but because knowing that I carried the Shire, Aragorn, Galadriel and Gandalf, Rivendell and even Mordor in my bag gave me strength to face my work demons, as childish as that may sound to you. I have been reading it since I was 13, and haven’t stopped yet.

Shakespeare to let off steam because sometimes you NEED to stand in front of the mirror and deliver the saint crispin lecture to your imaginary soldiers, I love, love, love reading Shakespeare out loud even with my hideous accent.

Classic Persian books of which I already named Shahnameh, but three others as well the names of which won’t probably mean much to you.

Ilona Andrews. I have read every single word they have written, and love their works. Unfortunately for me they haven’t written many books. But I take my wonder at first reading Harry Potter and the world building of J.K. Rowling, and a longing for that world to be true, Multiply it by one million and it’s the exact way I feel, (at my present age!) about The worlds in Ilona Andrews books. I dole out the rereads schedules to myself as stingily as a jail warden, because I want to forget as much detail as I possibly can in between the readings. Do I sound insane? Btw it is a very difficult thing to do.

I enjoy Loretta Chase immensely as well. Her books are fantastic fun to read. Fast paced, well researched and happy. I almost forgot to add Georgette Heyer, whose works never get old if you like historical romance.

Non fiction books that I reread a lot are a few of Carl Gustave Jung’s books, wilhelm’s I Ching and Jung’s preface for it, and a Persian writer’s works on mythology, his name is vakili, and I don’t imagine his works are translated.

So these are books that I reread at least once every few months, I also read a lot of awful stuff in the hopes of finding new favourites. I love urban fantasy and go through a lot of books in the genre, I have a few Mills and boons writers that I really enjoy reading when I need a good serving of angst, I do many, many skims, and have come to really enjoy no. Fiction as well. but my other rereads of past favourites happen much less frequently. I go through them every few years. It’s been a long time since I read a Jane Austen book for example, or a Dostoevsky or so many others that at one time or other I read and reread voraciously.


message 23: by Joe (new)

Joe Jungers | 5 comments Three categories for me.
Urban fantasy - Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series, hands down. Harry Dresden's such a fun character & the cast of cohorts tagging along for his misadventures is really enjoyable.

Supernatural is Stephen King - esp. the Dark Towers books (thank god I started late on those & didn't have to wait out the years between books).

Based just on sheer quantity of titles, David Weber gets the nod in science fiction. His Honor Harrington series has 14 mainline stories, with another dozen or so books tangential to the mainline plot. The Safehold series clocks in at 10 tomes (and Weber's books are never short). His Empire of Man series is probably the shortest at only 4 books. What can I say - I like military science fiction.


message 24: by Gogol (new)

Gogol | 113 comments Joe wrote: "Three categories for me.
Urban fantasy - Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series, hands down. Harry Dresden's such a fun character & the cast of cohorts tagging along for his misadventures is really enj..."


I’ve been wanting to try Jim Butcher for a while now. But all the other books you named sound pretty interesting too.


message 25: by Melindam (new)

Melindam | 162 comments I have the 1st Harry Dresden book on audio, just haven't got round listening to it yet. Lot of GR friends praise the books as well as the narrator, James Marsters.


message 26: by Joe (new)

Joe Jungers | 5 comments The first Dresden book is kind of rough - pretty sure it was one of the author's first efforts. Overall quality improves quickly though.


[redacted by S.H.I.E.L.D.] (noyoucant) | 10 comments I couldn't make it through the second Dresden book. It put me off the entire Urban Fantasy genre for years and years which I'm just finding out now I actually, uh, seem to really love.

*ducks rocks thrown by Dresden fans*


message 28: by Chaitra (new)

Chaitra (chaitra_ganesh) | 6 comments Agatha Christie for me. Growing up, the nearest library in my town stocked the entirety of Christie and not much else, so I read all of them. and re-read some. I enjoyed them all back then. But it's been years, so I've been slowly reading them all again, and I'm sorry to say I'm wondering at my old self. Some of them are shockingly bad.

I also read a lot of Zane Grey and Louis Lamour pre-GR. I have no idea why, because I really don't like westerns. I think it was either read those or nutrition labels on food packages, I can't think of any other reason.

I've read a lot of Terry Pratchett too, and thankfully I love his work more every re-read. Other fantasy authors I've read a lot of: Neil Gaiman, Steven Erikson, Brandon Sanderson.


message 29: by Lesle (last edited May 26, 2020 03:06AM) (new)

Lesle Melindam wrote: "1st place is shared by Jane Austen ..."

Thank you Melindam for the invite.

I must concur with Jane Austen.
My most read are:
Richard Paul Evans The Walk Series a favorite.
John Grisham really enjoy his legal thrillers
Nicholas Sparks sometimes one needs fluff!

Classic: Daphne du Maurier
Willa Cather

Western: Larry McMurtry

There really is so many Classic Authors I really enjoy and I love re-reading my favorites!


message 30: by Melindam (new)

Melindam | 162 comments Great you joined, Lesle! 😊


message 31: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin (beniowa79) | 17 comments Several people mentioning Pratchett made me realize I forgot I had a bunch of his too. Almost 30 of them.


message 32: by Lesle (new)

Lesle Chaitra wrote: "Agatha Christie for me. Growing up, the nearest library in my town stocked the entirety of Christie and not much else, so I read all of them. and re-read some. I enjoyed them all back then. But it'..."

True Grit by Charles Portis is a five star western I suggest to anyone who maybe a little leery about westerns.


Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) | 76 comments The books I have re-read the most (and that's only since I joined GR and discovered them): the Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood.
And the writings of St Therese of Lisieux, including the correspondence and Last Conversations. Without them, I wouldn't be where I am today.
I do believe I've read everything Miss Sayers wrote, at least in detective fiction. I have most of her other writings as well but one of them is still on my shelf untouched, which is awful of me.


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