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Book Related Banter > 12 Must-Know Authors

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message 1: by El (new)

El I saw this link on MSN. According to Esquire magazine, these are the 12 authors that no one should miss.

So, fellow book-snobs. What do we think? Who is on this list that shouldn't be, and who do you feel is missing? Personally I am saddened by the lack of lady writers. Zadie Smith and Flannery O'Connor are fantastic, but I would have enjoyed seeing Margaret Atwood's name at least.


message 2: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) Ugh, I saw this article this morning and was a bit disgusted by the lack of women writers on the list too.


message 3: by Carly (last edited Mar 05, 2010 09:05AM) (new)

Carly Svamvour (faganlady) | 220 comments George Orwell looks something like Sean Penn.

Did you see that rant about Stephen King there, in the posts?

Yeah - there should be more women! Women rule!


message 4: by Carly (new)

Carly Svamvour (faganlady) | 220 comments It's a good article though - thanks for linking to it.

Did ya' see that pic of SK? Holy smoke! Has he ever aged!

He's younger than me (I think) and he looks older!

'Course everybody can't be as drop-dead gorgeous as meself.


message 5: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10035 comments Mod
I was happy to see Cormac McCarthy.
I may be a bit biased here, but I think Jules Verne should have been in there, as well as Jose Saramago... And what about Steinbeck??


message 6: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jayme-reads) Saramago would have been refreshing, Lori. Not only were there only two women, but most were all white, American men. There was one Canadian, and four from the UK. Where's the diversity? Definitely an old boys club.

I would have liked to see Tolstoy, Atwood, Tolkien, Kipling, Nabokov, maybe Charlotte Bronte, Jack London, Dostoevsky, Barbara Kingsolver, Toni Morrison, Hemingway, Ray Bradbury, and Neil Gaiman would have upped the coolness factor of that list. It's funny that people were ranting about Stephen King, he definitely stuck out in that list, but he totally belonged there.


message 7: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) LOL El, I almost posted something about this myself last night, but I was tired and just decided to go to bed. :)

I didn't read any of the comments, but there's rarely a shortage of negative ones when it comes to Stephen King being on any "must read" list. He's still pigeon-holed into this "Can't Be Worth Reading" category because he's popular and writes about popular culture... and horror, of course. And everyone knows that in order to be worth reading you MUST write obscure literature or something high-brow. (King's books are honest at least, which is more than I can say for a lot of authors.)

Anywho. Was it just me, or did the blurb they chose about Flannery O'Connor make anyone NOT want to read her? Seriously, "She would of been a good woman ... if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."

That sentence is awful!! Is that really how she writes?? 'Would of' instead of 'would have' and 'if it had' instead of 'if there had'... Jeez. If that's really how she writes, reading her would probably make me crazy. (Sorry Lori!)


message 8: by El (new)

El Flannery was a good ol' grumpy (and painfully unhealthy) Southern woman! Her writing definitely reflected her Georgia upbringing and experiences.


message 9: by Mary (last edited Mar 06, 2010 03:01PM) (new)

Mary (madamefifi) | 358 comments Eh. It's a list published in Esquire magazine, probably written by a man, which would explain the dearth of women writers Any one of us could write the same article with 12 different writers and sound just as....condescending? Pompous? Smug?

I dislike blippy little lists like that because reading choices are personal and I resent someone implying that I'm not well-read if I haven't read whatever by whomever. I feel sorry for the people who read those lists and rush out to buy the suggested books because they have been made to feel inferior. Those people are less inclined to actually read them as they are to use the books as set dressing.

Rant over. Carry on.


message 10: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) El wrote: "Flannery was a good ol' grumpy (and painfully unhealthy) Southern woman! Her writing definitely reflected her Georgia upbringing and experiences."

Hmm... I'd always thought she was an Irish writer (but maybe that's just the name). Maybe one day I'll have to give her a try and hope I can see past that... Any recommendations? :)


message 11: by Liz (new)

Liz Becky, I've just started reading Flannery O'Connor, and while her stories are very serious, they are good.
I'm actually not sure how to feel about this list. I kind of feel that if we're going to say certain authors are utterly quintessential, the list needs to be longer than twelve people. I also don't know some of the authors on there, although I do like that they included Zadie Smith. With Orwell it seems to me like they recommended a lesser known book, which seems odd to me.


message 12: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) I thought the same thing about Orwell, Liz. I thought for sure that it would be Animal Farm or 1984.

What would you recommend for O'Connor, Liz? I'm curious now.


message 13: by Liz (new)

Liz Becky, at this point I would say yes, but I've only read two of her stories. They're very sad but intriguing, and it's interesting to see how many themes she incorporates. I'm only supposed to read those from A Good Man Is Hard to Find (for school) but will probably read them all.


message 14: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10035 comments Mod
Ooooh yes, how could I forget Nabokov and Hemingway????


message 15: by F1Wild (new)

F1Wild Any list that would exclude Steinbeck is not worth even looking at, IMO.


message 16: by Alex (new)

Alex This list does an awesome job of proving that it's stupid to make lists like this.


message 17: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 266 comments Becky wrote: "I thought the same thing about Orwell, Liz. I thought for sure that it would be Animal Farm or 1984.

What would you recommend for O'Connor, Liz? I'm curious now."


Becky, I'd recommend Everything that Rises Must Converge (O'Connor)- beautiful, tragic, engrossing stories


message 18: by Lianne (new)

Lianne (eclecticreading) lol, I just looked at the list and I'm a bit confused as to what I've just read from it xD The only person I've read from that list is Orwell...and Shakespeare, of course xD


message 19: by Chris (new)

Chris Peel | 37 comments William Faulkner keeps appearing in my life, maybe its time that I read him. Anyone have any opinions on him? I know he's meant to be hard to read but is it worth it?

Orwell choice is a weird one. I've only read Animal farm and 1984, and enjoyed them, so I might have to read Down an Out aswell.

May to-read list just grew larger, again.


message 20: by El (new)

El Chris, I'm not a Faulkner fan, but would recommend at least reading his short story, A Rose for Emily. Can't chime in on the novels since I just can't stand them.


message 21: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Thanks Brenda... I'll give that one a try! ;)


message 22: by Chris (new)

Chris Peel | 37 comments El wrote: "Chris, I'm not a Faulkner fan, but would recommend at least reading his short story, A Rose for Emily. Can't chime in on the novels since I just can't stand them."

Just wondering if you liked Hemingway, then? Seem as their meant to be opposites, and I hated Hemingway, I might just have to give Faulkner a try.


message 23: by Andreea (new)

Andreea (andyyy) | 117 comments Chris wrote: "William Faulkner keeps appearing in my life, maybe its time that I read him. Anyone have any opinions on him? I know he's meant to be hard to read but is it worth it?

Orwell choice is a weird on..."


I think you have to have patience with Faulkner. He's one of those writers who seem to me like the thing you could only read while on your summer holiday and with 2 weeks of doing nothing except laying around in the sun at your disposal. I've tried him three times already, but I never had the patience to finish his books though I think I'll make another attempt at Light in August this summer. Anyway, he's completely worth trying since he's such an important figure in American and world literature etc. etc. and if you don't like his style, you can just stop reading.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Becky wrote: "LOL El, I almost posted something about this myself last night, but I was tired and just decided to go to bed. :)

I didn't read any of the comments, but there's rarely a shortage of negative one..."


Becky - I just finished reading Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O'Connor and that is totally how she writes. El and I had a great couple of comments back and forth regarding her. I could barely finish the book. Although we agreed that she would be a great read when you are in the right mood. She is very cynical about people in general, and this characteristic just built with each story in the book that I read.

Bottom line, I'm glad I read her, but I won't be running out to get another book by her anytime soon. In my opinion, it's too bad she is the only woman writer that they chose. I would think there would be much better choices, but that is just my opinion.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Andrea - That is the perfect way to put it! I will try anyone once, just to see, but I like to think that if it gets too bad, I can just stop.

Chris - I also do not like Hemmingway, but I didn't realize they are supposed to be opposites. In what way? I'd love to have you elaborate on that.


message 26: by Chris (new)

Chris Peel | 37 comments I think its a style, this is only judging Faulkner on what I've heard though. Hemingway books have quite a lot of plot but its style is quite bare, which is why I didn't like him. How about you?

Where as Faulkners books focus on small events and its style is heavy and complicated. For course I could be wrong, but I just read it in a review of A Farewell to Arms and thought it was worth mentioning.


message 27: by El (new)

El I find both Hemingway and Faulkner both boring as writers, but I'm basing that on the Hemingway I have read and the Faulkner I can't get excited enough about to read.

It seems one either really likes Faulkner or dislikes Faulkner. Very rarely do I hear someone shrug and say "Eh" when his name comes up.


message 28: by Liz (new)

Liz Lyn M wrote: "Andrea - That is the perfect way to put it! I will try anyone once, just to see, but I like to think that if it gets too bad, I can just stop.

Chris - I also do not like Hemmingway, but I didn'..."

I have her complete stories but I'm focusing on the ones from A Good Man Is Hard to Find right now. I really want to throttle some of the characters.


message 29: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Thanks for the info Lyn. I can be quite cynical myself, but then it's different when you're reading it. The grammar and word misuse though, that would bother me. Would of instead of would have? I have to restrain myself from correcting people who are not famous writers when I see that kind of thing. O_o

I will give it a try, and hope that my brain doesn't explode. :)


message 30: by Katie (last edited Mar 16, 2010 05:36PM) (new)

Katie Chris wrote: "William Faulkner keeps appearing in my life, maybe its time that I read him. Anyone have any opinions on him? I know he's meant to be hard to read but is it worth it?

Orwell choice is a weird on..."


Chris, I really liked As I Lay Dying. I also really liked For Whom the Bell Tolls. *shrugs* This reminds me of the time when my guidance counselor told me I should try advanced physics because I didn't like chemistry: "You're either a physics person or a chem person." Turns out I'm not a science person. But I digress...

I'd say give Faulker a shot. At the very least it would allow you to choose a side in the great love/hate debate. Don't think you're going to like him just because you didn't like Hemingway, though. I guess that's my point.


message 31: by Chris (new)

Chris Peel | 37 comments Katie - Point taken, just wanted to check if the arguement had anything to it. And maybe you should try Biology, thats the best science.

And I will be rreading some faulkner sometime soon then :D


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