Ask The Author: favorite books & writers?

Ask The Author – the Question: Dare I ask? Favorite authors? Books?

oh come on :)

No, no, okay, look, I do have some answers to this. My husband says my favorite book is TIGANA by Guy Gavriel Kay, and I can never argue with that even though who can, in fact, choose a single favorite? But if it’s not my favorite, I have a hard time telling you what is in its place. OTOH, I am now like a…decade? behind? on reading Guy’s books, which makes it feel hard to say he’s DEFINITELY my favorite author anymore? OTOH…? :D

Barbara Hambly, now. Not, as you might expect, her SFF, but her mystery novels. I did not get on with the one fantasy novel of hers I read, but I picked up the first of her Benjamin January books when it came out and I’m still buying and reading those as soon as they hit the shelves (*pauses* *goes to look* Nope, I’m a few behind on those too. brb, rectifying that…). Seriously, though, not only great stories but a *masterclass* in writing skill, just holy moly. She’s also now writing a mystery series set in 1920s Hollywood and I really liked the first book of that, too.

Daniel Keys Moran and the Continuing Time series. I love them *deeply*. I will often think ‘I’ll read just one, as a comfort read,’ and then I read them all. :)

I have recently been introduced to KJ Charles and her historical queer romances, and to give this some perspective, I read a total of 27 books in 2022 (it was a very bad reading year). I have read 14 KJ Charles books since April 2023.

Ursula Vernon/T. Kingfisher. I can’t read all of her books because she writes horror and I don’t do horror, but her retold fairy tales and YA novels and her Sword-world fantasy novels just…my goddamn heart. If you read nothing else this year, go read A WIZARD’S GUIDE TO DEFENSIVE BAKING, which made me cry harder than any book I have ever read in my life, it was so beautiful and perfect.

It seems VERY UNLIKELY that my readers here wouldn’t have read Michelle Sagara (West)’s books, but this isn’t about what you haven’t read, it’s about what I love, and I love her Elantra books (aka the Cast series, although there’s now a Severn duology that I ALSO LOVE VERY MUCH).

Kim Stanley Robinson. His favorite series of mine is the Science in the Capital trilogy, which was re-released as GREEN EARTH, but I like the uncompressed trilogy better. Unusually for this list, there are books of his I don’t like AT ALL (I guess Hambly fits that too, but I’ve read almost everything KSR has written & almost nothing outside of Hambly’s mysteries, so I don’t feel it’s quite the same), but the stuff I do like, I *love*. I think he’s one of the unsung nature writers of our time, aside from my fondness for his general politics and big ideas.

That…is enough for now. I have an idea for doing a weekly blog on what I’ve read recently(ish), which would not exactly fill this ‘favorite books’ question/space but would allow me to address a bunch of stuff I’m not sure would fall under All Time Favorite Writers but which are definitely good reads. :)

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