I have a giant list of authors I wish I had already read by now. But their immense popularity among readers means that their name is now associated with a feeling of intimidation - what if I don't 'get' this author? Or what if I did, but didn't like the author's writing at all? Since I do really want to like this author's writing so much, I end up not reading any of the authors' books preferring instead to continue admiring this author without worrying about ruining that sentiment.
But I've decided I won't know what my reaction would be if I didn't actually read anything written by the authors. So here are five authors I want to read over the summer.
1. Margaret AtwoodI own five of her books. FIVE. That's how bad I feel about not reading her books already. Who owns so many books by the same author unless they were already a hardcore fan? What if I end up disliking one of her books? I know many of you are fans of her work, so which among the following would you recommend I start with?
- The Blind Assassin
- Oryx and Crake
- The Year of the Flood
- Alias Grace
- The Handmaid's Tale (I am leaning towards this one because I own the ebook and my reading medium has been overwhelmingly ebooks lately.)
2. Neil GaimanI've actually read two Neil Gaiman books - Coraline and The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Both are however, more of the YA variety so I want to read his adult books and see what they are like. What I love about Gaiman's books is how imaginative they are. His stories are so intricately composed that I'm awed by what he writes. At the same time though, some of his elements could be so out there that it feels very unreal. That's what happened with Coraline. I couldn't enjoy it. But The Ocean at the End of the Lane was gorgeous.
3. Helen OyeyemiI'm not sure I am the right audience for her books as I have often struggled with magical realism. But Oyeyemi has such a huge fan following even among readers who have confessed that magical realism is not for them. Besides, I've always wanted to read a book or two that are based in fairy tales and Oyeyemi seems to be the queen of that craft.
4. Zadie SmithAnother author who already adorns my shelves, this time with two titles. It's embarrassing to see how many books I have of the same authors. (See, I do have good intentions, I just never get to honoring them.) I have both NW and White Teeth and after glancing through a few pages of one of her books, I wonder if it's necessary to settle down somewhere without distractions to enjoy her books.
5. Toni MorrisonTechnically, I am cheating with this option because I am already halfway through one of her books. But I feel compelled to add her to the list because she is yet another author I have wanted to read for a long time. I had picked up her A Mercy two months ago but it was not going well (in the sense that I wanted to spend some time alone with the book and that wasn't happening). But, I recently started reading God Help the Child and this one is going wonderfully
If you have read any of these authors, are you a fan? which book did you love the most?
Did you ever read an author with high expectations, only to become a "non-fan"?