Top Ten Tuesday: C.J.'s Top Ten All Time Favorite Authors

top ten tuesday

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This is a cruel one, but I think I narrowed it down.  It's also weighted towards authors I've known for longer, given the nostalgia factor and the fact that I've read more of their books.  So, some of my favorite current authors (*cough* Sarah Maas Marie Rutkowski Pierce Brown A.S. King *cough*) may find themselves here in a few years.   The picture accompanying each is my favorite (ish) book by that author. 

c.j.'s selections
                         there may be extras...

one Diana Wynne Jones

My mother bought me The Chronicles of Chrestomanci Vol. I because it was thick and she figured it'd last me longer.  It didn't, but it did spark an obsession with Diana that will never wane.  She is everything that fantasy should be.  
 //  Goodreads   
two  Oscar Wilde 

Irreverent, sarcastic, witty, clever, artistic, poetic--I could run out of adjectives trying to encapsulate Wilde.  I feel a kindred spirit in him.  His books feel like home, his quotations like many of my own thoughts.  
  //  Goodreads
Chuck Palahniuk 

Yes, he's much more than Fight Club.  Palahniuk's darkness speaks to something in me.  His books are gritty, raw, and ruthless, and somehow nihilistic and hopeful at the same time.  I've understood more of life from his books than any scripture. 
  //  Goodreads
four  Kurt Vonnegut

I discovered him in English and devoured everything I could find.  He was a master of cynical hope, sarcastic genuineness, and totally bizarre, profound, self-aware science fiction.  So it goes.    
//  Goodreads
five  Neil Gaiman

I'm still working my way through his opus, but he's very deservedly on this list.  Gaiman feels to me like Palahniuk on anti-depressants, or a grown up Diana.  His books are simultaneously whimsical and profound, with a mastery of language owned by few.  
 //  Goodreads
six  Bret Easton Ellis 

Ellis is my sociopathic spiritual guide.  He's gritty like Palahniuk but more realistic.  His books are infused with a deliciously vicious humor, and an existential malaise that speaks to me at my dark moments.  
  //  Goodreads
seven  Tamora Pierce 

Pierce's Tortall books inspired me to write fantasy.  Her heroines are strong and capable; they still feel like best friends.  Her worlds had a sense of the magical that still draws me in.  She's my fantasy godmother.  
  //  Goodreads

eight  Roald Dahl 

Dahl had a knack for inventing subversive, eerie worlds that were somehow still fluffy and fun.  He appealed to my sense of the macabre while also filling my craving for whimsy.  As a child, I appreciated his silliness.  As an adult, I love his edges. 
   //  Goodreads
nine  Fyodr Dostoyevsky 

If you can't tell, I'm quite a fan of existentialism.  Dostoyevsky takes the dark and absurd and elevates it into something truly beautiful.  No one captures the angst of existence like the Russians, and for me, Dostoyevsky is their tsar.  
 //  Goodreads
ten  J.R.R. Tolkien 

There's simply no getting around Tolkien.  He's inspired me in so many ways--to write, to learn languages, to invent languages, to dream.  His books were my childhood, dense and thorny as they were.  His genius is my greatest aspiration and inspiration.  
//  Goodreads
eleven  J.K. Rowling

It would be remiss not to include her, even though I haven't read any of her new works--so I'm cheating.  Harry Potter was such a powerful force in my life, a place I'll always return to.  Rowling gave me a place to escape when I most needed it.  
//  Goodreads


Franz Kafka.  Vladimir Nabokov.  D.J. MacHale.  Alexandre Dumas.  Phillip Pullman.  Lewis Carroll.  C.S. Lewis.  Jane Austen.  

Sarah J. Maas.  Marie Rutkowski.  Pierce Brown.  A.S. King.  Matthew Quick.  John Green.  Laini Taylor.  Leigh Bardugo.  


  1. Diana Wynne Jones and Tolkien made my list, too! I love the fantastical worlds and characters they created in their books. Great list!

  2. So many great authors! I love Wilde. I thought about adding him to my list, but thought I better put more than just classic authors.;)
    I loved Dahl as a kid too!
    Howl's Moving Castle is another favorite.
    Awesome list!

  3. Roald Dahl is an amazing author! I still think his books are fantastic now. Great choices. My TTT!

  4. I've only read from one author in your top eleven. D: (JK Rowling, of course--and I haven't even finished the HP series yet!) But from your honorable mentions, I definitely agree with Sarah J. Maas (brilliant author, that one) and Marie Rutkoski!

  5. I also have Tolkien om my list. Neil Gaiman is an author i want to read more of.

  6. I saw for myself how beloved Tamora Pierce is at ALA a few years back....The line for her signing went out the door!

    Here's mine!

  7. Believe it or not, you're the first list with J.K.Rowling I've seen this morning. J.R.R.Tolkien is one of my favorites too. The Hobbit is such a fun book. Thanks for sharing.
    My TTT

  8. hahaha, yeah there were more than ten picks for me this week too^^ Rowling and Tolkien both made my list too -how could they not right?! So far though, I've only read the first Alanna book by Pierce but I loved it and can't wait to continue on with the series, spin-offs and whatever else Pierce has out there! I also seriously need to read some Gaiman. Awesome selection here!!

    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

  9. This was a particularly cruel one, but I think you did okay. :)

    Check out my TTT.

  10. Great choices. Chuck Palahniuk and J.K. Rowling made my list, too. I’m also a huge fan of Neil Gaiman and Oscar Wilde.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  11. Love Oscar Wilde, J.K. Rowling, and Neil Gaiman. J.R.R. Tolkien is another great author. I've been planning to read the Hobbit, since I've never read it. Maybe read TLOTR again as well. Great list!

  12. OMG The Witches!! I was totally in love with that book when I was younger!! <3

  13. Roald Dahl was on my list too, and I included JK Rowling even though I've only read Harry Potter and not any of her new books.