Since it’s BAFAB week, I thought I’d talk about a few of my favorite authors today. Let’s divide the categories by fiction and non-fiction.
Temple Grandin- I stumbled upon Ms. Grandin’s Animals in Translation when I saw a recommendation by a well-known dog trainer. Never have I had so many “ah-hah” moments from one book in my life! Not only does Ms. Grandin explain how animals think and why they behave the way they do, she explains people along the way. Ms. Grandin pulls from her life experience as a high-functioning Autistic person as well as explained ADHD to me in a way that I could finally really understand how life is for my own son. I’ve continued reading her with the release of her latest book Animals Make Us Human. I have plans to acquire all her books in the near future. And I highly recommend her books to anyone who has the slightest interest in people or animals.
Particia McConnell- As an animal behaviorist, Ms. McConnell explains the dynamics of the human- dog relationship in a way that is funny and endearing. Her work The Other End of the Leash has shaped the relationship I have with my dogs and helped me better facilitate the relationship between people and their pets. Ms. McConnell’s writing is chock full of tales and examples from her own life that are touching and humorous respectively. Her writing has probably influenced my interest in animal behavior and my pursuit of dog training than any other author I’ve read or person I’ve met.
Robert Vavra- I was first introduced to Robert Vavra’s photography about a decade ago while working for a Big Box Book Retailer. Since that moment, I’ve been enchanted by his photos and have dreamt of having both quality horses of the caliber his subjects are and the ability to take such fantastic, breath-taking photos. Horses of the Sun and Unicorns I Have Known captured my imagination and have yet to let go.
Robin Hobb- A fellow transplanted Alaskan now living in Washington, Robin Hobb writes fantasy fiction. I was first introduced to her work when on a boring day in 1996, I happened to pick up one of The Marine’s novels he had laying around. It was Assassin’s Apprentice and I became hooked. Ms. Hobb writes a rich world filled with color and character. It’s very easy to get caught up and swept away in her stories. I’m still hooked. I return to her first world, the Farseer Trilogy, that began with Assassin’s Apprentice every year and immerse myself. I’m waiting excitedly for our next trip to the bookstore so I can get the latest installment of The Soldier Son trilogy, Renegade’s Magic. I’ve been waiting on pins and needles for it to come out in paperback.
Anne Bishop- I stumbled upon Ms. Bishop’s books last spring when I was looking for something a little dark and gritty to read. I started with Daughter of the Blood, the first book of her Black Jewels Trilogy. While some of the pictures she paints are a bit disturbing and stick with you for days, I consider that a sign of a great tale, if you can hack the imagery. Definitely not for the faint of heart. After finishing the Black Jewels Trilogy (which has expanded since then), I read her other works, which were much gentler for mental imagery. She writes of love, magic, demons and things taboo. Ms. Bishop presents fantasy worlds where the societies differ so greatly from our own. Dark matriarchal, religious zealousness and the eternal struggle between light and dark abound in her work. I love that her work makes me think. At the time of this posting, I’m currently reading Belladonna from her Ephemera series and loving every bit of it. The latest installment of The Black Jewels series has just been released and I can’t wait!
Maeve Binchy- Beautiful, heart-warming tales of people living and experiencing life in Ireland is how I choose to describe Ms.Binchy’s books. I can imagine grandchildren at her feet while she tells tales of people she once knew and events of the past. Her ability to write the relationships of people into her characters always has me coming back for more. My first introduction to Ms. Binchy’s work was the movie Circle of Friends. One of the first and most memorable books I’ve read by her was Light a Penny Candle, which is set in Ireland during WWII, when Londonites sent their children off to live in the country or to Ireland to escape the bombing raids. Any time I pick up one of Ms. Binchy’s books, I’m immersed in a tale of friendship that leaves me with that warm fuzzy feeling.
Madeline L’Engle- Ms. L’Engle provided my first introduction to physics and the realm of possibility. I first read A Wrinkle In Time in the 3rd grade and have read the entire series periodically ever since. Little did I know, this would be the turning point and I’d fall in love with sci-fi and fantasy genres.
Walter Farley- I’m sure every horse crazy girl has read The Black Stallion. ‘Nough said!
Marylyle Rogers- I did say that my mother-in-law is an award winning romance author. Marylyle pioneered the fantasy-romance genre. What started as a book club just writing 3 chapters of a novel for fun turned into a career spanning 21 years with 17 novels and 2 omnibus’. Her historical romance novels are period accurate, with the most common time setting being medieval Britain. And while romance novels have required sex scenes, the mandantory two sex scenes are very tame and tasteful compared to most other novels of this kind. My personal favorites are the fairy trilogy, Once Upon a Time, Long Ago and Far Away, and Happily Ever After. Marylyle was also one of the first authors to reject having Fabio on the covers of her books and fought very hard to get him off them. While her books are no longer in print, you can find them online through places like Amazon and Alibris as well as in used book stores. So if you’re looking for something a little deeper than fluff yet still a romance novel, then Marylyle may just be the author for you.
Who are some of your favorite authors and why?