February 25, 2005

My Top Fifty Authors List

Friday is usually a good day for top ten lists - except that I have a hard time narrowing anything down to only ten. So instead I've got a top fifty list. These are authors I like so much that I buy all of their works, authors who have changed my life or my perspective in some way, authors I've reread at different stages of my life. I had to omit children's books because the list was getting too long but certainly authors like Maud Hart Lovelace and Laura Ingalls Wilder would be on here if I hadn't limited myself.

Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Linda Hogan,
Ursula Le Guinn, Sue Monk Kidd, Kathleen Norris,
Derrick Jensen, Terry Tempest Williams, Rick Bass,
bell hooks, Natalie Angier, Richard Nelson,
Toni Morrison, Sharon Olds, Mary Oliver,
Susan Griffin, Carolyn Merchant, Joy Harjo,
Wendy Rose, Luci Tapahonso, Zora Neale Hurston,
John McPhee, Barbara Neely, Aldo Leopold,
Rachel Carson, John Muir, Henry David Thoreau,
Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, William Wordsworth,
Alfred Lord Tennyson, Gerard Manley Hopkins,
Bill McKibben, Jean Kerr, Rumor Godden,
Lewis Thomas, Ray Carver, Rachel Carson,
Sherman Alexie, Peter Matthiessen, E.O. Wilson,
David Quammen, Sapphire, Sandra Cisneros,
Gary Snyder, Barry Lopez, Bill Bryson,
Walt Whitman, John Keats, Leslie Marmon Silko

I know I've left some great writers off the list; it was hard to keep it to fifty. But writing this list was a strangely soothing activity, like making a list of old friends.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting choices. I've never heard of many of these.

Scrivener said...

OOh, great list. I'm teaching lots of these this year, but not any of those Romantics. ;)

I especially like that you and "Ray" Carver are so close!

Sergei C. said...

You know, I read all the time, for work and pleasure. I'm in the middle of four books at home right now, which is typical for me. I bounce back and forth between them. For some reason tough, I have a mental block about the titles and names of the authors. I could summarize everything I've read, and even quote bits, but even if were to remind myself tonight of the titles and authors I'd forget by this time tomorrow.

Sergei C. said...

And I thank you, madam, for the link. :)

Phantom Scribbler said...

If you've got Ursula LeGuin, then you've included some of my favorite children's books: The Earthsea Trilogy, and (non-fantasy, so more obscure) Very Far Away From Anywhere Else.

Thanks for a look at your bookshelf!

jo(e) said...

Scrivener: I'm using the Literature and Environment reader that's edited by Anderson, Slovic, and O'Grady so I get to teach many of my favorites. And I do spend a day on romantic poetry early on. I like my students to have some idea what I'm talking about when I use the word romantic -- they aren't English majors so otherwise they will just think of the word in its common usage. I think there are often romantic elements in contemporary nature literature. Besides that one day is the only day all semester that I get to use anything I learned in grad school.

Sergei: I used to be the same way until I had to start talking about books at conferences -- I had to teach myself to start noticing author names. I NEVER remember the names of movies and that drives my friends crazy.

jo(e) said...

Oh, and I've never heard anyone call him "Raymond" Carver but I suppose that depends on where you are from. He lived here in Snowstom City in the early 1980s and everyone called him Ray.

Scrivener said...

That Lit & Enviro reader is excellent, isn't it? I'm not officially using it, but I've plundered some sections of it for reserve readings, and for my own edification. It's helped shape my class this semester too.

dr. m(mmm) aka The Notorious P.H.D. said...

I love the diversity of your list, which, of course, is exactly waht I'd expect from you, jo(e).

PPB said...

Ooh!
many of my favorites are on my list, which makes me feel better since I have always been self conscious about what I read. (probably too much junk food and not enough vegetables.)