A post at the excellent Kittling: Books the other day got me thinking. Cathy listed all the authors whose books she buys automatically as soon as she knows they’ve a new book out and many of the writers on her list had very long-running series that Cathy has stuck with all the way through. What got my little grey cells humming was that If I were to come up with such a list it would be brief to the point of embarrassment.
In fact it would consist of one author: Sue Grafton. I’ve read her alphabet series from the beginning and have bought each instalment, though, I must admit, not always immediately it was released (book pricing in Australia has always been obscene and I have not always had enough disposable income to shell out for new release prices). All the other authors whose books I used to buy automatically and who are still writing including
- Patricia Cornwell
- Linda Fairstein
- Elizabeth George
- P.D. James
- the Kellermans (husband and wife only not the offspring)
- Stephen King
- Karin Slaughter
are no longer anywhere near my radar. With most of them I simply became bored: feeling like I was reading the same book repeatedly or believing the authors to be such big names that no one is prepared to edit them properly anymore so their stuff is bloated (you really don’t want to get me started on all the things wrong with Elizabeth George’s later books). I even crossed Sara Paretsky off my favourite authors list after this year’s BREAKDOWN landed on my DNF pile due to its overt claims to a moral superiority it did not earn.
The next-closest I have to an author whose books are ‘auto-buys’ for me is journalist turned fiction writer Geraldine Brooks whose non-fiction and historical fiction I have generally loved. But even then I baulked at MARCH (a story from the point of view of the absent father from LITTLE WOMEN). I’ve pretty much read everything Ian McEwan ever wrote too, though I’ll admit that I never finished SOLAR and feel a bit wary about whatever he might release next.
There are some recently new-to-me writers whose books I eagerly anticipate. These include
- Sulari Gentill
- Chris Grabenstein
- Kerry Greenwood
- Elly Griffiths
- Katherine Howell
- Adrian Hyland
- Arnuldur Indridason
- Asa Larsson
- Liza Marklund
- Johan Theorin
But I haven’t been reading any of these authors for more than 3-4 years so I’m hardly a long term fan. Perhaps I’ll tire of these too?
What about you? Have you been reading the same authors for a long time? Is it fickle to have completely changed my reading tastes or a by-product of maturing?