Posted by: chartroose | June 23, 2008

Author’s Meme

Julie of Bookworm fame tagged me about a month ago, and I’m finally getting around to it. Sorry for the delay, Julie!

1. Who is your all-time favorite author, and why?

This is quite difficult to answer, because there are lots of authors I adore. Geez! I guess if I absolutely had to choose one, it would have to be Mark Twain. He was very prolific: he wrote novels, short stories, essays and (not so good) poetry. He had a razor-sharp wit, and there was no better satirist than Twain. I love The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Life on the Mississippi (and should reread both of these books). What I like most about Twain is that he was kind of a prophet. Many of the things he said way back when still hold true today, like this quote: “The Mississippi River will always have its own way; no engineering skill can persuade it to do otherwise…” Twain hated war and man’s inhumanity to man—and he was one of America’s first true libertarians.

Hemingway said, “…all modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.” I totally agree.

2. Who was your first favorite author, and why? Do you still consider him or her among your favorites?

My first favorite author was A. A. Milne–unequivocally and without question. When We Were Very Young is still my favorite book of poetry, and I occasionally reread a Winnie the Pooh story, especially if I’m having a bad day. This sounds so dumb, but the major characters in Winnie the Pooh speak to me when I read about them because every one of them shows a different aspect of my personality.

  • Pooh = selfishness & generosity
  • Piglet (my favorite) = fear & courage
  • Rabbit = OCD to the max!
  • Owl = intelligence & single-mindedness
  • Eeyore = self-pity and moroseness
    I have issues with Tigger, because he’s way too happy and he’s a total moron.

One of the most traumatic experiences of my childhood occurred when Mom washed my Piglet doll, and he lost an eye. She fixed him, but I never felt the same about him after that. Why do Mom’s do that? Sure, he was filthy, but it was my filth, so it was okay. A little bacteria never hurt anyone!

3. Who is the most recent addition to your list of favorite authors, and why?

This one’s easy. It’s Kazuo Ishiguro, and it’s due to this book: Never Let Me Go. (See my review here). He’s not very prolific, but I’m sure his novels will live on for a long, long time. Never Let Me Go should be taught to lit. majors. It should be dissected and examined by the best literary minds in academia. I will be reading When We Were Orphans soon, and I’m totally psyched about it.

4. If someone asked you who your favorite authors were right now, which authors would first pop out of your mouth? Are there any you’d add on after a moment of further reflection?

Okay, here they are, in no particular order:

  • George R. R. Martin
  • S. M. Stirling
  • Paul Auster
  • Michael Chabon
  • Neil Gaiman
  • Kate Atkinson

Upon further reflection, I’d add Jonathan Lethem and Douglas Coupland. Oh, and Carl Hiassen too!

Go ahead and give this a shot. It really makes you think! If you write about your favorites, let me know in the comments and I’ll go to your site and check them out.




  1. I’m on the lookout for a copy of Life On The Mississippi, and I just scored a copy of Huck Finn yesterday. I really like Mark Twain, too. Plus, he’s from my home state! Yay!

  2. I also really like Jonathan Lethem, he’s wonderful. I couldn’t agree more about Ishiguro.

  3. Thanks, you guys! Bybee, don’t you think Twain would be fun to hang out with? I can picture us sitting on the front porch cracking jokes and sipping lemonade. With the way the U.S. is heading, I think we need Mark Twain right now!

    Verbivore–Ishiguro is an author I’d really like to meet. I respect him so much. And Jonathan Lethem writes wonderfully about loss of innocence and alienation. I haven’t read “You Don’t Love Me Yet.” This must be corrected soon!

  4. Wow, Mark Twain — GREAT choice! I’ve never liked Winnie the Pooh, though.

  5. I read a bio of Twain and still haven’t made it over to see his house in CT (on my list) So many more ideas here for my Chartroose Challenge! We’re going to read When We Were Orphans b4 Remains of the Day?

  6. NEVERMIND! I just received When We Were Orphans in my mail today – so I will start reading this… TODAY! (thank you.) We’ll read Remains of the Day after WWWO, ok?

  7. […] That blogger happened to be Chartroose. […]

  8. Julie–Yeah, a lot of people have told me they don’t like “Winnie the Pooh.” I guess it’s just a preference thing.

    Care–I think you’re going to finish Ishiguro long before I do. I’ll be lucky to get to him before Christmas! I have no clue about why I fixated on WWWO first. Happy reading!

  9. I agree with you about Ishiguro. I should read all of his work at some point — I’ve read quite a bit, but still some great novels await me…

  10. I’m totally sad I’m not on your current list.

    Something to shoot for, though!

  11. Dorothy, I should send you my copy of “When We Were Orphans” when I’m finished. Have you read it yet?

    Will–As soon as your book is finished, I’ll put you on the list (unless it really sucks, but “suckiness” is subjective anyway, so on the list you go)!

  12. Well, my collection, over at Lulu, has been available for a year, so it’s finished. And free, too!

    Now as for my novel, you’re on my list to get a review copy.

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