Top Ten Tuesday: Most-Read Authors

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s theme is authors I’ve read the most.

Unfortunately, Goodreads has discontinued the Most Read Authors tool and has no plans to bring it back. Since I don’t really want to sift through 2,500 books to find the most authors I’ve read (even sorting by author is too much), this is going to turn into the top ten authors whose works I own the physical copies of (I’m feeling too lazy to count up all the ebooks and eaudiobooks I own), which is a lot since I um, own a lot of books.

The biggest trend on my most-owned authors shelf is that I own books by white women (minus NK Jemisin). This is mainly because I purchased many of these books years ago, and haven’t really purchased a lot of items in the past couple of years, even as my reading has become more diversified. Libraries, ebooks and eARCs have been the majority of my sources for reading material. Part of the lack of book-buying is because I’m cheap, another is that I don’t often re-read, and the last is because I move a lot and books are heavy.

Tamora Pierce: 17

I love Tamora Pierce, and I love the Protector of the Small series most of all. If you have been sleeping on her Tortall books and love YA, then wake up and pick up a copy. All of her Tortall series are intertwined, but can be read as standalone quartets (or trilogies or duologies). And all are brilliant examples of fantastic world-building, in a medieval setting that is just breathtaking and comprehensive, with protagonists who are real and resilient. I love this series so much, even if I was less than enthused by the cluster-fuck that was Numair’s story (the most recent book).

Patricia Briggs: 16

I started reading the Mercy Thompson series when it first came out in 2006 and I was in love with this awesome subgenre called urban fantasy. Each year I devour the new book in the series, along with the spin-off Alpha and Omega series. I love the world-building and the politics and the dynamics, even if I’m getting a little tired by the lack of development in anything big or breathtaking. A while ago I was determined to purchase every book in the series, and I buy them when they get deeply discounted at the major book stores…although I haven’t caught up with the latest copies, mostly since I don’t buy physical books as much.

Lois McMaster Bujold: 15

Speaking of series people are sleeping on—why isn’t the Vorkosigan series more mainstream??? Honestly, this series deserves as much hype (more, honestly) as The Expanse and the Honor Harrington series. It. Has. Everything. Seriously, it has everything! Coming of age, politics, fantasy of manners, humor, political and social commentary via science fiction, rip-roaring military science fiction, intergalactic spies, family saga, and so much more. This is definitely a series I will own all of, which reminds me that I need to purchase the last few books in the series.

Anne McCaffrey: 12

So…what science fiction and/or fantasy loving woman in her 30s and 40s didn’t cut her SFF teeth on Anne McCaffrey? Honestly. The Dragonriders of Pern is a huge series about dragon-riding men and women fighting an earth-devouring menace from the sky called Thread. It was groundbreaking upon its publication through its female protagonist, scientific dragons and open depiction of heterosexuality, however it has…not aged well. Most of McCaffrey’s work hasn’t aged well, to be honest. I haven’t read a book by her in quite some time (since Dragondrums in 2013), and I don’t know if I ever will. But despite their issues, these books (and most of McCaffrey’s other work) were the defining books of my childhood, and I have owned most of them for forever. I used to own a lot more (mainly because in my teens I tried to buy every single one of her works), but have pared it down to the most nostalgic.

Ilona Andrews: 11

I love the Kate Daniels series. Sure, the first book is…rough, but the series gets so much better! It has a tough as nails mercenary investigating various things in the post-Shift Atlanta area, and there’s magic, technology and lots and lots of shifters. The world-building is pretty awesome and I really enjoyed the ending to the series—and at ten books that’s not bad for a well-loved urban fantasy series (many of which seem to have no end). I have a couple more books by the authors, but the only series that I enjoy half as much is the Innkeeper Chronicles (which are a little rough mainly because they are not as well edited).

Mercedes Lackey: 9

Just like Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey was the gateway author into fantasy for many tweens and teens. She was the bridge between the issue books and now-middle grade fantasy works to adult fantasy, as there weren’t a lot of what we would now consider YA fantasy in the 90s and early (early) 00s. I used to own quite a few more of her books, but have slowly unhauled all but my most favorite over the years since high school (I move a lot, and books are heavy!). Before rereading By the Sword in May, I can’t even remember the last time I picked up a Mercedes Lackey book.

Diana Gabaldon: 9

I rather ambitiously bought all of the Outlander series several years ago after reading Outlander for one of my library science classes (yes, I read an 800+ page book by choice for class). After having read Drums of Autumn three years ago, I realize fully that I need to get my ass in gear and read the rest of the series. I will read The Fiery Cross this year, dammit!

Marissa Meyer: 9

Yes, I own a bunch of Marissa Meyer books. I have the entire Cinder series in a box set (including the poopy Fairest, the least well-written of the books), plus the two graphic novels (because Iko is the best and the main reason why I read the books in the first place), along with Renegades and Archenemies (which I still need to read). What can I say? I like a well-done fairy tale retelling.

Robin McKinley: 8

I love Robin McKinley’s older works. Her stuff after Sunshine, not so much. But I still own quite a few of her older books, mainly because they are awesome and I love them so much. While I had a hard time getting into The Hero and the Sword when I read it for class the first time in sixth grade, it’s a book that I ultimately adore, even if I like The Blue Sword a whole hell of a lot better. Magic swords, horses, unbeatable evil, dragons and mysterious magicians alone on a mountain—those two books have it all! Plus, McKinley wrote two Beauty and the Beast retellings, and both are fantastic (Beauty is better, though).

NK Jemisin: 7

NK Jemisin is quickly becoming one of my favorite science fiction authors, and The City We Became is even better than The Broken Earth trilogy, IMO. Of course, I still need to finish The Stone Sky, another book that I will get to this year, dammit. I’ve read three of her books this year, and she is just amazing. Not a light and fluffy escape read as the other authors on the list, as most of her work is uncomfortable and thought-provoking, but still so good. If you haven’t picked up The City We Became, you honestly need to do so immediately.

What Authors Have You Read the Most?

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