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My Top Ten Most Read Authors

top ten

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Broke and the Bookish. Every week they post a new top ten list prompt and book bloggers respond with their lists. We don’t usually participate in these sorts of things, but this week was kind of a fun one and I was curious to see whether my most read authors corresponded to my favorite authors or if there were any surprises.

I decided to count books series as one book mainly because once a start a series, I feel compelled to finish it even if it is terrible. Here are my top 10 most read authors.

1. Agatha Christie – 18 books. I’m pretty sure I’ve read almost all her books because I went through an obsession with her books in my pre-teens but I didn’t keep track of all the titles I had read. In adulthood, I’ve only read 1 and that was a reread for my 1001 book group.
2. Stephen King – 16 books. This was another author I read voraciously as a teenager, but have only read one book 11/22/63 in the last 5-10 years.
3. Charles Dickens – 9 books. I’ve always loved the classics and Dickens has always been a favorite. While I read most of his books as a child/teenager, I continue to like his books as an adult.
4. Tom Robbins – 7 books. I went through a Tom Robbins phase when I was in college. I haven’t read any of his books lately, but I think I would still like them today. I love his mix of quirky books with humorous philosophical undercurrents. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues was one of my favorite books in my early 20s.
5. Neil Gaiman – 6 books. His books are hit or miss for me but I have loved many of them and Neverwhere is one of my favorite books.
6 -8. Tie between Haruki Murakami, Margaret Atwood; Jane Austen with 5 books each.
9-11. Tie between Chimamanda Adichie, Heinrich Böll, & Kazou Ishiguro with 4 books each. This was an interesting tie because Adichie is one of my current favorite authors while the other two are not (although I do like Böll’s writing).

Many of my top ten were authors I had read as a teenager and don’t really reflect who I am as a reader today. The second half of the list is the closest to my current interests. Some, like Ishiguro and Heinrich Böll, made the list because of the 1001 books to read before you die list — meaning I read them because I’m trying to complete the 1001 list. Three of my current favorites (Adichie, Murakami, and Atwood) made the list. Shakespeare probably should have made my list since I’ve read most of his works, but I didn’t log any of them into goodreads. Some of my favorites were shut out at three books including David Mitchell (I’m reading my fourth now), Edith Wharton, and Thomas Hardy.

I am grateful that I didn’t include book series in my top ten or I would have ended up with a very embarrassing list of authors who most certainly don’t reflect my primary reading interests.

Which authors make your list of most read?

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. My faves on your list are Stephen King (probably the one I’ve read the most of), Neil Gaiman (just fell in love with him), Margaret Atwood (love her)….and on my list, I’d add John Irving, Chuck Palahniuk, and Ray Bradbury.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 11, 2015
  2. As a kid, I read all the Nancy Drew books (Carolyn Keene). Like you, I’ve read a lot of Stephen King, but no new novels of his for years (started to become to gory for me). I did read his “On Writing” though and loved it. My fave contemporary writers (that I’ve read a lot of) are: Paul Theroux, David Vann, Elizabeth Strout, A.S. Byatt, Richard Ford, Charles D’Ambrosio..I’m probably leaving some people out. I’m also newly fond of Murakami, thanks to you, and James Joyce.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 11, 2015
    • So glad we could pass on our love of Murakami! I used Goodreads to determine my top 10 and so a lot of my childhood books are not listed on there. I also loved Nancy Drew (I wanted to be a detective as a child thanks to those books). I haven’t read On Writing but I’ve heard good things. Thanks for sharing your favorites!

      Liked by 1 person

      August 11, 2015
  3. Tracy S. #

    I was a Stephen King addict in high school, but also loved classics. It was in an advanced Lit course where I discovered Jane Austen and re-discovered Charles Dickens. I also was a huge fan of Tom Robbins and Anne Rice in college.
    Now, I can say that Dickens, Austen, Rice, Kent Haruf, Hardy, Philip Roth and Turgenev are my most read. I would say that Rushdie, Murakami, Borges, David Mitchell, Wendell Berry and Boll will soon be on the list.
    Jen, it’s no wonder that we tend to agree on books!

    But as far as my favorite authors- well, that person could be the next one I read!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 11, 2015
    • I haven’t read any Haruf. I really have to get to his books. We do have eerily similar tastes. I’ve always thought BW was my book twin but maybe we are book triplets 🙂

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      August 11, 2015
  4. Did all of your blog readers read Tom Robbins in college? Add me to the list, don’t believe I’ve read him since though I’ve been curious to give him another try lately to see what I think of him now. Excluding series, and those that might just as well be a series such as Carl Hiaasen (16!) that are quite similar, leaves me with a surprising winner, John McPhee at 18 books. I think I went through a prolonged almost exclusive non-fiction phase. As for novelists my top five are Gaiman, Dick, Murakami, Russo, and Theroux. I suspect that I’ve read enough Irving to crack that top 5 but I evidently failed to enter them on my shelf. He’d probably supplant Theroux who is probably inflated by his non-fiction travel books.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 11, 2015
    • that’s too funny. The last one I read was Fierce Invalids when it came out in 2000. I would be curious to see if I still like his books. I think you and I also have significant overlap in our book tastes although we have differed on some ratings. I like your top authors!

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      August 11, 2015
  5. JoLene R #

    Interesting to think about. From high school and college days, my most read were Anne Rice and Kurt Vonnegut. John Grisham and Richard North Patterson would probably be up there as well. My most read author in the last couple of years is probably Stephan Lawhead — even if I count each series as one book, I’ve still read 7 (but really about 20 books). I’ve also read a lot of John Irving — although mostly the older stuff. Wilbur Smith is also high on my list, but his books are really hit or miss for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 19, 2015
  6. I think the two authors I’ve read the most are Agatha Christie and James Hadley Chase. Read them both during my school days. Recently, I read three books by Liane Moriarty.

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    August 25, 2015
  7. Murakami, Atwood, Austen, Ishiguro for me. I’d add Joyce, Bolano, Patrick White, Flann O’Brien, Antony O’Neill, Anthony Doerr…just for starters

    Liked by 1 person

    September 2, 2015
    • Great authors! Many of my top ten made the list because of what I read when I was a child or teenager. Atwood and Murakami will likely keep climbing to the top. I have only read the savage detectives by bolano but it is one of my favorite books. Joyce I’ve read three although Ulysses should count for more than 1.

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      September 2, 2015

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