Monday, May 15, 2017

Discovering New Favorite Authors

We all have that/those author(s) we had to read in school and just maybe ended up enjoying and calling them  favorite authors. Being from California, I had to read at least one John Steinbeck book in high school (I live only about 40 miles from his hometown of Salinas). We just may want to read more of that author or re-read what we've already enjoyed. 

Wallace Stegner

Sometimes however, we may just find a favorite author that we never heard of. One day last year, while scanning my library shelves for something to read, I saw some books by an author named Wallace Stegner (picture above).  I'd never known about him until then and no one I know seems to have heard of him. But once I read a collection of short stories by this author, I decided to read more of his work.  To date, I've read the following books of his: 

Collected Stories
Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs
Angle of Repose
The Big Rock Candy Mountain
The Spectator Bird (currently reading)

And at home I have a used copy of this one, found at a local thrift store:
All the Little Live Things

I've enjoyed all the ones I've read so far and am eager to keep reading more. I definitely recommend his work to those who have never heard of him and/or who are curious now that you've read this. Sometimes when you discover a writer you've never heard of, you find someone and something you like to read.  FYI, Angle of Repose was a Pulitzer Prize winner, and The Spectator Bird a winner of the National Book Award.

Coincidentally, I discovered another author named Wallace--Wallace Thurman (below). To date I've only read one of his books, The Blacker the Berry: A Novel of Negro Life, a novel from the Harlem Renaissance era.  I enjoyed this one as well and recommend it to those who don't already know about it. Again, no one I know has ever heard of this author.

Wallace Thurman

And I like to read poetry as well, and I recently discovered the poet named Wallace Stevens. Gee, what is it with the name Wallace?  I read The Collected Poems, which won the Pulitzer.
Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens.jpg

And this is just the tip pf the iceberg of new favorite authors.  I'm sure I may just find more little-known authors that I will end up wanting read more of. How about you? Have you discovered anyone knew to you that you found yourself really liking to read?


Ann Bennett said...

Oh my, you have found some interesting reads.

Elephant's Child said...

I often discover new 'favourite' authors. And am so very grateful to writers who provide me with comfort, with education, with escape. And more...

Computer Tutor said...

It is a great day when I discover a new favorite author. It's like finding a new friend. They can so enrich my life.

Sandra Cox said...

My husband enjoys Wallace Stevens. Good choice.

Barbara said...

Hi Jamie, I’ve not heard of any of the writers you mention here, but I definitely want to read Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs and The Big Rock Candy Mountain. How could I not want to read them with titles like those? I’ve just added both to my must-read list and will be scouring charity shops in search of them. It’s amazing how many times I read about a book on a blog and then find it almost immediately. It might just be because the title is fresh in my mind, and it sort of springs out at me from a shelf.

Crystal Collier said...

I have actually heard of Wallace Thurman. It may have been through a college course years ago, but the name wasn't new to me. I fell into a Dicken's binge the way you did with Stegner. That's rare for me. I usually just go by book concepts and not necessarily an author. However, there are some authors I won't read because I gave them a chance and really didn't connect with their writing. It happens, eh?

Jamie Ghione said...

Thanks. Glad to see someone who likes this one. No one I know knew about him, either.

Jamie Ghione said...

I got most of these books from my library. Their copy of All the Little Live Things is a non-circulating (reference section), so when Is aw a copy at thrift store, I just had to snag it.

The Thurman book, I ordered from Amazon since the library didn't have it. I had seen it mentioned on someone's blog and wanted to read it after looking it up.

Jamie Ghione said...

I guess it does happen, but also the opposite.

Jamie Ghione said...


Jamie Ghione said...

Jacqui and EC: That's a good observation. That's how I start to fell about some of the new favorites I discover.