Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Most Read Authors

I love Goodreads for a lot of reasons, and here's one: it created a little link on the side of the "My Books" page with my Most Read Authors. Fun! I clicked on it and was shocked to discover Jane Sorenson at the top. A little known secret about me is that as an adolescent I devoured her series of twelve books about Jennifer Green, in all its ridiculous, born-again-Christian, totally cheese-tacular, intermediate fiction glory. These books were terrible, and yet great, and they taught me all about Haiti.  They are kind of from the Brady Bunch school of kids' art/entertainment. Despite the greatness of the so-sappy-they're-awesome "Jennifer Books," I really was appalled to see Jane Sorenson's name at the top of my list of most-read authors. I realized that although her series had a dozen books, if nothing else I had read at least as many Beverly Cleary and Dr. Seuss books when I was a child but just hadn't rated them on Goodreads. So I promptly went through adding and rating a few more books from those two authors. With no further ado, then, here are my top 13 most read authors:

1. Dr. Seuss & Beverly Cleary  (tie)
2. Jane Sorenson
3. Sandra Scoppettone
4. Elizabeth Berg & Virginia Woolf (tie)
5. William Shakespeare
6. Nelson DeMille & Douglas Adams (tie)
7. Margaret Atwood, Anna Quindlen, Judy Blume & Nick Hornby (4-way tie)

I'm good with the gender balance of the list, but my goodness, it's certainly very white-Anglo-American, isn't it? But, hey, naysayers! Check out all that genre fiction!

Who are your most read authors?


Brian said...

Mr. Ian Fleming, by far. Don't know if anyone will be touching that anytime soon. Second is Tom Clancy, another check mark in the political/thriller/spy genre for me. How neat.

Stephanie said...

Goodreads says my list is...

John Shelby Spong
Kurt Vonnegut
David Sedaris
Nick Cave
Jared Diamond
Erich Fromm
Bill Bryson
Ha Jin
Victor Hugo
Stephen Kinzer

I read a lot of Spong's books when I was quite young, so that's skewing the results a bit.

Charles said...

1 William Shakespeare (18)
2 L.E. Modesitt Jr. (15)
3 David Eddings (12)
4 R.A. Salvatore (11) [I was young. Don't recommend]
4 Robin Hobb (11)
4 Terry Goodkind (11)
7 Robert Jordan (10)
8 Kate Elliott (8)
9 J.K. Rowling (7)
10 Tad Williams (6)

OK, OK, I'm a genre guy, so sue me.

hownice4you said...

My list is very unsurprising (if you know me, that is...and maybe even if you don't).
1. Stephen King
2. Margaret Atwood
3. John Irving
4. Michael Cunningham
5. David Sedaris
6. Michael Chabon
7. John Guare
8. Philip Roth
9. Tom Perotta
10. Sarah Vowell

Yep, Stephen King.

Kim Diaz said...

Bearing in mind that at the top of this list should be Laura Ingalls Wilder and C.S. Lewis, both of which are among my most re-read, but whose books are listed as single-volume collections, here is my goodreads top 12:
Thomas Moore
Natalie Goldberg
Anne Lamott
Armistead Maupin
William Shakespeare
Larry McMurtry
Isabel Allende
Mary Norton
Madeleine L'Engle
Lillian Faderman
Pete Hamill
Edmund White

Maya Angelou should be in there, too, but I don't think I've listed her books, for some reason.

Megan said...

Those series authors put themselves at the top of the list. My list changed after you pointed out the feature, because I realized that there was no way all of my Stephen King reading was accounted for.

1. Stephen King
2. Kathryn Kenny (due to the Trixie Belden series)
3 (tie) Charlaine Harris and Anne Bishop
5 (tie) Orson Scott Card and Scott Westerfeld
7. JK Rowling

jnap said...

Dick Francis, Tony Hillerman, Margaret Coel, Susan Grafton, Alexander McCall Smith, BillBryson, Miriam Grace Monfredo, JA Jance, Chiam Potok

John Michael Cummings said...

re: book review request by award-winning author

Dear Linda Without Borders: Literary Supplement:

I'm an award-winning author with a new book of fiction out this fall. Ugly To Start With is a series of thirteen interrelated stories about childhood published by West Virginia University Press.

Can I interest you in reviewing it?

If you write me back at, I can email you a PDF of my book. If you require a bound copy, please ask, and I will forward your reply to my publisher. Or you can write directly to Abby Freeland at:

My publisher, I should add, can also offer your readers a free excerpt of my book through a link from your blog to my publisher's website:

Here’s what Jacob Appel, celebrated author of
Dyads and The Vermin Episode, says about my new collection: "In Ugly to Start With, set in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, Cummings tackles the challenges of boyhood adventure and family conflict in a taut, crystalline style that captures the triumphs and tribulations of small-town life. He has a gift for transcending the particular experiences to his characters to capture the universal truths of human affection and suffering--emotional truths that the members of his audience will recognize from their own experiences of childhood and adolescence.”

My short stories have appeared in more than seventy-five literary journals, including North American Review, The Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Chattahoochee Review. Twice I have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. My short story "The Scratchboard Project" received an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2007.

I am also the author of the nationally acclaimed coming-of-age novel The Night I Freed John Brown (Philomel Books, Penguin Group, 2009), winner of The Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers (Grades 7-12) and one of ten books recommended by USA TODAY.

For more information about me, please visit:

Thank you very much, and I look forward to hearing back from you.


John Michael Cummings