All this news about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has got me thinking…
Look, I am a giant Harry Potter fan. I have read all the books multiple times. In English and in French. (In French a wand is a baguette magique. A magic baguette. Also, Voldemort’s middle name is Elvis.) I’ve seen all the movies multiple times, even though I believe them to be far inferior to the books. When Deathly Hallows came out, I spent three straight days sitting on my front porch reading it. I’ve taken many “what house are you in” quizzes (I get mixed results of Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff; Pottermore put me in Hufflepuff, so I guess that’s the definitive one.) I read posts like this with glee. I have done my own ranking of the books. JK Rowling is my inspiration as a writer and as a human.
So my point is: I love Harry Potter. I love JK. And yet…
I’m really not excited to read this new Cursed Child play.
I keep asking myself why. Part of it is that I think Harry Potter was pretty near flawless, as a series. It ended perfectly, and I don’t think there’s any more that can be said about that world that hasn’t already been perfectly said.
But part of it is also that, like many people, I eagerly awaited JK Rowling’s next foray into literature after the end of the Harry Potter series. That foray was The Casual Vacancy. And I was … disappointed.
I bailed three chapters into that book, because I was just not into it. I remember feeling vaguely angry at the time, though I think it was more at myself than at the writer herself. JK Rowling is one of my favorite writers. How could I not want to read something she’d written?
Since then, I haven’t picked up any of her books. (Though I kinda want to read the Robert Galbraith ones, and probably will someday). All of this probably has something to do with the fact that I’m not super excited about all this Cursed Child business.
And it’s not just JK Rowling. There are other writers who, after writing one or more of my favorite books of all time, go on to write something that I just plain don’t like. Or maybe they wrote the thing I don’t like first; I don’t know.
There’s Stephen King; The Stand will forever remain on my favorites-of-all-time list, but others (It, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon) are ones I barely got through. There’s Markus Zusak, who wrote possibly the greatest book of all time, whose novel Getting The Girl I DNFed around chapter two. There’s Maggie Stiefvater, whose Raven Boys series I cannot get enough of, and yet I gave her first book, Shiver, only two stars. There’s E. Lockhart, whose We Were Liars left me a sobbing mess (in a good way), and yet an earlier novel of hers just left me kind of meh. I could go on.
And there are other writers who, if they wrote a marketing pamphlet, I’d eagerly devour it.
So my question is: what authors do you always, always read, no matter what?
Rainbow Rowell I love this woman’s writing style. Even when her stories are bizarre.
Stephanie Perkins Her three books have been pretty similar to one another, but I have loved them all.
Cassandra Clare I have discussed my ups and downs with her neverending Shadowhunter series, but she did write the Clockwork Angel trilogy, which I adore, so I will continue to read her books (my review of her latest one) as long as she keeps writing them.
Audrey Niffenegger Even though her second novel Her Fearful Symmetry (after my beloved The Time Traveler’s Wife) was a terrifying hot mess of a ghost story with pretty much no likable characters, her writing is just captivating.
Jandy Nelson She has written two books, and while one was better than the other, they were both lovely.
Lauren Oliver Her books vary widely from weird ghost stories to dystopia to contemporary thrillers to perfect speculative fiction, but what they all have in common is that they’re excellent. I will always pick up her stuff.
And of course, there is the woman who is in my opinion the greatest writer writing today, Tana French. Her prose and characters are just flawless. She’s coming out with a new book this fall and I cannot wait.
Why will I read all the works of some favorite writers and not others? It’s simple: because this list of writers I will always read have not yet let me down. It comes down to consistency. These people consistently write books I love, and so I trust that they will continue to do so.
Do you have writers you read no matter what? Who are they? (I hope to be one of them someday!)
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