Saturday, December 22

Favourite Books or Favourite Authors - A Discussion by Olivia from Olivia's Catastrophe


This post is part of A Winter's Tale, an event running through December for which we invited eight of our favorite bloggers to talk about their favorite books, authors etc. or share an interesting discussion. They have gone all out and gave us even better, more professional content than we expected, which is to say something. If you're here, don't forget to enter our month-long international giveaway here.

Today, we are happy to welcome:

Olivia from Olivia's Catastrophe!

Olivia is one of my more recent discoveries, but I've fallen in love with her post and videos super-quickly. She comes up with some of the most interesting ideas I've ever seen, including stuff I would have never thought of myself. She also happens to be a kind and lovely person, and so I'm incredibly honored to welcome her on The Regal Critiques today!   - Vera πŸ’™

                                                   

Hey guys! (I’m so used to saying hey Catastrophes but this is not my blog!)

I’m Olivia from Olivia’s Catastrophe And today I have a question – should we have favourite books or should we have favourite authors? Why does that matter? I feel like this answer will definitely depend on each reader, and I would love to hear your opinions! For starters, I’m definitely someone who has favourite books instead of favourite authors. I’d like to give you some examples of books by the same author; some of which I loved and some of which I passionately despise. 

Loved: The Raven Cycle. Hated: Shiver. 


The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater is a magical story which slowly transitions from a story ground in realism to magic being included more and more. The characters are realistic and all going through their own struggles. Their friendship is amazing. But Shiver? What happened there! We’ve got the classic case of absent parents, not enough happening plot wise and a whole lot of boring romance dominating the story. It took me forever to read that book.

Loved: Sense and Sensibility. Hated: Pride and Prejudice. 


Sense and Sensibility has a brilliant sister relationship and Austen always writes beautifully. I loved the dilemmas the characters had to face. Pride and Prejudice? Everyone loves Mr. Darcy but I couldn’t stand him. To me he was just RUDE and she kind of uses a whole personality change which wasn’t believable to me at all. 

Loved: The Mortal Instruments. Indifference: The Infernal Devices. 


To be fair, I have yet to finish The Infernal Devices. I’m exactly halfway through the series because I stopped halfway through book two. (We’ve been on pause for three years. I don’t DNF!) But the characters felt like copies of The Mortal Instruments with different names. Which is a shame because I do like the steampunk. 

Loved: The Goldfinch. Indifference: The Secret History. 


I head over heels cared for Theo in The Goldfinch even though he gets into the most trouble all the time. I loved the idea of The Secret History but it was going too slow. And the ending was simply terrible. But Tartt writes beautifully across both books. 

SO what is the point I’m trying to make? It’s that authors are only human. They can write bad books just as much as good books. Sometimes it’s because one book is a debut or written before the latest release. And authors do improve when it comes to writing! But look at why I think we need to have favourite books instead of favourite authors. 

Here’s why:
  • Because authors shouldn’t feel pressured to write within the same genre or style or the same universe again and again (*cough* Cassandra Clare *cough*). I’m kidding, they can do what they want. But look at Stephanie Perkins! She writes romance AND horror! I feel like authors would be more willing to expand their range without pressure.
  • It makes it seem like you are a critical reader because it isn’t the author that you love, but the quality of the book and the writing. 
  • I’m joking, we all know you are a critical reader regardless!
  • Authors are human and it kind of humanises them. They can write badly just as well as good. 
But here’s why having favourite authors instead of favourite books is nice:
  • When people ask you who your favourite author is you ACTUALLY HAVE AN ANSWER. 
  • You can have a lovely collection of all of one author’s books and fangirl to oblivion and back. 
  • It’s so much easier to slide into the fandom when you love pretty much everything you’ve read by an author. 
  • Author events are so much less awkward when you meet the author because you can gush about all the books instead of carefully only thinking about the one you love. 


Do you have favourite authors or favourite books? Is your favourite book written by your favourite author? You’d be surprised by how often the answer is no!

Olivia-Savannah x

20 comments:

  1. I’m a little bit of both. For example, I LOVE Madeline Miller’s novel and would consider her my favourite author, however there are other authors such as Rick Riordan, who has several series that I love, but also some that I hate. I like to not go into a book by a favoured author expecting it to be as great as any of their other books. Great discussion!

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    1. I totally see what you mean! Some authors write a LOT, like Riordan as you mentioned, and some fewer... I wonder if that has an affect on anything? But it's good to just remove expectations and see where their book will take you!

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  2. LOL. I'm a lot like you - and I'm sure that not loving everything an author writes is far more common than one might think. For example, I love Christopher Pike, but some of his books are sub-par compared to others, and some I simply don't like for whatever reason. As you said, it depends on the genre sometimes - maybe an author switches from, say, sci-fi to fantasy, and I don't like fantasy (Mary E. Pearson, I'm looking at you). That been said, I do have a handful of authors whose books I would buy no matter what, but it's mostly because they stick to my favourite genres and/or their writing is always excellent. But most of the times, I love the book(s) and that's pretty much it - I don't really stop and consider if I should buy a novel BECAUSE a given author wrote it.

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    1. I totally get and completely agree with what you're saying! It really does depend on the reader and what the author chooses to branch into or stay with when it comes to their writing. I'm glad I'm not the only one who tends towards loving books over authors though :)

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  3. Interesting topic! My favorite authors are Stephen King and Margaret Atwood. They’ve both written some of my favorite books ever . . . but they’ve also written some really terrible books. Like, it’s hard to believe that those awful books came from the same authors who wrote my favorites. I guess I should say that I have favorite books and not favorite authors.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. In the end though, I do think you can still call them favourite authors? I mean, I can have a favourite celebrity and not agree with every single thing they do! It's all so flexible, which is what makes this an interesting idea to me :P I usually tend toward favourite books but in the end it's up to you ;)

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  4. Thank you so much for having me over on your blog <3 It means so much to me and thank you for your lovely words about my posts and videos xx Can't wait to share this everywhere ^>^

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    1. Thank you for doing this guest-post!! I'm so glad I discovered your blog & booktube this year, they're GOLD. :D

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  5. I like the perspective on all of these books. I discovered the "sci-fi thriller" ("space western"?) writer Nicholas Sansbury Smith last year, and he can write similar stuff over and over again as far as I am concerned! I've listened to the "Hell Divers" books on audio CD, and am now on the "Orbs" series, and I am so relieved that his other series seem to have a significant sci-fi component--I was afraid they would just be "war"- and "military"-themed!

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    1. Sometimes there is nothing wrong with writing the same kind of stuff! A lot of people love Cassandra Clare just for that reason - they love the Shadowhunter concept and love to return to the world. Same with Harry Potter! I am glad you're liking all of his books x

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  6. This was a very interesting and intriguing topic. Now, I'm kinda reflecting on how many books by my favorite authors I've disliked and how many books I love by authors that I do not consider favorites...
    I love Rick Riordan and his books are life-changing, but I really dislike The Heroes of Olympus series. I still consider him my favorite author, though, and I think this works for a lot of other authors too - even if they have a book/series I don't love, if I still enjoy their writing overall, I guess I'd still have them as favorites.
    I have to admit, though, that I do not have many favorite or auto-buy authors. As you mentioned, authors are people, and it's impossible to love every single thing they create, so I rather stick with favorite books instead.

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    1. It's interesting to think about right? I also do favourite books, and I am always stumped by the autobuy author question. But I do think it depends on the reader. I'm so sorry you didn't like Heroes of Olympus! I've only read the original 5 PJ books.

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  7. So interesting!
    It'd be hard to pit those two things against each other... I think you can have favorite authors without necessarily loving (or having read) all they have written, just as you can have favorite books and not adore everything in them. Not only is it possible, I think it's what happens most of the time, for A LOT of reasons!

    Me, I have books I love, and if an author has written several of those (or one I love plus some I like), then I try to keep up with that author. And I think I consider them a favorite when they write one of those books that stays with me, that I keep thinking about (it's emotional rather than rational).

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    1. You make a lot of good points and you're right - I don't think they necessarily NEED to be pitted together. I just find it very intriguing to think about. You're right that you don't have to agree with everything in a book to love it, or everything an author writes to love their books in general either!

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  8. I find it easier to list favorite authors than favorite books. Usually, if I like an authors, it's because their books tend to work for me.

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    1. That's fair, especially as an author brings something unique to their books! I am glad you have favourite authors x

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  9. This is super interesting! I have both. I love everything Rick Riordan writes, maybe not to the same extent, but they are all 3+ stars read for me. Cassandra Clare... The Infernal Devices is my all time favorite series but TMI and Bane Chronicles and basically other books she write are meh for me. And let's not get started on Harry Potter and JKR...

    Tasya // The Literary Huntress

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    1. I love how you have both... favourite authors and favourite books alike! I understand about Cassandra Clare. I really enjoyed The Mortal Instruments but I can't get into The Infernal Devices because the characters seem too similar? I need to try and read more Riordan. I've only read the original 5 PJ books!

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  10. jane austen is my fav πŸ’š

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