Monday, August 16, 2010

Most Read Authors

I found myself with nothing to discuss today. Yeah, that actually happens sometimes. Then I remembered that I had saved a post about a month ago by E.L. Fay at This Book and I Could Be Friends about her most read authors.

Her post had sparked a realization for me. Well, it made me remember a realization I had when I first started book blogging. Before the blog, I had always assumed that the authors I read the most were my favorites. I mean, why else would I read so many of their books if they weren't?

Once I started spreading my literary wings with the blog and reading outside my comfort zone, I realized that my most read authors were really just the most prolific of the authors I had read. I obviously liked them, but how could a favorite author who has only written 2 books compete with an author who has written 50 or more when judged by most read?

Obviously, they can't. This list isn't my favorites authors of all time. This is more like my favorites of the super prolific authors. It was super easy to compile because I am almost clinically obsessive about keeping track of things and already had a list updated and saved.

Reading with Tequila's Most Read Authors
The Top 15

James Patterson (41 books)
Agatha Christie (40 books)
Laurell K. Hamilton (29 books)

Carolyn G. Hart (21 books)
Dean Koontz (18 books)
MaryJanice Davidson (17 books)

Bentley Little (16 books)
Michael Crichton (16 books)
Jill Churchill (16 books)

Diane Mott Davidson (16 books)
Sue Grafton (13 books)
Janet Evanovich (13 books)

Christine Feehan (11 books)
Lisa Scottoline (11 books)
Kathy Reichs (11 books)

Authors I thought I had read more of and am surprised didn't make the list: Charlaine Harris (10), Kelley Armstrong (10), Stephen King (8), Clive Cussler (6), Margaret Atwood (4)

Who would make your most read authors list? Do these actually represent your favorite authors?


  1. Oh gosh, this is a great question. Mine don't always match up. Even if an author has written a great deal, sometimes I fall in love with one book and seem to never read another by that author! Sad, but true!

  2. That is really interesting! AS I think about it, even my highest numbers are pretty low (as long as we don't consider from when I was 8-12 and I read every Babysitter's Club book ever written...).

    I don't read everything of authors that I love...I think there are too many books I want to read, so I can't get myself to read another Stephen King or Dean Koontz because I pick it up...then go "oo shiny new author to try over here!"

    That said, I think I am going to try to read more from authors that I have enjoyed by joining the Agatha Christie challenge, maybe a Stephen king or Dean Koontz challenge.

    I guess my favorite and most read will not really ever be the same, because many of my favorite authors don't have as many books and I don't think they will.

  3. +JMJ+

    Does Carolyn Keene count? =P

    My Top 5 are probably Madeleine L'Engle, Lisa Kleypas, Jo Beverley, Jane Austen, and Anthony Horowitz. I read widely, but don't tend to "glom" authors very often.

  4. Interesting post!

    I don't have a nice list, but based on my "glomming" habits (love that word, and its variations!), I would hazard a guess of my most often read authors being
    -Terry Brooks
    -Robert Aspirin
    -Margaret Wies & Tracy Hickman (who I count as "one" since they're a writing pair)
    -L.M. Montgomery
    -Sherrilyn Kenyon
    -Robert A. Heinlein
    -Robert Jordan

    Of that list, I think Heinlein is the only author there who didn't write series that sucked me in. Everyone else has a series or three that I just had to read, which increases the number of their novels I read.

  5. I tend to find a huge difference between favorite authors I enjoy who wrote tons of books, and authors I fell completely in love with because of one book I read. I enjoy anything James Paterson, but I love Haruki Murakami because of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Authors who write many books guarantee that I can always find a good book to read, which I appreciate. But a single good book has more value for me, because one book I can't get out of my mind makes a better impression than several enjoyable books.

  6. Awesome post! Agatha Christie would definitely make my most read AND favourite author list. I love her books. I can't get enough of them!

    Other than her, I do read a lot of Margaret Atwood's books. She's a great author, too.

  7. Very cool post! Charlaine Harris would probably make my list since I have read all of the Sookie ones, plus the Harper Connelly ones. I probably have others that I have read a lot of, but they wouldn't necessarily represent my "favorite" authors. Some of my favorites have only written a limited number of books. This was fun to think about, thanks!

  8. I agree - some favorites ahve only published a couple of books. Fortunately many favorites keep publishing. :)

  9. Topping my listing of most read books by an author would be James Patterson, Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb. My favorites though would be Marjorie M Liu, Laurell K Hamilton, Patricia Briggs, Toni Andrews and my all time favorite these days are Devon Monk and Ilona Andrews!

    How many others I have in my book shelves is almost endless but just off the top of my head these people are my best reading experiences from the last 5 years of reading books....

    Thanks for making us think Jennifer, I need to actually organize a list of all the authors on my bookshelves because sadly there are many highly touted ones that do not come to mind immediately but I have many many of their books!

    jackie ^_^

  10. My most read---probably would be an accurate (mostly) list of my favorites:

    Christine Feehan (I have read every one of her Carpathian, Sisters, and Sisters of the Heart series)

    Sherrilyn Kenyon (I have read all of the Dark Hunter/Were/Dream series)

    Jude Deveraux (Haven't read her in years but growing up I read everything she put out)

    Linda Leal Miller (see Jude Deveraux-same thing)

    James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell, Micheal Crichton (I went through a very big thriller phase)

    There are several other authors that I have read tons of because I tend to be a series reader.

  11. Great ? very thought provoking. I'd say Charlaine Harris, Patterson, King, Ann Rice, Cornwell, Roberts/Robb. I like JR Ward for her ballsy branding in her books, her style is not up everyone's alley though. Hamilton is an awesome author, really want to start Merry Gentry.

    Tomes Devotee

  12. Interesting question. I'm not really sure to be honest. I didn't really keep track of what I've read until a couple of year ago.

  13. This would be Mary Higgins Clark hands down, I am now going back to make sure I have read all of hers and definitely every new one I read with excitement.

    James Patterson will be a close 2nd

    I use to read Patricia Cornwell and Sandra Brown but not so much any more.

    It will be interesting to see 2 years from now after blogging and keeping a real record.

    Great post for not really having anything to discuss, lol

  14. This is making me think at the end of my day. Barbara Kingsolver and Jodi Piccoult would definetely be at the top. It has been nice as a blogger to try new authors-I've spread my wings and ventured to read things just because another blogger writes a great review.

  15. What a great question-and one I would have trouble answering! The fact is, for years my reading habits were mostly dependent on my mother's reading habits. She is a voracious reader, and because she tends to buy most of her books she passes them on to me. When I was a young single parent, if it wasn't free, I wasn't reading it! So I read a ton of Jonathan Kellerman, Faye Kellerman, Lisa Scottoline, Patricia Cornwell, Kathy you see the pattern here? Mysteries and thrillers-which luckily I love! But it wasn't until I was able to supply my own book habit that I started branching out more. Now I'm not sure what authors I would choose!

  16. This is a really cool post! I'm gonna have to consider who all I've read when I'm not so tired. Interestingly enough there are a handful of authors on your top list that I've never read!

  17. I'm really surprised that King isn't in your top 15!

    I honestly have no idea how I would pick a favorite. I sometimes feel like I have multiple personalities that each love different books and authors. If I had to go off of most books read by an author than my favorite is probably Charlaine Harris at this point.

  18. Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, J.R. Ward, Janet Evanovich, and Stephen King are the few authors I've read (and re-read) the most. There's probably more but those are the ones that automatically come to mind.

  19. No, not necessarily. I've been thinking about it and the number of books I've read by an author doesn't seem to reflect who my favourites are.

  20. Oh wow, hun! That is a lot of J.Patt! And I still have yet to read any of his works. I'm fail!

    This is a cool list! Thanks for sharing.

  21. @Andi - Exactly. Some of my very favorite writers have only published one or two books.

    @caitieflum - I read every single BSC book that was published when I was younger! There must have been at least 60 back then. I didn't even count anything I read before I started keeping track around 2001. Only recently have I been swayed by "shiny new authors."

    @Enbrethiliel - Sure, but I've never read anything by her. I used to glom like crazy. I didn't know many authors, so I stuck to what I did know and never gave new authors a chance. It's definitely different now.

    @starshinedown - Glomming is definitely an awesome word! Series definitely elevated my numbers for most of these authors. I'm something of a series fiend.

    @ksbooks - Great point. A series can keep my attention for quite a while, but I always need the next book to get fulfillment. A stand-alone book that offers the entire story, if it strikes a chord in me, can be especially meaningful.

    @Emidy - I need to read more Atwood. I own most of her books, but sometimes they look so intimidating. Some are fantastic at face value, but some you need to "get" the deeper meaning, which I sometimes miss. I'm sure to read a lot more of her in the future because I have loved about half that I've read.

    @Kaitlyn - Harris almost made the list because of the Sookie books. I have other books by her that I haven't gotten to yet, so she could very easily sneak in soon.

    @Raspberry - Yes. Some old favorites have been very prolific for me and a lot of new favorites seem to be publishing many books. It's wonderful to have sure to please books to look forward to.

  22. @jackie b - I always keep lists like this because I find it interesting to how my reading choices reflect my actual favorites. It's great to see so many others thinking about this stuff too!

    @Felicia - I think the lists of series readers are a lot more accurate than those for people who read series and stand alones equally. This list reflects my choices pre-book blogging a lot more than my current choices. I plan on making a list that only includes this year as part of my 2010 wrap-up and I'm definitely intrigued to see is the lists are similar.

    @luv46kdz - I picked up a bunch of Ward books a few months back and can't wait to read them. I've heard so many people rave about them, I just have to try them for myself.

    @carolsnotebook - If I had kept a good list from before I had kids, I think it would look a lot like this, but with more Baby-Sitter's Club books.

    @Marce - I have a ton of MHC books on my shelf, but I've only read one so far. It was great and I could definitely see her moving up on the list quickly. I know my list this year is going to be very different from years past and I can't even imagine how things will be years in the future!

    @Peaceful Reader - Definitely. As a blogger, I totally take more chances with my reading. The more I read out of my comfort zone, the more I see my tastes starting to change.

    @Heather - I did the single mom thing for years and got almost all of my books from used book sales. If the author wasn't a super best-seller, I couldn't find them at the sales.

    @christina - LOL! I'm a rather eclectic reader, so there's mystery, then cozy mystery, then urban fantasy, some horror, a little PNR and lots of other things sprinkled in.

    Tara SG - I was surprised too. I read a lot of his books in high school, but I didn't really pay attention or even finish most of them. I liked them, but I got distracted easily. I've read about 8 in their entirety, but only 2 in the past year. I'm thinking of going back and re-reading all of them to see what I missed.

  23. @Ladytink_534 - All some of my favorites! Except Ward, but I've never read her before. I have a bunch of her books and can't wait to check them out.

    @Kah Woei - I think that's true for most people.

    @Missie - It is a ton of Patterson! He writes something like 4 or 5 books a year, so it's very easy for him to be on top. There are still something like 20 books of his I haven't read, plus the huge amount scheduled to release in the next year.