My Top 25 Authors, A MeMe

March 6th, 2009

Oh Holy Geeaw!

Crap on a Stick!
(Insert favorite non-cuss word, cuss word here).
Gladys tagged me to do a meme. Usually I pretend I can’t see memes whenever I get tagged. I feign paralysis. I can’t hear you! My fingers go numb. I get a burning sensation in the back of my knees. Warts spring up all over my nether regions. My innards get hepped up. My mouth gapes open. A milky film grows over my eyeballs. My fingernails turn black. My teeth fall out. I have nothing to wear. Everything that can dilate… dilates. I start seeing Colin Firth in the clouds. A funny old lady shows up at my house with a basket full of dead mice. I place a checkered bonnet atop my head. A moth eaten quilt covers my dining room table. My children begin speaking in the tongues of angels. I tap dance to and from the mail box wearing only a bath towel and a necktie. My husband takes out all the old game and puzzle boxes and painstakingly repairs each one with tiny pieces of scotch tape.
He really does do that with the game and puzzle boxes.
I am not making that up.
But the rest of it…
So I don’t usually do memes. And why are they called memes? Is it because it is about me and also me? Because if that is the case, then blogs should be called memes. And memes should be called mini-memes.
But this one got me in the old gipper and I had to give it a go.
So here it is…
The Meme from Gladys that I could not ignore.
List the top 25 authors who most influence your writing.
Okay… I don’t know about the whole influencing the writing thing… but I can name 25 authors that inspire me. After thinking it over for oh… twenty seconds… I decided that my parameters would be thus. I would only consider writers whom after I read their first book, I searched the stratosphere high and low to find all their other books and then devoured them like a starving beggar in disgusting, slobbering, gulps, because the subsequent books proved just as delicious as the first.
For instance… I love the book, Back To The Damn Soil by Mary Gubser, but the only other book she wrote was a cookbook and since well… uh… since… uh… cooking is not… uh… exactly my… uh forte, I don’t feel I can include her in this list. On the other hand, I sincerely adore Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibson. Stella wrote several other books, but they are not easy to find – so I have no idea if I would like them or not, but I am including Stella – because…. because…. well just because!
These are after all, my rules.
And trust me…. I am nothing without my rules. I am a mountain of rules. I am a seething pile of rules. Just ask my sister.
That is my sister that is all about the rules.
I am more the ‘oh go stick your dumb old rules in your stick hole’ type.
Unless I am making the rules… and changing them any time I’d like. At that point, I am all for rules.
So here are my twenty five most inspirational authors according to my rules in no particular order…
1. Carolyn Keene – My all time home girl and the author of the finest girl detective literature in the history of humankind
2. Madeline L’Engle – loved her early and love her late.
3. Jane ‘the beloved’ Austen – no one writes the dialogue bettah.
4. David Sedaris – the funniest ‘boy’ writer I know.
5. Agatha Christie – the settings, the characters, the little gray cells.
6. Stella Gibbons – author of Cold Comfort Farm the best book of all time.
7. Thomas Hardy with whom I have a twisted love/hate relationship.
8. Emily Dickinson – brevity in poetry… ahh the sweet nectar.
9. Bill Bryson – A Walk Through The Woods is in my top ten. I have all his books
10.Betty MacDonald – The funniest ‘girl’ writer ever.
11.Erma Bombeck – Sorry Dooce – you are not the post modern Erma. No one comes close.
12.Arnold Lobel – Frog and Toad
13. Gladys Taber (yes, the elderly woman who writes about her neighbors, her cats, her dogs and her little farm… she blogged before there were blogs).
14. Anne Lamott – Quirky Episcopalian that lives on a boat, wears her hair in dred locks, and is constantly wondering why people look at her oddly.
15. Leo Dangel – Rural Poet Extraordinaire
16. James Herriot – All Creatures Great and Small
17. Helen Fielding – The Bridget Jones books
18. Evan S. Connel – Mr Bridge, and Mrs. Bridge
19. Haven Kimmel – A Girl Named Zippy, and She Got Up Off the Couch.
20. Elliot Merrick – Green Mountain Farm, Northern Nurse, True North. I have only read Green Mountain Farm, but it is such a gorgeous book, that I know I would love the others. I JUST KNOW!
21. Willa Cather – My Antonia, O Pioneers, truly one of the greats.
22. Beverley Nichols – No one breathes life into garden statuary the way Nichols does.
23. Okay… who am I missing? Am I going to get roasted if I pick J.K. Rowling?
24. I am going to say Jane Austen again, just because I feel like it.
25. Ho
w about Ken Follet for the last slot? He wrote the Cathedral book. You know… the cathedral book.. ‘Pillars of the Earth’. I was completely enthralled by that book and could not put it down. I am now in the midst of his follow up ‘World Without End’.
If you want to join in – leave a link to your post, or leave your list in the comments. And good grief!… you don’t have to do twenty five! Feel free to re-write the rules to suit yourself. Shoot Fire! You can leave your top twenty five homemade remedies for curing hepped up innards if you feel like it. Just don’t tell April I said you could.


  • Oh my gosh! We’re soulmates! I read The Egg and I annually! And Bill Bryson has been my main squeeze for over a decade. I just chanced upon you–the absolute bliss that is the Internet!!! I’m trying to think of an author to throw back at you…hmmmm…John Irving. Quirky characters, unlikely happenstances. I’ll be back.

  • nancy in alaska:

    This comment is very late…but have you read much of Larry McMurtrey? I love all of his books – fiction and nonfiction. Especially Lonesome Dove.