Top Ten Tuesday: Mainstream Authors

Posted November 14, 2023 by Nicky in General / 42 Comments

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is one I’m not totally sure how to answer, because I don’t really know what counts as “mainstream” for these purposes, and I have pretty eclectic taste. Let’s have a shot: the theme is “Mainstream Popular Authors that I Still Have Not Read”.

  1. George R.R. Martin. Okay, he’s a fantasy writer, but pretty much a household name by now, right? Anyway, I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by him — and I definitely haven’t read the Game of Thrones series.
  2. James Patterson. I do have one of his books on my to-read list because it involves postcards (and I review books about postcards for Postcrossing’s blog), but I haven’t read any yet.
  3. Zadie Smith. I think I audited a course that had one of her books on the list, back in university, but I wasn’t actually sitting the course so I didn’t do all the reading.
  4. Elena Ferrante. I try most stuff, but her books don’t really appeal to me, so I doubt I’ll give them a shot any time soon.
  5. Hilary Mantel. I’ve got a couple of her books to read, but I’ve not touched them yet. Oops?
  6. Jonathan Franzen. Something about his work just super does not appeal.
  7. Michael Chabon. I own a couple of his books, I’ve even intended to read them very strongly at times… but I’ve never actually got round to it.
  8. Sally Rooney. I don’t actually know much about her books? They’re not squarely in my wheelhouse, or I’d know more about them from others at the very least, but it’s not like I’ve made a firm decision not to try them. Rather, what I’ve seen/heard is fairly limited, and I’ve made no decision, but nothing’s drawn me in either.
  9. Amy Tan. I have a copy of The Joy Luck Club somewhere, or I used to, but I never touched it. Oops.
  10. Steig Larsson. His books never really called to me from all I heard about them, though they were such a thing for a while that I had my eye on them.

Do I have surprising gaps here? Is there something you’re curious about whether I’ve read it or not?

Just… don’t try to argue with me whether these are mainstream or not. I just found a list or two of mainstream authors and cherry-picked from that!

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42 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Mainstream Authors

    • You’d think I would, since I’m a lifelong SF/F fan, but nope. Just never quite got to it, and in some ways it doesn’t entirely appeal.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  1. Joining the club of ‘only GRRM from that list’ for me! I don’t blame anyone for swerving him, either, hard to start a series you know might never get an ending.

  2. I don’t think you’re missing out by skipping anyone on your list. I’ve subjected myself to all of them and while some were better than others, the “best” of them are a deep, resounding “meh” for me. XD

    • Yeah, I can get that. I have pretty broad tastes and have enjoyed a bit of everything, but something about GRRM’s work doesn’t entirely appeal (quite apart from his personality flaws, of which I’m a little too aware from attending Worldcon).

  3. Fascinating list. Zadie Smith’s Swing Time I loved–it takes a shot at the celebrity as humanitarian. I saw a lot of that when I was in Peace Corps. I only liked one of Hilary Mantel’s earliest books–Ghazza Street. I tossed Wolf Hall. I threw Normal People across the room at “Can I ____ in your mouth” Not my thing. I read Joy Luck Club in a college class–it’s well worth it. I read Dolly Parton’s book with Patterson because it’s Dolly lol. Read what YOU like and don’t worry!

  4. Martin is the only one here I’ve read, and as others have said, I don’t always like his style. I’ve kind of lost interest as the years wear on…

  5. There’s a few of these I haven’t read either……no Patterson for me or Chabon but I think I’ve read all the rest on your list! There are a few I tried that I enjoyed much more than I thought I was going to, like the Larsson and Hilary Mantel.

  6. Yes, George RR Martin is one I haven’t read either. I probably won’t either. Patterson is one I included even though, technically I read one by him, but it was a co-author thing. I watched the movies based on Steig Larsson’s books, but never read him. Great list and thanks for visiting my TTT! 🙂

  7. I really enjoyed the Millennium Trilogy from Steig Larsson – I could take or leave the books continued by other authors, but the original three are fantastic. Thanks for visiting my blog earlier!

    • For my part, I’m so bad at watching TV! Though big books scare me too, since I’m pretty busy (I work full time and I’m studying for my MSc). Thanks for dropping by!

  8. I’ve only read The Corrections by Franzen. You need to be a fan of dysfunctional families for that one. I’ve read Normal People by Rooney, which I liked, but I preferred the adaptation. But I do love Stieg Larsson! I’ve only read the original three books in the series, though. Not the ones completed by other authors after his death. Happy Reading!

  9. I’ve read George RR Martin and loved the books, although the series isn’t close to being finished, and we’re more than a decade without a new book, so you aren’t missing much. I have read a Chabon book and really found it to be good, but not every book is for every reader! You’ve got a bunch of authors who are on my TBR list but I haven’t read any books by, and it was cool to see how much overlap we have.

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