books

List of Shame: Ten Authors I Have Never Read

As it turns out, I cannot read every book ever released, no matter how hard I try.  There are a number of gaps in my reading, where certain authors just pass me by for any number of reasons.  I figure that if I list out some of the authors that I feel the worst about not reading, it will make me far more likely to pick them up in the future.  Here’s a list of ten authors that I haven’t tried yet, but I really should be prioritizing!

Cassandra Clare

City of Bones.jpg

I am starting off this list with Cassandra Clare, the writer of the extensive Mortal Instruments series.  When I was younger, I always meant to start City of Bones, but as time went on and the universe extended into multiple spinoff series, I got scared off by how many books and novella collections I would need to read in order to fully catch up.  One of these days, however, I’d like to just dive in and give her a try.  The worst case scenario is that I don’t love it and I’ll now know not to bother with the rest of the series, and the best case is that I have over a dozen books to occupy myself with.  There’s really no downside to this one!

Sarah J. Maas

kingdom of ash

Sarah J. Maas is another author that has created two series that are both loved by many, Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses.  The primary reason for why I’ve been holding off on diving in is because I wanted to wait for the series to be completed.  Particularly in the case of Throne of Glass, some of the books in the series haven’t been well-received by some fans, so I wanted to make sure the final book had an ending people were generally happy with.  Since the final book has a 4.66 average on Goodreads right now, I think it’s safe to give it a try!

Brandon Sanderson

final empire

Of everyone on this list, this may be my most shameful entry.  Brandon Sanderson’s books sound amazing and I want so badly to get started with his work.  Ultimately, I’m just terrified of the size of his catalog.  He has written so many different series that I don’t know where to even start with him.  I’d assume the Mistborn series would be a good start, but I’m really not sure.  Still, it’s probably better to just dive in with something, rather than continue to debate it and never get to experience this author.

Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson

Hopefully, the fact that I haven’t read a Rick Riordan book will be resolved in the near future, because I put The Lightning Thief on my TBR for the Biannual Bibliothon this week.  Even if I don’t get to it during the week, I’ll probably pick it up in the next month or so.  I’m in love with Greek mythology, especially after recently playing Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, so I can’t imagine not absolutely loving this series.

Terry Pratchett

Color of Magic.jpg

My reasons for being afraid of Terry Pratchett are similar to Cassandra Clare, but amplified.  The Discworld series has 41 books in it, and that’s quite daunting to anyone that is thinking about starting it.  I’m trying to adjust my mindset in 2019 when it comes to series.  I just have to commit to the first book.  If I hate it, I know not to bother with future entries in the series.  On the other hand, if I love it, I keep reading the series until it is either complete, or I stop loving it.  Going into Discworld with the mindset that I must read all 41 books or not bother is just going to scare me off.

George R.R. Martin

Game of Thrones.jpg

There’s a trend here, I realize, of adult fantasy authors on this list.  I read a lot of young adult fantasy and, while I still quite enjoy it, I think I’m increasingly at an age where I need to branch out more into the adult realm.  George R.R. Martin is one of the kings of the genre, so I figure it’s time that I work my way through A Song of Ice and Fire.  Up to now, I honestly haven’t picked this up because I hate that it isn’t completed yet.  Instead of worrying about that, however, I’m going to just enjoy what is written and hope that in the span of time that it takes me to work through the series, we hear more word regarding the next entry coming out.

V.E. Schwab

Darker Shade of Magic

V.E. Schwab is another author that I intend to read in the near future with A Darker Shade of Magic.  I have no real reason for why I haven’t gotten to her work by this point because I keep buying her books and promptly letting them collect dust.  Her premises sound so great that I may just be afraid that the books themselves won’t live up to the hype I have inside my head.  Regardless, I will have an answer regarding my feelings for her writing within the next month!

John Scalzi

Old Man's War.jpg

I’m switching gears a little bit to a science fiction author.  Up until recently, I always assumed that I hated the sci-fi genre.  After reading The Illuminae Files series and playing the Mass Effect trilogy in the last year or two, I realized that I may have been wrong on this front.  John Scalzi is a famous name on the science fiction scene, so I figure he’s a good place to start if I want to try some more of the genre.  Since I don’t know a lot about him, I think Old Man’s War seems like an interesting series, but I’m open to suggestions if there’s a Scalzi that would be a better entry point.

Ursula K. Le Guin

Earthsea.jpg

I’m not really sure how Ursula K. Le Guin passed me by when I was younger, because The Earthsea Cycles sound like something I would have loved as a child.  Since she wrote many books in the fantasy and sci-fi genres, if I love her books, I would have many years worth of entertainment from her.

Brent Weeks

Black Prism.jpg

Finally, rounding out my list, also keeping with the theme of adult fantasy authors that I need to try, I have Brent Weeks.  Both Night Angel and The Lightbringer sound like the kinds of books that I would adore, so I’m not even sure which series I would want to start with in his case.  Like many other authors on this list, I’ve been scared off by the length of the books, which is a fear that I am actively working to overcome.

That’s my list!  I’m not making a promise to read every book from each one of these authors in the next six months or anything, but I do intend to do some case studies with each one.  I’d like to write reviews and features where I discuss whether the books met my expectations and how likely I am to pick up more titles by a given author in the future.  I’ll also likely do discussion posts with series I stick with over time, especially for the books that overlap with my PotterAlikes work.

Do you have any recommendations for a starting point with these authors, or have any authors you haven’t read before?  Let me know in the comments below!

41 replies »

    • I can see that. I also know that in my case, if someone really pumps up a book or video game obsessively for me, or reveals too much of it to me, it kind of ruins my own experience with it. Not sure if that’s the case with you, but I’ve definitely had that happen.

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  1. Great list! Sarah J. Maas is an author I want to try again, I bounced off of THRONE OF GLASS, but I have A COURT OF THORN AND ROSES to check out. I LOVE Brandon Sanderson – his most recent book SKYWARD might be the most approachable, it’s YA sci-fi instead of fantasy, but still incredible. MISTBORN would be my next rec after that.

    I need to read more Ursala K Le Guin – I read THE WIZARD OF EARTHSEA when I was younger but I remember almost nothing about it. I’ve never picked up LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS.

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    • I feel like I could (and probably will, eventually) make a whole separate list on authors that I want to give another try. I’m the worst about judging an author based on one book I disliked, when in reality, I suspect a lot of these instances were simply me disliking something about that specific title, not the author as a whole.

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  2. I’m pretty guilty with ya. I haven’t read most of those. I attempted the first Percy Jackson book, but lost interest a quarter way in. George Martin has a bunch of themes I don’t to read in books so I avoid them. Sanderson, however, is my favorite Author, and you are right it is daunting. But Mistborn is the very best place to start with him in my opinion.

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    • Yeah I get that about George R.R. Martin, but I’m still going to give him a try. If it’s too intense for me, I can always bow out. I’m planning to start Sanderson in the nearish future, once I can get my hands on a library copy of the book!

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    • I actually worry more about this for Cassandra Clare than for Rick Riordan. There’s something about Clare’s books that make me feel old when I even consider reading them. Even though Riordan’s books are for a younger audience, they still feel more ageless in nature. Still, I feel like they’re both worth trying.

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  3. Same here. Although I’m most ashamed that I’ve never read Scalzi because back in the 90s I was on an Internet forum with him for writers – before he got “famous” and he’s a really funny guy. Today I follow his blog.

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  4. You don’t have to read the Discworlds in any kind of order, and some are YA while some are adult, so you can pick and choose which ones appeal. I actually have a blog post about Terry Pratchett publishing tomorrow if you want a little guide to the books 🙂

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  5. I was in the same boat as you with George RR Martin until very recently, but I’m now half way through the second book in the Game of Thrones series, and I must say I highly recommend giving his work a go! The size of the books makes them a little daunting, but they’re so well-written that they’re definitely worth a read :). I loved the Percy Jackson books when I was younger too!

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  6. Ahhhhhhhhh, both Sanderson and Weeks are so, so good! I haven’t read through the comments or anything, so I’m sorry if someone else already shared this, but here’s what Sanderson himself wrote about the reading order of his books: https://brandonsanderson.com/books/where-do-i-start/

    With Weeks, I don’t think you can go wrong either way. His Night Angel trilogy is shorter, but packs just as much a punch as his Lightbringer series. However, Lightbringer is finishing up with book five coming out during the latter half of the year, so perhaps now is a great time to start that series, wrapped up with the hype of it coming to an conclusion?

    Either way, I hope you read some awesome books!

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    • I own books from the majority of these authors because I’m the worst at hoarding them. I figure that if I write about it, I’m more likely to force myself to do something about it

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  7. I absolutely adore Le Guin and Pratchett’s work. “Small Gods” by Terry Pratchett is one I’ve reread multiple times. I can also recommend Scalzi, his book “Lock In” is an exciting, quickly-paced murder mystery with robot hosts and neat sci-fi ideas.

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  8. There are not many here that I have read – just one of Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series (but I have others lined up) and a few Ursula K Le Guin (Earthsea), and the odd Terry Pratchett. I’m great at starting series but not at finishing.

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  9. I personally started with Brandon Sanderson’s Elantris. It’s a standalone (there is a novella that pairs with it) and it’s one of his earliest, if not the earliest, of his works. He has grown a lot since he wrote it though and his character work has really expanded, but it was a good start for me and is still one of my all-time favorite fantasy books. I’m reading the first book in the Mistborn series right now and I am enjoying it as well, and it definitely seems like a good place to begin as well.
    I haven’t read Scalzi, Weeks, or Pratchett either but I hope to fix that this year. Le Guin was an author I finally decided to try out last year and I really enjoyed the Earthsea books.

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    • Yeah, I wouldn’t mind reading Elantris, but I’ve heard that it’s not overly represenative of Sanderson’s overall work. I think I’d rather read something like the first Mistborn book to better gauge whether he’s an author for me or not.

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  10. As others have said, you don’t need to read Discworld in any particular order (I kept away from Pratchett for years because I thought I had to). They’re all stand-alone except for The Colour of Magic and Light Fantastic, but most people recommend not starting with those anyway, because they’re just not on par with most of the other books in the series. Guards! Guards! is the one I see recommended most often, and it is a great book.

    Old Man’s War is a pretty good book, but I thought Redshirt was even better.

    And don’t feel guilty about your list. We all have a bunch of authors we meant to read, really should read, but there’s just so little time. 🙂

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    • I’ll keep your advice about Pratchett in mind. I’ve finished two of the authors so far since writing this (Cassandra Clare and George R.R. Martin) and am in the middle of a third (Rick Riordan). Making good progress so far!

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    • I’ve read the first two books in The Mortal Instruments now. The first one I gave three stars, thinking it was generic but generally fun, and the second I thought was worse and gave two stars. I may continue with the series yet, but I’m giving it a break for a while.

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