*Tonight I’m hosting book club at my place, as I do every two months, and it got me thinking…who are my favorite novelists of all time? Immediately I thought of two brilliant novels I’ve read recently–Acacia and The Hunger Games–but I didn’t think it was fair to consider novelists for whom I’ve only read one book. This will leave out a lot of authors, because many of my favorite authors have only written one novel so far, and for some others I’ve liked the first work that I’ve read so much that I haven’t soiled my experience with them by reading another. So this list isn’t completely accurate, and there’s probably a glaring omission.
I grew up on Dahl. He is probably the most imaginative author I’ve ever read, and I still read his books from time to time just to remember what whimsy feels like. Favorite Book: The BFG
This guy wrote two novels and then disappeared. I haven’t read a story that encapsulates the soul of youth more than my favorite title of his. Favorite Book: The Lost Legends of New Jersey
Irving taught me a crucial ingredient about novels: Sex is interesting. Who would have thought? I haven’t all of his stuff because the circus doesn’t interest me at all, but I’ve loved what I have read. Favorite Book: A Widow for One Year
The second “young adult” novelist on my list, Pullman’s here for one simple reason: He wrote the greatest realistic fantasy trilogy of all time. If you haven’t read His Dark Materials, get it, get comfortable, and prepare to lose the next few days. Favorite Book: The Golden Compass
I’ll stretch a little bit here, because technically I’ve read two works by Groff; one a short story, the other a novel. She’s brilliant and funny and extremely talented. Favorite Book: The Monsters of Templeton
In all fairness to some of the authors I love but have only read one book (and a few that I’ve read more than one, but wouldn’t deem them my favorite), a quick shout out to Kate Atkinson, Audrey Niffenegger, David Anthony Durham, Suzanne Collins, Wally Lamb, Ayn Rand, Pat Rothfuss, Frank McCourt, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Lionel Shriver, Mary Lee Settle, Milan Kundera, Jeffrey Eugenides, Khaled Hosseini, Don Delillo, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Haruki Murakami, China Mieville, Nicole Krauss, and Zadie Smith.