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21 Writers I Admire

By Amazon, Books & Authors, Gay, ThinkingNo Comments

As an avid Reader I have a list of writers I admire. The list is below and is split into genres. The writers are listed in alphabetical order by their surname’s, so the order doesn’t indicate the preference. Along with each Writers name (and link to their official website) is a bit of blurb as to why I admire them.

General Fiction

ps-i-love-you-book-cover 1. Cecelia Ahern – Her first novel P.S. I Love You shot to the top of the best seller charts and was later turned into a film. I admire Cecelia Ahern because the subject of all of her books is: the strength of the human spirit. Her books are also superbly written.

Related Reviews: Book Review: The Gift by Cecelia Ahern, Book Review: The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern, Book Review: The Time of my Life by Cecelia Ahern, Book Review: One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern and Book Review: How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern.

2. Emma DonoghueRoom first novel of Emma Donoghue’s that I came across. I admire the concept of Room, along with the stylistic telling of the story. I must admit that I didn’t know that Emma Donoghue has written so many books or done the variety of writing that she has in her career. I may well pick up one of her many published books in the future. Related Review: Book Review: Room by Emma Donoghue.

shopaholic-series-book-covers 3. Sophie Kinsella – She is most well known for her Shopaholic series. The idea really was just ahead of it’s time in terms of predicting the credit crunch. I admire her because of her appeal to a wide audience, her light and easy-to-read style and because she previously wrote in her real name: Madeleine Wickham.

After writing as Madeleine Wickham she took a break from writing and came back with The Secret Dreamworld Of A Shopaholic written as Sophie Kinsella. She used this name to see if she could get her work published as a new Writer and because her work was different than that of Madeleine Wickham.

I’m looking forward to the release of Shopaholic to the Stars. Related Reviews: Book Review: Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella, Book Review: Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella, Book Review: I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella and Book Review: Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella.

4. Isla Morley – She makes this list for her second novel Above. I admire Morley for this novel for so many reasons: it’s well written, it’s a great idea, it’s perfectly paced, etc. It’s the only book I’ve ever described as phenomenal. Related Review: Book Review: Above by Isla Morley.

5. David Nicholls – David wrote One Day, a brilliant love story. I love a good love story so admire him for this story set over a lifetime. He has written Starter for Ten and The Understudy, both of which I want to read. He does some acting as well.

the magicians assistant 6. Ann Patchett – I discovered Ann Patchett through her novel The Magician’s Assistant, which I am currently re-reading. I admire this book’s brilliant opening line: “PARSIFAL IS DEAD. That is the end of the story.” Ann Patchett’s writers voice had me hooked from page one, till the very end. I admire her for writing this is a beautiful story and telling it expertly. Ann Patchett has since become a voice for independent book stores and authors which are other reasons for my admiration.

Ann Patchett’s other novels are The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, Bel Canto, Run and State of Wonder. All of which I want to read. Related Review: Book Review: The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett.

Fantasy Fiction

The-Magicians-Guild-Trudi-Canavan 7. Trudi Canavan – A friend introduced me to Trudi Canavan’s work and I’m so glad he did. I admire her intricate story telling and the sheer number of books and trilogies she has completed.

I’ve just finished reading Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan, so expect a review soon. Related Review: Book Review: The Magician’s Guild (Book 1) by Trudi Canavan.

8. Steven J Mepham – He is a good friend of mine, who is currently working on his first novel. His ideas, plots, characters and description are all exceptional. When his first novel is published it will be outstanding and I will be reviewing it here.

9. J. R. R. Tolkien – I discovered Tolkien when The Lord of the Rings films came out. I’m yet to read The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I have read The Hobbit. I admire the longevity of his work. Related Review: Book Review: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (printed by The Folio Society).

Gay & Lesbian Fiction

In-His-Secret-Life-Mel-Bossa-Cover 10. Mel Bossa – I admire Mel Bossa for her writing style and tackling of tough subjects. She must be given praise as a woman for writing exceptional gay stories. I discovered Mel Bossa through her book: Franky Gets Real. She is one of my all-time favourite writers and now has a string of books to her name.

Related Reviews: Book Review: Into The Flames by Mel Bossa, Book Review: Franky Gets Real by Mel Bossa, Book Review: Split by Mel Bossa, Book Review: Suite Nineteen by Mel Bossa and Book Review: In His Secret Life by Mel Bossa.

11. Yvonne Heidt – Heidt writes lesbian literature. I admire her for her writer’s voice, style and the care readers come to feel for her characters. I’m currently reading her novel The Awakening. Related Review: Book Review: Sometime Yesterday by Yvonne Heidt.

12. Adrian Lilly – I admire Lilly for the amount of work that he produces. He has a number of projects on the go at any one time, yet always maintains the quality of his writing. He writes gay-themed literature that thrills, without resorting to erotica to thrill the reader. I’ve read two books in The Runes Trilogy, which is a story about gay werewolf’s. Related Reviews: Book Review: The Wolf At His Door (Runes Trilogy Book 1) by Adrian Lilly and Book Review: The Wolf in His Arms (Runes Trilogy Book 2) by Adrian Lilly.

Spirituality / Paganism

ly-de-angeles-witchcraft-book-cover 13. Ly De Angeles – I admire Ly De Angeles for her clear and concise sharing of knowledge in her book Witchcraft: Theory and Practice.

14. Ellen Dugan – Wrote Elements of Witchcraft: Natural Magick for Teens, which I read as a teenager and had a huge influence on my pagan practice. Her engaging writers voice and good use of language engages young people well. She showed me the path to working creatively with the elements.

cassandra-eason-psychic-development-book-cover 15. Cassandra Eason – The first book I ever read in spirituality/pagan genre was Cassandra Eason’s A Complete Guide To Psychic Development. It lit my imagination and interest, leading me to collect a library of books in the genre. A Complete Guide To Psychic Development is one of Cassandra Eason’s many titles. Two other titles that I have read and enjoyed are Cassandra’s Psychic Party Games and A Year and a Day in Magick: A Complete Week-by-week Course to a Lifetime in Magick.

16. Judy Hall – I admire Judy Hall for her comprehensive title The Crystal Bible, which to this day is still my reference for anything I want to know about crystals. Since she has gone on to write The Crystal Bible Volume 2 and The Crystal Bible Volume 3.

advanced-witchcraft-book-cover 17. Edain McCoy – She shows her passion for all things pagan with her engaging writing style. Edain McCoy has a number of titles published, but my favourite is Advanced Witchcraft: Go Deeper, Reach Further, Fly Higher. Many pagan books simply regurgitate the same basic information and offer nothing for someone who has been pagan for a number of years. In Advanced Witchcraft: Go Deeper, Reach Further, Fly Higher Edain McCoy showed that she knows what she’s talking about and offered me new ideas to develop my pagan practice.
utterley-wicked-dorothy-morrison 18. Dorothy Morrison – Shows her personality in her writing style. She’s a strong, independent woman with attitude and her books are enjoyable, full of ideas and engaging. I like that she covers the darker side of paganism and witchcraft, not just the lighter side like many pagan/spirituality authors. A good example of this is her title Utterly Wicked: Curses, Hexes & Other Unsavory Notions. The first book I bought on magic was her Everyday Magic title, which I have read from cover to cover repeatedly.

YA Fiction
19. Julianna Baggott – Is a poet who I discovered through her YA novels in The Pure Trilogy. The Pure Trilogy is hugely different from her previous work and I admire her for opening herself up to a new audience. Related Reviews: Book Review: Pure by Julianna Baggott, Book Review: Fuse by Julianna Baggott and Book Review: Burn by Julianna Baggott.

gone-michael-grant-book-cover 20. Michael Grant – Michael Grant’s Gone Series is brilliant. It’s fast paced and has kids stuck in a dome, some of whom have powers. The series has a great plot, realistic characters and each of the books is an addictive page turner. I admire Michael Grant for knowing how to thrill readers. Related Reviews: Book Review: Plague by Michael Grant, Book Review: Lies by Michael Grant, Book Review: Hunger by Michael Grant and Book Review: Gone by Michael Grant.
Charlie higson - The Enemy 21. Charlie Higson – He is a author, actor, comedian and writer for television and radio. I like everything about The Enemy Series. The concept, writing style, plot, pacing, settings, perspectives, characters and their development. I admire his ability to grip readers from the start to the end of each book and his history of creative diversity. Related Reviews: Book Review: The Fallen by Charlie Higson, Book Review: The Sacrifice by Charlie Higson, Book Review: The Fear by Charlie Higson, Book Review: The Dead by Charlie Higson and Book Review: The Enemy by Charlie Higson.

I admire all Writers for writing. Not only are they creating something, but they are taking an emotional risk by sharing their work with the world. To write, edit and publish a novel also a major time commitment for the Writer.

I’ve noticed a theme about the Writers in this list. That is that many of them do a number of different creative activities. It might be writing in different forms (e.g. poetry, for TV, radio or stage) or do something completely different (yet equally creative) like acting, performance or artistry.

Which Writers do you admire and why? Leave a comment below.

Blog soon,

Antony



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Book Review: How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
how-to-fall-in-love-cecelia-ahern-cover How to Fall in Love is Cecelia Ahern’s most superb love story since P.S. I Love You.

Christine is obsessed with self-help books and uses them to fix all of her problems, as well as everyone else’s. She decides to leave Barry, her husband after she realises how unhappy she is.

Christine see’s Adam on Ha’penny Bridge, Dublin about to jump. Christine, in a moment of panic makes a pact with him: give her two weeks (his 35th birthday) to help him fall back in love with life. She knows if she fails, he will be back on that bridge.

Adam is desperate, moody but loveable. Maria, his girlfriend has just slept with Sean his best friend. His father is making him take over the family company, which he doesn’t want and he recently lost his job with the Coast Guard.

Christine remains with Adam throughout the fortnight. They grow close, but will they help one another fall back in love with life? The story, told in Christine’s first-person perspective is sad, humorous and joyous.

How to Fall in Love is anything but predictable; it has twists and turns right up to the very end. It has several sub-plots that complement the main storyline. The story shows the dark and light sides of life; from depression and suicide to fun and happiness.

The characters are all loveable, even the unlikeable one. They were well developed and had real depth.

How to Fall in Love is romance at its very best. Its a one-of-a-kind story, which was an addictive page turner. I can’t heap enough praise on Cecelia Ahern for this fantastic tale.

How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern is available to buy on Amazon.

Review soon,

Antony



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Book Review: One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern Book Cover In One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern we meet Kitty Logan a Journalist whose recently had what she thought would be her big break into TV journalism. But it went horribly wrong when Kitty wrongly accused Colin McGuire, a PE Teacher of having inappropriate relationships with students.

After this disaster and with its on going ramifications Kitty tries to reconnect with her Journalistic roots. She seeks advice from Constance her mentor, editor and friend who has terminal cancer. As they talk in the hospital room; Kitty is struck by an idea to ask Constance:
What’s the one story you have always wanted to write?
Constance promises to tell Kitty her story idea; once Kitty brings a file entitled ‘Names’ from her office to her.

But before Kitty has chance to bring Constance the file she passes away. Kitty is left with a list of one hundred names – nothing else about what the story is about or how these names are connected and two weeks to write Constance’s story.

Kitty soon meets six of the hundred names starting with Birdie. Birdie is an eighty-four year old who lives in a home and has her eighty-fifth birthday coming up. Her eighty-fifth birthday will be an extra special and she won’t be spending it with her family, instead she’s opting to go on a trip. Kitty finds out why this birthday is extra special by listening to Birdie tell her life story.

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Next Kitty meets Eva Wu who is Personal Shopper with a difference. Eva Wu specialises in gift giving; she spends time with her clients and the intended recipients before choosing the right gift. Eva chooses gifts that emotionally touch the recipients: repairing relationships, bringing closure and reuniting people with long forgotten parts of their lives . Yet she is very closed about herself and where these precious skills come from.

Jedrek is the next name on the list that Kitty meets. Jedrek along with his friend Archar want to break the World Record for how fast two people can peddle a distance on a peddle boat – and in practices they’ve beat the record! But they need an official adductor to come to Ireland from London, which both being unemployed they cant afford to pay for. Why have Jedrek and Archar put so much time, effort and energy into this record attempt?

Kitty meets Mary-Rose a young woman who looks after her disabled mother and spends time doing the hair and make-up of patients at the Hospital. Kitty meets Mary-Rose and Sam one of her friends in a restaurant. Sam proposes to Mary-Rose and Kitty sees a glimmer of sadness in Mary-Rose’s eyes. Kitty learns that he proposes all the time to raise the atmosphere and to get a few free drinks.

Kitty struggles to interview Ambrose an eccentric, shy and elusive owner of a Butterfly Sanctuary. A woman with a large discoloured mark on her face initially talks to Kitty through her hair; having not been seen in public for a number of years. Instead she trusts Eugene a butterfly enthusiast and loyal friend as her voice in the world outside of her home.

Kitty constantly chases Archie, but he is more elusive of Ambrose. He’s had bad experiences with the press following a tragedy and is now convinced that he can hear people’s prayers.

Can Kitty discover the link between these six seemingly diverse people that Constance had? With the help of Steve, her friend since college she sets out to do just that.

Ahern brings all of the characters to life with her unique writing style; but although the storyline was well paced, it left a lot to be desired. Despite logically knowing that it would be impossible for Kitty to meet all of the one hundred people listed in two weeks, I felt misled by the title.

In comparison to Ahern’s previous novels One Hundred Names lacked the hint of magic that The Gift, The Book of Tomorrow, If You Could See Me Now and The Time of My Life all shared. It was similar to PS, I Love You in the sense that it close to reality. However PS, I Love You was an extraordinary read filled with emotional depth; whereas One Hundred Names felt mundane read with no emotional depth.

Overall One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern was a reasonable concept but was poorly executed.

You can buy One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern on Amazon.

Review soon,

Antony

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Book Review: The Gift by Cecelia Ahern

By Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
The Gift by Cecelia Ahern Book Cover I love Cecelia Ahern’s books. PS, I Love You I found to be emotional and moving, Where Rainbows End was like reading intimate and private letters, A Place Called Here was like stepping in to a world of make-believe, Thanks for the Memories made me question our connection to our bodies and If You Could See Me Now made me belief again in invisible friends.

So I had high hopes for The Gift. The Gift tells the story of high flying building developer Lou. Lou is too busy for his family and always needs to be in two places at once. Lou’s a workaholic which is made worse by a potential promotion. The book is set towards Christmas which is obvious from the book cover and the chapter titles. Then one day Lou meets Gabe a homeless guy on the street and buys him coffee. For some reason Lou offers Gabe a job and what follows is an adventure as Gabe helps Lou reevaluate his life and priorities prior to an unexpected ending.

The telling of the story through the writing felt a little laboured at times. It felt as though it was rushed to publish in time for Christmas and because of this the story didn’t flow as previous books by Cecelia. In addition Cecelia explained the meaning of the story at the end – that time is precious. Cecelia didn’t need to do this and it felt slightly condescending.

Overall The Gift is a comforting Christmas read, with a good “moral” to the story.

Blog soon,

Antony

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