Friday, September 02, 2011

Friday Five: My top 5 Writers

September is a crazy month apparently. There are so many month-long and daily holidays. Don't believe me? Check this list. And that is just a list of the weird ones. One that I liked was "Be Kind to Editors and Writers" Month. Sending a special shout-out and ILY message to my wonderful editor, Booksteve! Also, International Square Dance Month is just awesome, but that is a whole 'nother story that I'm just not going to get into.

In honor of BKEW month, today's Friday Five is my favorite writers. I made a list of my favorite series back in June. If you don't remember it, go here. My list of favorite authors is a little different.

1. Garth Nix. This is one of those "duh" things around here. I love this guy. He is fab. Everything he writes is fab. Also, he is Australian so he has an accent.

2. Neil Gaiman. I did not list Neil on my favorite series list because he doesn't really write in a series per say. However, he has written several books that I personally own and have read multiple times. Good Omens and Coraline come to mind. He is solely responsible for the awesomeness of Robert Di Nero dancing in a dress in Stardust. I say that because he wrote the book that the movie was based upon. He is very vocal on Twitter. I follow him on both my official Twitter and my celebristalking account. He also has an English accent.

3. Carolyn Keene. Yes, I realize that Carolyn Keene is a pseudonym for a revolving collective of ghostwriters but it still stands. I found my love of reading in Nancy Drew as a kid. There really isn't much more to say about that.

4. J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis tie for 4th place in my list. Some people might flame me for saying so, but in my opinion, they are very similar writers. They were good friends that worked together, wrote together (they were members of the Inklings), and achieved much notoriety within the fantasy genre. Tolkien is considered the "father" of modern high fantasy and was ranked #6 in Forbe's 2008 list of "50 Greatest British Writers since 1945." Lewis came in at #11 on the same list. The article "On Fairy-Stories" that I wrote about in my first Tuesday Tale is arguably my favorite Tolkien piece, although I do love the Middle-earth stories. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia is #2 on my favorite series list. As a standalone story, I really enjoyed Lewis's The Screwtape Letters as well.

5. I rated the two above me together so I could include George Orwell in my list. Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm are two of the best books ever. Seriously, the Modern Library ranked 1984 at 13 and Animal Farm at 31 out of the top 100 English-language Novels of the 20th century. These books challenged modern thinking, showed the incredible pitfalls of ignorance, and coined some vernacular that is still used today (like the term Big Brother). The fact that 1984 has been banned or challenged many, many times speaks volumes of its influence. It is at the top of the list of Wikipedia's most commonly challenged books of 1990-1999. I'm not sure if that list is in order of the most challenges or not (it doesn't say).

Side note: I want to belong to an exclusive writing group that has an awesome name like the Inklings.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS


Booksteve said...

Mo time to go into detail and this is just off the top of my head but:

1--Alan Moore
2-Terry Moore (no relation)
3-Neil Gaiman
4-Ray Bradbury
5-Stuart Kaminsky

I think you would LOVE Terry Moore's writing. He's a male comics writer/artist who really "gets" women! Look up STRANGERS IN PARADISE by him.

Booksteve said...

OK, more time now--About STRANGERS IN PARADISE, I liberally quote Wikipedia--The story primarily concerns the difficult relationship between two women, Helen Francine Peters (known simply as Francine) and Katina Marie ("Katchoo") Choovanski, and their friend David Qin. Francine considers Katchoo her best friend; Katchoo is in love with Francine. David is in love with Katchoo (a relationship which Katchoo herself is deeply confused about).

This plays itself out over a second plot element, a thriller style story concerning the shadowy 'Big Six' organization. Its leader is a woman named Darcy Parker, who uses highly trained women (of whom Katchoo was one) to infiltrate—and to an extent control—the American political system. It uses a non-linear approach to storytelling.

The main characters:
Katina "Katchoo" Choovanski - "The Original Angry Blonde," Katchoo is a temperamental artist with a violent past. A former prostitute, Katchoo was the lover and agent of Darcy Parker. Katchoo has been in love with her best friend, Francine, for most of her life, though she has complicated romantic feelings for her only male friend, David, as well.

Francine Peters-Silver - Katchoo's kind-hearted best friend. Francine struggles with her weight and her self-image, never quite able to see the beauty in herself that Katchoo sees. Francine has difficulty bringing herself to make a romantic commitment to Katchoo, partly due to her Methodist upbringing and partly because of her childhood dream to become a wife and mother. Her fairytale marriage to Brad Silver comes crashing down when she realizes that he's unfaithful to her, leading her to reconsider choosing him over Katchoo.

Yousaka Takahashi/David Qin - A gentle, sensitive art student, Yousaka is the younger brother of Darcy Parker and the unwilling heir to the Takahashi crime syndicate. Once the leader of a violent street gang, Yousaka became a born-again Christian after a personal tragedy and he changed his name to "David Qin" to reflect his new identity and honoring the young man he murdered. The complex romantic feelings he harbors for Casey and Katchoo come to a head when he is diagnosed with a serious illness, leading the trio to contemplate having a baby in his memory.

The series received the Eisner Award for Best Serialized Story in 1996 for "I Dream of You" as well as the National Cartoonists Society Reuben Award for Best Comic Book in 1997. It also won the GLAAD Award for Best Comic Book in 2001

It is adult in the true sense of the word, has some of THE best characterizations in a comic ever and on more than one occasion actually caused me to tear up.

Also unlike most comics it doesn't go on forever. Told partially in comics and partially in poetry, It has a distinct beginning, a long, violent middle and an actual, solid, HAPPY ending!

Dee said...

That does actually sound like a story I would enjoy. I'll have to check it out and see if I can find all of it since it seems so piecemeal.

It'll have to wait until I get home of course. This netbook is awful and seems to get worse as time goes on. It would probably help if I ran all the scans and defrag as I haven't used it since March. The better half has used it every night at work since June. There is all kinds of crap on here that I don't recognize. lol

Raven Marlow said...

We should create our own 'exclusive' writing group! =)

Dee said...

Raven, that would be awesome. We need to come up with a cool name though. :D