Authors I Love: Sir Terry Pratchett

sir terry pratchettBased on my reading so far this year, I’m betting Sir Terry Pratchett will be my favorite author of the year. I’m a latecomer to the STP fan club, but I’m making up for my tardiness with an overabundance of enthusiasm, both for his books and for the author himself.

About the Author
Terry Pratchett called himself a non-descript student who was educated primarily by the local library. He was fascinated by astronomy (enough to have his own observation deck) and deliciously funny. My dad always said that humor is 90% timing and Terry Pratchett had his timing down perfectly. Terry Pratchett became Sir Terry Pratchett in 2009. After knighthood, he forged his own sword from iron ore he mined himself in a kiln he made from clay. If that sentence fills you with envy and longing, this may be the author for you. STP fought a public battle with Alzheimer’s disease for the last years of his life and spent considerable time and money working to improve Alzheimer’s and dementia research (in addition to the time and money he spent on libraries, schools, and more). Continue reading

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Authors I Love: Kevin Henkes

kevin henkes

When you hear Kevin Henkes, you may immediately think of Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse. While Lily isn’t even in my top 3 favorite Henkes characters, I laughed (and cried) a little when I read about how she came to be. (The crying part of the laugh is thanks to my own toddler that is equal parts adorable and exhausting these days.) Henkes was sitting in an airport waiting for a flight and found himself watching a young girl with a toy purse that played a song when opened. The girl was enamored of her purse and kept opening and closing it, much to her father’s dismay. (Bless parents and patient fellow travelers everywhere.) The image stuck in Henkes’s mind and Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse was born. Continue reading

Authors I Love: Roald Dahl

 

roald-dahl-wide

Many thanks to Kate Ter Haar for the lovely picture above, aptly named I ❤ 2 read.

I feel a bit like I’m cheating by writing about one of the best-loved children’s authors of all time, but my love is real. So real that if we ever have another boy, his middle name with probably be Roald. So real that when I once saw a poster for the movie adaptation of The Fantastic Mr. Fox that read, “From the author of James and the Giant Peach,” I was so bothered by the fact that the poster didn’t use his name that my husband still cites this as an example of my inability to let things go. Seriously, though, hasn’t the man proven himself as a household name yet? It’s not like he’s easy to mix up with all the other Roalds out there writing children’s books. (Josh is right. I just can’t let this one* go.) So even though I am certain every person reading this post is already familiar with Roald Dahl’s body of work, let me tell you (at length) why I love him so much. Continue reading

Authors I Love: Jon Scieszka

 

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“Book Love” by Jenny Kaczorowski used under CC Attribution 2.0.

I grew up reading many of Jon Scieszka’s books, but I did not figure out they were all from the same author until I was picking out books for my own children. He was also one of my mother’s favorite authors in her years as an elementary school teacher. Do I need any other reason to love him? (Mama knows best, after all.) It’s been an absolute delight reading through his website and reading his past interviews online. One brief example: instead of a FAQ page, he has a FAFAQ (Favorite Answers to Frequently Asked Questions) page that contains his answers but not the question he’s answering. Who thinks to organize a website that way? Someone much weirder and funnier than I am.

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Authors I Love: Neil Gaiman

Some of my favorite authors have only written a few books each. (I’m looking at you, Megan Whalen Turner and Patrick Rothfuss.) Then there are those authors I can’t seem to keep up with, like Brandon Sanderson and today’s favorite author: Neil Gaiman. I’ve enjoyed Neil Gaiman’s works for years now, but I came late enough to the game that I am still hopelessly behind on reading his works. On a personal note, I sometimes get hamstrung by fear and doubt when trying new things. Starting this blog took more courage than I’d care to admit, and it was an old New Year’s wish of his that finally convinced me to take the plunge. It was also Neil Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane that got me out of a recent reading slump. For this and so many reasons, I love Neil Gaiman. Continue reading