I'm an English major, for God's sake, and should have more refined taste in writing. But I'm also someone who reads five books a week and I know what I like.
My favorite writer of all time is Kurt Vonnegut. I even drove to Pittsburgh at some point to hear him speak. He was wonderful and at some point, right in the middle of something, he looked at his watch and said, "they paid me for an hour and the hour is up" and left the stage. Wonderful. My two favorites are Slaughterhouse Five and The Sirens of Titan but I've read them all. I haven't re-read them, though I should, because I don't want to know if the years have made his writing less wonderful.
My second favorite writer is William Shakespeare, just because I'm an English major and should have him in my top five. I love his sonnets and plays though I must admit I've not read any of them for decades, though I think I should, being an English major and all.
Tied for third are J.J.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, who knew each other and talked about their writing for hours. I read the Narnia books every year again. Nothing else Lewis wrote interests me. He was too Christian for my sensibilities. But the Narnia books stay fresh and wondrous every time I read them. We once owned a house on Oak Island, North Carolina and it was called 'Aslan'. Also, lots of people gave me lions over the years. I've not re-read the Tolkien books recently, but I have The Hobbit on my bedside table and will read it at some point.
John Sanford is my fourth favorite writer. He's written lots of books with 'prey' in the title about a Minneapolis Detective, named Lucas Davenport, who is also rich because he created computer games. He also writes about a detective named Virgil Trucks who knows Lucas and is in rural Minnesota. Priceless, all of them, and they are many.
A newcomer to my top five is Laura Lippman, who writes amazingly crafted novels that end up being mysteries that all take place in Baltimore, where my son and daughter-in-law and three grand-daughters live. She is a remarkable writer you should read.
There are lots of others straining for the top five: P.D. James, for example. But I'm sticking with these five for now.
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