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HeidiTown’s favorite authors

I’ve been asked several times recently,  “Who is your favorite author?”

My all-time favorite author is Edith Wharton, who  wrote my all-time favorite book, The Age of Innocence  (see review under Book Reviews).  

However, I have  some favorite modern day authors I’d like to share with you.

In the fiction category my current favorites are Tracy Chevalier and Khaled Hosseini.

Chevalier’s most famous work is Girl with a Pearl Earring, which was made into a movie staring Scarlet Johannson and Colin Firth. While the movie was good, the book was better.

Chevalier has published five books, my favorite  is Falling Angels, a story told in the first-person by many different characters; no small feat for a writer. It follows two families during the women’s suffrage movement in London, England.

I like Chevalier because she writes like a painter; the story unfolds one  colorful brush stroke at a time until a well-crafted, beautiful story is revealed. She develops strong settings through the use of vivid descriptions and strong characters through the use of good, believable dialogue. Chevalier’s most recent work is Burning Bright (read my review under Book Reviews From the Berthoud Surveyor).

Hosseini has published two books, The Kite Runner, now a major motion picture, and A Thousand Splendid Suns.  The setting of both stories is Afghanistan, though The Kite Runner also takes place in the United States. Hosseini writes straightforward, yet haunting stories that are as believable as they are heart-wrenching.  

In A Thousand  Splendid Suns, the two main characters are women. As a female writer, I have never attempted to write anything but female main characters and I  have always been impressed with authors who  take on this  challenge and Hosseini does it well.  

Though many  book critics disagree, I thought A Thousand Splendid  Suns was better than Hosseini’s first book. I enjoyed the intense character development and that  the entire story takes place in Afghanistan (the country  has always intrigued me).    

To learn more about these two authors, visit their  websites:  

Tracy Chevalier –  www.tchevalier.com/

Khaled Hosseini – www.khaledhosseini.com/

A New Favorite – Author Dennis Lehane

Another author I’ve recently discovered is Dennis Lehane. He wrote the book Mystic River, adapted for the screen and directed by Clint Eastwood. The movie earned several Academy Award nominations including best picture; Sean Penn  won in  the Best Actor category and  Tim Robbins winning the  Best Supporting Actor.  Mystic River may  have won more categories, but  in 2003, the last Lord of  the Rings installment was released and Rings  walked away with 11 Academy Awards.

This past Christmas, while searching for a writing prompt at  my in-laws cabin, I picked up Mystic River. I planned to use it  for a  “first sentence writing prompt” – take the first sentence from a book and then free write for fifteen minutes using the sentence as the prompt (you can also use the last sentence of a book or open to a random page and use any sentence).   However, before I realized it, I’d read the first three pages of Mystic River and I was hooked.

Lehane has a gift for writing convincing dialogue; his characters’ voices each have their own distinct tenor. He also writes uniquely memorable descriptions. Mystic River, the movie version, follows the book closely, but even if you’ve seen it, the book is a captivating read.  I had not seen the movie since 2003, so the picture Lehane painted in my mind wasn’t influenced by the screen adaptation. Plus, as in all books-turned-movies, the characters in the book are much more defined and developed than on the screen, especially the female characters.

Lehane has also written a group of books featuring Patrick Kenzie, private investigator extraordinaire.  One of the Kenzie books is Gone Baby Gone, which was made into a major motion picture last year (it is now on DVD – read my review under Movie Reviews).  It has received one Academy Award Nomination in the Best  Supporting Actress catagory (Amy Ryan).  I haven’t read Gone Baby Gone, but I have read the first book in the Kenzie adventures, A Drink Before the War, an easy, less serious read than Mystic River, it retains Lehane’s unforgettable descriptions and adds a dash of humor that threads through the Kenzie books.

I rarely read Lehane’s genre. I seldom read any genre fiction – romance, suspense, mystery, horror, etc. I usually stick with the literature section of the bookstore and the few times I’ve strayed I have been disappointed, until I read Lehane. I enjoy character driven books and genre fiction is often plot driven with little attention given to character development (I realize this is not true of all genre fiction, but in general, it’s true). Though the books featuring Kenzie are plot driven, Lehane take the time to develop the character of Patrick Kenzie so the reader actually cares what happens to him and therefore the plot actually takes on  new, important meaning.

Author’s website: http://www.dennislehanebooks.com/

My Favorite Authors

I’ve been asked several times recently,  “Who is your favorite author?”

My all-time favorite author is Edith Wharton, who  wrote my all-time favorite book, The Age of Innocence  (see review under Book Reviews).  

However, I have  some favorite modern day authors I’d like to share with you.

In the fiction category my current favorites are Tracy Chevalier and Khaled Hosseini.

Chevalier’s most famous work is Girl with a Pearl Earring, which was made into a movie staring Scarlet Johannson and Colin Firth. While the movie was good, the book was better.

Chevalier has published five books, my favorite  is Falling Angels, a story told in the first-person by many different characters; no small feat for a writer. It follows two families during the women’s suffrage movement in London, England.

I like Chevalier because she writes like a painter; the story unfolds one  colorful brush stroke at a time until a well-crafted, beautiful story is revealed. She develops strong settings through the use of vivid descriptions and strong characters through the use of good, believable dialogue. Chevalier’s most recent work is Burning Bright (read my review under Book Reviews From the Berthoud Surveyor).

Hosseini has published two books, The Kite Runner, now a major motion picture, and A Thousand Splendid Suns.  The setting of both stories is Afghanistan, though The Kite Runner also takes place in the United States. Hosseini writes straightforward, yet haunting stories that are as believable as they are heart-wrenching.  

In A Thousand  Splendid Suns, the two main characters are women. As a female writer, I have never attempted to write anything but female main characters and I  have always been impressed with authors who  take on this  challenge and Hosseini does it well.  

Though many  book critics disagree, I thought A Thousand Splendid  Suns was better than Hosseini’s first book. I enjoyed the intense character development and that  the entire story takes place in Afghanistan (the country  has always intrigued me).    

To learn more about these two authors, visit their  websites:  

Tracy Chevalier –  www.tchevalier.com/

Khaled Hossein – www.khaledhosseini.com/

In my next post I’ll share my favorite, modern day, non-fiction writers.

What's My All-Time Favorite Movie?

Find out what movie holds the ranking of Heidi’s All-Time Favorite Movie now posted under Movie Reviews.

Click here to read it:  Heidi’s All-Time Favorite Movie

Note: The tabs at the top of the page will quickly transport you to the review pages.   When you reach the page, simply scroll down until you find the name of the movie, restaurant or book you’re looking for.

Busy Week!

I’ve had a busy week and  I have a cold so I haven’t gotten much done in the way of reviews for this site.   I am currently working on reviews of The Kite Runner and a local seafood restaurant in Fort Collins called Fish.   Keep checking in!!

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