5 Authors to enjoy over a hot brew

Reading is my favourite pass time, so I thought why not upload a collection of the authors I love most whilst we’re still in lockdown? I chose to write about the authors instead of their books mainly because the ones I’ve selected have SO many books to choose from, and I’d struggle to pinpoint which are my favourites. And two we all enjoy different things, so my thinking was that if you got a feel for the author you like best on here, you can go and select something yourselves. So if you do get round to giving any of these a try, or have any of your own suggestions please don’t hesitate to comment or email me! I’m a strong believer in the idea of never having too many book clubs going and am always on the hunt for new authors. I’m 100% guilty of finding an author I fall in love with, and reading nobody else until I’ve completed their entire life’s works. This is exactly what I have done with all of the authors in this blog.

I personally love reading a series because I get so invested in the characters, the settings and a particular author that it always takes me a minute to find something new which I really love, so if you want a new series to get your teeth into hopefully this’ll help you out! So without further ado…

Markus Zusak

“Sometimes I think my papa is an accordion. When he looks at me and smiles and breathes, I hear the notes.”

The Book Thief
The Book Thief: Written by Markus Zusak, 2007 Edition, (First Edition) Publisher: Doubleday [Hardcover]

Works

Markus Zusak boasts many wonderful reads, and best known of these is undoubtedly ‘The Book Thief’. He has also written ‘The Messenger’, ‘The Underdog’, ‘Fighting Ruben Wolfe’ and many more. The ones listed are just those I have had the pleasure of reading. His stories are all unique in one way or another. ‘The Book Thief’ is a World War 2 book in essence, but told from death’s perspective. ‘The Messenger’, ‘Fighting Ruben Wolfe’ and ‘The Underdog’ are all stories of human nature when posed with trials and tribulations.

Why you should read Markus Zusak…

When asked who my favourite author of all time is, I always say Markus Zusak. Whilst his stories are incredibly moving, it is his writing that has and always will grip me from start to finish. I’m absolutely certain he could write about anything and I’d be hooked from page one. The way his writing flows is something that can only be compared to music, hence my decision to pick the above quote. So if you want a real sense of setting, story and emotion Markus Zusak is your guy.

JILLY COOPER

“Our house is so difficult to find that people always arrive late, which means that by the time we go into dinner, I’ve had so many dry Martinis I’m practically under the piano, and it no longer seems to matter that I haven’t put the potatoes on.”

Jolly Super

Riders: The sensational classic from the Sunday Times bestseller

Works

Now for something completely different. Jilly Cooper is the author I’m currently in the process of reading non-stop – I’m almost on book no.6 of the Rutshire Chronicles. This series follows a community of British upper-classes in a fictional English county by the name of Rutshire – scandal, affairs, horses and life in the country. More importantly, this series lays claim to the notorious Rupert Campbell-Black who I am head over heels in love with. He’s your love to hate kind of character.

Why you should read Jilly Cooper…

Whilst, Jilly Cooper is renowned for writing sexy novels, I think her true brilliance lies in her character development. You get to know each character so well you feel as though they could be real. Her books will quite literally have you l-aughing o-ut l-oud and wondering where all those hours have gone. Jilly Cooper is a warm summer’s day with a cocktail of your choice. Mine would be a large and strong mojito. And if any of you like a bit of book porn, Jilly Cooper will not disappoint.

BERNARD CORNWELL

“I remember Ragnar laughing one day. “It is so kind of the Christians! They put their wealth in one building and mark it with a great cross! It makes life so easy.”

The Flame Bearer

Riders: The sensational classic from the Sunday Times bestseller

Works

Bernard Cornwell is a historical fiction author, and a bloody brilliant one at that. As a lover of historical and romantic fiction, it isn’t hard to guess why I’m so addicted to reading his books. Another author who loves to write a good series, my two favourites being The Last Kingdom Series (there is also now a Netflix adaptation of these, although its nowhere near as good as the books so if you’ve seen the series, don’t let this put you off), and The Sharpe Series. The Last Kingdom books cover the making of England, King Alfred the Great and the fictional character Uhtred of Bebbanburg and his escapades. The Sharpe series alternatively follows a soldier fighting in the British army during the British Empire’s reign and Sir Arthur Wellesley, a leading political and military figure of 19th century Britain. I’m yet to read The Warlord Chronicles on Arthurian Britain or any of his latest on the Elizabethan era.

Why you should read Bernard Cornwell…

Whilst the beauty of Markus Zusak’s writing wins the top spot for me, my favourite based on story is Cornwell – I’m pretty sure I’ve read nearing 25 of Cornwell’s books now, and even have a signed special edition. Yes, I geek out hard for this one. If you’re into your history, I couldn’t recommend Bernard Cornwell enough. At the end of every one of his books he always has a ‘HISTORICAL NOTE’ in which he talks you through the reality of all the events he so captivatingly describes. All of Cornwell’s books are packed full of good humour, stunning romances and a fair few religious conflicts – just to whet your appetite. Not the easiest of reads, you do have to be with it to follow the story line and on-going politics, so maybe not one to enjoy with a cocktail. A hot cup of tea would be better.

JUDE DEVERAUX

“Waiting for Prince Charming?”

“Aren’t all women? And you’re waiting for Cinderella.”

“Actually,” Jared said slowly, “I’m rather hoping to find the Evil Queen. I think she’d be much more fun.”

True Love
Highland Velvet

Works

Jude Deveraux writes historical romances – 40 (or something like that) novels now! Unsurprisingly I have read most of these. Whilst Bernard Cornwell’s books focus largely on the history, Deveraux’s books instead revolve around the romance, one per book. Whilst, each story is more of its own than a traditional series, Jude still tends to follow certain families through different historical periods; Montgomery, Taggert and Lanconia being among my favourites.

Why you should read Jude Deveraux…

Despite most of Deveraux’s books (or the ones I have read at least) being set a good few hundred years back in history, the heroine who stars is usually defying her ‘womanly’ social-standing. In a man’s world, where a woman is the prime focus, it is clear why these always make such great reads. Far lighter than Bernard Cornwell, these are a bit easier, and won’t make your brain work so hard. She has also written books focusing on post-Revolutionary America, nineteenth century Colorado, and nineteenth century New Mexico which I am yet to read.

KEN FOLLETT

“Culture clash is terrific drama”

The Pillars of the Earth

The Pillars of the Earth (The Kingsbridge Novels)

Works

Ken Follett is a historical / political fiction author. His books span a huge range of time from the 12th century to the Cold War. The Kingsbridge series and The Century Trilogy are my favourites. You follow separate families who all eventually immigrate to other countries as the world modernises and becomes more inter-connected. Each book skips a couple hundred years until eventually you have families from all corners of the world and you’re all of a sudden reading about World War Two. When I say ‘all of a sudden’, I actually mean 3 books later, all consisting of roughly 1000 pages each. I read each in a week…

Why you should read Ken Follett…

The Kingsbridge Series is an absolute masterclass in setting, culture and historical / political story telling. By the time you’re reading ‘Winter of the World’, Follett is writing in great detail about England, Germany, America and Russia. It is quite astounding how he’s managed to encapsulate such a feeling of rawness in every single place. There are so many wartime books which will focus on the perspective of one country, so it is really very stimulating to read about and understand a far more rounded depiction. The short-lived British Fascism, The Battle of Moscow and the development of the atom bomb all rolled into a mere 806 pages.

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8 Comments

  1. Peter Davies
    April 30, 2020 / 6:05 am

    Great blog Abi. Cornwell was a big favourite of mine with Sharpe – great storytelling.

    • April 30, 2020 / 10:09 am

      Thanks Pete! I absolutely love him, season 4 of the last kingdom has just been released on Netflix so I’m watching that at the moment, so far so good.

  2. Caroline Cordell
    April 30, 2020 / 9:08 am

    This is your best yet Abi – love it!

    • April 30, 2020 / 10:09 am

      Thanks Mum! I enjoyed writing it 😛

  3. Robin
    May 2, 2020 / 4:28 pm

    Very wide range of authors ,their interests ,and writing styies are set out in a personal blog.
    Abi “chats” sincerely about books she has read and is credible. Ideas ,,opinions, and information all come naturally..
    An unusually attractive Blog , quirky even but a clever , ” Why not have a look at THAT book too? ” message..

    • May 2, 2020 / 5:16 pm

      I’m really pleased you enjoyed reading about the authors. You’ll have to let me know your thoughts if you try any of them!

  4. Anna Cahill
    May 2, 2020 / 6:49 pm

    Zusak is a solid all time fave! The Book Thief May always be one of my favourites, could not agree more! Xx

    • May 2, 2020 / 7:45 pm

      He writes stunningly, I think it would be pretty impossible to not love him!

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