Auto-buy authors is the term used for authors that whose writing and brains I love so much that I will buy pretty much any book with their name on it and their writing in it. I work off a tight budget, so I can’t usually just buy *any* author. However, there are some authors whom I will try to reading just about any of their work, or work hard to get my paws on all of their work. Authors do drop on and off of my list depending on how I’m getting along with their writing, and there are some authors who I will auto-buy certain series.
Rutkoski is the author of The Winner’s Trilogy, The Kronos Chronicles, and The Shadow Society. I first read a sample of The Winner’s Curse because of all the hype, and found myself sucked right in by Rutkowski’s beautiful writing. She has the perfect balance for me of moving the plot and hanging in the beauty of the moment of the scene. I read The Winner’s Trilogy with my heart in my throat almost the whole time, and I am currently contemplating re-reading now that I’m thinking about it. I bought The Kronos Chronicles and The Shadow Society from Book Outlet just on the strength of Rutkoski as the author. Written before The Winner’s Trilogy, I enjoyed them all, and I can see how Rutkoski’s writing has grown to become what I adore in The Winner’s Trilogy. She seems like a thoughtful and engaged person, which makes me feel glad to support her. I am excited to see what’s up next from her and will pretty much DEF buy. Also, Astrophil!
Oh Mary, how I love thee. Kowal is the author of The Glamourist Histories, Ghost Talkers, and many short stories. I love her writing style, and she is basically the definition of an auto-buy author for me. I will literally pick up anything that has her name on it. I love her writing style. She is so smart and socially aware in her writing (without seeming insincere). Oh, yes, and imaginative. I love that her women fit into their time periods, but are square pegs just enough that modern readers can identify with them. Oh, and also, I love how Kowal depicts longterm couples. Marriage is sexy, and difficult, and companionable all at once. She’s awesome guys, pick up one of her books.
Bec McMaster gets a lot of airtime on this blog, because I loves her bookses. They just suck me in and have the perfect mix of all the things I want from a steampunk romance adventure mystery. They hold up amazingly well to re-reads. Seriously, one of the comments I have seen regularly on her fb page is that lots of people regularly re-read London Steampunk because it is such escapist comfort. The series is totally like watching a favorite movie, highly engaging and visual, as well as giving you all the right feelings every time. Like the movie Anne of Green Gables, the Sequel (I cry every time Thomas Lynne dies, and every time Anne turns down Gilbert because the story take me through building up those emotions, just like London Steampunk. It has just occurred to me that this may be the first time London Steampunk has been compared to Anne of Green Gables.)
Ahdieh is the author of The Wrath and the Dawn duology, which just came out in 2015 and 2016, a retelling of 1,001 Nights with a focus on the Scheherezade. Ahdieh’s writing is lush (in both the conventional and Welsh-slang way), her women are varied, yet active players. The novellas are mixed, but then novels and novellas are very different types of writing. I am totally here for intersectional feminists who notice the food in their scene (but not in a draggy way like Tolkien) and create opportunities for solutions without direct violence. Ahdieh, I love you and I want to be your biffle. I’m all over whatever words you want to string together.
I will always give Wrede a try because her series The Enchanted Forest Chronicles is probably the single most-defining series that underscores my current reading tastes. I love these books so much and I am beyond ecstatic when I think about how close my daughter is to being old enough to read them with me. I don’t even have to read them anymore because I read them so often when my brain was young and fresh, I can still recall it all beat-by-beat, almost line-by-line. That said, I just forced myself to finish The Frontier Magic series, which, while a great idea (magic and pioneers), was very distant and hard to connect with, so just felt a bit boring (not to mention the problematic erasure of Native peoples). There are plenty of Wrede books I love (I think I am going to have to do a whole Wrede post; also whatever happened to the rights on those Trina Schart Hyman covers?!), and I will try out everything she’s written. I just have The Mislaid Magician waiting on my shelf, and that includes her writing tips book, but I no longer have the rabid fangirl enthusiasm I once had, so she has gone to the “maybe auto-buy/read” list.
Tamora Pierce was the other author whose books defined the shape of my reading tastes, and was my first shared-book love with my 5th Grade bffs. (HP was the next one, but it wasn’t big when I was in 5th Grade.) I started with the Immortals Quartet <3, and can trace some of my trope preferences to Song of the Lioness, I love books with girls who disguise themselves as boys, and have expectations for good love triangles (or maybe it’s just choices in romance and life direction?). However, I fell off the bandwagon around 2003, about the end of the Circle of Magic, which frankly I had struggled to connect with from the start. Protector of the Small didn’t draw me in (my memory of it is that it was very bland and basic-feeling. Maybe that was Kel?), and I really wanted to like the Trickster books way more than I did. Maybe my reading tastes were just growing up, and Pierce was just doing what she had been doing. It’s not you, it’s me.
So, I quit Piercing, and missed the Beka Cooper books, the Tortall world short stories, and a bunch of Circle books. I have plans to re-read my early Pierce books and see if I can get some of that love back. I hear that a lot of people really love the Beka books, so I am hoping that Tortall and I can get back on track in time for those Numair books she promised back in 2003.
I have loved all of the Lady Trent books, but I haven’t tried her others. The writing style of Lady Trent takes me a bit of getting into because it has a few layers to it, but I really love how Brennan’s brain works. I’m also a little hesitant because her other books are Fae books, which are really not my thing. I’ll pick them up eventually, I’m sure, and then we’ll see where she lands on this list.
I adore the Iron Seas series. Steampunk and romance and all the trappings of classic adventures (and not particularly racially insensitive which is a feat!) I, however, did not particularly click with the sample I read of her Guardians series. I think it’s me, and how I like dirigibles in my romance stories (I blame Carriger, she was my first romance book). I will definitely pounce on the Blacksmith’s book (hopefully next year!), but can’t say that I’ll venture into the Guardians again without a big external push.