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Who’s my favorite author? There's no short answer

Holly Viers • Apr 1, 2018 at 2:30 PM

Almost every time I tell people I love to read, I’m inevitably asked, “Who’s your favorite author?”

I have never been too fond of that question, mainly because I hardly ever have a short answer. Unlike those who have had the same favorite author for years, I tend to bounce around from one to the next, sometimes in a matter of a few months.

I’ll give you a couple of examples. When I first started reading for fun several years ago, my favorite author was Meg Cabot, whom some of you might know as the author of “The Princess Diaries” series.

As a tween girl at the time, I loved how relatable the series seemed, even though the main character was the princess of a small foreign country. Reading that series inspired me to read almost all the rest of Cabot’s novels, many of which were just as enjoyable.

Once I exhausted all of Cabot’s works, I discovered my love for romantic fiction, and Nicholas Sparks’ books became a mainstay on my bookshelf. I’m still not quite finished reading all of his novels, but I nevertheless considered him my favorite author for a couple years.

From there, my “favorite author” designation has changed so many times that it would be impossible for me to name them all. For me, the answer to that question depends on my current mood and whatever I’m reading at the time.

That being said, if I had to choose just one author as my current favorite, it would have to be John Green. (As I said before, I always have a long answer.)

You may recall me mentioning Green in a couple of my past columns. Though he is perhaps best known for his 2012 bestseller, “The Fault In Our Stars,” he’s also written a number of other well-received works, including “Looking for Alaska,” “Paper Towns” and “An Abundance of Katherines.”

A few weeks ago, I finished reading Green’s latest release, “Turtles All The Way Down.” Though the odd title and the young adult fiction designation would probably turn off some readers, the book expertly tackles a heavy subject matter I’ve never delved into before: mental illness.

The novel’s main character, Aza Holmes, suffers from severe anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, more commonly known as OCD. Rather than simply using adjectives to describe Aza’s struggle, Green takes readers inside her head and into her thoughts, which brings her condition to light in an incredibly powerful way.

Though I have been a John Green fan for years, I’ve never considered him my favorite author until recently. Anyone who has ever experienced anxiety can relate to Aza’s character, and Green’s own struggle with OCD allows him to accurately shed light on a condition that is so often misunderstood.

If you ask me this question again a few months from now, I wouldn’t be surprised if I have a different answer. Nevertheless, if you haven’t read any of Green’s work, I’ll take this opportunity to recommend it, even if you don’t fall into the “young adult” category.

What about you? Do you have a favorite author? Send me your thoughts at hviers@timesnews.net.

Holly Viers is a general assignment reporter for the Kingsport Times News.

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