Booking through Thursday – Ground floor

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme in which we answer a question about books or reading.

This week’s meme is:
There’s something wonderful about getting in on the ground floor of an author’s career–about being one of the first people to read and admire them, before they became famous best-sellers.

Which authors have you been lucky enough to discover at the very beginning of their careers?

And, if you’ve never had that chance, which author do you WISH you’d been able to discover at the very beginning?

I’m one of the people that read “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” when it first came out and had to wait for “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets“. So, I’m rather pleased with getting really early on the J.K. Rowling train.

I also started reading the hilarious Norwegian fantasy trilogy “De fire og han som gjør galt verre” (The four and he who makes everything worse) by Hans Frederik Follestad when it first started coming out. Not translated into English.

There’s quite a few authors I wish I could have followed from the start of their careers, even though I’ve mostly caught up by now. Here’s some of them:

  • Connie Willis had been publishing for more than a decade before I finally read Doomsday book and got well and properly hooked. Since then I’ve read everything she’s published.
  • Kurt Vonnegut started publishing long before I was born, so it would have been really hard to follow his career from the start. I still haven’t read everything by him, which only means that I have a lot to look forward to.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien – need I say more.
  • Lois McMaster Bujold – I came in more than a decade after she started publishing and have had fun ever since.
  • Markus Zusak – I first read The Book Thief in 2007 and came in early on that book, after that I hunted until I found The Messenger (a.k.a. I am the Messenger) and When Dogs Cry (a.k.a. Getting the Girl). I’m eagerly waiting to see what happens next.
  • Ursula K. Le Guin – one of my all time favourite authors. She also started publishing before I was born, so discovering her at the start of her career would have been hard. Since then I’ve read everything, starting with the first three books of The Earthsea series when they got translated into Norwegian 1978-1990 and then everything else later on.

It’ s certainly fun to discover an author early in the career, but there are certain advantages to discovering them later too. The gluttony phase is more easily done when you don’t have to wait for every book they publish. I think that everyone who has ever fallen in love with an author will recognize themselves in this cartoon: The Unshelved Book Club Presents “The Seven Stages of Falling in Love with and Author


About mostraum

Librarian, reader, atheist, blogger, golfer, lesbian, geek.

Posted on February 10, 2011, in Literature/Books and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I had Harry Potter on my list too although I got in about half-way through.

  2. Lol. Great answer. That’s quite a list of authors. I love that cartoon – so true.

    Here’s Mine:

  3. Many great authors were first discovered before my time ie. Agatha Christie, Lucy Maude Montgomery, Anna Sewell and they’re still great, decades later. Stop by to read mine here:

  4. I absolutely agree with the satisfactory gluttony phase of catching up when you learn about an author later in his or her career. I had a blast for several months devouring J.D. Robb novels like potato chips!

    Thanks for the cartoon link!

  5. I’m glad you liked the cartoon. Unshelved is one of my regular cartoon stops online :

  6. I just started reading Ursula LeGuin recently–and I wish I had read her Earthsea series when I was growing up. So great, and exactly the kind of thing I enjoyed reading as a kid.

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