Not Playing Favorites

Today’s #bloganuary prompt asks who is your favorite author and why?

I just got asked about my favorite house plant on Thursday night at my lecture on house plants and I am frequently asked about my favorite plant when I lecture. It’s a tough question. I usually laugh and say “whatever is in bloom, ” but that not true really about plants and I generally admit that I love roses and hydrangeas.

House plants are a little harder because they are a lot more varied. Thursday I chose an aglaeonema that I had with me. On a different day, if I had a different collection of plants–or if something was looking better–I might choose something else.

All of this is a very long winded explanation for why I have a collection of favorite authors but I don’t really have one. Here’s what I mean.

I like to read historical fiction. It’s entertaining and I learn things so long as I keep in mind that I am reading fiction and don’t fall into that trap of believing that the minority of the characters existed or that they might have interacted with the actual historical people in the way that the novels portray.

Sometimes, however, the subject matter is terrible, as in what might happen to spies if they are captured.

In that case, I might not like the book much. The writing is still wonderful, the story is great, but ugh! What a dreadful violent tale.

Do I like the writer less? Truly, no. But I can’t say that I “enjoyed” the book. It was well done but I would have loved it more with a few less graphic details.

That writer, Kate Quinn, is one of my favorite historical fiction writers. I have others, like Fiona Davis, who doesn’t get graphic like that, as well.

I just need to remember what I am in for when I read for a certain type of Kate Quinn book.

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