These are my auto-buy authors (which doesn't necessarily mean favorite authors). These are the authors who I've liked most of their books. If given the choice between buying one of their newest books and an unknown, I'm likely to pick up theirs.
I was pretty pleased at how quickly this list formed and how many authors of different genres there are on it. So without further ado, my list:
Chuck Palahniuk is actually one of my all-time favorite authors. Doesn't mean I love everything he writes all of the time, but I really love his writing style and have come to appreciate even his quirkiest books. Fight Club is incredible, but doesn't even rank in the Top 3 of his best books.
2. Gillian Flynn - author of Gone Girl and Sharp Objects.
I fist discovered Flynn when Gone Girl hit the bestseller list and quickly devoured her other two books. Both Sharp Objects and Dark Places are darker and much better than Goen Girl. I usually recommend her with the caveat that she's a horror writer, so people have some idea of what they're getting into.
3. Julie James - author of Something About You and Practice Makes Perfect.
Julie James doesn't write books fast enough! Her FBI/U.S. Attorney series is one of my favorites. Who doesn't love a strong, intelligent chick lit book? And as a law student, I just love that I can relate... well sort of, where's my hunky FBI agent, huh?
4. Christopher Moore - author of Lamb and Fluke.
One of my favorite humor writers, Christopher Moore has a very unique writing style. His stories are fantastical bordering on absurd but always keep me in stitches. If you haven't read anything by Moore, start with the heartwarming and hilarious Lamb, the story of Jesus' childhood, as told by his best friend, Biff.
5. Ian McEwan - author of Atonement and Enduring Love.
Although Atonement is probably McEwan's best known novel, I was introduced to his incredible writing through Enduring Love on (a off the record) recommendation from my high school literature teacher. Enduring Love is an incredible love story, told in McEwan's powerful language. Since then I've read just about everything (although his newest release Sweet Tooth, is on my TBR list.) I also highly recommend Saturday
6. Suzanne Collins - author of The Hunger Games trilogy.
Even better than the movie, the Hunger Games are incredibly detailed and beautifully written. If and when Suzanne Collins writes another series, I will probably be standing in line waiting for it.
7. J.K. Rowling - author of the beloved Harry Potter series.
Come on, you knew this list wouldn't be complete without the author who wrote seven books of the most incredible series of our lifetime. I picked up the Casual Vacancy last summer when it came out, and while I hated it (and no, not just because it wasn't Harry Potter) I would still race to get my hands on anything Rowling wrote.
8. Charlaine Harris - author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels.
Charlaine Harris is one of my favorite guilty-pleasure authors. The Sookie Stackhouse series is pretty lengthy, which is wonderful when you just want to spend days being completely engulfed in another world entirely. I've read some of her other series and while I didn't like them quite as much, you know I'm on the reserve for every Sookie Stackhouse book as soon as it's released.
9. Erik Larson - author of Devil in the White City and In the Garden of Beasts.
The wonderful thing about Erik Larson is how completely unique his novels are. Mostly non-fiction but with the touch of a story teller, Larson has the incredible ability to make a single moment in history come to life. Both of his novels have been incredible as I'm sure his next will be as well.
10. Tamora Pierce - author of the Song of the Lioness and Protector of the Small series.
I loved Tomaora Pierce and the entire Tortall series growing up. I think I still have her books lined up on my shelves in the basement or in a box, I never could get up the courage to donate them or give them away for good. I read absolutely everything I could get my hands on and they were so great. I would highly recommend them to young girls looking for amazingly strong female protagonists.
There you have it, my top ten must buy authors!
What are yours?