Everything They’ve Ever Written

jamesSome of you readers are doggedly loyal: you pick a group of authors and stick with them.  You read every word they write, and hunger for more.  (James Patterson fans, I’m looking at you.)

I’ve often wished I were more like that.  I am a grazer at the book buffet — I read a little of this, and a little of that (and I always read too much).  If you look at what I read in a given month, nothing much connects to anything else, but I’ve savored it all.wiseman

This month, I’ve taken up a new tactic.  Your tactic.  I picked an author (Eva Wiseman) and set about reading every book she’s ever written without any other books  distracting me.  I made a full meal out of one writer.  Here’s what I learned:

When you’re reading your way through an author:

easyIt’s really easy to choose books.  I tend to think finding a book is a mix of good advice and serendipity.  In May, however, I finished a book and started the next one in the same day with no thought whatsoever about which book was next.

The things that blow you away the first time, are amazing the second time too.  I am continually amazed by how dreadfully history repeats itself.

comfortIt’s comforting. You develop an appreciation for the familiar.  Eva Wiseman’s books are all about a young teenage girl who faces adversity because of her family’s religion.  There are certain things I looked forward to finding the book:  the suitable boy, the challenge to her parents, the hard won knowledge…  They are big topics (especially when you consider Wiseman writes for children and teens), but after a few the repetition of the themes became comfortable.

You can see rewarding connections between the books.  There’s a book about Canada in one of Wiseman’s novels that pops up in another novel.  Reading the two books years apart, I’d never have noticed.  Stephen King and Susanna Kearsley are also good at rewarding faithful readers.

While I’m not sure that I’m ready to give up reading tapas-style anytime soon, I’m curious… What author is so good that you’ve read everything they’ve ever written?



  1. Kim Stanley Robinson. His ability to meld big ideas with hard science in page-turning packages is virtually unmatched.

  2. Michael, I have been meaning to read the Mars trilogy forever! I just went to our catalogue to put a hold on it and noticed we don’t have any of the Mars trilogy books in print, so I ordered all three of them for our collection. Thanks to you! -Heidi

  3. I couldn’t agree more. Watch out for My Salinger Year coming out this June. Joanne Rakoff does a great job of explaining what it was like to intern at his publishers. I was lucky enough to get an advanced readers copy and couldn’t put it down.

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