Even though it’s not Tuesday, I’m doing the Broke and Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday post today.
Their suggestion: April 21: Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Authors (yeah, I’m mean like that! You could narrow it down to a genre if you it REALLY kills you…or just make your list a top 20 😛 )
At first, I thought no sweat.
And then I started compiling. Top 10? Of all time? ALL TIME? And authors, not books. That’s a strange distinction, because there are books I love (like Watership Down) but I’ve only read that one book by Richard Adams. Does that make him a favorite? Or does a favorite author mean I’ll always read something by them?
I thought and here’s my list, in no particular rank order.
10. Douglas Adams
9. J.R.R. Tolkein
8. Michael Connelly
7. J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith
6. Nick Sagan
5. Frederick Buechner
4. Neil Gaiman
3. Jim Butcher
2. Nick Bantock
1. C.S. Lewis
So. I compiled this list and then I was terribly struck by how only one of them was a woman and 100% of them where white. I don’t quite know what I think about that piece of information. We’ve had this conversation in book club, trying to pick authors who are “not dead, white men” to read. We don’t always succeed at that, but we’re paying attention. (Recently, we’ve read Barbara Kingsolver and Anne Lamott, ok, white, but a women and Kazuo Ishiguro and Salman Rushie is on deck for a future meeting, ok, still a man, but steeped in a different cultural background).
I watch the #weneeddiversebooks hashtag on Twitter a lot. I find it concerning that white men continue to dominate the best-seller lists.
I can’t redo my top ten authors list to include more women or more writers of color at this point because then I would be lying and that’s equally problematic. But, I can be aware of it. I can continue to push bookclub titles by non-white and/or non-Y-chromasomed writers. I can look at my Eight-Up list and see that yes, in fact, most of them are white men too and work to change the mix as I move forward.
If I stay mindful, someday, I am sure that I will redo this list and find a change.