Who Is Superior When It Comes To Canon & Interpretation: Authors Or Readers? (Ft. A Fight To The Death)

Is it really me if I don’t do some sort of mildly controversial discussion post?

(Clearly not.)

Today we’re going to tackle the question if authors or readers are superior when it comes to interpretation and declaring canon. Fun topic, I know!!!

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[LET’S CHAT] How Many Chances Do You Give An Author?

Unfortunately, there are only 24 hours in the day.

So, obviously, we bookworms don’t have all the time to read all the books that have ever existed (which totally sucks). That means we have to pick and choose which books we’ll spend time to read, and when it comes to authors that have failed to impress us, it creates a pretty tough situation: should we give them a second chance or go bye-bye? Let’s talk about it!

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[LET’S CHAT] Do We Put Too Much Stock Into Authors?

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Obviously, we, as book bloggers, love books.

We devour them and love them and hate them and review them and recommend them and fangirl over them. But, an important component in the whole “book” process is the author. If authors didn’t exist, books wouldn’t exist. So, obviously, they’re pretty damn important.

So, I thought I’d dedicate a Let’s Chat to talking all about authors because there’s A LOT to talk about and dissect, not even mentioning all the scandals and drama surrounding authors after all these years. So, let’s get into it!

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So, now that we live in a world that thrives off of technology, we’ve been introduced to social media. Whereas back when I was born (which was back in 2000) most people read a book and that was it, we now live in an age where we can love a book and then go and tell the author that. Obviously, that has its positives and its negatives.

It’s definitely nice to interact with authors online. As someone who’s socially anxious, I know it’s much easier to tell an author I love their books online over in real life (even though I also don’t mind that). And it’s a fantastic way to get to know the writer behind the book, especially since, when you really think about it, we don’t really know much about an author past their book. So it’s nice to see what they love, what they hate, their author friends, what books they’d recommend, what they do when they’re not writing, etc.

Obviously, that comes easier to some over others. I know I only follow probably three authors on Twitter, and that’s basically it. I’ve seen people who are buddy-buddy with authors on a friendship level, which makes me totally jealous because I’d never be able to do that AND keep it professional. TELL ME YOUR SECRETS.

There’s also this huge debacle over sharing reviews and tagging authors. I know I’ve seen lots of Tweets that pop up once a month or so about how you shouldn’t tag authors in negative reviews of their books, which you’d think would be common sense, but apparently isn’t. I’ve also seen some people say that you shouldn’t tag authors in positive reviews because reviews aren’t for authors, which I get, but at the same time, if I gave five stars to their book and want to tell them, I’ll go ahead and do it because I know it might make their day. Personally, I used to tag authors in my positive reviews, but now I just don’t do it anymore because it gives me too much anxiety, and I just don’t want to.

We also have a sort of problem of author interpretation and such. Obviously, we, as readers, might see something that we consider canon or not canon, and the author thinks the opposite, which can elicit not-so-nice conversations. Unfortunately, this leads to…

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I feel like we really need to DEFINE “bad behavior” before we class it. Obviously, people have different takes on what author bad behavior is, but for me, it’s when an author actually does something threatening. For instance, Kathleen Hale and the whole stalking incident years ago. That’s author bad behavior. Or that one indie romance author who told her Facebook followers to flag a three-star review of her book on Goodreads. That’s author bad behavior.

It might be a controversial opinion, but if an author says something that I don’t agree with, that’s not bad behavior to me. Like, if an author tweeted, “I think God is a jerk,” I don’t agree with that…but I’m not going to blacklist them forever just because they don’t agree with me. I just don’t believe in a world where we ALL have to agree on something. Obviously, there’s a difference between “I think God is a jerk,” and “All Christians are stupid and weird” – THEN, I’d probably stay away from their books – but if they said they didn’t believe in global warming, then that’s not “bad behavior” to me.

I personally tend to separate the author from the work. I don’t think because an author might have said some dumb things that I don’t agree with, I can’t enjoy what they’ve written ever again. There are some authors that I don’t like on social media because they just seem aggressive in my eyes, but it doesn’t make me NOT want to read their book if I’m interested in it. Separating the author from the work can lead to…

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It’s actually really funny how much stock we put into authors. We never really talk about it, though, but it’s true that if we see an author we love or don’t love or disappointed us or we have meh feelings for, we’re more likely to add or not add that book to our TBR pile.

I feel like there are three categories we, as bookworms, put authors in after reading a couple of their books:

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Auto-Buy Authors:

These are the ones you have clearly dedicated your soul to, the ones you might have met at a signing, the ones whose books you love, the ones you follow on all their social medias, etc. When you see this author’s name, you immediately put it on your TBR and will venture to get an ARC for it no matter what. You basically love these authors to death and expect nothing less from them.

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Middle-Of-The-Road Authors: 

You’ve read five of their books or three of their series, and you feel pretty “meh” about them. They’re household names, so you recognize them easily, but your feelings regarding three of their books are positive, but the other two were terrible; or one of their series was AMAZING, and the other two were duds. When you see this author’s name, you decide to read some reviews from those you trust to see if it’s worth checking out.

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Authors You Avoid:

You’ve read their series or you’ve read all their books and you just. Don’t. Like them. Since you’ve been so disappointed by them or you hate their characters or the writing is average or some other reason, you vow never to read one of their books ever again. When you see this author’s name, you run in the other direction.

I’m sure that even as you simply READ those descriptions, you probably already started thinking about which authors fit in which category for you. Personally, I really wish we stopped judging books by certain vendettas against authors and just READ THEM if it sounds mildly interesting to you.

I definitely have noticed that I give different second chances based off what I’m reading. Regarding YA, I realized I’m way less likely to give a second chance to an author, whereas concerning adult thrillers, even if I didn’t like the author’s previous book, I’ll still get hyped for it and read it anyway. I think this is just for the fact that I can never give up an awesome thriller premise no matter what. It’s my weakness.

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And those are all my feelings about authors!

Obviously, we all have different opinions on authors, whether it comes to social media interaction, author bad behavior, and giving second chances, which is totally fine! It’s what makes us all unique and individual. But it’s definitely good to talk about controversial author topics, and the good and bad that can come of it.

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Any specific feelings or opinions on these topics? Feel free to comment about it!

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I Need to Read More of These Authors’ Books

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So, as bookworms, we sort of idolize authors. Okay, we totally idolize authors.

And we suffer from the fact that we don’t always get the chance to read all the authors’ books.

But, fear not, we shall valiantly try. Or, at least I do. As someone who continually suffers from not being able to complete book series, I also suck at reading more of an authors’ books. I’m like that one person who’s listened to one album from an artist, and then starts calling them one of my favorite singers/bands of ever. So, I thought I’d talk about the some authors whose first couple of books I read, but I really need to read more of them.

(Also, I’m going to go ahead and link this up with Top 5 Wednesday with “Authors You Want to Read More From,” even though, again, this is way more than five. I’m a rule-breaker.)

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Maggie Stiefvater

|Books Read: The Raven Cycle|

No, I haven’t read all the books Stiefvater has to offer. It’s actually such a shame since I absolutely love her writing, and her other YA series/stand-alones sound so good! My main priority is getting to The Scorpio Races since everyone raves about that one, and I feel like it’s best for me to read something of hers that’s not part of a series since I suck at that. I’m also planning to read her Shiver series. I don’t even care that it has such an overwhelm of negative reviews on Goodreads. IT’S MAGGIE STIEFVATER, THEREFORE I WILL READ IT.

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Suzanne Young

|Book Read: The Program|

Yeah, this one is actually quite shameful. I read this book so long ago and fell in love with it…and I haven’t read any of the other books in the series or the sequels or the prequels or the companions. On my part, though, I don’t own the other books, so there’s that. But, I’m hoping to fix that soon, especially since all her dystopian books sound so amazing and thoughtful. And the covers are gorgeous. SOMEONE HELP ME.

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V.E. Schwab

|Books Read: This Savage Song, Vicious, A Darker Shade of Magic, and A Gathering of Shadows|

I’m still in the midst of A Conjuring of Light because of my whole reading slump thing, so don’t make me even think about it, or I’m going to start stressing out again about all of the books I’m still in the middle of. But, I’ve heard brilliant things about her Archived series and also The Near Witch, so I obviously need to read them soon. I LOVE HER BOOKS. I NEED THEM ALL.

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Patrick Ness

|Books Read: A Monster Calls|

I actually bought the entirety of the Chaos Walking trilogy last year because, okay, I admit, the covers are absolutely gorgeous, and everyone was pretty much recommending them. AND I STILL HAVEN’T READ IT YET. And let’s not mention More Than This, because as I said in my post last week, that one has also been left unread. And there’s probably even more Ness books I still haven’t read yet. And Release is coming out in the fall, and it sounds absolutely amazing. So, obviously, I need to read his books already.

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Shaun David Hutchinson

|Book Read: At the Edge of the Universe|

I’ve mentioned before that so many people have recommended his books to me, and this year, I FINALLY READ ONE. AND I LOVED IT. Therefore, I will 100% definitely read We Are the Ants and The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley sometime this year. Not making promises, but I’ll try. Hopefully.

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Neal Shusterman

|Books Read: The Unwind Dystology and Scythe|

If you’re new here, you’ll learn now that I love the Unwind dystology. It’s one of my favorite series of ever. I also read Scythe, and I enjoyed it as well and can’t wait for the sequel! And I also read Bruiser, a stand-alone of his, last year, and thought it wasn’t my favorite, I still enjoyed it. I mean, he does have a lot of books, so that’s the main excuse I’m going to use. But still, I’m putting Challenger Deep on this year’s reading list. One step at a time!

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Joe Abercrombie

|Book Read: Half a King|

I read the first book of the Shattered Sea trilogy last year, Half a King, and really enjoyed it! I actually purchased the entire trilogy off Amazon, but, of course, I only read the first book and never actually completed the trilogy. Or, like, started the sequel. And then he also has this adult fantasy series that sounds pretty awesome. Really, I just need to read more adult fantasy, and this seems like a good place to start.

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Amy Zhang

|Book Read: Falling Into Place|

I read her debut novel SO long ago, way back in middle school when I had this huge contemporary phase (obviously, that stopped, and now it’s my least favorite genre, funnily enough). I really enjoyed it when I read it, and since then, I haven’t read any of her other books, which is such a shame! I’m really hoping to get to her sophomore novel, since I don’t think she’s published much since then.

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David Levithan

|Books Read: Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Every Day, and Two Boys Kissing|

I’ve loved pretty much everything he’s written or co-written so far, so I really just need to read all his books. But, at the same time, he’s been writing for YEARS, and I honestly don’t think I’m going to be able to catch up. I also mentioned one of his co-written books in my post last Wednesday, and I’m hoping to read it this year, at least, since I was SUPPOSED to be catching up on 2016 releases (which I’m 100% failing at).

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Leigh Bardugo

|Books Read: Shadow & Bone and Six of Crows|

Yeah, I haven’t read Crooked Kingdom yet, which is clearly a problem, but the only book of hers I’ve actually read and enjoyed was Six of Crows! I didn’t enjoy Shadow and Bone too much, so I never actually continued with the trilogy, but Bardugo has two books releasing later this year, so I can finally get to experience more of his books and hopefully declare her one of my favorite authors!

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Morgan Rhodes

|Books Read: Falling Kingdoms, Rebel Spring, Gathering Darkness, and Frozen Tides|

And yet another case of “Mikaela Is Horrible At Binging Series.” I raced through the first three books last year in January, but ended up ditching Frozen Tides for another book, for some reason…and now I’ve basically forgotten what’s happened, Crystal Storm came out, and now the series is ending later this year. So, there’s that giant problem. Oh, and I haven’t read any of the books in the spin-off series. So, yeah. Obviously have to fix that.

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And those are just a few of the authors whose books I need to read more of. 

Obviously, the only solution is to clone myself and have one dedicated to conquering my TBR. Duh.

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What are some authors whose books you need to more of? Do we share any of the same authors? Do you think life would be easier if we could just clone ourselves (I certainly do)?

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My All-Time Favorite Authors

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For every bookworm out there, we all have our auto-buy authors. You know, those authors where if you see their name on any book – literally ANY BOOK – you will immediately put it on your TBR and give up anything to get that book. Yeah, those authors.

I know I’ve talked a lot about some of my favorites in some of my posts in February, but I realized that I left out a list of some of my all-time favorite authors, so I decided to write one up for today! Without further ado, here they are.

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Sarah J. Maas

I’m pretty sure this one is obvious to anyone who has been on my blog for a couple of minutes, but I absolutely love this woman. So many people seem to hate her and her books, but I’m just a huge fan. Both her Throne of Glass series and the ACOTAR trilogy feature amazing characters, steamy romances, and fantastic, intriguing plots. Every time I read her books, it instantly makes my day better.

Rick Riordan

This is the first of many authors on this list that I’m sure everyone agrees with, but I love him so much. I’ve been reading all his books since I picked up The Lightning Thief in the fifth grade, and I haven’t regretted it since. His books always make me laugh, and I absolutely love his cast of characters and how three dimensional and realistic they all are. I will always be excited for a new book of his.

V.E. Schwab

I LOVE THIS WOMAN SO MUCH. After hearing all the hype about her on Goodreads, I finally caved and read Vicious, and fell in love with it (it’s still my favorite of hers). I read A Darker Shade of Magic, and wasn’t too impressed, but fell in love with the series after A Gathering of Shadows. And then I finally read This Savage Song, and I swear to God, this woman is utterly brilliant. She can write any story idea perfectly.

John Green

So many people seem to have personal vendettas against him and think all his books are the same thing, but I love all of his books (okay, except An Abundance of Katherines. That was pretty bad.), especially Looking for Alaska, which is still one of my all-time favorite stand-alones. I just always love how his books seem to deal with the weirdest situations, but also deal with serious topics and strange characters I can relate to, and then proceed to stomp on my heart. Like, a lot.

Gillian Flynn

Otherwise known as the Queen of Thrillers. If you’re a thriller fan and haven’t read any of her books, YOU MUST. I just love how wonderfully dark her books can get and how evil the women are and how twisted all the characters are and just everything about her books is brilliant. Even Dark Places, my least favorite of hers, is still pretty freaking good. I anxiously await her next book (it’s been four years, guys).

Cassandra Clare

Again, another controversial writer, but I have a lot of unpopular opinions, so who cares? I absolutely love everything that comes out of the Shadowhunter world, and this was probably one of the first series where I became an official fangirl for shipping and things. I’m literally excited for all the Shadowhunter things, and no one can make me feel bad for feeling that way.

Neal Shusterman

Probably another one you guys aren’t too surprised to see. I’ve talked so much about how much I love the Unwind Dystology and how every single person on this planet should read it. I read Scythe as well, and though I didn’t love it as much as Unwind, really nothing can compare, and I still thought it was really good! Also, I still need to read the rest of his books. #shame

Maggie Stiefvater

Duh. Her writing is absolutely magical, her characters are amazing, she’s so sweet and funny on all her social media, her ideas are weird and wonderful, and just everything about her is perfection. Again, I still need to read the rest of her books because I’m always that person who’s late to the fandom.

J.K. Rowling

Again, this one is fairly obvious, and I’m sure literally everyone has read and loved her books, so I’m not going to bother to needlessly add my adoration for the Harry Potter series.

Marie Lu

I feel like she’s so underrated??? I absolutely loved the Legend trilogy and found it had more depth and intricacy than most The Hunger Games-ripoffs around that time. Plus, The Young Elites trilogy is absolutely perfection, and if you haven’t read it yet, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE PICK IT UP RIGHT NOW.

Pierce Brown

Not only is he extremely attractive (because he is, like, seriously), but his books are brilliant. If you haven’t had the chance to read the Red Rising trilogy, you must. You absolutely must. Fantastic world-building, great characters, Darrow is the best book boyfriend ever, and it’s a complex read for those who prefer their YA a bit more challenging. And, yes, I cannot wait for Iron Gold.

Marissa Meyer

As you guys probably know at this point, I’m a huge fan of The Lunar Chronicles. I love the kick-ass characters, I love the friendships and romances between the characters, I love the complex plot, and I love the world-building. Basically, this series is fantastic. And it’s a huge shame I still haven’t read Heartless yet.

Nick Cutter

Honestly, I don’t think I talk about this guy as much. Yeah, I’ve only read one book of his, but I WILL BUY ANY BOOK HIS NAME IS ATTACHED TO. The Troop is a brilliant horror novel that is disgusting and horrific and all kinds of wonderful. I have The Deep and Little Heaven on my TBR, and I can’t wait to dive into them both.

Adam Silvera

This is the man I go to when I want to be completely and utterly destroyed by emotions. I read More Happy Than Not in one day because it was oh-so-brilliant and emotional, and then I read History Is All You Left Me in one day because it was brilliant and emotional and wonderful. You bet I’ll be clamoring for They Both Die At the End.

Laini Taylor

She writes magical stories about magical people, and that’s pretty much, like, my favorite thing. Also, her writing is absolutely perfect and enchanting and wonderful, not to mention she also writes quite complex YA fantasy that’s heavy on politics, which is always my favorite kind of YA fantasy.

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And that’s it for most of my favorite/auto-buy authors! I hope you really enjoyed this post; it took me so long to write because I kept putting it off for some strange reason.

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Who are some of your favorite authors? Do we share any of the same ones?

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