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If You Could Only Read One Author’s Works – Top 50

The team here at For Reading Addicts do enjoy posing our followers the most impossible questions to answer and seeing the answers you give us. This time around we asked you which author’s works you would choose if you were only able to read a single person’s books for the rest of your life?

So very many of you refused to choose but in amongst the exclamations of horror and cries of despair we did get a decent response. Here are your top 50.

Stephen King

I was pleasantly surprised to see my personal author of choice topping this poll, King writes nice big, thick books and his stories cover everything from Horror to Fantasy, to Mystery and with 57 novels to his name (currently) he is bound to keep you reading for a good long while.

The Dark Tower US
The Dark Tower UK

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Terry Pratchett

Another prolific author, Sir Terry may no longer be with us but in his Discworld novels he has left us an entire literary universe to explore.

The Colour of Magic US
The Colour of Magic UK

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William Shakespeare

With around 38 plays to his name, Shakespeare is another writer who has enough material to keep you reading for a decent length of time before you have to start again.

Complete Shakespeare US
Complete Shakespeare UK

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J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith

Oh you clever people, choosing an author who writes under a pseudonym. J.K’s Harry Potter series are genius and then you get her alter ego’s Cormoran Strike books too.

The Cuckoo’s Calling US
The Cuckoo’s Calling UK

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Nora Roberts/J.D Robb

Another ‘twofer’ next with Nora Roberts and her pseudonym J.D Robb’s dozens of books being the choice for many of you.

The Obsession US
The Obsession UK

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Charles Dickens

Our first ‘Classical’ author next with Charles Dickens’ impressive Bibliography the author that 13 of you would not want to be without.

David Copperfield US
David Copperfield UK

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Agatha Christie

As much as I love Christie’s works, I am not certain I would choose to have her books as my only option for the rest of my life. Once I knew ‘whodunnit’ I’m not sure I’d want to keep re-reading them.

And Then There Were None US
And Then There Were None UK

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Jane Austen

Although she wrote far fewer novels than most of your top 50 they were all classics. Quality over quantity for 10 of you.

Pride and Prejudice US
Pride and Prejudice UK

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J.R.R Tolkein

Middle Earth and its resident Elves and Hobbits is the preferred literary universe of 9 of you.


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Anne Rice

The last of our featured authors is, Anne Rice. Her Vampire Chronicles have enraptured many of you and her other books only serve to prove she’s a worthy  entrant.

Interview with the Vampire US
Interview with the Vampire UK

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11. Tamora Pierce

12. Dean Koontz

13. James Patterson

14. Fyodor Dostoyevsky

15. Jodie Picoult

16. Rick Riordan

17. C.S Lewis

18. Neil Gaiman

19. Khaled Hosseini

20. Leo Tolstoy

And after the featured top 20, here we take the list to the top 50 authors you cannot live without:

Edgar Allan Poe
G.R.R Martin
Maria V. Snyder
John Steinbeck
H.P Lovecraft
JoJo Moyes
P.C Cast
Clive Cussler
Tom Robbins
Emile Zola
Tad Williams
Robert A Heinlein
R.A Salvatore
Charlaine Harris
Anne Mccaffrey
Julie Berry
Tim Winton
Alexandre Dumas
Juliet Marillier
Debbie Macomber
Iain Banks
Marcel Proust
Gregory David Roberts
Catherine Coulter
John Grisham
Diana Gabaldon
Laura Hamilton
H.G. Wells
Lee Child
Nicholas Sparks

Thank goodness that we will never have to choose just one author to read and we can pick and choose on a whim.

Leave your vote


  • Norman Logsdon says:

    No Mark Twain? This list is bogus.

  • Garlene says:

    I would definitely add Jean Auel and Phillipa Gregory.

  • J says:

    Anthony Burgess…without hesitation!

  • Rex Guevana says:

    If your house was burning down and the apocalypse was upon you, which book would you grab to save? The book that you could read over and over?

  • Allena says:

    people should be checking for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle too

  • Ian Carmichael says:

    One book. Obviously the Bible, for me. And then? There’s too many. Terry Pratchett probably. But Ursula LeGuin is lovely and thought-provoking. And I’d hate to leave Brian W Aldiss behind. (Besides, he’ll let me smuggle other authors in because of his work as an anthologist and literary critic!). Gilbert Highet is a writer of great variety and wonderful elegance. Austin Farrer always surprises with his breadth depth and insight. Frederick Buechner has a special slant on the world to bring surprise meaning out of circumstances… Can I take Dan Brown so I can burn them?

    I think, the final answer is, thanks for the offer. I cannot comply with your request.

  • Krishna says:

    Charles Dickens first, Tolkien next, Agatha Christie—-very difficult to choose any other for me

  • Lea says:

    How can you forget about Philip K. Dick!? If you haven’t read any of his books I highly recommend them 🙂

  • Donna says:

    I’m going to cheat a little bit on this answer, but as asked above… If your house was on fire, what book would you (risk your life) to grab & save… If have to say my Bible & my Kindle (Like I said, I’m cheating because I have thousands of my favorites on there!) (LOL). To be more in the spectrum of your original question, I’d have to say my Bible and Complete Edgar Allen Poe or Complete Shakespeare Book. 🙂

  • Jill O'Carroll says:

    Where are EM Forster, George Eliot and AA Milne.

  • Maliha says:

    No Haruki Murakami? Or Franz Kafka?

  • Cecelia K Buckley says:

    Anthony Trollope and my Kindle. Now I’m feeling so paranoid that I must seriously consider collected works of some fans for my Fire.

  • Marcia says:

    Sheri Reynolds

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