For us Bibliophiles the authors we read are like any other people we invite into our lives; we have our acquaintances, we recognise them across the street and may even wave to them or sit at the same table in a café if there are no other seats available, then there are our work colleagues, they aid us in our day to day activities but maybe not the kind of people we’d choose to have round for an evening of relaxed fun.
Next we have our close friends, the ones we keep an eye out for, they’re on our phones and we make an effort to see them regularly and miss them if they’re absent for any length of time, and finally our family or our closest friends, the people we cannot live without, who we stalk on social media, perhaps we text them late at night just because we want to know they’re ok, however we do it, we make sure we are in almost constant contact somehow
Then there are those we have lost, the ones we mourn and the ones we wish we could catch up with over coffee again, just one more time.
Over on our Social Media pages we asked you which authors you wish had written more, the ones who are no longer with us and have left us bereft with gaping holes on our bookshelves and unfinished series. You answered in your droves and after counting and collating the votes we have a Top 50 Authors we wish had written more Books
16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817
The winner by a large margin was Pride and Prejudice author Jane Austen who before dying at the relatively young age of 41 had written and completed five novels with two published after her death from what is widely believed to be Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. A sixth novel called The Brothers (or Sanditon) was twelve chapters long before Jane had to abandon it due to her illness, never recovering and leaving us still wanting more almost 200 years later.
28 April 1948 – 12 March 2015
A hugely popular author Terry Pratchett left a gaping hole on many a bibliophile’s shelf when he passed away; so many of us are regular inhabitants of his Discworld and the thought of it being no more has left us all lost in this mundane world of normality. Terry’s final novel of the series The Shepherd’s Crown was published posthumously to a great reception and with his daughter saying that Discworld would be coming to an end along with its author dozens of you said you would have loved to have been able to continue experiencing life in Terry Pratchett’s fantastical world.
15 August 1954 – 9 November 2004
In third place is the author of the Millenium Trilogy of Crime novels which exploded into popularity in 2007/8 by which time Stieg had already been dead for several years. With a gritty and uncompromising style Stieg was announced as being the world’s second best selling author of 2008 and when three quarters of a fourth novel, manuscripts/synopses of a fifth and sixth novel and hints as to a ten book series in total were discovered by his girlfriend, Stieg’s death from heart attack at just 50 seems a cruel trick of nature indeed.
3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973
No tragedies here, Tolkien lived until the ripe old age of 81 but unfortunately he was anything but prolific when writing the books we want to read which is fantasy fiction. The wonderful tales of Middle Earth have achieved cult status, with Hobbit Days being held at Sarehole Mill and myriad characters making appearances at Comic-cons around the world. Coming in at number four on our poll 48 of you want to know what happened next.
1 April 1926 – 21 November 2011
In fifth place is an author who was prolific throughout her lifetime and who lived a long life, yet we readers still wanted more. Anne’s Dragonriders of Pern regularly appear on our page as suggestions or favourites and are often recommended to fellow readers on our Cwts page who are looking for a lengthy fantasy fiction fix although Anne herself insisted her books were sci fi. With over 100 titles in her bibliography it was still not enough for 33 of you.
11 August 1897 – 28 November 1968
In sixth is the hugely popular British children’s author Enid Blyton, Her Famous Five, Secret Seven, and Wishing Chair books are just a few of her stories that were a staple of our childhood bookshelves and library visits. Twenty nine of you would love for Enid to still be writing today although I am not sure how her novels would fit in to today’s society of technology and instant access.
Arthur Conan Doyle
22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930
The Scottish physician and creator of the inimitable Detective Sherlock Holmes is your seventh placed pick. A prolific author throughout his seventy one years Conan Doyle was not limited to writing about Holmes, or even writing Crime Fiction with fantasy and science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels also featuring in his rather sizeable bibliography.
15 September 1890 – 12 January 1976
Everyone’s favourite whodunnit author may have published 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections during her lifetime but those are still not enough to satiate the voracious appetite for literature that you, our followers obviously have. From her Belgian wonder detective Hercule Poirot to her interfering yet inexplicably successful amateur sleuth Miss Marple, Agatha Christie’s books are so badly missed that a new author has taken up the mantle and just released a second new Poirot mystery.
8 April 1943 – 20 March 2013
The English Horror writer was my pick for this poll. After his early successes with The Rats and The Fog James Herbert had gone quiet for a while before reappearing with a new style of writing based more in fantasy than pure horror and culminating in a truly epic example of fantasy horror writing with his swansong Ash. Herbert’s death at the age of 70 came as a complete shock to his many thousands of fans and with the cause of his passing never being released, James Herbert managed to leave us all wondering after he had gone. A very much missed author and someone who 24 of us wish was still writing in his uniquely brilliant style.
April 28, 1926 – February 19, 2016
If the saying ‘leave them wanting more’ is true of the nine authors ahead of Harper then it is never more so than with the author of To Kill a Mockingbird. Published in 1960 and winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 the world waited for a sequel for over fifty years. Famously reclusive, Harper had written a novel called Go Set a Watchman in 1950 which was controversially published (allegedly against her wishes) in 2015 as a sequel to TKaMB although it was eventually admitted that the book was in fact an early draft of Harper’s Tale of small town racism. Despite her determination to remain the author of a single book, her readers still want more.
11. P. D. James
12. John Steinbeck
13. Kurt Vonnegut
14. Emily Bronte
15. JD Salinger
16. Iain Banks
17. Douglas Adams
18. Sidney Sheldon
19. Margaret Mitchell
20. Ray Bradbury
And after the featured top 20, here we take the list to cover the top 50 authors you wish had written more books:
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Hunter S. Thompson
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Edgar Allen Poe
John Kennedy Toole
James Headly Chase
What an amazing list of talent there, can you imagine if they were all still writing and publishing? Our TBR lists would be never ending.