In the February 2020 newsletter I asked our readers who would be on their own personal Mount Rushmore.

Here were the responses:

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Jane: Agatha Christie: arguably the most famous of all mystery writers. She was the first mystery writer I read as a child and the one I go back to again and again. Reading her books takes me back to the house where I grew up and my parents reading in the evenings. I love the snapshot of the changing times her books gave, and marvel at her economy of words to create scene and character, and her dialogue. Many of her books are my reading equivalent of comfort food. The only ones I don’t care for are the Tommy and Tuppence series; oddly enough, they were her own favorites.
Jane Austen: How many times have I read and watched the various movies and series of Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Emma and Sense and Sensibility? Currently, I’m listening to an audio tape of Persuasion in my car. With Jane, again, I marvel at the economy of words and directness at a time when writing was often wordy.
Bernard Cornwell: Have read his Sharpe books twice already and love The Last Kingdom series, but it’s a toos up whether I might replace him with in this list with Forester, creator of the Hornblower books which I’ve also read twice, and listened to on audio.
Elizabeth George: Oh, Elizabeth George, always an agonizing wait for her next tome in the Lynley series…

Neil: For me it is almost a tie between Lee Child and Michael Connelly. They both write exciting yet believable series. Connelly wins for character and back story development as well as plot twists and turns. Also besides Bosch he has created Lincoln lawyer series which I like Grishom.

Carl: My picks are:
Agatha Christie…she was the first author I read in junior high school and continue to this day;
Harry Turtledove…I love alternative history – the “what if” – and I think he is the best;
Tom Clancy…the first of the techno thriller writers in my opinion and the best;
Robert Ludlum…I love all his books and the Jason Bourne books are the best.

Honorable mention – Alistair Maclean.

Nancy: My Mount Rushmore of authors would have to begin with Walter Farley who wrote the Black Stallion series, Back when I was reading these in the 1960s, other girls were reading what I thought was trite garbage (Nurse Mary or some such). Loved these books, although a close 2nd would be Walter R. Brooks of the gently humorous Freddy the Pig books.

In the Fantasy genre, JRR Tolkien without a doubt. I was introduced to The Hobbit via an old college boyfriend, which is the only good thing he ever did for me! LOTR is the pinnacle of fantasy series against which I measure everything else.

Youth fantasy is another favorite genre of mine & Dianna Wynne-Jones is fantastic. Her books are inventive, clever, witty, & exciting among other things, & keep me looking for more of this type book.

And my 4th choice is Agatha Christie for mystery novels. Even though some see her work as “old-fashioned” now, her practically impossible-to-solve mysteries, glimpses of life in a bygone era, and colorful cast of oh-so-British characters made me into the crazed fan of mysteries that I am today, even carrying over into PBS programs.

Mike: Being 56 years of age, my tastes have broadened over the years and I enjoy reading across many genres. My Mount Rushmore reflects authors who marked some of the most important parts of my life and reflect an emotional connection as much as anything else.

1. Louis L’Amour – I remember, in my early teens, sitting on the porch in the evenings with my grandfather reading westerns since it was all he would read. Louis L’Amour was his favorite and became mine as well. I loved the fact that he had lived much of what he wrote about and his characters, along with my grandfather, helped shape my character as a young adult.
2. Stephen King – I fell in love with Stephen King as a young adult with the release of IT. This began my infatuation with horror novels and I could not read enough books from this genre at the time. His endings were always left lacking but no one created better storylines and characters. I fell off his writings a bit but his works as of late show a return to what made him great in the first place.
3. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child – This duo kind of picked up where King left off in my evolution of reading. The stories and characters were fascinating and I looked forward to the next release of their novels with much anticipation. I would love to see them craft more standalone though.
4. This was tough. I enjoy so many authors and strongly considered Lee Child and David Baldacci but I have to put Tony Hillerman here. His novels revolving around the Navajo Tribal Police were both educational and enjoyable. His characters were as real as you could get and he captured the Native American struggle between spiritual belief and human nature beautifully. Plus it plays to my early love of westerns.

I must admit picking only 4 was tough but, no matter who anyone picks, as long as you enjoy reading you can’t go wrong with whomever you prefer.

Elizabeth: It was a hard decision. My 4 Mount Rushmore of Reading authors would be Carolyn Keene, Dick Francis, Mary Higgins Clark, and Stieg Larsson.
Carolyn Keene was the first author of a series that I loved. Dick Francis was the first adult author I loved. Mary Higgins Clark wrote so many wonderful books.
Stieg Larsson had such interesting and unusual mystery books and I enjoyed the Swedish culture.

Kenicia: This month’s question is terrific! I started applying it in my mind to various genres, but for your newsletter, I did my best to choose my overall top four.

First is C. S. Lewis. I read the Chronicles of Narnia multiple times as a child, and as an adult, I listen to several every winter on audio book. They are just as special to me now as they were when I was young.

Second is Alexandre Dumas. If I had to choose a favorite book, it would be The Count of Monte Cristo. Although I did not enjoy the Three Musketeers saga nearly as much, he has to be one of my four.

Third would be Jane Austen. I enjoyed all of her books, and the fact that they can still bring so much pleasure in this day and age is a testament to her gift.

Fourth and final is Lucy Maud Montgomery. Not only did I become totally absorbed in the “Anne” series, but I was impressed by her short-story writing skill. Most short stories I’ve read feel incomplete, but hers are all fully developed and a treat to read. They bring great pleasure.

Robert: As a kid I got into Judy Blume and then into John Bellairs. Judy had a way of connecting with those nerdy little outsiders, While John took that outsider and had him dabbling with magic and sorcery!

I Also have to add Tolkien. I remember my 6th grade teacher started reading The Hobbit to the class. She would read portions each day as time allotted. The school year came to a close and she only made it half way through the book. I so had to find out what happened. Now every-so-often I have to reread the Hobbit and LOTR!

When the 8th Doctor novels came out continuing the Doctor Who adventures I was introduced to Paul Magrs. He is a very imaginative and creative writer!

And currently I have to acknowledge Steve Martini for his work on the Paul Madriani Novels.

Doris: Robert Crais, especially for The Sentry, Demolition Angel and Suspect.
John Gilstrap for Nathan’s Run
Halan Coban for The Innocent, Run Away and Gone 4 Good
John Grisham, especially for his first novel, The Firm.

Fred: My personal personal Mount Rushmore, is hard to limit. The why is essentially the same for all the authors, once I found the first, I was so enthralled that I would hunt for all that had been published and almost ended up pacing waiting for the next one to come out.

Edward S. Aarons – Sam Durell
Vince Flynn – Mitch Rapp
Lee Child – Jack Reacher although the movie cast the wrong person, I have watched them more than once.
Ann McCaffery – essentially every si fi series hooked me also.
Peter O’Donnell – Modesty Blaise
John D. MacDonald – Travis McGee

Some of these will date me, working on my 3rd 25 birthday this year. Moved from VA to NH 23 years ago, and just found the boxes of paperbacks I could’ t leave behind. Most are now going to the Operation Paperback (operation to the troops overseas.

Ann: My personal Mount Rushmore! That gave me pause for thought. Enid Blyton would have to be there as she also got me reading as a very young child (apparently I was reading to myself by the time I started school). By the time I hit my teens I was well into Agatha Christie. I just love her books and murder mystery thrillers remain my favourite genre. These days two of my top authors are Karin Slaughter and Ann Cleeves. I love how both these authors will keep you guessing with twists and turns all the way through to the very last page. I’ve just realised that all four of my choices are female. Does that say something about my personal preferences or are female authors taking over the top spots? Perhaps a topic for discussion?

Sam: What an original topic – I love it!

For my personal Mount Rushmore, I would put the following: J.D. Salinger, L. Ron Hubbard, Vince Flynn and Nelson DeMille. These are the authors that had the most to do with inspiring me to become a reader and/or who have consistently had the best books that I’ve read. Three of the four (all but Salinger) have actually brought me to tears while reading one or another of their books, which is really hard to do.

I think it’d be a good idea to take a tally of all the names people give, and then you could put together an “Order Of Mount Rushmore Consensus” with the four overall most suggested authors featured. And if you have a subscriber who is a good digital artist and wants to volunteer, maybe they can create this “Mount Rushmore” and you could put it on the site in the – I guess it’d be April newsletter.

I feel you on the “wife away” saga. My wife is usually (including this year) gone the last part of November and first half of December which leaves me with a lot of the Christmas set-up details. Sounds like you had it pretty well under control. How’s this scene sound to you?

Daughter: Dad, I need to go to the store right now.
Dad: Why, what’s up?
Daughter: I need some…feminine products.
Dad: Uh, yeah. Okay, I guess we gotta go.
Son: Hey can I go? I need some “male products”.
Dad: Microwave burritos and pizza are in the freezer, kid. Have at ’em.

I would’ve answered the January newsletter, but I was still treading water with everything post-holiday. Added to the action was my brother-in-law and his wife welcoming new twins to the world which was really cool.

April: Great question, lots of fun to think about.
1. Charles Dickens – read a Tale of Two Cities for a 5th grade book report and loved it (and the reactions from adults who couldn’t believe I was reading it at age 11). From there read all his books and found an enjoyment of historical fiction which opened a whole new section of the library to me.
2. Daniel Silva – helped me to learn to read outside of my own perspective. As a Christian, whose pastor did work in Jerusalem for justice for Palestinian Christians, this series really opened my eyes to the Jewish perspective in a way news reports couldn’t.
3. CJ Box – had always rejected books set out west, as my dad read “Westerns” and I didn’t like them. This series taught me that I could enjoy any setting if the books were well written and captivating.
4. Estelle Ryan – as a pediatrician with a large panel of autistic patients, I love being able to tell parents about this series, with a heroine with autism, who still really struggles with many autistic features, but is successful in relationships, career, and life.

Of course, this list would probably change on any given day, depending on what I had recently read or thought about, but this is today’s list.

Jan: I’ve been to Mount Rushmore! It’s amazing!!!!! So I need 4 amazing authors…..

First, Theadore Geisel. I read his books to my son every night at bedtime. A few years ago for Mother’s Day, my son got 6 of his favorites tattooed on his calf. (He’s 36) Green Eggs and Ham, Cat in the Hat, those Green Pants! The Truffla tree. He said he always wants to remember me and say thank you for reading to him. (He now reads to his son).
Oh…it’s Dr. Seuss!

Second would have to be Agatha Christie. My mom and I read every one of her books together. I have such wonderful memories of us reading, have a nice cup of tea and sharing thoughts .

Third would be Sue Henry. Her character, Maxine, got me to thinking about getting an RV and traveling. I did and I did! The neighbors asked,”Where are you going.” I replied,”America!” They asked ,” When will you be back?” I told them, “ When you see us pull in the driveway.”

Fourth…. Tony Hillerman. I have always enjoyed the American Southwest, the history and folklore. His books “brought” me there. I had a chance a few years ago to actually go to 4-Corners, Ship Rock and the surrounding area. I stopped and thanked Mr. Hillerman (he has passed) for being such a wonderful writer and inspiring me.

So, that’s my Mount Bookmore. Can’t wait to see What everyone else has!😄

Barbara: John Irving without a doubt. From the first book of his that I read (which was “A Prayer for Owen Meany) I was hooked. I have read and purchased every book of his and they are a great addition to my Library. His stories are unique and his writing style impeccable. He is one of the best if not THE best writer in America today.

Jeanne: Difficult but four immediately come to mind.
Jodi Taylor
Suzanne Collins
Alan Bradley
C. J. Box
Always anticipate their next book.

Beverly: Hi Graeme,

I’m going to sound like a broken record, because I keep coming back to the same authors. Some additional ones included, though.

J.K. Rowling– In my opinion, the Harry Potter series is perhaps one of the greatest works of fiction ever written. The fact that the movies leave so much out means that when I re-read the series it’s like discovering it all over again.

Ken Follett–If for nothing else, and he has many exciting works, for “Pillars of the Earth”, one of the greatest books ever written.

Christopher Paolini–“Eragon” series. Please write more!

Tom Clancy–He knows how to write about war with in an incredible way without losing the humanity in the midst of it.

David Dickinson–Lord Powerscourt, as protagonist; Great mysteries set in a sweeter era before forensics, etc.

David Baldacci–especially for his Camel Club series, and his Vega Jane series (this one is referred to as a teen series, but I enjoyed it thoroughly; a syfy genre).

Laurie R. King–THANK YOU, Graeme for recommending this to me. I’ve recommended it to others, in turn. An incredible take on what happens to Sherlock Holmes as Mary Russell intersects his path.

Daniel Silva–Especially for his Gabriel Allon protagonist. This series is one of my favorites, and as with some other authors, whether from character fatigue or some other reason, his later books in this series seem to push ahead time wise too quickly. I’d like to tell authors with successful series to watch out for that.

Robin Cook–Greatest in the medical thriller genre, in my opinion.

Jean Auel–Her Children of the Earth series is exciting and provocative.

And last–This one isn’t just one author, but many–“39 Clues”. This is a great mystery and adventure series packed full of lots of historical facts. So if you enjoy adding to your trivia base, check this one out. (If I counted correctly, there are 33 books here.)are

Chris: Hi Graeme. This question really made me think: Which writers would I put on my own personal Mount Rushmore? I would pick Jane Austen (Her books are not only incredibly well written, they also provide a fascinating critique of the social conventions of the day), Charles Dickens (another very entertaining writer who created characters who will live as long as there are readers), Mark Twain (his humor, his delight at poking fun at society and his way of revealing our darkest sides will never cease to draw me in) and L. M. Montgomery (she created a world of love, warmth and humor with the idea of one young orphan who, despite all odds, always saw the beauty in life).

Christine: My Rushmores:

Luke Short & Peter Dawson. Yes, I know that’s two. They’re brothers (real name Glidden), and they both write (or rather wrote; they’re late) some of the best Westerns it’s ever been my pleasure to read. I’m actually rereading Short now.

Mercedes Lackey. Prolific and excellent fantasist (with excursions into sf), ranging from alternate-Victorian/Edwardian-England to the modern-day auto-racing world to various imaginary places.

Dell Shannon, a.k.a. Lesley Egan and Elizabeth Linington. A long shelf of police procedurals whose cop characters are human beings with families and lives beyond the station house.

Elizabeth Enright. Not as prolific as the other three, but her Melendy Family and Gone-Away Lake juvenile series introduce families you’ll wish you could have grown up with.

Claudia: My Mount Rushmore would include the following authors. I have chosen them because they are some of my favorite authors and they know how to make their characters come alive and seem like real people that I might even already know, or would definitely like to know. I have have noted my favorite characters next to their names:

Michael Connelly – Harry Bosch
and Renee Ballard

Sara Paretsky –
V.I. Warshawsky

Nelson DeMille – John Sutter and John Corey

John Sanford – Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers

Dennis: John Sandford (Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers)

Michael Connelly ( Harry Bosch) The early books. Don’t like the Renee Ballard books.

M.C. Barton (Agatha Raisin)

Jonathan Kellerman (Alex Delaware)

DG: Dean Koontz
James Patterson
Harlan Coben
Jack Higgins

Gail: For the Mt. Rushmore Question, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Rudyard Kipling, and Zane Grey.

Jacob: Some of the easiest questions have the hardest answers it seems. In no particular order & leaving out I don’t even know how many….

1.) Brandon Sanderson (Stormlight Archive Series is my favorite)

2.) Barry Eisler (John Rain Series is my favorite)

3.) Ken Follett (The Kingsbridge Series & The Century Series are my favorites)

4.) George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice & Fire & Fevre Dream are my favorites)

BL: Hi,

Hope you’ve had a good month!

February’s question really brought me down my memory lane of books.

My Mount Rushmore of authors:

1. The Brothers Grimm. [carved on the mount by giving them each one half of one head] Their fairy tales, condensed, simplified, and illustrated for the younger reader blew my socks off as a kid. Horror, suspense, romance, magic, good, evil, familial relationships, fantasy, what more could you want? My reading addiction began here.

2. Stephen King. A modern day Brother Grimm. The Stand, The Shining, Misery, Salem’s Lot, Cujo etc. etc. etc.

3. Philip Roth. I read one of his early books before I hit teen hood. He’s funny and his characters and plots are fascinating.

4. Right now I’ll put Larry McMurtry up there, but really it’s a mashup between him and: John Irving, Toni Morrison, T.C. Boyle, Kurt Vonnegut, Harold Robbins, John Grisham, Salman Rushdie, Michaels Chabon, Connelly & Ondaatje, Frederick Forsyth, Tom Robbins, Ruth Ware, Joseph Heller, Peter Heller, Colson Whitehead, P.G. Wodehouse, Alice Hoffman, Robert Crais, Richards Price & Russo, Donald Ray Pollock, Jess Kidd, Walter Mosley, Ottessa Moshfegh, Denise Mina, Ann Patchett, Cormac McCarthy, Ian McEwen, Dennis Lehane, John leCarre, Ha Jin, Shirley Jackson, Greg Iles, Mark Helprin, Carl Hiassen, Arthur Hailey, Tana French, E L Doctorow. All of these authors have enriched my reading in different ways. Maybe someday the perspective of time will enable me to select just one, but I’m guessing the list of potential candidates will just grow longer.

Suggestions for the monthly question:

What are your 2 favourite genres to mix in a book? ie: I love ambiguous horror mixed with a fast paced thriller.

What’s your favourite genre and why? Give a few examples of great books in this genre. [Egad, I can’t pick a favourite! I like too many! Maybe this is a dumb question!]

Someone once told me that Danielle Steele has written the same bestselling book 50 times [I have no knowledge of the veracity of this claim]. Which authors do you find continually rehash the same old stuff?

Which author have you found to be the best – most versatile – at writing various genres?

Which thriller writer is the best at writing secondary characters?

The unreliable narrator in domestic suspense novels is extremely popular now. What trend in books would you like to see replace this?

Are there any books 1000+ pages that you consider “must reads”?

Which standalone books do you think should get a sequel?

Looking back over your old reading history which mostly forgotten authors do you think deserve a new audience?

JE: Vince Flynn/Kyle Mills. Loved all of the Mitch Rapp Series and Kyle Mills is doing a great job at continuing the Series. My absolute favorite and I believe every high school senior should read is Term Limits.

Steve Berry Love that his books begin with some historical event.

Lauren Carr Gnarly is the best character.

Estelle Ryan Love her insight to autism

John: I love reading your newsletter each month. Happened to receive this one on my 72nd birthday
My 4 favorites were very difficult, actually impossible. Sorry John Grisham, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Tom Clancy, James Patterson, Clive Cussler, etc.
So here it goes
Robert Parker. I loved Spencer and Jesse Stone. Two great characters with lots of flaws but very strong principles.
Michael Crichton. What a tremendous variation in stories. Made you pause and after reading each book
Robert Lundlum. Again just a great variation in characters and stories. Bourne, Smith and others
I miss these guys even though their characters continue
John Sanford. I grew up in Minnesota so just a tad partial. But his 2 characters, Davenport and Flowers, follow Spencer and Stone. Many flaws but always trying to solve a wrong and making it right
Just pulling out of a rest area in SC heading to Siesta Key, 6 books with me including the latest Grisham
Thanks again for your newsletter and the time you devote to your fellow readers

Judy: The 4 authors on my own personal Mount Rushmore are Grisham, David Baldacci, Michael Connelly, and Lucinda Riley, author of the “Seven Sisters” series. All excellent reads that will keep me entertained for years.

Kelly B: Hi,

Choosing the 4 authors was pretty easy. Explaining why was a challenge. I really had to stop and think. Well, here they are:

1) C.S. Lewis – his books span the gamut from sci-fi to non-fiction. Lots of insights into human nature in all of them. I devoured the Chronicles of Narnia given to me by an aunt on my 11th Christmas. I have enjoyed almost everything that I have read by him since then.

2) J.R.R. Tolkien – My mother was reading this when I was 8. I tried to get into it, but couldn’t. Finally, in high school, I went back to it and loved it. Probably read the entire Lord of the Rings series 3 times by the time I graduated. Then The Silmarillian was published. It is basically an encyclopedia for Middle Earth history. I loved reading the cosmology behind Middle Earth. And then, of course, I had to reread the whole series again with a whole new perspective on what was really going on behind the scenes.

3) Edwin Abbot – his little novella, Flatland, took the mystique out of multi-dimensional beings and gave me a solid way to reason about how multi-dimensional beings would interact with humans. Totally revolutionized the way I view many ancient texts that are considered mystical in nature.

4) Orson Scott Card – his Ender series, of course, appealed to me as an above average kid. But his other stories and series have also been enjoyable and often thought-provoking. For a unique and thoughtful time travel story, consider his story Postwatch: the Redemption of Christopher Columbus.

I guess I should mention that at least two of the authors were scholarly woman-haters. I attribute that to being too in love with their academic pursuits to be interested in women or family life. I enjoyed their writings, but I never let their bad attitude toward women stop me from getting married and enjoying family life myself.

This has been a fun exercise. Thanks for asking,

Kelly C: Wow, Only 4? Hard to pick only 4 authors for my Mount Rushmore but here goes a try.
1. William O’Steele- A childhood love. These were books focused on the trials and difficulties that came with western expansion and were my first introduction into a love for all things west of the Mississippi. I’ve found myself hunting down copies of these to one day read to my grandchildren
2 Louis L’ amour- My first real adult series I was consumed with were The Sacketts. L’amour is the only real author I ever purchased. I am a library rat so purchase very few books, but I still hold on to my L’amours. I enjoyed being able to pass these down to my oldest son who shares my love of all things cowboy. Have really enjoyed discovering C.J Box in recent years
3. Ken Follett- His Century series and Kingsbridge series were great. I’ve read some of his other books but these were my favorite. I enjoy fictional books written wrapped up in history and these really left me wanting to learn more about history. As a teacher, that is an awesome skill for a writer to do, to encourage further exploration into learning. I know it’s not really fair to share the spot, but Jeffrey Archer would be another who does that with his Clifton Chronicles.
4.This last one is the hardest because I am mainly a mystery type buff these days and there are so many great writers out there. Child,Coben Connelly, Margolin, etc. I would have a very crowded Mt Rushmore if I added all the writers that I look forward to reading their NEXT book consistently year after year. But I think I would have to pick David Baldacci as my biggest at this point in time. I have been reading through all his books over the last two years and so far I haven’t tired of him. I only have a few left.

This was really hard to narrow down, but fun to think about.

Laurel: Four Authors on Personal Mount “Laurel-more”

In order:

1- Piers Anthony – ALL of his novels are inspiring, witty, thoughtful, thought-provoking and fun.

2- Robert A. Heinlein – Copy & Paste from remarks about Piers Anthony 🙂

3- Edward Rutherfurd – His writing reminds me of James Michener (whom I love) and the amount of research is remarkable.

4- Agatha Christie – This was hard, as when younger, I just could not get into her novels, however, now that I am *ahem* older, I find reading the novels as a bit of murder-mystery-campy-“B” movie fun.

Linda: Frederick Forsyth
Jeffrey Archer
David Balldacci
Vince Flynn’s books that he wrote.

lkla: Thank you once again for a great newsletter. I, too, was amazed by all of the series mentioned in your mailbag. I agree with a lot of them. Now, I will list my 4 authors for my Mount Rushmore. First an author who expanded my reading as a child was Marguerite Henry. She wrote the most beautiful animal books, which I could not put down. Then as an adult I am totally in love with Louise Penney and the Gamache series. I anxiously await each one. Then of course, my thrilling reading includes Vince Flynn and his Mitch Rapp series, which is now being carried on without a skip by Kyle Mills. Then for my fourth is a toss up by John Grisham and Robin Cook. Robin Cook wrote the best medical thrillers in his lifetime. Unfortunately he died at the age of 79, but I bet he still had a ton of books in his mind. John Grisham never fails. I loved his “The Firm”, “A Time to Kill”, “Runaway Jury” and “The Whistler”. I think his first books were his best. I have not finished some of his latest books, but have them. I want to thank all of the readers for their recommendations. I am filling up my new kindle with a lot of them. Now I will give a recommendation. I think someone has mentioned this before, but well worth another shout out. Steve Konkoly’s “The Rescue ” and “The Raid”. I just finished them and loved them. I can’t wait for his third Ryan Decker in this series. Another list for me, just what I need. Have a good February everyone.

Louis: Many thanks for this month’s newsletter. My authors would be: Ernest Hemingway, Ed McBain, Robert B. Parker, John Sandford.

mailman: My four favorites would be:John Irving, C.J. Box, Michael Connelly, and James Lee Burke. Love the newsletter and web site. Keep up the great work.

Jodi Taylor’s St Mary’s Chronicles
Adrian McKinty’s Sean Duffy series
Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series
Mark Billingham’s Tom Thorne series

There you go, O wonderfully-ordered person ! [grin]

That’s a fairly diverse quartet of writers, with only two police detective characters ! – and me a dyed-in-the-wool reader of same ..

They’re all audio books, btw: I’m one of those half-wits who’ve spent so much time on the web that I’ve lost the ability to actually READ books. This is not a thing to be proud of, I admit immediately; in fact, I’m ashamed of myself. Still, listening to one’s books means never missing out on any little detail ! 🙂

Walter Farley– I had the whole series of The Black Stallion! This series was my childhood. I was very horse crazy and would fantasize that I owned him and went on all the adventures. I wrote Mr Farley and actually got a letter back signed by him!!! It’s still one of my most prized possessions!

Alfred Hitchcock’s Three Investigators series. It helped me get excited about solving mysteries, and showed that anyone can solve puzzles!

Anne McCaffrey– she introduced me to dragons! I have read her books many times and still get excited to see what happens next!

Shirley Rousseau Murphy– Joe Grey mystery series. She creates Molena Point where death and crimes happen, that help get solved by talking cats! I absolutely love how she writes and her world of magical cats. These books have everything- romance, crime, mystery, cats, dogs, magical underworld….

These are my 4, but there are so many others! Thanks for getting me to think about it 🙂

Tonya: My Mount Rushmore…
My first pick would have to be Anne Rice. I read a lot of horror when I was younger and I enjoyed Stephen King’s The Stand, and other books. But when I read Interview With the Vampire, I was hooked. I still have the signed hardback, still wrapped that I bought in the early 90’s. I have almost all of her books and have read and enjoyed them all.
My second pick would be Terry Brooks. Although I have read, bought and enjoyed all most all of the Shannara series, it was the Magic Kingdom for Sale series that lead me to one of my favorite fantasy authors.
My third pick would be Elizabeth George. She was my introduction to British mysteries. It was a book called Missing Joseph. It was the title that caught my eye at the bookstore. My husband was deployed overseas and needless to say, I was missing him. And yes, his name is Joseph. I bought the book. And every book in that series, along with all of the videos made of that series.
My last pick is kind of a hard choice I love Sharon Lee and Steve Miller for their Laiden series, it was my first venture in the SF, and I loved the Ghost series by John Ringo it was my first military style book series. But if I have to pick an author that has had an impact on me that I would also read over and over again it would be Dame Agatha Christie. Not only do I love her character Hercule Poriot, but I own many of her books.

Mike: I view the question as what four authors were historically significant in my personal book life, as opposed to who are currently my favorite, most closely followed authors. In that sense, here are my choices:

All four of these authors fall in the Science Fiction category, as that is where my reading habit originally grew. It has since expanded greatly, but these are authors who shaped my early reading habits, and thus hold “Rushmore” status in my mind.

Robert Heinlein – I read his juveniles in Jr High. Red Planet, Between Planets, and the Rolling Stones were mainstays of my early reading I read them all multiple times. Probably because I attended a small Catholic school that had a one room library with limited scifi choices. Among my most precious books are early edition copies of these three Heinlien novels. At the moment, my most looked forward too book is the soon to be published edition of a recently found & assembled Heinlein novel, “The Pursuit of Pankera”.

E.E. Smith – When I got my library card the public library at about age 12 or 13, my reading universe expanded. Smith’s Skylark and Lensmen series gave me my first glimpse of how an author could write a whole series of novels based on the same universe, characters, and themes. Later I came to appreciate the library’s collection of E.e. Smith novels when I realized the copies I was reading was a numbered first edition of the series.

Andre Norton – I read many of her juveniles very early in my reading history. Sso early that I don’t actually remember any of the titles 🙁. But my school library had several of her books, and I practically wore them out rereading them. They weren’t all strictly scifi. But they they all had that sense of wonder an imagination that kept me reading.

Isaac Asimov – I began to read the Foundation series as a teenager, and continued to read his many novels and short stories throughout my life. The Robot stories were among my favorites. His stories employing advanced computing tech and robotics likely were a factor in shaping interest in computers, leading too my 40+ year career in computing.

The enjoyment I have had in reading these authors and hundreds (1000’s?) of others over the past 60 years has not only enriched my life, but lead me to encourage my three children to develop a love of books and reading, whatever genre they find enjoying and enriching.

Thank you for your website & and its list of authors/books. It has helped me stay abreast of favorite authors’ work, and introduced me to new authors that continue to make life interesting.

Phillip: My Mount Rushmore of Authors would have: John Grisham, Bill Pronzini, Steve Hamilton and Robert Crais.

Jamie: My four authors for Mt. Rushmore would be: Mary Higgins Clark; JoAnn Fluke; Debbie Macomber; and MC Beaton.

Regina: The 4 authors that would be on my personal Mount Rushmore are Dr. Seuss, Leo Tolstoy, Jodi Picolt and Paulo Coelho.

Stephanie: Oh man, Graeme – what a question! And how to answer? And how can I possibly limit my list to four? Every favorite writer I leave out, feels like I’m betraying them.
But, here goes: Greg Iles; Nelson DeMille; Dennis Lehane and John Hart.

But then there is Elizabeth George and Deborah Crombie both of whose series’ I absolutely love.
Then there is Michael Connolly, John Lescroart, John Sandford, James Lee Burke and Val McDermid. I can’t even rate them, I love them all so much.

Shirley: John Hart
Jodi Picoult
Michael Connelly
Nelson DeMille

Susan: My Mount Rushmore would include:

John Steinbeck
Agatha Christie

Tom M: Thanks for another great newsletter. Amazing how you find the time to cater to 1,000’s of readers. My 4 writers for Mt. Rushmore would be C J Box, Elmer Kelton, Paul Doiron and Tess Gerritsen. From these authors I have never been disappointed. Certainly not a blockbuster list, but I prefer the lesser patronized writers. Although some of these are very well known, Kelton is my favorite. He just could never write a bad western. I have been to Mt. Rushmore a few times and it rivals some of nature’s more natural scenic creations. Although my favorite attraction in that area is Devil’s Tower about a 2 hour drive I think just into Wyoming. Perhaps you will be nominated for a rock-face if they should ever get around to choosing book site writers.

Larry: My four authors to be enshrined would be…

…Impossible to answer. I started to list four, but can’t weed them out. I LOVE Lee Child’s Reacher, John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers, Robert B. Parker’s Spenser and Jesse Stone, James Patterson’s Alex Cross, Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire, Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan…

…When I have more than one of these waiting to be read for the first time, I have to take them alphabetically by author, because they are ALL my favorites. (Of course, Parker, Grafton, and Clancy won’t be producing any new books in the future, and I think I’ve read all that they wrote in the favorite series. I won’t have to choose which to pick.) But, selecting four only to go on my Mount Rushmore? I don’t have that much self-discipline.

Order of Books » Newsletter » Reader Mailbag: Your Personal Mount Rushmore

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