Top 5 Wednesday – Authors I’d Like to Meet

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme hosted by @ThoughtsOnTomes; the related GR group may be found here: Goodreads T5W. This week’s topic: Authors You’d Want To Meet at Book Expo America & Bookcon.

I’m modifying this a bit and thinking instead of Authors I’d Want to Meet. I’ve only ever met one author – last night, I attended a release-day talk by Don DeLillo about his new book, Zero K (post coming tomorrow! Many, many thanks to Cover2CoverMom for inspiring me to go!!!) I haven’t thought much (at all) about this question before because it never occurred to me I could meet authors in person (? right?).

Anyway, the point is: baby-steps. Before I advance to Authors I’d Want to Meet at BEA or Bookcon, I need to first figure out what authors I’d like to meet, period.

splitfootSamantha Hunt 

Mr. Splitfoot is hands-down my favorite fiction book of 2016 so far. A haunting, soulful story about people’s lives ‘on the margins’ of rural US (orphans, con-men, judgment-day preachers). The writing is stunningly melodic and poetic, the scene brought to life is vivid, if bleak, and the characters are complex and sympathetic.  AND: Samantha Hunt will be in my vicinity for a book festival at the end of the month! So, this one is not just hypothetical: I cannot wait to meet Samantha Hunt (or, more like, see her speak)!!!



chernobylSvetlana Alexievich

Alexievich was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature last year (2015) for her “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.” Born in Ukraine (then, USSR), Alexievich writes stunning oral histories that are unlike any others I have read (consisting solely of others’ voices). Alexievich’s genius lies not in direct interpretation, but in composition: in how she collects, arranges, and gives voice to those otherwise forgotten. Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster is my top book for 2015, and I’m now reading Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets (English translation in 2016, courtesy of Netgalley).




Toni Morrison

I was once in a room with hundreds of other adoring Morrison fans (at Univ. of MD, CP, my alma mater, back in my late teens). My remaining impression is one of overwhelming wisdom and thoughtfulness. I’m not sure I’ve yet heard a person talk whose verbal eloquence matches their written form, but Morrison is an exception. She is also the only black woman to have been awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature – in 1993.

I’ve been touched by everything Morrison has written but my favorite is The Bluest Eye. And I would absolutely love to partake of her wisdom in person again, especially now that I’m a bit older.

sofargodAna Castillo

Ana Castillo is that woman for me: the one who mesmerizes me with her fiery passion, who intimidates me more than anyone but who I most secretly wish I was like. Castillo is gloriously unapologetic and intense- about feminist causes, racism, xenophobia, justice more broadly. And – her poetry is balm for the soul. So excited for a recent addition to my shelf, So Far from God (Many thanks to Bina @If You Can Read This for this recommendation!)


neverwhere.jpgNeil Gaiman

‘Discovering’ Neil Gaiman’s work last year was finding a piece of myself that had not yet been articulated into such whimsical, poignant, metaphorically dense fantasies. I love many authors and too many books to count, but Neil Gaiman is special for me because he speaks to exactly who I see myself as (a child at heart?) This is not to say I could ever write like Gaiman, or even that my personality is like his (work’s) in any way, just that his style resonates with my experience and with the unspoken part of my soul more deeply than anything else I’ve ever read.



What about you? Who are some of the authors you’d like to meet? 


  1. Yay! Can’t wait to read all about it! So happy to have opened up a new world for you. I’m intrigued by Mr. Splitfoot, especially since it’s your favorite fiction this year.

    You better be careful or I will convince you to attend the BEA blogger’s conference next year with me 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am a bit behind on the blog this week (AP Exam for the class I teach), but I am writing this up tomorrow. I’m definitely glad I dragged myself out on a rainy school-night to go, and I am DEFINITELY doing this again, ASAP.
      BEA blogger conference?!?!?! I just looked it up, omg it looks amazing. Are you going this year?? Have you ever been?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! I’m really hoping for decent weather 🙏🏻
        I’ve never been to NYC! I’m more of a country gal, so big cities don’t really appeal to me, but I’d like to experience it at least once.
        It is scheduled for May 31st through June 2nd 2017… Which is awful timing for a teacher 😑. I’m trying to convince my friend to go, since she is an aspiring author, however she is also a teacher. Maybe they can postpone it a week or two… I’ll send a spirited email 😜

        Liked by 1 person

      2. EEEEK. Actually that is perfect. I’m saving some days and keeping my fingers crossed! My exams are in early May so that’s breeze-time (I teach senior AP classes, and they’re done in early May, with a few fluff weeks after). !!!!!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yay, hope you’ll enjoy So Far from God!! Ooh I’d love to meet Ana Castillo too! And NK Jemisin and Nnedi Okorafor. I really need to get to Mr.Splitfoot it sounds amazing. get to meet lots of authors from your list 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am getting so many great recommendations from you, thank you! And OMG, Nnedi Okarafor, YES – I have been looking for more women and in general, non-white men writers of sci-fi, a new favorite genre of mine. Do you have a favorite book of hers you recommend I try first?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oooh woc fantasy is awesome!! I only started with fantasy a year or two ago. But have found such greats already. Definitely recommend her novella Binti, my fave so far. Lagoon is very weird but great and I think you’ll probably ! love Book of Phoenix. Also have you read NK Jemisin and Nalo Hopkinson?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d love to meet Toni Morrison too! Having just recently been blown away by Beloved, my first introduction to her work, at least I’ve got the pleasure of looking forward to ‘meeting’ her in the pages of the rest of her books… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She is wonderful, agreed, so profound. I wish I remembered more about her visit to my school back in the day, I wasn’t at all as appreciative at the time of her work as I am currently. For now, I’m doing what you are as well, getting to know her from her writing 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been to see a few authors at readings and other events – including Neil Gaiman – and let me just confess, I was a nervous wreck! I could barely speak to him I was so excited – and he’s so nice. I’ve also been to see Brandon Sanderson, Sarah Pinborough, Joe Abercrombie and Joanne Harris – and I was just as nervous every time.
    I would still go to more events though, they’re interesting and it’s really good to see the authors and get to know a little bit more about them.
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so AWESOME that you saw Gaiman in person, and I’m so relieved to hear he is just as nice in real life as his books make him out to be 🙂
      I am definitely taking your suggestion, I can’t imagine why it never occurred to me to do this before, but now I am DEFINITELY going to seek out more author events. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂


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