August 2011 NaBloPoMo: My Favorite Authors

Today’s NaBloPoMo prompt is,

“Who is your favorite author?”

When I read this, I thought, “Just ONE favorite author!?!” So I will be writing about not 1, not 2, but 3 authors whose writing I really enjoy.

J. K. Rowling

“You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”

                                                             -Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J. K. Rowling

Why do I like J.K. Rowling’s writing so much? Let me count the ways… Great characters (names and personalities), funny parts, dark parts, great character names, great names for spells/places/potions/magical animals, and did I mention great character names?

I guess what I like most about her writing is how she creates a whole world. She doesn’t forget the details (but not in a way that bores you because there’s too many details). I mean, there are wizarding sports, newspapers, and even a hospital. It would be so cool to be in Harry’s world for a while.

I like the characters. I can think of at least 10 that I would want to meet, and a few that I would run away from (Voldemort, for instance). I think it’s cool how the characters change as they grow up. I prefer older Harry instead of younger Harry, because I find him more interesting/smarter/not as little-kid-ish. But then my favorite is the 3rd book…

What I find strange about J.K. Rowling, though, is that she’s extremely famous (and rich) for just one series. She’s written only 7 books, not counting a few Harry Potter tie-in books. I think it’s strange that such a famous author hasn’t written any other books.

My favorite books by J.K. Rowling (listed in series order, however, my favorites are #3, #7, #5, and #6):

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Roald Dahl

“I’m wondering what to read next.” Matilda said. I’ve finished all the childrens’ books.”

                                                                -Matilda, by Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl wrote funny books usually about kids who have mean parents/relatives/teachers. It sounds like that kind of book couldn’t be interesting to read, but they are. The kids end up getting (funny) revenge on the adults.

Roald Dahl was very creative! He invented strange plots for his books and created weird character names. I liked to read the songs in his books such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach.

My favorite Roald Dahl books:

  • Matilda
  • The BFG
  • Boy: Tales of Childhood
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • James and the Giant Peach


Bill Bryson

“To my mind, the only possible pet is a cow. Cows love you… They will listen to your problems and never ask a thing in return. They will be your friends forever. And when you get tired of them, you can kill and eat them. Perfect.”

                                                              -The Lost Continent, by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson’s writing is very unique. He writes travelogues and information books (about the English language and science). Even his nonfiction books are hilarious. He finds these odd little facts and anecdotes.  I love how his humor doesn’t feel forced; he starts writing something normal about cows or whatever (see above quote) and ends with something funny that you weren’t expecting. His travelogues are part fiction, part nonfiction. They are about places he really did visit, but he adds odd things like made-up names for people and places. He says things about his childhood, in particular, that make you wonder if that really happened or if he made that up! 

Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, but moved to the UK when he was a young adult. I really liked reading his travel books where he describes how it feels to be in America again after living in Britain for 20 years, or how it is to be an American living in Britain. He thinks both countries are weird!

Some of my favorite Bill Bryson books are:

  • The Lost Continent
  •  I’m A Stranger Here Myself
  • A Walk in the Woods
  • The Mother Tongue
  • In A Sunburned Country
  • At Home

I’ve noticed that these authors have things in common. Well, aside from the fact that they all live/have lived in Britain. J.K. Rowling and Roald Dahl are both very inventive, especially with character names. Sometimes when I’m reading Harry Potter, I think, “Oh, that name sounds like one Roald Dahl would give one of his characters!” Hermione and Matilda remind me of each other, I guess because they both love to read and are really smart. (And have brown hair, but that doesn’t really matter…) To me, the only difference between them is that when I was little, I thought I was very like Matilda for the 3 reasons listed above, but I’ve never really felt that I’m like Hermione.

Roald Dahl and Bill Bryson are both zany, weird, and funny. I think Roald Dahl’s books would be weird, though, if Bill Bryson wrote them. Bill Bryson is an excellent writer, but I’m not so sure he would be a good writer of fiction.

And J.K. Rowling and Bill Bryson…don’t really have any similarities! I do think it would be funny if Bryson wrote the dialogue for the Harry Potter books, though…just a random thought.

So, enjoy these authors!


About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
This entry was posted in Books and Reading!, Harry Potter, NaBloPoMo, Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to August 2011 NaBloPoMo: My Favorite Authors

  1. Adam says:

    I’m currently reading through the Harry Potter books (up to book 6) and while posting reviews for the books on my blog I’ve mentioned several times how wonderful the setting is. She gives you just enough of the setting to create a feeling for the world, but never bogs you down with pages and pages of explanation for the world. She also does a fantastic job of introducing key plot points well before they are used for the major points of the novel. This amounts to very fulfilling endings rather than endings where the solution to the problem comes from nowhere (which would be very easy to do in a world where their magic essentially allows them to do whatever they want). I’ve also loved how she has tied relatively small events in early books to bring them back with a little backstory to fill a much larger part of the plot in later books (the first one that comes to mind is the Whomping Willow from book 2 and then it’s recurrence in book 3).

    I’ve never read Roald Dahl although I am a big fan of both movie versions of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

  2. Maralyn says:


    I really enjoyed reading about your Harry Potter experiences. Hopefully, soon, I will get a chance to have a lazy day and go sit by the pool – and read Harry Potter! 🙂

    Have you considered writing yourself into the Harry Potter story? Maybe write your own chapter to the Harry Potter story? Would you be yourself or would you create a character for yourself?

    If you are up for the challenge, I will definitely read it! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Bill Bryson Is Awesome! | Musings from Neville's Navel

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