View Full Version : Authors you read in clusters
08-30-2001, 11:00 AM
Recently I've noticed a pattern developing in my reading habit where instead of switching between authors, I find myself reading multiple titles (as many as 5 or more) by the same author. It started a while ago with Peter Mayle (both his Provence books and his novels), is happening now with Bill Bryson and is about to happen with Tim Cahill (after reading a book of his a few weeks back on vacation). Maybe it's because they have a similar style, but for whatever reason, it works for me.
So how 'bout it dopers? Any other authors that you have to read in bunches?
08-30-2001, 12:07 PM
i read six turtledove books with the aliens attacking earth in a row, followed by the world war one books. Also read burroughs, rowling, baum, heinlein, and asimov in batches.
08-30-2001, 12:27 PM
Why A Duck
08-30-2001, 12:35 PM
Most reading I do tends to be in clusters. Partly because most authors these days (especially SF) feel a need to do sequels and series when one isn't really required (Helloooo Dan Simmons). An obvious exception of course is of course pTerry Pratchett ;)
Clustering also works if you're dealing with an author that has a unique style. I've been reading a lot of Gabriel Garcia Marquez lately, and his work requires a type of reality shift and an ability to slow down and consume the words rather than speed read them. It's easier to read several books in a row than try to switch back and forth.
08-30-2001, 12:42 PM
I just though I'd poke my nose into this thread even though I've never been skiing. Then I realised that Klosters is the ski resort not Clusters. So yes, clusters:
John le Carre: I have now read all of his books except 'The Constant Gardener' including six off the reel. Spying at its most devious.
Haruki Murakami: My latest discovery. I read 'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle' followed by 'A Wild Sheep Chase' and then bought the rest of his output in one hit. I am now in the process of reading them. A very funny author with a gift for the surreal.
James Thurber: Some years ago I adopted the same strategy with this author.
Come to think of it I am almost exclusively a ClusterReader. Can They get you for it?
08-30-2001, 01:00 PM
When I first started reading Kurt Vonnegut, I read four or five of his older books in a row. I had to stop cuz I really felt like I was starting to talk - and think - like the way he writes. It scared me. Since then, all authors in small doses.
08-30-2001, 01:02 PM
I do that with everything, but then I'm an obsessive nut or I don't do anything half-assed, depending on which you're on. My current author is Andrew Vachss.
08-31-2001, 01:47 AM
I always find all of her books on clearance at Half-Price Books...why? I don't know. She is amazing. If anyone knows anything about getting her out of print poetry...tell me.
08-31-2001, 07:23 AM
I always read in clusters if I find an author I like. I think it's because I'm usually disappointed when a book ends ("It's over?? I want mooooooore!") so I tend to seek out the other books to console myself. I've done this since I was a child.
God, I love reading.
08-31-2001, 07:28 AM
08-31-2001, 07:37 AM
I tore through John Updike's rabbit series in short order. Loved 'em. Also go on Joyce Carol Oates binges. She's one of my favorites.
Read Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis trilogy (?) in one fell swoop.
Oh, and I don't know if this counts, but Gregory MacGuire is one of my new favorites. He only wrote two adult-type books that I'm aware of, but I loved the first one I read so much that I hunted down the second right away and I'm (im)patiently waiting for another!
08-31-2001, 08:02 AM
asimov and jean m auel and piers anthony (if i can get them... supplies are limited in taiwan)
08-31-2001, 08:21 AM
If by clusters you mean several books in a row, then no. I have a personal rule that I never read 2 books from the same author in a row lest I get burnt out. I once tried to read 2 Stephen King novels in a row and by the middle of the second one I was burnt out on the style and had trouble finishing. I vowed NEVER AGAIN!
I do read in clusters though, working my way through several of an author's books with other books in between. I've worked my way through most of Stephen King, Clive Barker, Anne Rice, Peter Straub (Horror Kick), Kurt Vonnegut and The Fletch books this way. Oh, and the Harry Potter books. I've also gone through periods where I've read a lot of Heinlein, Asimov, John D. MacDonald, Robert Ludlum and some others I can't think of right now. Always with at least one other book in between. Right now I've discovered K.C. Constantine (mystery writer) and am working through his books a little at a time. He's excellent.
But that's just me . . .
08-31-2001, 09:48 AM
If it's different styles of writing I can pick up and read about three books at different times and have all three going at some stage or another.
08-31-2001, 09:48 AM
Oh, I do to. I've read John Irving, Hemmingway, Iris Johanson (long trip = fluff book tapes), Vonnegut, Steinbeck, James Patterson, Grisham, and Tolkien in clusters.
08-31-2001, 10:12 AM
With sci fi/fantasy and mystery/suspense writers there always seems to be a next book in the series, either a continuation of the same story or another story related by the characters used, so 'cluster reading' is almost necessary these days. I am trying to finish up the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters right now, and once I do I'm going to go off and read some stand alone classic or other just for the hell of it.
08-31-2001, 10:39 AM
John D. McDonald (Travis McGee)
Donal E. Westlake (Dortmunder)
Madison Smartt Bell
Thomas Perry (even the crappy Jane Whitefield ones)
08-31-2001, 10:41 AM
Sorry. Meant to include Trollope and Walker Percy.
08-31-2001, 10:43 AM
I read about 12 or 15 different books by Philip K. Dick in a row.
08-31-2001, 01:41 PM
I recently did this with David Sedaris. I didn't know who the heck he was, and when his Me Talk Pretty One Day first came out, I paid it no mind. I thought it was some story about aborigines trying to adapt into a foreign culture or something. (wow, how off was I on that one?)
Well, once I read one book, I went out and got pretty much everything else he's got out. In about 3 weeks I'd read it all.
I do this frequently when I discover an author I like - Patricia Cornwell kept me busy for a while, as did Tom Clancy and David Baldacci. Helps when they are nice and prolific.
08-31-2001, 02:32 PM
I did this recently with Tom Sharpe. I'd read The Great Pursuit (and loved it), but hadn't been able to find anything else. I spent the better part of one Saturday while the rest of the family was out of town scouring all of the local used book stores, and managed to score copies of Riotous Assembly, Indecent Exposure, Vintage Stuff, and The Throwback (after hitting four different stores). I read all four of them over the next few days. If it weren't so hard to find his books around here I probably wouldn't have bought them all at once, and so would have spaced out my reading of them.
I can't think of anyone else I've done this with recently, though I have been listening almost exclusively to Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels on tape during my commute for the last two years (I've been through the whole series once and am on the ninth book of twenty on my second pass). I have interleaved a few other things at times when I couldn't readily get the next book in the series from the library.
08-31-2001, 02:43 PM
At a certain point in more youthful innocent times I read about
25 Biggles books in a row.
Nowadays, when I find an author I really like, I keep this discovery for a rainy day. When I am having a bad day and need to cuddle up with a hot chocolate and a book I let myself have a book by one of my favourite authors. (no longer Capt. W.E. Johns nowadays)
08-31-2001, 07:13 PM
I tend to read W.E.B. Griffin's series books in clusters. When I get my hands on the latest in a series, I usually get more enjoyment out of it if I take the time to re-read the previous books in that series first.
Since many of his series are 6-8 books long, this can take a while. I relish burying myself in the environment he depicts, though - it makes re-hashing previously read books a pleasure, and I'm well-primed for the new material.
08-31-2001, 07:49 PM
Iain Banks -- in two separate clusters. First his "serious novels". I read the first three within a week, and purchased the others as they came out. I also purchased his science fiction books (Iain M. Banks) [the "Culture" books] in a group and enjoyed them immensely. Startling how differently he writes with and without the middle initial.
08-31-2001, 08:16 PM
Originally posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox
I read about 12 or 15 different books by Philip K. Dick in a row.
After that, how many months did you spend in the psych ward?
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