Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Reading the Author Wrap-Up

The host of the Reading the Author Challenge, verbivore, has some questions to wrap up the challenge that she'd like the participants to answer. So here we go!

Why this particular challenge? Well, besides being generally challenge-addicted, I really enjoy "getting into" an author. I've done it multiple times in the past, and I'd done a similar challenge earlier in the year when I created my Summer Reading Challenge list - choosing five novels by Jodi Picoult.

Which author and why? I decided to carry on with my Jodi Picoult experience, since I'd read seven of her fourteen (to date) novels and want to read them all. An American writer, Picoult, who is currently 41, lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. (By the way, I found site with a pronunciation guide for "Picoult" here.)

Which books did you read? Specifically for this challenge, I read the following:

(Links are to my reviews.) I've read a total of ten Picoult novels over the past year.

Which would you recommend for someone trying this author for the first time? My first Picoult novel was My Sister's Keeper, and I think it remains my favorite. Therefore, that's the one I'd recommend. (The book club of my church women's group is reading My Sister's Keeper for January. I don't think many of the women have read Picoult before, so it'll be fun to get their reaction.)

How would you characterize this writer or the books? In Picoult's own words:
I hate being pigeonholed. I have always been called a women's author, but I have loads of male fans, and I think you can legitimately label my novels as legal thrillers, mysteries, romances, or plain old fiction. I think you can consider my books literary, because they make you think, or commercial, because they are a compelling read. Marketing departments like to label authors with just one tag, so that they know how to promote a book, but I think the best books straddle genres and attract a variety of readers. I'd like to think this is one reason my books appeal to people - because I give them something different every time.

Does that answer the question? If I have to pin it down to a few words, I might use a phrase from the back cover of Keeping Faith: "controversial and compelling." In my review of The Pact, I included a quote from Picoult about the idea of using fiction to examine moral and ethical questions - and that is what she does.

A big thanks to verbivore for a fun challenge!


  1. Jodi Picoult has been one of my favorite authors for several years now, and I think I've read everything of hers so far. I like the way her stories are topical, but the topics change, and her plots are always very involving. It's great you took the time to get to know her work.

  2. So glad you joined in and thanks for the great reviews. I will be adding Picoult to my list of to-be-read authors this year.