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Booking Through Thursday: Author Bios

February 5, 2009

From Booking Through Thursday:

Have you ever been put off an author’s books after reading a biography of them? Or the reverse – a biography has made you love an author more?

My first answer- I don’t read enough author biographies.    Or biographies, period.  I do like a well-written bio, though, so I’m open to suggestions.  I remember really liking Mark Twain’s autobiography.   It didn’t influence my reading habits.  Loved Tom Sawyer, not a fan of Huckleberry Finn.

I know that Orson Scott Card is a Mormon, and I’ve heard people say that his religion feeds mythology and symbolism into his writing.  I love his novels, even though I don’t understand his religious choices.   And need to read more about Mormon scriptures and stories to see if the assertion that Card is using them is correct.

I had a personal interaction with Tom Clancy, about 15 years ago now, which continues to make me dubious of his books.  I might have been dubious of his books anyway,  but the fact that I’m not a fan of his personality adds to my lack of desire to read more.  (Ask nicely and I’ll tell you that story.)

Added wrinkle the question doesn’t address: what about following or friending favored authors on social media sites like Twitter?  I would read Neil Gaiman regardless of his Twitter updates, but having read his books makes them funnier.  Conversely, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to read Wil Wheaton’s books without reading his blog.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2009 9:09 am

    I don’t read new biographies either – when I do read them they’re classic authors such as Jane Austen, Wilkie Collins etc.
    My answer is here:

  2. February 5, 2009 10:15 am

    I do visit contemporary author’s websites.

    Here is my BTT post!

  3. February 5, 2009 8:18 pm

    Cards Alvin Maker stories are based almost wholly on the story of Joseph Smith. ‘Rough Stone Rolling’ by Richard Bushman is currently the best biography of Smith if you are interested.

    The Homecoming series is based on the Book of Mormon, and I think you’ll find more than enough eager young white shirted missionaries who’ll want to give you that one… or you could just order it off BookMooch…LOL

  4. February 16, 2009 3:33 pm

    I just finished a novella from the Alvin Maker series and can definitely see the religious overtones, though I wouldn’t have been able to place them on Joseph Smith. One thing I like about Card is that his writing doesn’t come off as too preachy and that despite his beliefs, he portrays others pretty fairly. Okay, so that was 2.

    Coincidentally, I just said the same thing about one’s personality effecting the desire to support (or not) someone and their work. In my case, it was a musician and I haven’t bought any of her albums since.

    I occasionally glance at Gaiman’s blog.

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