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I’m sure you also have them: authors adored by everyone whose opinion you respect, that only make you shrug your shoulders. There are five of them in particular I would love to also love.

I’ve decided to give some another try. For others I’m considering accepting that we’re just not meant to be – any opinions and recommendations are most welcome.

Georgette Heyer

In theory, me loving GH should be a given but I’ve read three by her – These Old Shades, The Devil’s Cub and Frederica – and although I think they’re nice, I’m very far from the enthusiasm she usually inspires.

I enjoy her description of clothes, carriages and balls and she’s great with dialogues, but I never seem to connect enough with the heroine. Heyer’s very often hailed for her strong female characters, but they still seem somewhat meek and I’ve often felt their attraction to the hero borders on rape fantasy. In The Devil’s Cub for instance, Vidal is not a very nice person. I like a reformed scoundrel as much as the next girl, but there’s just so much vileness the author should ask us to find attractive in a man.

Another pet peeve I have with GH is the way she defends “blue bloodness”. The babies of a peasant and a Duke are switched at birth, but forget nurture, you can’t escape nature! The adult Duke has rosy cheeks, a soft personality and is attracted to farming, while the peasant girl walks like a princess and talks haughtily.


I want to like GH, but I’m not sure she’s for me. Do you have any recommendations, in particular ones that move a bit away from the plots of the three I’ve read? Should I persevere?

Haruki Murakami

I’ve only read Norwegian Wood, a long time ago, but it left me so indifferent that it put me off Murakami until now. Thinking back, the only thing I remember of the book is a vague image of someone sitting on a roof and thinking deep thoughts.

So many of my friends like him and I’ve read really enthusiastic reviews, so I’m seriously considering giving him another shot. Any favorites? I’m thinking The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle or Kafka on the Shore.

Diana Wynne Jones & C.S. Lewis

I’ve read Howl’s Moving Castle after adoring Miyazaki’s movie and Castle in the Air right after the recent sad news. None had an impact – good or bad. They’re nice fairy tales I probably should have read in my early teens but now can’t really enjoy. But not all is lost, after Nymeth‘s and others raving about it, I’ve added Fire & Hammock to my wishlist. Any others I should try?

The same goes for C. S. Lewis. I’m going through the Chronicles of Narnia, but feel too old to fully appreciate them (although Winnie the Pooh was lots of fun when I read it last year) and find myself resenting the obvious religious references. I’ll finish the series just to be able to join The Conversation, but have little hope for a late-blooming love affair. One of the oldest books in my TBR is his Till We Have Faces which seems to be indefinitely pushed down my priority list.

Kate Atkinson

Poor Kate, I think she was a victim of bad translation, which also threatened my initial relationship with Austen. I’ve read what I now fear was a very bad translation of Behind the Scenes at the Museum and in my mind she’s been “Meh” ever since. It’s only fair I give her a second chance, especially after Steph’s review of Emotionally Weird. What’s your favorite by her?

Do you have any authors you’re indifferent to but feel you should love? How many chances do you give them?