Discussion: Books that make authors famous

Open Book

Do you remember that scene in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix when Ron starts attacking Cho Chang because he thinks she’s just jumping on the bandwagon about Tornadoes quidditch team? It’s completely understandable, right? No one likes when fair weather fans start acting like they’ve always been die hard fans just because their team made it to the Superbowl or the World Series or whatever.

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi PicoultThat’s kind of how I feel when an author that I have loved for a long time finally has a book that makes the best seller’s list and suddenly everyone is reading that book and acting like that author is the best thing since sliced bread. Except that some of that annoyance for those fair weather fans crossing over into my feelings about that book. Does this happen to you?

I remember back in 2004 when Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper was suddenly everywhere. I had been reading her books since I was in high school back in the last 90s. And in my opinion, My Sister’s Keeper isn’t even her best book. My favorite will always be Vanishing Acts. Why did it bother me so much that suddenly everyone was reading her books? Shouldn’t I have been happy that she was finally super famous? Two of her later books, Nineteen Minutes and Change of Heart, debuted as number 1 on the NYT Best Sellers list. What an amazing honor, and I was somehow annoyed.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Sadly, this was not an isolated incident. When Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park got a ton of recognition in 2014, I started to think less of that book, even though I’d rated it 5 stars on Goodreads in December 2013. Again, it wasn’t my favorite of her books. I like both Fangirl (also published in 2013) and Attachments (2011) better.

Perhaps I’m just annoyed that my favorites aren’t the books being recognized? Like I think my opinion should matter more?

Or maybe I feel like the general masses are just liking what they’re told to like? As if only “true” readers should be able to decide what’s good fiction?

Who knows?! Let’s discuss.

Am I the only one who feels this way?


Feature image from Pexels

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  1. I think I get what you’re saying. I’ve never had any books or authors I love get super famous, but I’ve had it happen with things like songs. And yeah, it’s like, we get possessive of these things that we love. And when it comes to books especially, I would be SO happy for my favorite authors if their books became famous because they deserve that kind of recognition, and it’d be awesome to actually be able to discuss those books with soooo many people, but at the same time I’d feel like it wasn’t *mine* anymore lol. Though I think one of the most annoying parts about that to me would be this feeling of, how come no one listened when *I* said that book was amazing, but they’re suddenly listening and loving it now that *other people* have said it’s amazing? And I can see why it’s frustrating for you that the popular books aren’t even the ones that are your favorites since you feel those should get the most recognition. So I don’t think you’re the only one who feels this way, though it’s such a mixed feeling since we really do want our favorite authors to get the recognition they deserve! Great discussion topic 🙂
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    1. Yes, exactly! I’m glad you could understand what I was trying to say. I am very happy for my favorite authors, but there is some possessiveness and jealousy coming out for sure. Thanks.

  2. Ha! You are NOT alone. I get frustrated when I see people get excited for a movie adaptation of a book that I love…and I just want to shout “HEY IT WAS A BOOK FIRST!” I remember feeling that way with The Martian especially, because the book has so many details that you can’t possibly fit into the movie.

    1. Yes! I feel that way too, especially with The Martian. I think that’s why I didn’t like that movie very much. It was a fine movie, but the book was so amazing, and I just wanted everyone to see that. To read the book and know the genius of Andy Weir. So interesting, right? Glad I’m not the only one. 🙂

  3. I get what you’re saying, but I actually don’t feel that. If an author I know or love becomes well-known I just feel smart, because I got there first. My top example is that I was a fan of Rick Riordan’s series of adult mysteries, published, to no great fanfare, prior to the Percy Jackson books.

    1. That’s a really great way of looking at it. I’ll try to have that more positive attitude next time it happens with an author I love. I haven’t read anything by Rick Riordan, but maybe I’ll check out the mysteries. I am like that genre more and more lately.

  4. I don’t think this has happened to me yet! Most of the authors I love have become popular before I know them, or in the case of Marissa Meyer, have only had one series out. I can understand why you’d feel that way though; when a book has been special to you for a while, it can be a bit strange to share it with newcomers!

  5. I completely understand how you feel and have felt the same. I was a huge CoHo fan back when she self-published but I haven’t even read the last few of her books after really disliking a few in a row and I also am annoyed that she just gets more and more popular when I feel like her early work was so much better. I also have a thing about not reading SUPER popular books anyway — I always feel like they are a disappointment.
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