Top 10 Tuesday: Author Names I Love

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Top 10 Tuesday: Author Names I Love


By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis

Today’s original Top 10 list is Fictional Characters’ Names I Love, according to The Broke and Bookish blog who hosts this popular meme, but when I was brainstorming names of fictional characters I love, I kept returning to the idea of author names that I love instead. And you know me, I’m usually compelled to run with the ideas I come up with regardless of the rules.

It’s tough to separate a person’s name from the person himself, but for today’s Top 10 Tuesday, it’s a task I’ll do my best to choose.

What’s in a name? For me, quite a lot. Just ask my husband. When it came time to naming our children—I created a three-to-four-page Excel list with three columns!

For me, a name should not only be beautiful to say on the tongue, have a significant meaning(s), but also be aesthetically pleasing in print. If anything, I’m drawn to eloquent, ethnic, and original names.

Most importantly, a name should be indicative of someone’s personality, while I know that once named, a person’s character can stem from the use of his or her name from birth.

For example, it’s my belief that a “Stacy” and an “Alexandria” may have very different life experiences and attitudes, not only because they are different people, but because their names can exude very different personas. It’s a thought. I believe I would be quite different in personality if I were named “Suzy” instead of “Zara.”

Here are not only some of my favourite authors, but author names I love:

1. Anouk Markovits

Anouk Markovits is the author of one of my favourite novels called, I Am Forbidden. Its origin is Inuit and Native American and means favour and grace.

2. Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy’s beauty is as eloquent as her lyrically, cultural novels such as The God of Small Things and The Folded Earth. Arundhati is of Hindi origin and means goddess of the night, sky, and stars.

3. Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini is the renowned author of the books, A Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and most recently, And the Mountains Echoed. Khaled is Arabic and means eternal.

4. Vladimir Nabokov

This name is synonymous with its famous and sexually charged, passionate love story, Lolita. The name, Vladimir,  itself is richly Russian, originates in Slovakia, and means prince.

5. Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami’s absurd, contemporary tales, and titles are as creative and imaginative as the meaning of his own name. His books include The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, South of the Border, West of the Sun, Norwegian Wood, and 1Q84. Haruki originates from Japan and means shining brightly. Haruki Murakami’s name and personality shines very brightly as one of my favourite literary stars.

6. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

The first time I came across The Sufferings of Young Werther, it was not only a highly recommended book by a friend because of its passion, but also a thoughtful gift. Johann, a new form of John, originates from Germany and means God is gracious. He certainly is, since Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe’s name is a rich and gracious name indeed.

7. Allistair Macleod

Allistair Macleod is the wonderful writer of such books as To Every Thing There Is a Season, No Great Mischief, and Island: The Collected Stories. His name, Allistair, is Scottish, is a form of Alexander, and means, The Defender of the People.

8. Jhumpa Lahiri

It’s difficult for me to separate my love of this author from her actual name. She’s one of my favourite writers and the author of the highly acclaimed novels: The Namesake, Interpreter of Maladies, Unaccustomed Earth, and most recently, The Lowland, and Ms. Lahiri’s name is wonderfully exotic. Jhumpa originates from Sanskrit, is predominantly used in India, and means pet name.

9. Javier Marías

Javier Marías is considered one of the best contemporary Spanish authors and a novelist of the short story genre as an example in his book, A Heart So White. The name, Javier (in this context), originates from Spain and means new house.

10. Pittacus Lore

Obviously, this name is a pen name only. Who would naturally name their child, “Pittacus” without some serious hesitation? Pittacus Lore is the author of the young adult series, I Am Number Four. Pittacus was the son of Hyrradius, and one of the Seven Sages of Greece who was victorious in the battle against the Athenians. A fantastical name, wouldn’t you agree?


If you could give yourself a pen name, what would it be?

Of all the names listed above, which one is your favourite?


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