McMurtry . . . Proulx . . . Thurber . . . Nash . . . The list goes on.
Anne McCaffrey - love her Pern Series.
Charles DeWitt - he is amazing at pulling Fantasy into our present day life. Instead of making a fantasy world, he uses our mundane world and brings the Fantasy into it.
Stephen King - for the devilish turnings of his mind
Dean Koontz - for a man who writes "horror" he has written some beautiful stories.
Piers Anthony - who doesn't like a good pun now and then? Read his Xanth Series if you dare.
In Historical Fiction that would be: Anna Lee Waldo, Diana Gabaldon and Deanna Raybourn. In other genres I enjoy: Anne Rice, Stephen King, Jean Auel, Ernest Hemingway, Poe, Plath, and many others not so well known.
People like Phillip Roth and John Updike are amazing. To write so many books of such high quality requires both talent and dedication. Among "children's" authors, Lois Lowry jumps to mind for the same reasons.
I wish I had Augusten Burroughs' life and I think David Sedaris is adorable, but the one writer I admire the most is probably Tennessee Williams. Even though he is primarily known as a playwright, I've always loved his short stories.
Rita Dove, Toni Morrison, TS Eliot
This list changes all the time, depending upon my reading mood—
Suzanne Fisher Staples
Sena Jeter Naslund
Christopher Paul Curtis
Sue Monk Kidd
John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway.
How much time do you have? Christopher Buckley, Terry Pratchett, Joan Hess, Richard Dawkins, Bill Bryson, E.F. Benson, Christopher Moore, Jean Rhys, H. H. Munro, Jerome K. Jerome, Edmund Crispin, Dorothy Sayers, Louise Renniston, Michael Pollan -- I could go on for a long time.
There have been many. And most of the names I have forgotten. Albert Einstein was a brilliant writer. Brian Fagan. James Burke.
Tough question yet not unexpected. Rather than list them here, I will link you to my page at librarything,com
JK Rowling, just how strongly stuck by her believe that her Harry Potter would one day sell.
Abraham Lincoln, Jesus Christ, Friedrich Nietzsche, Herman Hesse, James Douglas Morrison, Stephen King, Larry McMurtry, Toni Morrison, John Steinbeck, James Clavell, Edgar Allan Poe.
Hemingway, Steinback, Poe, Kellerman.
In regards to nonfiction, I enjoy Ann Rule the most. I would have to say that she's my favorite in the true crime category. Other well known writers I have greatly enjoyed include John Douglas and Roy Hazelwood, as well as M. William Phelps. In regards to fiction, James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell, and John Grisham are my favorites.