Top of my head list. It surprised me a little that I read so many fantasy books. The other thing is, to make this list is not difficult. But one has either be really good story tellers, or catch me when I don't know any better. With exception in the case of Anne Rice that lost me as a reader, the rest are still more favorite.
1. Terry Pratchett 30
My favorite writer. Also an atheist writer who wrote really good stories. Thank you so much for bring the world so much joy.
2. Anne Rice: 16
Read this when I was young when I was into vampire that go against god. This is the era when Anne Rice was pissed at the Catholic Church and wrote the anti-church elements to her story. Stop reading her now.
3 Neil Gaiman : 14
Again a favorite. Neil Gaiman really wrote great story. I was introduced to this writer by Terry Pratchett.
3 Lee Child: 14
The coffee drinking loner with military background traveling around America in the small towns and solved crimes. Good action movie type of stories.
4. Douglas Coupland: 13
The really good and a bit fringe Canadian writer that I really like. His style is clean. He is kind of how I imagine a introvert telling story in the first person.
5 Douglas Adams: 9
I like Douglas Adams so much. The laugh out loud funny stories are great escape for those who know who hard life is really.
6. J.K. Rowling: 8
Harry Potter. A kid who everyone love. Get to know this before it gets so popular, by browsing in the kiddie section of the bookstore.
7. Edmund White: 8
One gay man that introduced me to human sexuality when I was a teenager. Still like this guy.
8. Chuck Palahniuk: 8
Another gay writer that I like. He wrote weird stuff that I like so much.
9. Richard Dawkins: 7
Science books are interesting if the writer know about the science. This is the case for Richard Dawkins books.
10. Nick Hornby: 7
Started with About a Boy and could not stop reading. He is really good as the literature type of style. His style is more like a soft spoken man that you will met in a cafe drinking tea.
11. Michel Houellebecq: 6
Another weird writer. Started with Whatever and like it so much that I read whatever he produced from then on.