top ten new-to-me authors i read in 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 |
Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where we all get to exercise our OCD tendencies and come up with bookish lists.  If you’d like to play along, check out this post.

top ten tuesday

2013 has been full of wonderful reading discoveries.  It didn’t occur to me during the year (no, that’d be too easy!) – I realized it when I was making up this list and going through all of the books I’ve reviewed and loved.  Many of them are by authors I’d never read before, even if I respected them by association.  I think it’s a really joyful thing that I’ve found so many new ‘favorite’ authors.  I’m eagerly awaiting their new releases and scheming to read their backlists.  Happy holidays to me!

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2013

1. Jo Walton, Tooth and Claw – Cross a Jane Austen-style novel of manners with fantasy, and you have the key to my heart.  Walton’s book is ten years old at this point, but I only discovered it (and her) this year.  I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of Walton’s backlist!

2. Elizabeth Wein, Code Name Verity – Wein’s novel about female pilots during WWII made me feel all the feels.  Hardcore. After I’d mopped up my tears with a box of tissues, I proceeded to push it into the hands everyone I know.  Oh dear, it was GOOD!

3. Rachel Hartman, Seraphina – If 2013 was a year for delightful surprises, it was equally a year for beautifully written dragon fantasies.  Seraphina was one of those, and I was impressed by author Hartman’s talent.

4. Jonathan Stroud, Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase – Stroud is famous for his bestselling Bartimaeus series, but I never picked up those books (silly me!).  Luckily he’s just released the first, ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC book in a new middle grade series full of ghosts, swordplay, tea at midnight, and a lot of very close shaves with death.  I can’t wait to pick up book #2!

5. Lucy Knisley, RelishRelish is part food memoir, part cookbook, and all graphic novel.  It’s a charming rendition of Knisley’s coming-of-age, a tale of how her memories relate to food, and manages heartwarming without treading into sappy territory.  Knisley’s on my radar now, and I know I’ll be reading/viewing her work for years to come.

6. Kate DiCamillo, Flora & Ulysses – I know, I know!  How could I have lived this long without reading DiCamillo?!  But somehow I did.  I’ve fixed it now, and given how much I loved Flora and Ulysses’ adventures, you can be sure I’ll be reading many a book more in the future.

7. Elizabeth Knox, Mortal Fire – Cerebral, literary, beautifully written, peopled with diverse characters: these are all descriptors of my first Knox book.  It was really, really lovely, and I can’t wait to read her backlist.  I know I’ll be impressed.

8. Roddy Doyle, A Greyhound of a Girl – Doyle is another award-winning author with many books at his back, but I hadn’t read him until this year.  His dialogue is some of the most poignant and unforgettable I’ve ever read, and the slice of Ireland in A Greyhound of a Girl was a perfect introduction to modern Irish children’s lit.

9. Marian Keyes, Saved by Cake – Marian Keyes usually writes novels.  However, when faced with debilitating depression, she baked.  And baked.  And baked.  So much so that she published a cookbook.  It’s hilarious, dark and utterly fabulous, full of a mix of traditional and unique recipes that are perfect for the home cook, and you know, actually taste delicious, too.

10. John David Anderson, Sidekicked – Some might argue that we’ve almost reached society’s threshold for superhero/villain tales.  I do not.  Anderson’s tale of the gray areas in life and crime-fighting does a great job of balancing realism and redemption, and sidekick Drew’s slyly funny voice is a welcome addition.

Honorable Mention: Tanya Huff, The Silvered – Combine these elements: a steampunk-esque setting, a war-torn landscape, a believable werewolf-dominated society, and an epic journey.  They add up to an excellent fantasy.  I’ll be on the lookout for Huff’s next release.

Did you discover any amazing new-to-you authors in 2013?


Elizabeth said...

I had no idea Marian Keyes had a cookbook! I'm not a huge chick lit reader, but she is my go-to author when I need some. I love her Walsh family series! Now I must go find this cookbook...

chrissireads said...

Marian Keyes is brilliant :-) Great list!

Tanya Patrice said...

I loved Hartman's Seraphina too. A beautiful book. I'll have to check out a few of the others on your list.

Ula (Blog of Erised) said...

Jonathan Stroud!!! I love that man, have been a fan since I was a kid. Love his Bartimaeus series.
Lovely list, I have to look up all these dragon books :)
Happy reading!

missprint said...

Lots of good ones here (as usual). I'd be interested to see what you think of Stroud's first trilogy if you ever give it a try. From what I'm hearing it's rather different from Lockwood & Co.

maijareads said...

Oooh, I love fantasy-of-manners, so I think I should check out Jo Walton's book. Seraphina has also been on my TBR list for a while, so that's a lot of dragons.

Hayley said...

Ahh!!! I love Tanya Huff!! Seriously check out her Blood Books, Keeper Chronicles and Quarter novels. I'm sure your to-read list is a million miles long like mine is, but they're well worth the read!

Wendy Darling said...

Your list makes me feel guilty, because I still haven't read SERAPHINA or Elizabeth Wein yet. *sigh* How many days are left in the year again? SO hard to keep up! Great list, though--I definitely need to get off my butt and try some of these, too.

Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

Louise said...

You made some great finds there. I've read a few of your authors- Kate DiCamillo, Roddy Doyle and Lucy Knisley, but not those particular books- of course those three all our on my never to be completed TBR.

brocsbookcase said...

Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity has recently been added to my TBR list. I have heard amazing things about Wein and this book. You have some other interesting authors on your list that I will definitely be checking out too! Thanks for sharing :)

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