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, Relish – Relish 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?