five discoveries in five years

Five years ago today I started blogging. The blog began as a promise to myself to begin 'something good' in the midst of one of the toughest years of my life. And for a while I didn't have a defined blogging identity. In those first few months I brought up books only rarely. Interests (like blood) will out! I found myself reading book blogs, and thinking, "I could do that. I could talk about books." By July 2009 most of my posts were book-related.

One of the wonderful side effects of jumping into this world has been new book and new-to-me author discovery. I feel incredibly lucky to have found new standby authors. I trust their stories: for entertainment, wisdom, emotion, and always, always beautiful writing. So on this fifth anniversary of my blog, I'm highlighting five authors blogging has introduced me to.  Many thanks to Charlotte and Liviania for the idea!

Patrick NessThe Knife of Never Letting Go was one of the first dystopian novels I read back when that trend was just beginning. I believe it was on a list at Rhiannon Hart's blog along with The Hunger Games (which I ugly-cried in public over). That was enough to get me to try it. And then a little later I read A Monster Calls and realized that making me cry and cringe and FEEL was going to be Ness' modus operandi. He writes powerful fiction and incredible voices. I think I will always look forward to his next project.

Meljean Brook – Velvet at vvb32reads was one of the early cheerleaders for steampunk, and I took part in several challenges and events that she put on, including the Iron Seas challenge, which featured Meljean Brook's books. ZOMG, these are *amazing* and worth a read even if you usually stay away from romance as a genre. Brook writes seriously wonderful characters, who are surrounded by amazing world-building, and you get a guaranteed happy ending. What could be better?! I count down the months to every single new release.

Sherman AlexieI was introduced to Sherman Alexie in my first year of blogging by Leila of bookshelves of doom and Steph Bowe.  And I’ll be forever grateful to those two, because Alexie is one of the greats of our time.  You can’t go wrong, whether you choose his YA classic The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian or a short story collection like War Dances.  Alexie’s insightful writing is commentary as much as entertainment, and important as well as beautiful.

Catherynne M. Valente – I discovered Catherynne M. Valente by following a link on Neil Gaiman’s blog (I'm pretty sure that's where I found it?!).  My love for Gaiman’s fiction preceded blogging, so I was already in the habit of reading his updates.  And then one day he mentioned Valente, who wrote The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making as a serial novel/desperate call for help.  Valente’s struggles spoke to me, but the book even more so.  The story is such a lovely, bizarre, fantastical tale of Fairyland that I made a place for it in my heart, for always.  I’ve since read several other Valente titles, and I always feel a sort of reverence or wonder for her way with words and her imagination at large. 

Sharon Shinn – I can’t remember who introduced me to Sharon Shinn.  I would say Angie of Angieville (she’s a huge Shinn fan), but according to my review of Archangel, my first taste of Shinn was Angelica, and I don’t believe Angie reviewed that one.  ANYWAY.  Blogging not only introduced me to Shinn’s sci-fi series featuring angels, but to her writing as a whole.  Which is always delightful and thoughtful, as well as wrought with feeling and romance.  I pick up Shinn novels like clockwork now whenever I feel the need for speculative fiction that will turn me inside out and make me swoon.

Those are my five author discoveries.  Do you have any go-to favorite authors that you discovered via blogging?


Charlotte said...

I've never heard of Meljean Brook--I'll look out for her!

Alex said...

Congratulations on your five year anniversary blogging and what interesting choices your five authors are.

I always enjoy reading your blog and wish you many happy returns for many years more of blogging.

Tanya Patrice said...

I really enjoy Patrick Ness too. I'd say my #1 favorite discovery has been Octavia Butler. Followed closely by NK Jemisin.

Liviania said...

Congratulations of five years of blogging!

Those are a great five choices. I particularly like Meljean Brook's books.

Ryan said...

Congrats on your anniversary!

Jenny @ Reading the End said...

Congrats on your blog's birthday! And omg yes to Meljean Brook. I'm not as crazy about her angels-and-devils series, but the Iron Seas books are among my favorite romance novels ever. Heart of Steel and Riveted are terrific.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Five years, that's wonderful! I can't even imagine how many incredible authors I would have missed out on if I hadn't started my blog.

Kristen M. said...

Happy five years, Celia! I didn't really start reading Neil Gaiman or Diana Wynne Jones until after I started blogging so those are two of my newest go-to authors for now (until I read everything they both have out ... which will sadly be soon). It's such a wonderful thing to find a new one though, isn't it?!

Newer Posts Older Posts Home