This week most of my fellow Top Ten Tuesday meme compatriots are sharing their 'Best of 2014' lists, but I'm nowhere near ready. My best-of-the-year list will likely appear... in late January, if tradition holds! I haven't yet shared my favorite new (to me) author finds from 2014, so that's what's happening today. I look forward to what these authors will do in the future, and in the case of a few, delving into their backlists. New author discovery is a wonderful thing!
Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2014
1. Rosamund Hodge – If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I feel strongly about fantasy world-building, good writing, and that I'm a sucker for fairy tales retold. Hodge wrote two fantastic standalone stories that combined all three this year (Cruel Beauty and Gilded Ashes). I can't to see what she does next.
2. Malala Yousafzai – Recent Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala is an inspiring figure and a whip-smart student. Her memoir I Am Malala makes it clear that this girl/woman is destined for even greater things. I hope she continues to write, because her story and her drive make for fantastic reading.
3. Emily Croy Barker – Dear the world, I would like to see more intelligent, thoughtful, feminist adult fantasy out there. Take The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic as an example, and we'll all be fine. Seriously! Love, Me.
4. Sylvia Izzo Hunter – One debut author this year wrote just the sort of book that gives me warm fuzzy feelings. The Midnight Queen was a gem. Can't wait for more in this world!
5. Rachel Neumeier – I've had several people tell me over the years that I should really try Neumeier's books. Charlotte at Charlotte's Library is a big fan, and I felt bad that the one book I'd picked up previously went back to the library mostly unread. Enter Black Dog. I was smitten with the heroine of this book from page one. I get the hype now!
6. Ben Hatke – Do you like comics/graphic novels/picture books? Basically, anything that counts as story+illustration on paper? Get thee to a Ben Hatke book! His middle grade sci-fi graphic novel Zita the Spacegirl and totally adorable picture book Julia's House for Lost Creatures turned me into a huge fan.
7. Maya Angelou – Here is a sad thing: Sometimes it takes an ending to get the ball rolling. In this case, I knew of Angelou, but I had never read her. I was inspired to pick up her cookbook Hallelujah! The Welcome Table after her death in May, and I was impressed, inspired and all-around entertained by her writing. The only negative emotion around here is regret, that I didn't get to her work before she passed.
8. Kat Ellis – Blackfin Sky. This book! It's quirky and weird and the kind of morbid that I find funny. It's also got a circus, a dead girl, and one (or several?) murderers. Just the sort of thriller-y read for a cold winter's night, and just the sort of push I needed to start following Ellis. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.
9. Lydia Millet – Lydia Millet made me want to read dystopian YA again, just when I thought I couldn't handle any more. Her eco- and pharma-apocalyptic diary Pills and Starships hit all of the right notes (for me). I'll happily look into her backlist now!
10. Leah Cypess – How did this author win me over? With assassins, magic, a corrupt political system and a cave. Also, love? And plots! Death Sworn was a roller coaster of a book and I'm always up for fantastical adventures...
I’m excited to go hunting through posts of best new authors from last week. Tell me, who were your new favorite authors in 2014?