It has been quiet at Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia over the past six months. And that’s okay. Life (even reading life!) changes. That said, I’m here. I’ve been going to book club and checking Twitter and Tumblr for the latest news from my fellow readers and bloggers. I’ve been thinking about blogging recently, too. Unfortunately, my reading pace hasn’t picked up much. Still, Sunday was my six year blogging anniversary, and it seemed like the kind of thing I should write about.
Six years (whoa. dude.)! For my five year anniversary I wrote about five authors that blogging introduced me to. This time around I’ll feature six more. As I said last year, one of the best parts about blogging is that I’m constantly discovering new favorites. I may not have read every book in these authors’ backlists yet, but the ones I have, I loved. And to quote myself, “I trust their stories: for entertainment, wisdom, emotion, and always, always, beautiful writing.”
Merrie Haskell – I always have been (and likely always will be) a soft touch when it comes to fairy tales. Haskell writes really lovely middle grade retellings of my favorites, and she includes strong doses of history, mysticism and other elements mixed in with the magic. I liked her debut, The Princess Curse, but I fell irrevocably in love with The Castle Behind Thorns. I know her books will be auto-buys for years to come.
Frank Cottrell Boyce – I very much appreciate books that are smart, feeling AND funny. It takes a lot of skill to balance those elements, and if I had to pick one writer for young readers who gets it right every time, I’d point to Frank Cottrell Boyce. He charmed me with Cosmic, his tale of outer space and family dynamics, and his upcoming The Astounding Broccoli Boy is just as charming.
Sylvia Izzo Hunter – I read a book* this past fall that was 100% a Cecelia book. Meaning, I fell in love with it immediately, was not disappointed when I finished it, and I keep thinking about it after the fact. I shall be following Hunter’s career with hungry eyes.
*The book! Was! The Midnight Queen!
Kate Elliott – Before I began blogging I had no idea that there were book communities online. Obviously I learned the error of my ways, and began participating in the bookternet. I also began noticing that these online communities were finding ways to meet up in person. What were BEA and ALA? I researched. I went to ALA Annual (my first conference!) in 2010. I was a hot mess, let me tell you. I was a newbie blogger wandering the exhibit floor, wearing a tiny denim skirt and flip flops, surprised/pleased/terrified to find that booths were just giving away books. One of those books was Kate Elliott’s Cold Magic. I had no idea that she’d written previous books, I just liked the look of that one. And I’ve liked her books (and her fantastic online presence) ever since.
Erin Bow – Dear Lord, does Erin Bow know how to write. Her book Plain Kate is just… one of the best books I’ve ever read. Yep, that’s a pretty good description. I think it’s a mix of really knowing and loving language (Bow’s also a poet) and not shying away from the darkness of life. I have her Sorrow’s Knot on the shelf, and I know it’ll be just as fantastic (all of my trusted sources say so), and there’s another book coming out soon. All to say: if you haven’t read Bow yet, you should make the time.
Jonathan Stroud – Real talk time, subject: book acquisition. I follow bloggers whose opinions I trust, yes. And sometimes a book just sounds fantastic (aka it ticks all of the Cecelia crack boxes). And sometimes I pick based on gorgeous cover art. BUT. Sometimes it takes an award to get a book on my radar (or in this case, a nomination for the CYBILS). Stroud’s Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase was one of those. Once I read it, I became its biggest fan. I gave it to people for Christmas, I made a point to meet the author when he came on tour, and I haven’t stopped thinking about the fantasy world Stroud created. That book made me a Stroud fan (for life). I’m pretty happy about it.
These are some of my blogging author discoveries. Who are yours?