Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Top Ten...uh Wednesday... New to Me Authors in 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish Blog.  Sadly Tuesday has passed me by with nary a list being created but I say better late than never!  This was a particularly interesting topic to me: Top ten authors read in 2013 that I hadn't read before. 

1) Ian McEwen

I just finished Atonement and really loved it.  He was an author I had really wanted to read for a while and I'm glad I finally did.  I found his writing pretty spectacular on all levels from word choice to weaving an engrossing plot that makes you think. 

2) Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson is one of those writers that floats seemingly effortlessly between genres, at least that's what I've heard.  Instead of picking up her ultra buzz producing new literary novel Life After Life, I picked up the first in her mystery series featuring Jackson Brodie called Case Histories.  It blew me away and provided everything I want from a mystery novel and then some. 

3) Joe Abercrombie

A gritty fantasy writer ala George R.R. Martin, Joe Abercrombie swept me up in his The First Law series.  I read the whole darn thing this year and LOVED all the complex characters, political intrigue, topsy turvy conventions and moral ambiguities.  Terrific storytelling!

4) M.K. Hobson

I really loved the first two installments in M.K. Hobson's debut series: The Native Star and The Hidden Goddess.  It's fantasy set in alt-history, wild west, steam punky awesomeness.  It's got a really creative and unique magic system and most importantly characters that are fun to spend time with.  AND it's got really well done romance. 

5) Daniel O'Malley

I really enjoyed his romp of a book The Rook which takes you into a magical British spy agency.  It's loaded with humor and an interesting alternative world.  Can't wait to see what else he'll write!

6) Anthony Horowitz

He wrote a brilliant Sherlock Holmes installment called The House of Silk which was really enjoyable.  And the rest of his catalog looks like a real treat.  I am already a fan of his mystery series Foyles War on the BBC and after tasting his writing, I'm sure the books are even better.

It was a year for me to explore young adult literature and below were my author highlights.

7) Rachel Hartman 

Her debut novel Seraphina blew me away.  My biggest challenge with young adult literature is connecting with the characters and  this was not even close to a problem with this book.  I found the characters and relationships believable, the world created fascinating and richly imagined and the story gripping.  This book will probably be on my top ten for the year and I can't wait for the next installment in the series.

8) Alyxandra Harvey

Not nearly as sophisticated as the above but I had so much fun devouring her Drake Chronicles. It was like Twilight but with a sense of humor and characters that don't suck. 

9) Leigh Bardugo

I read the first in the Grisha series, Shadow and Bone and was really swept away by it.   My only complaint is that I got confused and initially read Daughter of Smoke and Bone which I did NOT like and I was wondering what all the fuss was about.  But I can hardly blame my addlepated brain on Leigh Bardugo:).

10) Gail Carson Levine

I finally read Ella Enchanted and was seriously enchanted.  Great book for middle grade girls - has all the story elements they (and I) love and a great overall message to boot. 

11) Karen Thompson Walker

Yes I'm cheating and including 11 but I just had to include Karen Thompson Walker for her melancholy and fascinating coming of age sci-fi novel The Age of Miracles.  One of the best I've read this year.

I'll shut up now.  What about you?  Do you have any new to you authors that you need to crow about?


  1. Joe Abercrombie has been on my TBR list for a while! So have Rachel Hartman and Leigh Bardugo. This is also the second time I see The Rook on a list this week, so I think I should check it out sometime, as well. Great list!

    1. The first book in Abercrombie's The First Law series does take a little bit to get going but once it does, it's worth the slow beginning. Hope you do get to check some of these authors out in 2014. Too many books and so little time!

  2. Ah! I am always shocked when I find out people haven't read Ella Enchanted (or worse - they LIKED the movie?!?) I grew up on Ella Enchanted. I've read almost all of Gail Carson Levine's books and enjoyed them, particularly The Two Princesses of Bamarr, but my childhood is practically built on an obsession with Ella Enchanted

    1. Hee Hee! I was 23 when Ella Enchanted was published so a little bit out of it's target demographic:) I am really glad to have caught up with it though. I think it's a quote from C.S. Lewis (one of my favorite childhood reads) that says something like "Some day you'll be old enough to enjoy fairy tales again." That Clive Staples - he's a wise one. AND *whispers* I do like the Ella Enchanted movie - I even own it. I think only because saw it long before I read the book. I COMPLETELY get why fans of the book would loathe the movie as they are two different beasts. Okay I'll never speak of this again now! I have Two Princesses of Bamarre on my kindle for reading soon.