The topic this week is “Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward to their Sophomore Novel” (a bit of a mouthful). I’m really excited about this topic, because I never have anyone to blab about my favorite new authors with. But when I actually started composing the list, I realized that a lot of my ‘new’ authors were really ‘new to me’ authors that had written other books I hadn’t read yet. So the last five on the list are new to me authors. ANYWAY. I have discovered a lot of really great writers lately, and I’m so excited to share some of them with you!
5 Favorite Recent Debut Authors
Marci Lyn Curtis
I read and reviewed ‘The One Thing’ in September. This book was such a pleasant surprise to me! I’m really surprised it hasn’t gotten more attention since it was released in September. I loved Curtis’s writing style — she’s funny without being over the top, and emotional without being heavy-handed. I know she is already working on her sophomore novel, and and I’m really excited to see what comes of it!
I just read Thrash’s graphic memoir ‘Honor Girl’ earlier this month. I’ve honestly never really gravitated to the graphic novel genre, but I really enjoyed this one. The artwork is so beautiful and the story itself is very touching in a quiet and understated way. Thrash is working on a non-graphic novel next, so I’m excited to follow her there!
I finished ‘I Am Pilgrim’ by Terry Hayes in the B.B. era of my life (before blogging), and I have never written a proper review for it. Suffice it to say that this is a very fascinating and high-stakes political thriller/mystery/etc. If you’re in the mood for something dark and massive (heh) I recommend it. Unfortunately, I get the vibe that he’s one of those it-took-my-eight-years-to-write-the-first-draft guys, so I might be waiting epic George R. R. Martin time spans between books.
I read ‘Under a Painted Sky’ by Stacey Lee earlier this month. Lee is big in the #WeNeedDiverseBooks community, and, appropriately, this book was so refreshingly diverse without being tokenizing. I liked her book, but I wasn’t crazy about the wild west setting, so I’m really looking forward to reading her books set in a different time period.
Emily St. John Mandel
Pretentious name aside, Emily St. John Mandel (ESJM?) wrote my favorite books of 2014, ‘Station Eleven’. Think dystopia for grownups, or apocalyptic Shakespeare. This is one of those books that I have felt deserves the heaps of the awards and praises it has received. Also can we take a second to appreciate how adorable she looks? Like if Anne Hathaway and Natalie Portman had a beautiful child who grew up to write dark dystopian novels…it would be her.
5 ‘new to me’ Authors
Oh Jennifer Donnelly, you beautiful sweet maven of historical fiction. I am only upset that I didn’t discover her sooner. These Shallow Graves gave me LIFE in October, and may or may not turn out to be favorite book of 2015, which is not something I say lightly. I was SO EXCITED to see that she has other books out and I cannot wait to get my greedy hands on them!
Yeah so I’m definitely late on the Margaret Atwood train, but I picked up The Handmaid’s Tale earlier this year and it blew my mind. It was so haunting and so deeply relevant that I’m really excited to check out the rest of her work, even though I’ve heard nothing compared to Handmaid. If anyone has any recommendations as to where to start on the rest of her books, let me know! ALSO is anyone with me in thinking that Meryl Streep needs to play Margaret Atwood in some sort of biopic scenario?
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I picked up her short (64 pages, I think) essay ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ on a whim. My only previous exposure to Adichie was that Beyonce song, but Adichie writes with humor, diligence and determination. Everyone should read it, or at least listen to the TED Talk that inspired it. ‘Americanah’ was another one of her big books, which I think will be next on my list to try out.
Another writer it took my too long to discover. Alexie wrote ‘The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian’, which was one of the first books I devoured this year. It is a touching and hilarious semi-autobiographical account of his high school years growing up on an Indian reservation while attending an all-white high school. It’s fascinating and beautiful and I can’t wait to read every single thing he’s ever written.
HEAR ME OUT I realize she is not at all a contemporary writer but I read my first Austen novel this year and I’m really proud of myself! I read ‘Persuasion’ and I loved it,
but I haven’t read any of her other books yet. I tried ‘Emma’ right on the heals of ‘Persuasion’ but I realized I needed some more time to pass before reentering her world. Which Austen novel should I read next?
So that’s my Top Ten Tuesday this week! I can almost never actually think of ten things that fit into any given category, so I’m pretty proud of myself. Anyway, link me to to your TTT in the comments below, and please let me know if you have input on filling in my Margaret Atwood, Jane Austen canons.