Top Ten Favorite New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2012
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
I set myself a challenge this year to read more “new” books and authors — not necessarily newly published, but new to me — and I did, in fact, try quite a few. In no particular order, here are my top picks of the authors I first read in 2012. (Click on a title to see its review.)
1. Patrick Rothfuss. I can’t say enough about this guy’s writing. It’s powerful, it’s beautiful, it’s funny and scary and heartbreaking. I listened to The Name of the Wind, and I’m halfway through The Wise Man’s Fear. My daughter put me on to these (isn’t it great to have a daughter old enough to recommend books to me, as well as the other way around?) and we’ve been listening to them together on the way back and forth from her college classes. Thank you, Amanda, for introducing me to a truly amazing author.
2. Jim C. Hines. Jim has a fantastic imagination and a screenwriter’s gift for pacing. Libriomancer is terrific; if you love books and fantasy, you’ve got to read it. Before that, I read Hines’s The Stepsister Scheme, a clever and original look at what happens after the happy-ever-after.
3. Terry Pratchett. I read The Colour of Magic over the summer as part of a Discworld reading challenge, but what really hooked me on Pratchett is this fall’s delightful Dodger.
4. Rachel Hartman. Seraphina. Wonderful character, beautiful book. Need I say more?
5. G. M. Malliet. Technically, Malliet shouldn’t be on this list, because I realized after reading two of her books this fall that I had actually read her first novel a few years ago. That book, while entertaining, didn’t put Malliet on my list of “authors to watch for.” This fall’s Wicked Autumn most certainly did, which is why I’m including her among the favorite authors I “discovered” this year.
6. Jennifer A. Nielsen. I loved Nielsen’s The False Prince. She took what could in other hands have remained a cliched fantasy trope and turned it into a terrific book with a believably wary, prickly yet engaging hero.
7. Jasper Fforde. The Last Dragonslayer had me chuckling from the first page. Imaginatively wacky and highly entertaining. I can’t wait to see what Fforde has in store for adult readers — his Tuesday Next series is on my TBR list for 2013.
8. Kevin Hearne. Action-packed urban fantasy narrated by a wisecracking, 2000-year-old Druid. I just finished the first in Hearne’s Iron Druid series, and it won’t be the last. (Review to come)
9. Susan Elia MacNeal. I read both Mr Churchill’s Secretary and Princess Elizabeth’s Spy this year; the former, while gripping, suffered from several first-novel flaws; the latter was decidedly better. I’m looking forward to reading more about the intrepid Maggie Hope in His Majesty’s Hope, due out next spring.
10. Patricia Kindl. Kindl’s Keeping the Castle is a delightful romp as well as a tribute to Austen and Regency romance.
And because I just can’t keep it down to ten:
11. Susan Wiggs. I’ve enjoyed reading several of Wiggs’ Avalon/Willow Lake novels this year, and was lucky enough to interview the author for her Return to Willow Lake blog tour. I must admit, though, that my favorite of her titles so far has to be The Goodbye Quilt. (How did I miss reviewing that one?)