The theme for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday over at The Broke and the Bookish is top ten books from 2017 but, as 2017 isn’t over yet (and because I’m a bit of a rebel… haha I wish), I’ve decided to switch around a couple of top tens and do the top ten new to me authors I read in 2017. Looking through my list I don’t think many of these are new authors, I’m just really slow in discovering how great all of those existing authors are despite being told numerous times.
1 Sally Thorne (The Hating Game)
So the first one on my list actually is a new author. I read her first novel The Hating Game in February this year and absolutely adored it, so much so I’ve re read it I don’t know how many times since (here’s my fangirly review). It’s a contemporary romance and is one of the freshest and funniest ones I’ve ever come across. It may not be wholly unique in story but Thorne’s writing really lifts it. I’m anxiously awaiting her next book which I think is due in Summer next year.
2. Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine)
Yep another new author, Honeyman wrote another of my favorite books of the year, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. This was a book I probably wouldn’t have picked up on my own but was chosen for my real life book club and I’m so glad it was. It was one of those books I knew from the very first page I was going to absolutely love. It’s hilarious, heartbreaking, touching, sad but also somehow hopeful. There are a couple of elements in the story which are a little unbelievable but who cares.
3. E Lockhart (Genuine Fraud, We Were Liars)
I bought a copy of We Were Liars years ago but kept putting off reading it, I think because of the vagueness of the blurb and all of the hype around it. I finally got the push to read it when I heard Lockhart was coming to Glasgow to promote a special edition and also her new book Genuine Fraud and I’m so glad I did because it absolutely blew me away. It was completely different from what I was expecting and just very unique. Reading Genuine Fraud was a similar story. It may not be a wholly unique plot but the way that it’s told in reverse certainly is. It’s very cleverly done.
4. Ryan Graudin (Invictus)
This is another author whose book I had sitting lurking on my kindle. In fairness I still haven’t read Wolf by Wolf (although I plan to) but I did get the opportunity to read Invictus and wow. I have a lot of admiration for any author who writes a book about time travel. There’s all of the research to realistically create multiple historical time periods added to that the science and rules around time travel and, in this case, also creating a futuristic world where all of this is possible. Graudin absolutely smashes it all and somehow also creates a cast of characters who I want to hang out with. Brilliant.
5. Andy Weir (Artemis)
Speaking of authors who somehow manage to work a lot of complex information into an action packed story, Andy Weir has an incredible knack for this. I’ve only read Artemis so far but it really impressed me how much science and technical information he managed to fit into what is essentially an Ocean’s Eleven style heist story. I know this book has had some criticism for its characterization but just the level of detail and research he must have done (unless he is a genius and already knew it all) was unbelievable. What’s even less believable is that I actually understood most of it. That is definitely a talent 🙂
6. Fredrik Backman (The Scandal / Beartown)
I know Backman has been around for a while but until this year I didn’t have any inclination to read any of his books, they just didn’t sound like my thing. When Beartown popped up on NetGalley however and I saw lots of my fellow reviewers raving over it I couldn’t resist. As far as I understand the style of Beartown is not Backman’s usual but I really loved it. It’s very episodic, switching between characters sometimes within the page. It took a little getting used to but once I did I thought it worked perfectly. Backman created very real characters but more than that he also gave a real sense of the community. It may have been set in a completely different country but it reminded me a lot of my home and upbringing.
7. Joe Hill (Strange Weather, The Fireman)
As someone who’s always looking for a decent horror I kind of feel like I should have read Joe Hill before now. Again it was the fact that I was going to get to meet him that finally gave me the push to pick up the Fireman. I have to confess I still haven’t finished it but I did enjoy the writing, so much so that I requested a copy of his brilliant novella collection, Strange Weather from NetGalley. It’s a really great read and shows just how talented a writer he is. The way he crams so much characterization and story into so few pages.
8. Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Stardust)
Yeah this is embarrassing, until around 9 months ago I’d never read a single Neil Gaiman and I’m pretty sure the only reason I finally did was because it fit a challenge I was taking part in. I absolutely loved The Ocean at the End of the Lane, it was so completely different than what I was expecting. So much darker, more grown up and just creepier. I will admit I didn’t love Stardust quite as much when I read it (I think I love the film too much) but he really has a great imagination and is a wonderful story teller.
9. Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
A Gentleman in Moscow was a book I requested from NetGalley, got approved for and then had second thoughts about. If you follow my blog you’ll know I’m very wary of historical fiction so it’s a bit of a mystery why I requested it (I’m assuming it was the pretty cover). I eventually ended up reading it as part of a structured group read on GoodReads and it completely amazed me. It’s slow paced, heavy on description and very little happens but despite these all being things I hate I fell in love with it. What Towles excels at is creating very vivid places and people. I could visualize every room in that hotel and every single character, flaws and all. The descriptions of the food also made me incredibly hungry. Truly beautiful writing.
10. Holly Bourne (How Do You Like Me Now)
Why did no one tell me I should read Holly Bourne’s books? I very recently finished How Do You Like Me Now and honestly it absolutely wowed me. It was like she had looked directly into my mind and put my thoughts into the head of the main character. So real and so relateable. I was expecting light and fluffy chick lit but while this has it’s funny moments and is very enjoyable it has a lot of real messages running through it and a really strong feminism vibe. This book just spoke to me so much and I’m currently hunting down every other book Bourne has written.
So those are my 10 favorite new to me authors of 2017. Are you a fan of any of them? Have you discovered any great authors this year?
Feel free to leave comments below and links to your own top ten’s.