Wow, we’re in 2018 guys. That’s crazy! I have been super lucky with my reading over 2017, and was exposed to some incredible books and authors that I either had never heard of or not actually read anything by yet, so that is going to be one difficult post to write. I am hoping 2018 follows on from last year and really broadens the genres I read, and diversifies the authors I indulge in too!
For all of you who don’t know what Top Ten Tuesday is, or don’t know how to get involved, click here. The lovely folks at Broke and Bookish team together to produce a book related topic each week, and you simply list the top ten of that topic.
1. Neil Gaiman
I read quite a few Neil Gaiman novels in 2017, and when I say read, I actually mean listen to. I have never really read a lot of fantasy outside of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter before 2017, but my friend Emma reads quite a lot of fantasy and YA fantasy, and is a big fan of Neil Gaiman so it eventually got to the point where I wanted to read some of his novels. His voice is incredibly smooth and easy to listen to, and he has an incredible ability to narrate and bring to life the world’s he creates. His world’s are immersive, yet matter of fact, and his books are addictive.
2. Christina Lauren
When I had my car accident in June 2017, I had 4 weeks off work where going out and about wasn’t really an option. This left me stuck in the house with time to kill, and therefore time to read. I wasn’t up for reading high quality literature, and settled for reading a lot of fast pace, quick reading new-adult novels, of which I found Christina Lauren (a pair of writers who co-author under a single pseudonym). They, she, however you refer to the author, writes a series of books about a group of friends, their relationships, and the ways their lives all intersect and I got hooked.
3. Frank Miller
I purchased the later Sin City volumes after a friend purchased the first three for my 24th birthday. It took me a while to read them as it took me a while to get back into graphic novels, but when I did, I absolutely loved Miller’s work. The aesthetic and the stories of Sin City are right up my street and I was addicted pretty quickly. I still have a volume left, but would highly recommend his work!
4. V E Schwab
Again, this entry is largely thank to Emma, and some what thanks to the wider bookish community online. For the last 12 months I feel like it has been hard to escape the novels of Leigh Bardugo and V E Schwab, and I can now see why. I am now hooked into the fantasy genre, so when I finally picked up Shades of Magic, I did so with a greater idea that I would like them. I wasn’t expecting to like them as much as I did, or to be completely hooked into the writing style of the author. I am definitely going to pursue some of her other works in 2018.
5. Robert Galbraith
Realistically I know that I was always going to like Robert Galbraith’s novels because I like J K Rowling, I like crime, and all the reviews say that the book is the kind of book that I like to read. I just waited too long to read the books, and only really dived in last year because the TV adaptation was due out and I wanted to have read the books first. J K Rowling brings her incredible world building and character depth to her pseudonyms thrillers, and have a rich depth that I know I will enjoy exploring over the coming years and instalments.
6. James Swallow
The Marc Dane Series was probably the find of 2017 in the thriller department for me, and it was only because of the number of books that I already owned and the fact I didn’t know how to read the ARC I was given that I haven’t read more. James Swallow has created a hero that is flawed (and not in a wounded hero kinda way, just in a ‘this guy isn’t going to be able to do everything and is probably more of a tekkie than anything else’ kinda way). I found this, the storyline, and the reliance on other characters refreshing. The fact that there was a strong female character in there too helped things long. I’ve just treated myself to the next instalment with my Christmas voucher.
7. John Layman
John Layman is the man behind the words and stories of the unbelievably awesome graphic novel series Chew. I think the series was one of my discoveries of the year, and in conjunction with Rob Guillory’s art work, the stories are so brilliantly weird and wonderful that Layman can’t not be on this list.
8. Imran Mahmood
I think You Don’t Know Me might be my surprise of 2017. I didn’t realise going into it that the book would read as a testimony, but I enjoyed the unusual angle and take on a story that wouldn’t have otherwise been out of place in a thriller. The fact that Mahmood is also a Barrister means that the whole book, writing style, and knowledge is much more rounded and complete than is he didn’t have such valuable first hand knowledge.
9. Alice Clayton
I don’t really know what to say about Alice Clayton. She is mainly on this list because I have really enjoyed some of the books she has written, but also because of her character building. The stories themselves are nothing special really, just you average, if funnier, new-adult novels, but her interconnecting storylines and character profiles are something that I really enjoy reading over a series arc, and for me she does this really well.
10. Marie Lu
Yep, I am a fan of YA. Yep, I am a fan of dystopian novels. Knowing this makes it very unsurprising that I would like an author of YA dystopian novels really. I know that the book I read by her was somewhat formulaic, but I really enjoyed it, and enjoyed how she wrote both male and female characters. I often find one, or both, is lacking in some way but felt that she wrote well rounded male and female leads that I enjoyed reading about.
All of the honorable mentions in this list wrote some form of memoir and aren’t authors by trade.
- Col. Chris Hadfield – Chris Hadfield wrote my book of 2017 An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. I love his way of viewing the world and enjoyed listening to him tell his story of becoming an astronaut.
- Trevor Noah – Unsurprisingly Trevor Noah’s book was funny and eye-opening. He was a surprisingly good writer and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about his childhood in South Africa.
- Adam Kay – I read This is Going to Hurt because my friend Emma did and because it was chosen as the book to read in our workplace book club. It was funny, occasionally disgusting, somewhat harrowing, and was very eye-opening once again.
Have you read any of these authors? What authors did you discover and love in 2017? How would you recommend trying?