Top Ten New-to-me Authors in 2014

This year, 21 of the 36 authors I’ve read have been new-to-me authors. Of those 21, only 6 have really made a distinct impression on me. So while this is supposed to be a top ten list, it’s going to end up being a top six list, because I don’t want to just name four other authors that were only so-so for me.

Top new authors of 2014, in order of when I read them:

1. George R.R. Martin – I finally started the Song of Fire and Ice series in January this year. The first two books blew me away. While I’m not 100% sure I like Martin’s style of characterization (a lot of archetypes), I certainly spent a lot of time mulling over these books and the stories within.

2. Rainbow Rowell – I really had no desire to read Rowell’s work when everyone seemed obsessed with Eleanor & Park last year. Indeed, I still have no desire to read E&P. But last year during NaNoWriMo, Rowell wrote a really fantastic pep talk that revolved around her novel Fangirl, which sounded fantastic. So I read it, and then others (but still not E&P). I’ve grown to really love Rowell through the year, and two of her books are in my top-ten of the year.

3. Rae Carson – Coming across Carson this year was a complete fluke or a master stroke of luck. I was bored last spring, and grabbed a handful of random books off the YA shelves at my local library. One by one, I read the first few pages of these books and decided they weren’t for me. By the time I got to The Girl of Fire and Thorns, the last book in the pile, I didn’t expect much. I was blown away. The writing, the world-building, the characterization…it was all just brilliant! I adored this series and can’t wait to see what Carson comes up with next!

4. Jonathan Stroud – Another random find. Actually, to be honest I have no idea how I came across this author. I listened to the audio of The Screaming Staircase in June, but made no note at the time of how I found the audiobook. I don’t know why I grabbed it or how I came across it, but I’ve been very impressed with both of Stroud’s books I’ve read this year.

5. Edgar Cantero – Everyone was talking about this author and his debut novel, The Supernatural Enhancements, during RIP season this year. I was incredibly impressed with Cantero’s ability to surprise. I didn’t see ANY of the twists coming in this book, and I usually do. Then there was all the mysticism in this book, built from the ground up – incredibly impressive.

6. Maggie Stiefvater – I’ve been raving about Stiefvater for the last three months. It’s no surprise that she’s on here. The best part, though, is that the first time I tried to read one of her books, I gave up only a couple chapters in. Oh how times change. I adore her now, particularly the humor in her stories, and the incredibly detailed and slowly-revealed characterization. Stiefvater creates characters that feel like people instead of characters, and friendships that feel real and solid. I’ve often said that friendship seems to be an oft-neglected part of books – something I noticed only after Brandon Sanderson’s books started blowing me away – and I’m glad to find another author who puts so much emphasis on it.

topten

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

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About Amanda

Writing. Family. Books. Crochet. Fitness. Fashion. Fun. Not necessarily in that order. Note: agender (she/her).
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21 Responses to Top Ten New-to-me Authors in 2014

  1. readerbuzz says:

    I love the integrity you show by not bowing down to the Top Ten mandate. Good for you!

    Happy to see you here today.

    I’d love to have you stop by and take a look atmy list!

    Like

  2. Maggie Stiefvater is one of my big discoveries this year too! There’s nothing about the descriptions of her Raven Cycle books that made me think I would like them, so this is definitely a case where I’d never have picked them up if not for the persistent ravings of book bloggers. 😀

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  3. Great list. I have read 9, out of 38 finished reads, that were from new-to-me authors. Actually it is a bit more given that, by years end, I will have read four books from one of those authors. I haven’t been disappointed by any of them, really, and a few have become new favorites.

    I have a bit left to go in Supernatural Enhancements, and it will be one of my favs of the year.

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  4. bendingoverbookwards says:

    Great list! Which two Stroud books did you read? He is one of my favs…
    I’ve been meaning to read Rainbow Rowell for ages- which book do you reckon I should start on?

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    • Amanda says:

      I read The Screaming Staircase and its sequel, The Whispering Skull. As for Rowell – well, I suppose it depends on the kinds of books you normally like. Fangirl was cute older YA. Attachments was more literary love story, and Landline was a look at unequal marriage in the context of a mild fantastical element.

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  5. Trisha says:

    George R.R. Martin!!!! YEEESSS! Although I also hate him. He keeps killing off people I love and making me spend inordinate amounts of time both reading and thinking about his books. 🙂 I put Supernatural Enhancements on my Xmas list, and I’m really hoping someone will buy it for me.

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    • Amanda says:

      I don’t mind the killing off of people, actually, maybe because I was forewarned. I’m not getting too attached to anyone, heh. But now I’m stuck, because I really didn’t like the third book, and I’m not sure if I want to read on…

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  6. Shaina says:

    You inspired me to break the rules today too! 🙂 http://shainareads.blogspot.com/2014/12/a-few-tuesday-memes.html

    And so glad to hear about George R. R. Martin. Just bought the ASoIaF box set during Amazon’s 30% off book sale and can’t wait to dig in.

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  7. Michael says:

    Storm of Swords is my favorite of the Martin novels. Hopefully you can avoid SPOILERS for all the various twists he has in store for you.

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    • Amanda says:

      I’m definitely trying to avoid spoilers! I really ought to read the last two books. I admit, a Storm of Swords really didn’t work for me (sorry!). I loved the first two books and barely made it through the third, so I’m really wary about the next two… :/

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  8. Karen K. says:

    Great meme, I’ll have to borrow it!! And I’m glad you liked Game of Thrones. I liked the first three books, the fourth was also good, but the last one really disappointed me.

    And now I have to go look at all my new-to-me authors for 2014 . . . .

    Like

  9. Trish says:

    I’ve been really curious about the Fire and Ice series but goodness is it a commitment! I started to listen to the audio a few years ago, but I was still a green listener and the names were really throwing me. Maybe next year.

    Good for you for only picking 6. It was kind of a mediocre year for me so I didn’t even scrutinize my have read list.

    Like

    • Amanda says:

      I imagine it would be really tedious on audio if you weren’t familiar with the characters! Plus very long. I know people who have listened to it that way. I think with books that long and complicated and in depth, I prefer print!

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