Monday, December 8, 2014

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014

I'm linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for another Top Ten Tuesday.

This week's topic is the top authors I read in 2014 who were new to me. I've read over 100 books this year, and most of them were by authors whose book I'd never read before, so... this was a little difficult to narrow down. I debated about whether to include authors whose books were among the best I read this year but who, as far as I know, haven't written anything else. I eventually decided yes.

1. Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie
I loved Americanah (despite finding the ending somewhat lackluster) and wanted to read more from her. I did not connect as much with Half of a Yellow Sun, but I still liked it. Next up on my list is Purple Hibiscus, which is also supposed to be excellent.

2. Reza Aslan
Early in the year I read No god but God, and it turned out the only ebook version available from my library was the young adult version, but it was probably for the best that I started with a very basic introduction to Islam. I was impressed enough with Aslan's writing to put Zealot on my list, which I later read and which kind of blew my mind. I don't think he's perfect, but he's still quite excellent.

3. Nadia Bolz-Weber
I named her book Pastrix as the best book I read in November. Bolz-Weber is beautifully, brutally honest about life and faith, and I'm grateful for her putting her thoughts to paper.

4. Karen Joy Fowler
I'm grateful to the person who recommended We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves to me. I had not heard of it or seen any of Fowler's books before. Her other books have pretty terrible ratings, but this is her most recent one, so I'm hoping she's found her groove and will put out more books as good as this one.

5. Thomas Gordon
I found Parent Effectiveness Training incredibly valuable, and Gordon is now up there with Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish for my favorite parental advice writers.

6. Kazuo Ishiguro
I had had The Remains of the Day on my to-read list for quite a while because it's on a lot of lists of classic books, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. His more recent Never Let Me Go has showed up on a lot of newer lists of contemporary favorites, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

7. Jonas Jonasson
I never would have picked up his book The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared if not for book club, but it ended up being my favorite book I read in October. And what a great name, huh?

8. Tetsuko Kuroyanagi
Her book about the unique Japanese school she attended as a girl (Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window) was so unexpectedly charming -- it reminded me of the Ramona Quimby books -- and apparently she's a really cool person who was a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and has a foundation that trains deaf actors.

9. Liane Moriarty
I loved What Alice Forgot and I'm looking forward to Big Little Lies after all the positive press it's gotten. I was impressed by her ability to weave a story that was far-fetched and yet very, very true to life at the same time.

10. Mildred D. Taylor
I had never read Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry before this year, and I wish I had. It's one that I look forward to sharing with my children at a time when it's appropriate to discuss the realities of racism with them.

Who are the best authors you read for the first time this year?

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  1. I hadn't heard of any of these authors before. :( I'll have to check them out. Thanks for sharing. here's mine

    I also have a $30 gift certicate to Amazon giveaway, so check that out if you want.

  2. I hadn't heard of any of the ones you shared, so I guess we must have different tastes :)

  3. Kayla (The Bookish Owl)December 9, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    I've heard great things about Purple Hibiscus and I've been meaning to check that out. Hopefully, I'll receive a copy for Christmas!

    Great list :)

  4. That's good to hear -- I hope I like it as much as I liked Americanah. Have you read any of her other books?

  5. Bloggin' 'bout BooksDecember 10, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    You know, I really need to re-read ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY. I read it as a child, but I think it would be an altogether different read now, especially considering that I'm now the adoptive mom of a beautiful, bi-racial (half African-American, half Caucasian) daughter. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. You are welcome! I hope it's as good as you remember!