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This week’s theme is authors you have read in 2013 that you previously hadn’t read. I don’t know that this is a big deal especially for me (Nafiza) because I am, you can say, bold with my reading choices. I think all of us are. We don’t hesitate to try to new authors and almost all the authors I’ve read in 2013 were those I hadn’t previously read before though obviously there are the favourites whose work I eagerly await and devour. But where children’s lit is concerned, I have many new (to me) authors.
Nafiza’s List of Authors
- Jo Walton
She wrote Among Others (that’s the book I was telling you about Janet, the one featuring an avid reader as a protagonist). She does not write children’s lit but the book in question did feature a teenage protagonist so I thought it was worth a mention.
- Ted Naifeh and Warren Wucinich
This team brought forth the absolutely fantastic Courtney Crumrin series. I love their art and the story in the series. Yash, have you read it?
- Sarah Fine
While Fine has written a teen-targeted urban fantasy series, I got an e-galley of her upcoming dystopian-ish novel Of Metal and Wishes which I adored and upon reading realized that it was a mecha retelling of The Phantom of the Opera. The novel is going to be released August 2014 so there’s still quite a bit of a wait but take my word for it, it’s good. Stephie’ll like it.
- Kendare Blake
So I’ve had Anna Dressed in Blood and it’s sequel on my shelves for a LONG while but when I got sent Antigoddess for review, I had no choice but to read it and was pleasantly surprised to find myself enjoying both Blake’s writing style and characterizing.
- Keshni Kashyap and Mari Araki
They are the creators of Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary and the novel is smart, funny and bold. I particularly enjoyed its portrayal of Tina, a displaced Indian girl who feels disconnected from everything and everyone and it was just a fun read.
- Dot Hutchison
A debut novelist who wrote the retelling of Hamlet from Ophelia’s point of view. A Wounded Name was lyrical, compelling and lingering. I can’t wait to read more from her.
- Andrea K. Host
I read almost all of Host’s books this year because I absolutely loved how she created a fully formed world and peopled it with such amazing characters in less than 200 pages. I started with Hunting and then went crazy.
- Sherry Thomas
Another debut novelist, she wrote The Burning Sky which was one of my favourite books this year. It’s a fantasy novel that has a parallel world and awesome characters.
(yeah, we read a lot of stuff, so this isn’t a hard one for us)
1. Rick Riordan – yup, I hadn’t read any of the Percy Jackson series until this year.
2. Marie Lu – I read her Legend series this year.
3. Monica Hughes – a famous Canadian dystopia and science fiction writer. She has an award now too. I delved into Earthdark first and the Isis trilogy. Really interesting stuff, a little dated, but well worth it.
4. Moira Young – on that note I read Blood Red Road this year and Young is a new Canadian author.
5. Tim Wynne Jones – another Canadian! I read The Maestro for class, which was a very quick read and I did like the writing style a lot. I might wandering into his lengthy list of publications.
6. There are so many that I’m forgetting… here is to all of you that I have read and have also gotten lost in my mind stacks.
- Merrie Haskell – The Princess Curse and Handbook for Dragon Slayers.
- Sarah Mlynowski – One of the first books I was sent when I started reviewing for Cm was If the Shoe Fits, the second in Mlynowski’s Whatever After series, which features Abby and her younger brother Jonah, who end up getting sucked through a magic mirror and into yet another fairy tale, which they promptly mess up… A nice light read for middle readers.
- Erin Bow – Unbelievably, until Nafiza gave me a lovely hardback copy, I had never read Plain Kate. Shame on me for waiting so long!
- Elizabeth C. Bunce – I somehow found myself with an ARC for Starcrossed. Several plot twists were predictable, but this was enjoyable enough that I’d read the next one if the library has it and if I remember.
- Donna Cooper – Skinny had beautiful moments. Some things were obvious, like the romance and the non-evil step-sister. But all in all, I’d never thought about stomach stapling or the consequences thereof, and so this was a new and fascinating world/problem.
- Leah Cyress – I snagged an ARC of Mistwood right before heading on a camping trip in the summer, and I’m still not sure how I feel about this story. The idea of shifting is fascinating – and isn’t that what we do, to a lesser extent, by choosing what to focus on in our thoughts and feelings? – and I like court/intrigue/politics. But. Some things were just so obvious (maybe I’ve read too many books?), and it felt odd that Isabel was stuck in the castle for most of the story. Although logically it followed. I enjoyed this, and if a sequel was written I would read it. Probably with a guilty feeling.
- Jordan Jacobs – wrote Samantha Sutton and the Labyrinth of Lies, which feels like the beginning of a series. (The endpages mention Samantha Sutteon and the Winter of the Warrior Queen, although no expected release date is given.) I liked the archaeology and the flawed adult characters very much indeed, and would recommend this to middle readers.
- Wendy Mass – A Mango-Shaped Space. Beautiful story about a girl growing up, who happens to have synesthesia.
- Rachel Hartman – Seraphina.
- I know I’ve omitted mentioning at least a dozen authors and books, as my single-spaced, double-sided pages of book-and-author (an occasionally comment) list informs me. My apologies – but I must save some for other TTTs.
- Zadie Smith: Her novel On Beauty may even tie with Aristotle and Dante for the position of my favourite book (for this year).
- Maureen Johnson: I’ve followed her Tumblr forever, but this this year I finally picked up her books. And I’m kind of obsessed with the Shades of London series. Can’t wait for more.
- Maggie Stiefvater: Ditto. The Raven Cycle is an excellent series thus far.
- Benjamin Alire Sáenz: Does it say enough about how much I love this writer that I bought Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe twice? (Once in hard copy and once more for my tablet.)
- Rainbow Rowell: I feel like I’ve raved enough about Rowell to make her uncomfortable. I shall stop. For now.