Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016'.


Sadly, I've been slacking with TTT for a while. This is mostly because I've had a lot on my plate for the last few months (illness, moving flat, promotion at work, etc.) and I haven't had the energy to continually keep up so I've been picking the topics that really interest me instead. It's coming to the end of 2016 now so I thought this would be a good time to reflect upon the reading that has kept me grounded through a chaotic year. I probably won't be including Debut authors on here as it's the first time anyone has read anything by them. Just authors that I really feel I ought to have read by now.

1) Arthur Conan Doyle.

That's right. 2016 was the year I finally got to read the famous, original Sherlock Holmes series. Or at least, part of it. Over the course of the year I've read three of the nine 'volumes' and I have to say I've enjoyed them all immensely. Arthur Conan Doyle was part of my attempt to get back into reading Classics that I hadn't read yet and I'm pleased with my progress so far!

2) Matt Haig.

I hear Haig's name bounced around a lot, though I never fully looked into his books. Then, my sister read his non-fiction book 'Reasons To Stay Alive' and begged me too, and I'm so glad I did. That book has changed my life and perception of myself in so many different ways, and was also my first non-fiction read in a really long time. Thanks Matt Haig for opening my eyes.

3) Kiera Cass.

Pretty much every blog I follow has reviewed Kiera Cass' 'The Selection' series, for better or for worse. It's definitely a 'marmite' series in the blogging community. I'm one of the weird few who found it 'okay' but I can see a lot of potential in it and I'd like to read more. I know it's quite a long series and I've read only the first book so far, but I felt like I accomplished a big reading goal when I got round to it at last.

4) Sarah J. Maas.

Maas, just like Cass, is one of those authors I see everywhere. Her 'Throne Of Glass' series might be a little more popular but I was of course drawn to the Fairy Tale retelling inside. I have to say, while I see that elements of the book could lead to some real issues, I really liked it and am putting faith in Maas' judgement that I'm not going to start hating the series further down the line.

5) Jennifer Niven.

'All The  Bright Places' was a book that started getting shoved at me by various advertisements after I read and adored 'The Fault In Our Stars'. While the two follow story-lines that are actually pretty different, it's easy to see why they've been lumped into the same category. I enjoyed it a lot, and read it not long after my two flat mates which meant we could rave about it together. I'm looking forward to 'Holding Up The Universe', Niven's next work that Netgalley recently approved me for.

6) Dan Brown.

To be honest, Dan Brown has never been of great interest to me. I was alive and reading during 'The Da Vinci Code' craze and didn't watch any of the films or even pick up the books to read the synopsis. It wasn't my thing. My boyfriend however loves them. I was reading over his shoulder while he read the latest one last year and found myself inexplicably hooked, though it wasn't, by any means, the best thing I'd read all year. Finally, in 2016, I have caved and given the first in the 'Robert Langdon' series a try. There's a lot of contention surrounding this author, as well as love, so it was quite strange to see that while I was angry that Brown had so obviously decided to purposely mislead people on the facts, I also guiltily enjoyed the cheesy cliffhangers and sense of danger.

7) Cassandra Clare.

It seems I've had a bit of a penchant for controversial authors this year. As well as Dan Brown, the amount of hype and adoration that surrounds Cassandra Clare is insane. But so is the amount of claims of plagiarism and copying that she has been accused of. 'City Of Bones' is the first book in her most popular series, so I gave it a try. In a way, it was corny. I could totally see why people were angry too because having done my research, the claims seem pretty well-founded. But in a way, it was a pretty good series with, again, plenty of potential. I've been warned to only read the first three (advice I'll probably take) but who can resist a book that contains Magnus Bane?

8) Rainbow Rowell.

I know, I know. It's basically a crime not to have read Rowell's work by now. Contemporary YA Romance has NEVER been something I adore so I honestly thought Rowell wouldn't be the kind of author I would get into easily. Turns out I was totally wrong and once again need to give my sister all the points for her amazing book recommendations. I liked 'Kindred Spirits', her short story, a lot. I loved 'Fangirl' and now I'm looking into more of her YA. 

9) Rudyard Kipling.

Disney's 'Jungle Book' has been with me for a lot of my life and I've always enjoyed the story. My parents bought my sister and I a different animated version of it too which I adored so I've known the story all through my childhood. It occurred to me, while going to see the live-action film, that I have never read the books and I wanted to rectify this ASAP. Kipling's version is of course a little more adult and much darker, but I actually quite liked it and am glad that I took the time to try this collection of short stories out. 

10) Alice Sebold.

Alice Sebold is one of those names that I've heard often in my life, especially by readers of Cecelia Ahern or Jodi Picoult. Again, those kinds of books never really appealed to me, but the movie of 'The Lovely Bones' has always stuck with me since going to watch it with my friends all those years ago. With that in mind, I decided to try the book and liked it. The creepy tone, sense of justice in the end and bizarre but oddly beautiful nature of the story were all there. I don't know if I'll read more of Sebold's work, but it felt like a milestone nonetheless.