Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: My 2016 New-To-Me Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is an original and weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

~~ Top Ten New-To-Me Authors ~~

~~ I Read For the First Time in 2016 ~~

I know.  I'm a day off again.  Top Ten Wednesday... whatevs...

This week for Top Ten Tuesday, the topic is pretty self-explanatory:  New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2016.  Ever since the first time I did a TTT on this topic, I started keeping track of all the new-to-me authors I've read.  2016 was a good year for new-to-me authors, although 2015 has thus far yielded the most number of new-to-me authors (but I didn't do a TTT for that one).

The following list is in no particular order.

1.  Deanna Raybourn
I have read the following:

Julia Grey:  Silent in the Grave, Silent in the Sanctuary, Silent on the Moor, Dark Road to Darjeeling, The Dark Enquiry;  short stories:  Midsummer Night, Silent Night, Twelfth Night, Bonfire Night

Veronica Speedwell:  A Curious Beginning

To be honest, while all of her books are written very beautifully, Raybourn's Julia Grey novels, for me, weren't really favorites.  And I had even considered not continuing with other books by Ms. Raybourn for a while, except for the fact that A Curious Beginning was a pre-chosen read for a Reading Challenge this year.

So I read A Curious Beginning when the time came around to read it... and I LOVED it!  Raybourn is definitely an author I will be keeping on my radar!

2.  Jayne Ann Krentz
I have read the following:

As Jayne Castle:
Ghost Hunter/Harmony series:  After Dark, After Glow, Ghost Hunter, Silver Master, Dark Light;  novella:  Bridal Jitters

As Jayne Ann Krentz:
Arcane Society:  White Lies, Sizzle and Burn
Stand alone novella:  Connecting Rooms

As Amanda Quick:
Arcane Society:  Second Sight, The Third Circle
Stand alone novels:  'Til Death Do Us Part, Wait Until Midnight, The Paid Companion, The River Knows

There are three things I need to say about Jayne Ann Krentz.  Firstly, it took a good amount of time to get her series and books straightened out so that I could read everything in the proper order.  Her back list is immense!  Second, all of JAK's books are quite fun and lovely to read and I really DO enjoy myself.  Last of all:  Every JAK book, whether as Jayne Castle, Amanda Quick, or Jayne Ann Krentz... are all the same.

I suppose that here is an author I can always come back to if I want to pick up a familiar formula, written well, as a rainy day read.  Of course, I DO have every intention of finishing up the rest of the Arcane Society and Harmony series.


3.  Anne Bishop
I have read the following:

The Others:  Written in Red, Murder of Crows

These books have the most meandering and hard to grasp plots I have ever read.  Okay, well, that may not be entirely true--I've read other books with the same meandering, hard to grasp plots, with no actual internal book conflicts to follow properly.

But for some reason, they are extremely enjoyable and addictive.  I really have been enjoying this series and all the characters.  And I still can't entirely say why.

4.  Christine Bell
I have read the following:

For Hire:  Wife for Hire, Guardian for Hire

I had expected the For Hire series to be simple fluff pieces, a cute romance to pass the time.  But I ended up really liking both books of this short series.  And to be honest, I certainly hope there will be more in this series, but even if not, at least Christine Bell has other books I can pick up.

5.  Maggie Shayne
I have read the following:

Brown and de Luca:  Sleep with the Lights On, Wake to Darkness, Innocent Prey, Deadly Obsession;  novella:  Dream of Danger

Stand alone novel:  The Gingerbread Man

I totally didn't expect to enjoy the Brown and de Luca series as much as I ended up loving it, but Maggie Shayne has created one of the most crass, bitchy, and crazily hilarious characters in Rachel de Luca.  And I absolutely loved her throughout all the books, and even the unnecessary little novella.  The books weren't entirely top-notch mysteries, but they were written well enough that I was very entertained throughout.  The Gingerbread Man was a more stock-standard type of crime thriller, but it was also quite entertaining.

I look forward to reading more books by Maggie Shayne.

6.  Heather Webber
I have read the following:

Lucy Valentine:  Truly, Madly; Deeply, Desperately

I have always had a soft spot for cozy mysteries, despite never having really read many.  Cozies are easy, fun, light, heart-warming reads that actually do quite well to help you pass the time when you can't figure out what to read next.

Heather Webber's Lucy Valentine series has been very enjoyable so far, and while it lacks a distinct, nonsensical humor that I had associated with cozy mysteries, it still encompasses the heart-warming elements I love about cozy mysteries.  With great characters as well, this is becoming a lovely series to get into.

7.  Sarah Addison Allen
I have read the following:

Stand alone novel:  The Girl Who Chased the Moon

I foresee being very into Sarah Addison Allen, if only because this one book I've read had been so enjoyable and written so strangely beautifully.  The descriptions she uses are magical, if a little weird.  But that weirdness kind of works.  You don't expect the descriptions to work, but they do.  Then you get some heart-warming and sweet stories, and interesting characters, with a twist of magical realism.

8.  Yangsze Choo
I have read the following:

Stand alone novel:  The Ghost Bride

Well... The Ghost Bride was definitely a very beautifully written, magical story that shared a lot of  cultural mythologies.  It was also quite nice to try to do some comparisons between what I know of Chinese spirit mythology, and how the two cultures differ in Malaya.  While the book was a little draggy in the beginning, the book quickly picks up and becomes a very colorful adventure of sorts.

Hopefully Yangsze Choo will have more books written soon?  I'd be most interested.

9.  Agatha Christie
I have read the following:

Stand alone novel:  And Then There Were None

There is a reason why Dame Agatha is as revered as she is.  And Then There Were None was particularly mind-blowing in it's set-up.  As I state in my review of this book, by a certain point, I stopped becoming curious about the "whodunnit."  Instead, I was much more interested to know who was next to bite it.  I know, that's a strange thing to say, but it's true.

I will definitely be picking up more Agatha Christie books in the future.


Of all the new-to-me authors I've read in 2016, I really only had so many that were top ten worthy.  But I DO have a few other authors on my list that I liked as well, even though they didn't make it into my top ten list.  Here are the special mention authors: (in no particular order)

-- E.K. Johnston
I have read:  A Thousand Nights
A Thousand Nights was a gem of a book among all the other YA books set in an Arabian Nights type of retelling setting these past couple years.  I'm very happy that I read it and I'm very interested in picking up the next book by E.K. Johnston, in what I recently discovered is now a series.

-- Annelise Ryan
I have read:  Working Stiff, Scared Stiff (Books 1 and 2 of  Mattie Winston Mysteries)
The Mattie Winston Mystery series is fun and interesting.  It also involves a subject I love very much aside from crime and mystery--forensic science.  Mattie Winston is a deputy coroner, and as the series progresses, she also gets to learn more aspects of the forensic aspect of criminal investigation.  I'm not entirely into the "let's embarrass clumsy Mattie" plot device, and feel like it gets overused in the books, but I am still entertained, and that's all that matters, right?

-- Shirley Jackson
I have read:  The Haunting of Hill House, We Have Always Lived in the Castle
The Haunting of Hill House was an excellent book!  Very unexpectedly, I loved it!  Then came We Have Always Lived in the Castle and I become conflicted.  I may pick up another Shirley Jackson book, or I may not.  Either way, she is an excellent writer, and her fame is well-deserved.

-- Simone St. James
I have read:  The Haunting of Maddy Clare
I DO like the setting and the Gothic feel in Maddy Clare.  The characters aren't entirely unique, and the mystery was rather predictable, but the rest of the book was pretty good; enough so that I would pick up the rest of St. James' books at some time.


  1. I like how you formatted this post and showed the covers of the books you read by these authors. I find it interesting to see you read quite a lot of books by some of them. I found some good new to me authors as well this year. I hope to do a post, but not sure yet. One of my favorite reads this year, Pirate Nemesis, was by a new to me author.

    1. Thank you! I like seeing pictures in posts, so while writing a similar post two years ago, I decided to add book covers rather than just list the book names. I had debated between using book covers or a photo of the authors, and in the end decided that I preferred book covers more. :P

      I've read a lot of new to me authors this year where I only read one book by them; however, I DO have this obsession with new authors I end up loving, and will seek out more books written by said author until I get tired of them. The best example would be Jayne Ann Krentz from above! Another author I'd count would be Cindy Gerard--I finished two of her series in one year because I loved her style. She's not listed here because she was new to me two years ago and now she's an author who's books I wait impatiently for every year. lol

      Anyway, if you do write a post, I look forward to reading it! :D