Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
10. Elizabeth Bear – In 2018 I read my first Elizabeth Bear book. She’s a fairly prolific author, dabbling in both sci-fi and fantasy, and every book description I have read of her’s sound incredibly original and creative. The book I read was Carnival (review here). Carnival was pretty complex and very confusing at times, but I really loved the world building and I’m looking forward to reading more from her.
9. Nick Harkaway – I read Harkaway’s Gnomon last year and I’m still not sure what to make of it. I will say that I think Harkaway is really, truly, incredibly brilliant. He does not spoon feed his readers. It’s sink or swim. But Gnomon puts a very different feel on the tried and true dystopian genre. It felt a lot like a 1984 retelling wrapped up in a murder mystery plot. I am both excited and dreading reading another book from this author. (Review for Gnomon here.)
8. Pat Barker – I’d never heard of Pat Barker until I heard about The Silence of the Girls. This book, though it wasn’t quite a five star read, has haunted me the past few months. I can’t get it out of my head, and I feel like that’s the true marker of a great book, one that stays with you. I do hope I can check out some of Barker’s other work. Unfortunately, I might be waiting a while because so far all I’ve really seen from her is WWI fiction, and that’s a period of time I tend to avoid when reading.
7. P. Djeli Clark – I read the novella The Black God’s Drums in the fall, and absolutely fell in love with the characters, the world building, and the setting. Clark is releasing a new novella in February called The Haunting of Tram Car 015 and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I would love to see what he can do with a full length novel.
6. John Kessel – Kessel is the author of The Moon and the Other which I read last spring. I think this would make an excellent book club read because there was just so much to dissect and discuss. I am planning to read Frankenstein this year (for the first time!) and it looks like he has written a Frankenstein retelling called Pride and Prometheus. I hope I get a chance to check it out (especially since Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favorites.
5. Nnedi Okorafor – I read Okorafor’s Akata Witch last year and I think it was a great way to be introduced to her. The content wasn’t too dark (and I understand that her adult novels feature some trigger heavy content) and yet the novel didn’t feel too young for me to enjoy. The world building was phenomenal and the characters likable. I have added Akata Warrior to my TBR and also went on to read Lagoon last year and enjoyed that one also.
4. Madeline Miller – My review of Circe is fairly recent so I won’t rehash all the details, but I did love Miller’s writing, will heartily recommend her, and definitely be reading her other work.
3. Mary Robinette Kowal – One of my favorite reads of the year was Kowal’s The Calculating Stars. It’s a science fiction story that I think could be enjoyed by almost everyone. Although I didn’t enjoy The Fated Sky as much, I’m still eagerly looking forward to reading more about The Lady Astronaut of Mars.
2. Ian McDonald – Two of my favorite reads last year were written by Ian McDonald: New Moon and Wolf Moon. I rated them both four stars, but I’d give the series as a whole five stars. (Don’t ask I’m strange.) The series is so incredibly epic, with a huge cast of characters, political intrigue, sexual and racial diversity, I recommend it to everyone I can. Book three is due out this year and I can’t wait!
1. Jo Walton – She is the only new-to-me author with three books on my read list. I read her Thessaly series this year and devoured all three of them within a month. It’s a genre bender, containing aspects of mythology, fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction and philosophy. I’ve been nervous to try some of her other work because I’m not sure anything else could live up to the expectations set by this series, but I’ll get there. (Reviews for books one, two and three.)
Honorable mentions (in no particular order) to: Malka Ann Older, Carrie Vaughn, Brian K. Vaughan, Jeff VanderMeer, Ann Leckie, Mira Grant/Seanan Mcguire, and Susanna Kearsley, whose work was also outstanding.
What about you? Who made your list? Leave me a comment below and I’ll be sure to come check them out!