Top Ten Tuesday: Auto-read Authors


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.

This week’s topic is auto-buy authors, and truth be told, I don’t have any…  For starters I don’t have a lot of disposable income, and secondly, I have a fabulous library system.  If I’m diligent about getting my holds in, I really don’t have to wait long for books I want to read, and I’m usually able to pick stuff up right around release.  So instead I’ll talk about authors whose new release books are automatically added to my TBR.


Madeline Miller – I still need to read Song of Achilles, (and I already own it, I just haven’t gotten to it yet), but I’d love to see where she goes next.


Sebastien de Castell – I adore his Spellslinger books, and I still need to finish them, but I’m also eagerly waiting for him to get back to adult stuff, because when he writes for an adult audience, stuff gets pretty tense. (Next Release: Crownbreaker (Spellslinger #6), Dec 2019; Our Lady of Blades, ?? – low key freaking out about this one, hadn’t heard of it before right now, I’m okay….).

Borne by Jeff Vandermeer

Jeff VanderMeer – I don’t talk about VanderMeer very often, and weirdly, I wouldn’t qualify him as one of my favorite authors, but his stuff is so unique and so bizarre, that I add everything he writes to my TBR. (Next Release: Dead Astronauts, Jan 2020; A Peculiar Peril, July 2020)


Ann Leckie – She’s another one that I wouldn’t say is a favorite, but she’s also pretty inventive so I’ll keep reading.

Gnomon by Nick Harkaway

Nick Harkaway – Again, I have some catching up to do with Harkaway, but much like Leckie and VanderMeer, Gnomon had such a unique voice, that whenever he gets around to putting out something new, I’ll be there.


Malka Ann Older – I’ve got State Tectonics still on my TBR, and I’m working on the last episodes of Ninth Step Station now, but I love how her world building all feels futuristic, without feeling like I’ll never see it in my lifetime.  (PSA: There is now a second season of Ninth Step, AND The Centenal Cycle books are all on a monthly Kindle deal right now!)


P. Djeli Clark – I’d really love for him to write something longer than a novella!  Something that I could get lost in for a weekend.  Either way- whatever he writes, it’s going on the TBR.


Nnedi Okorafor – Still working my way through her backlist, but at this point anything/everything she writes is going on the TBR. (Next release: LaGuardia, July 30, 2019; Antar: The Black Knight, Nov 2019; Remote Control, Jan 2020)

So that’s eight- and then of course, I have the following obligatory authors that worm their way onto every list:

Ian McDonald, Ada Palmer, Mark Lawrence, Stephen King, Joe Hill and Bernard Cornwell.

Who are your auto-buy/auto-read authors?  Leave me a link below so I can check it out!


Null States by Malka Ann Older


Rating: ★★★★

Null States follows Roz primarily into Darfur. Darfur is a previously Null State (where there were no Information feeds and no microdemocracy existed). They need help getting some of their feeds set up and ensuring the microdemocratic process is running smoothly. On the first day, their head of state is killed in an explosion as Roz and her team are looking on. Roz stays to investigate and assist with a second election for a new head of state.

Meanwhile- Heritage is still reeling from the after effects of their naughty behavior in the previous election. They threaten to secede from the system, at which point the centenals they did win would all become Null States. Mishima, who is doing freelance work, independent of Information, is pulled back in to spy on Heritage.

There is so much more going on in this plot! I don’t want to give everything away so I’ve focused on what I felt were the two primary points.

The feel of this book was much different from Infomocracy. I liked that Older did not stop to rehash the details of her world building (and for that reason I also recommend reading them as closely together as you can).

The action was fairly non-stop. Personally- this detracted a bit from the book for me, and that isn’t something I say often about action oriented books. I will say I think a lot of my feelings about the plot had to do with my mood and the chaos of my work life right now. My wonderful buddy read group absolutely loved this one, but for me it felt like too much to include in a single book. Sometimes the plot threads and the clues were difficult to keep track of.

The characters were excellent. Mishima is the “consummate badass” and her parts were definitely my favorite to follow. We don’t see much of Ken this time around- but I also enjoyed his parts towards the end. He’s presented as almost the exact opposite of Mishima. He doesn’t know any martial arts. He doesn’t carry weapons- but he’s still valuable. He can see things where others might not.

But Roz is the character we spend the most time with. I liked her from book one and was happy to see her in book two. All of these voices feel distinctly different. They all have their own unique personalities and quirks. Where Mishima is cool and confident- Roz often puts on a cool confident face but seems unsure of herself on the inside. I’m excited to see how they come together in State Tectonics.

For the setting- this is less of a world hopping adventure than the first one- but we were taken to places we didn’t get to see in the first book and I liked that we were given the opportunity to see what the world looked like without Information feeds everywhere.

I highly recommend this series for anyone looking for something that feels new and original.