So we are getting closer to Christmas and it shows in the Top Ten topics as well. Last week, we listed the books we wished Santa to bring us and this week, we’re looking back on 2012 and listing the best new-to-us authors we’ve read this year. Looking back over the year, I think I’ve read some really excellent books, I have read some not so good – and I’ve read books by authors, I haven’t read before or even in some cases, haven’t heard of before. So it was relatively easy for me to put together this list. As always, the Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
- Yiyun Li. The Vagrants was the first book I finished in 2012 and it was amazing. I just looooooved it. It was a wonderful book and it made me feel so sad. Both people and animals are hurt in it but it’s so worth reading. Yiyun Li is definitely an author that I will keep an eye out for.
- Lionel Shriver. We Need To Talk About Kevin freaked me out. It’s one of those books where you stay up reading it because you have to know what happens, you have to finish it – even though you have to get up early in the morning. It was such a nasty read but also very much worth reading.
- Dan Simmons. After finishing Drood, I knew I wanted to read more books by Simmons – especially The Terror because he mentions the story in Drood, and it sounds so fascinating.
- Wilkie Collins. Like Simmons, Collins was part of my Dickens-and-Drood reading this year. I grew to really like both Dickens, Simmons and Collins. The Woman in White is such a good book, I just sat there and read and read and read to finish it and find out what happened and I’m so looking forward to reading The Moonstone.
- Jonathan Carroll. Almost all Carroll’s books sounds amazing. I enjoyed The Ghost in Love so much and I just want to read more, more, more. I think Carroll might end up on my favorite authors list some day in the future!
- Jonathan Safran Foer. Before reading it, I was convinced that Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close would be good, but I had no idea how good. I already own Everything is Illuminated, which is supposed to be even better, and Eating Animals so I hope to get around to reading these next year.
- Mark Helprin. I had never even heard of Mark Helprin before finding Winter’s Tale in a secondhand bookstore. I bought it – and loved it. It’s an incredibly journey you take when you read this novel and the love story and the characters just stay with you afterwards. It’s a huge novel but amazing.
- Ken Follett. Of course I had heard of Ken Follett before. Over and over and over. And I really had no desire to read anything by him but a friend had gifted me The Pillars of the Earth years ago so this year, I challenged myself to actually read it. And guess what, I loved it! Despite a weak ending, the novel was so so good and I’m hoping on Santa bringing me World Without End this year.
- Iris Murdoch. A friend challenged me to read Murdoch’s The Message to the Planet – and I liked it quite a bit. It’s a novel that makes you think and challenges you and I think some of Murdoch’s other novels will do so even more. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more by her.
- Victor Hugo. Les Misérables is one of those classic novels which are rather intimidating. But I had challenged myself to reading it this year and it was an amazing book. It’s huuuuuge but the story of the two lost souls at the center of the book is just beautiful. Hugo can write about sewers in a way that makes you think it the most pretty poetry. Sometimes you feel he has completely lost it but he always manages to bring it all together. And he’s even funny at times.
The Terror is excellent! Drood is on my TBR list, it’s fun to know it’s mentioned!
I have a serious crush on Jonathan Safran Foer, although I hear he’s a douche in real life. I had to read The Woman in White in college and hated it; maybe I should give it a reread.
Really? He’s a douche? That’s so hard to imagine. What have you heard about him?
You’ve got a lot of great stuff here! I picked up The Woman in White at a used book sale this year — maybe I’ll finally get to it. Flashback by Dan Simmons was scary and intense in all the right ways. And I know what you mean about Victor Hugo — I read it years ago, was amazed by how fascinating sewers and convents could be, among other things. Huge book, but I was totally hooked! I’ve been wanting to read The Ghost In Love — I read The Bones of The Moon last year, and thought it was weird and wonderful.
Dan Simmons ripped off Fairyland and he should feel bad.
Oops, I copied and pasted someone else’s link (how embarrassing!) Here’s the right one My TTT
We Need to Talk About Kevin is at the top of my neglected contemporary classics list for next year. I’m terrified but I have to know. Here’s mine:
I was hoping that some of these authors would be new to me this year, too, but I didn’t get to those books. I’ll be reading them next year, for sure!
Yes to Lionel Shriver! Her other books are a bit odd and haunting as well. I read Game Control…wierd.
This is such a great list! I had to mention Shriver in mine too, fantastic writer!
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close was one of my favourite books last year. Great list! I’ll have to check out some of these authors soon.
– Audrey @ Her Fiction Fix
Foer sounds intriguing so will likely end up with that on my wish list. I just couldn’t get into We Need to Talk about Kevin (didn’t get far with the film version either). But Wilkie Collins is right up there on my list of favourites.
I have yet to read We Need to Talk about Kevin, I want to, but I’m afraid of it…it doesn’t make sense. I will eventually get to it.
I completely forgot about Jonathan Safran Foer on my list. I read the book earlier in the year and loved it. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is on my favorite reads list of 2012,