This week Broke and Bookish asked the question, what are your top ten new to you authors you read in 2014. I’ve read quite a few authors for the first time this year, but after much deliberation I’ve narrowed the list down to the following.
One of my favourite books of the year without a doubt is Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaids Tale. It stayed with me for days after. As someone else put to me, “It leaves you with a book hangover”. Definitly an author I shall be reading more of in the future.
I don’t normally read biographies but I found Claire Tomalin’s biography of Nelly Ternan, Dicken’s mistress thoroughly engaging. I know she has written a number of other biographies including one on Jane Austen which I intend to read at some point.
I’m a big Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte fan, on the basis of which I was recommened Elizabeth Gaskell. She is like a cross between Dickens and Austen, combining a witty commentary on the behaviour of the middle and upper classes, while also discussing the social issues of the day. Over the course of the year I’ve read North and South, Cranford, Wives and Daughters and Mary Barton (which has been reviewed on this blog).
4. Anne Bronte
Having read both her sisters I decided recently it was time to give Anne a shot. Sharing traits of both her sisters, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was a reviting read. Charlotte may still be my favourite of the Bronte sisters, but Anne is a close second (Sorry Emily).
5. Hannah Kent
There has been quite a bit of buzz around Hannah Kent’s debut novel Burial Rites, and deservedly so. Kent’s ability to portray a world few of us have any knowledge of is outstanding. I’ve yet to post a review here but it was a solid 4/5 for me. A writer to watch.
6. Andy Weir
Another debut novel generating a lot of excitement is Andy Weir’s The Martian. Originally self published, it was picked up and professionally published. Mark Watney is an engaging and funny narrator even when faced with almost certain death. A well deserved 5/5 and another author to watch.
I read The Son for one of my bookclubs. It’s not the kind of book I would normally pick up, and probably wouldn’t have even considered if it hadn’t been for the bookclub. Meyer’s attention to detail is exceptional. He apparently spent months learning the traditions of the Comanches. I’ve been recommending this book to everyone ever since.
8. Roddy Doyle
The only Irish author on my list, Dubliner Roddy Doyle. His Barrytown Trilogy has been selected for next years One City, One Book. While I was familiar with the film adaptions of his work I had never read the books and decided it was high time. He had me in stiches. I look forward to what will be planned for the One City, One Book festival next April.
Winner of the Orange Prize in 2012, Miller’s The Song of Achilles had been sitting on my shelf for a couple of years. I decided that before the year was out I would read it. A great, well written, enjoyable and easy read about love and true friendship.
10. Dodie Smith
Another book which had been sitting on my shelf taunting me was Smith’s I Capture The Castle. Better known as the author of 101 Dalmatians, Smith conjures up an ethereal world of Cassandra and her bohemian family in this coming of age novel. It kept me captivate to the final sentence.