Top New-To-Me Authors I Read For the First Time In 2016

Top Ten Tuesday2

This is my first blog post in December (yay, the snowfall is back) because I’ve been on an unintentional hiatus the past few weeks due to work and real life getting in the way. Also, my laptop has been acting up so I haven’t been able to go online on it that much. I’ve been updating Litsy (I’m Chachic over there) and Instagram a lot because I can do that on my phone. But I couldn’t let this week pass by without participating in Top Ten Tuesday because I’ve done this topic in previous years (2015, 2014, 2013). As always, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. These are the books that introduced me to authors I was delighted to discover this year:

Monstress Amulet The Stonekeeper a-darker-shade-of-magic a-promise-of-fire The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

fresh-romance Act Like It In the Middle of Somewhere the-hating-game romancing-the-duke

Looks like I have a pretty good mix of both fantasy and romance! It has been a pleasure reading these titles and for some of these authors, I’ve read some of their other books after being introduced to their writing. For the debut authors, I’m eagerly anticipating their next releases. What about you, who are the authors you’ve loved who were introduced to you this year?

Top New-To-Me Authors I Read For the First Time In 2015

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. I did this topic in 2013 and 2014 so of course, I wanted to do it again this year! I think it’s always fun to take a look at my shelves to see who have been my new discoveries over the past year. I’ve divided my list into genres and categories, and the book covers link to my review (if I’ve written one):

YA speculative fiction:
Bone Gap Archivist Wasp Illuminae Six of Crows
Laura Ruby
Nicole Kornher-Stace
Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff
Leigh Bardugo

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Graphic novels:
Nimona Rat Queens Vol 1 Sass and Sorcery
Noelle Stevenson
Kurtis J. Wiebe (author) and Roc Upchurch (illustrator)

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YA contemporary fiction:
I'll Meet You There
Heather Demetrios

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Filipino contemporary fiction:
Choco Chip Hips Loveless Childless Clueless
Agay Llanera
Miren B. Flores

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Kiddie board book – as a gift to my godsons!
All the World
Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee (illustrator)
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I’m definitely interested in reading more books from all of the authors in this list. I think my list has a pretty good mix of genres and categories. I’m glad I have more spec fic discoveries this year because that’s one genre I wanted to read more of. How about you, who are some of the awesome authors you’ve discovered this year? Would you have recommendations for me based on the authors on my list?

Top Ten Tuesday: My Most Read Authors

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. For this week’s topic, I extracted my Goodreads database, did a pivot table and sorted the numbers to get the top ten:
Author Count - August 2015
Pretty eclectic list of authors right there! I didn’t even know some of the authors above had written that many books. I went and checked Goodreads and the numbers don’t lie.

But that list doesn’t take into consideration the number of books that have been published by the author. For example, there are some authors who have published less than ten books (the cut off for the list above) but I’ve read most, if not all, of those titles. Such as:

Melina Marchetta
Megan Whalen Turner
Laini Taylor
Kristin Cashore
Stephanie Perkins
Erin Bow
Elizabeth Wein (all except her latest)
Julie James (all except her latest)

So that extends my list a bit further than just ten but I wanted to be more accurate. Do we share anyone in our lists? Would you have recommendations for me based on this list of authors?

Ten Authors I REALLY Want to Meet

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Living in Southeast Asia means there aren’t a lot of opportunities for me to meet authors in person. There aren’t that many authors who travel to this part of the world but I was given the chance, there are certain authors I would love to meet in person.

Favorite authors I’ve hosted blog events for:

Megan Whalen Turner (Queen’s Thief Week) – Hands down one of my favorite authors of all time, I would just want to bask in her brilliant presence. No need to even speak or anything like that.

Elizabeth Wein (EWein Special Ops) – I have been an EWein fan since I discovered her Lion Hunters series (years before Code Name Verity came out) and I’ve exchanged emails with her from time to time. She is such an awesome person, I think it would be wonderful to have a face to face conversation with her.

Laura Florand (Amour et Florand) – I don’t know how she does it but Laura is so friendly and responsive to her fans! She’s another favorite author of mine whom I’ve had the good fortune of connecting with online. It would be great to chat with her in person and ask questions about her books and the research that goes into her writing (e.g. traveling to Paris and Grasse and meeting artisan chocolatiers and perfumers).

Melina Marchetta (Marchetta Madness) – Of course I would love to meet the Queen of Aussie YA! Jellicoe Road opened my eyes to the wonderful world of contemporary YA novels, it was the book that convinced me to try more from this genre.

Friendly authors I’ve interacted with through social media and would love to see face to face:
Rachel Neumeier
Andrea K. Host

Authors I would love to attend signings or book events of (they have no idea I exist so I’d be happy with seeing them from afar or getting a book signed):
Robin McKinley
Kristin Cashore
Ilona Andrews
Liza Palmer

Authors I Would Love to Meet

In relation to this topic, I also wanted to enumerate ten bloggers I would be delighted to meet in person:
Holly of Book Harbinger
Angie of Angieville
Nomes of Inkcrush
Janice of Specfic Romantic
Brandy of Random Musings of a Bibliophile
Maureen of By Singing Light
Shae of Shae Has Left the Room
Sandy of Pirate Penguin Reads
Heidi of Bunbury in the Stacks
Flannery of The Readventurer

What about you, who are the authors or bloggers you’d love to meet in person?

Author Matchmaker: Liza Palmer and Laura Florand

So this conversation happened on Twitter:

I love several things about this conversation on Twitter because
– I’m excited for these two new releases. I’ve finished Once Upon a Rose and loved it. Currently in the middle of Girl Before a Mirror.
– it’s always awesome when authors respond to readers on social media
– it’s great when favorite authors read each other’s work

Just something random to be happy about this week. 🙂 Have you had a similar experience with some of your favorite authors on social media?

Top New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014

I wanted to participate in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic: New-to-Me Authors in 2014 but I’ve been having long days at work lately and I haven’t been able to open my laptop to blog. I did this topic last year and you can see my list here. Since I still want to talk about authors I discovered this year, I’m just going to go ahead and list them even if it’s already Saturday in this part of the world (yay for blogging without pressure).

Open Road Summer with Marina Bay Sands in the background

Open Road Summer with Marina Bay Sands in the background

Susanna Kearsley – I’m glad I finally got to read a Susanna Kearsley novel this year, she’s been on my radar for a while now. I found The Winter Sea a lovely read and I’m looking forward to the rest of her books.

Sarina BowenThe Ivy Series is such an excellent new adult series set in a fictional Ivy League college. I devoured all the books one right after the other and they all have such swoon-worthy romances. Can’t wait for the next installment in the series!

Emery Lord – Emery Lord’s debut novel Open Road Summer is good read that has some of my favorite things in a YA book: road trips, strong friendships, music and (of course!) slow burn romance.

Virginia Kantra – I’m still working on a review for the Dare Island series but I want to take this opportunity to recommend Virginia Kantra’s books to fans of contemporary romance. It’s a great series with a cozy island setting and I loved the strong ties of the Fletcher family.

Rosamund Hodge – I found Cruel Beauty an interesting retelling of Beauty and the Beast and can’t wait to read more from this author.

Linnea SinclairGames of Command was a satisfying sci-fi romance and I’m glad it’s a standalone novel. I’m curious about this author’s other books.

Matcha soy milk with Virginia Kantra's ebooks

Matcha soy milk with Virginia Kantra’s ebooks

There were also some new-to-me authors whom I’ve tried and wasn’t really impressed with but I’m willing to try the rest of their books because other readers have been so enthusiastic about them. Let’s see if I change my mind about them. These authors are:

Mhairi McFarlane
Stacia Kane
E. Lockhart

What about the rest of you, who are some of your favorite discoveries this year?

Top Ten Underrated Authors in Epic Fantasy

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. I think epic fantasy is becoming more of a trend lately because I have seen other bloggers raving about recently published novels that they’ve loved. I’ve tried some of them but unfortunately, I didn’t think they were as strong as some of my favorite epic fantasy books. So for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, I wanted to focus on one of the genres that I love. Some of the epic fantasy authors I think more readers should check out:

Megan Whalen Turner – I think I’ve made it pretty clear how much I love MWT’s books. I know it’s gotten a bit more attention from authors and bloggers in the past few years but I still don’t think it’s enough!

Robin McKinley – I love Robin McKinley’s lyrical writing style and how her books have a fairy tale feel to them (of course, some of them are fairy tale retellings). My favorites are The Blue Sword, Beauty and Pegasus.

Diana Wynne Jones – I haven’t read all of DWJ’s books but I’ve really enjoyed the ones that I have. I wish I discovered her novels much sooner. I loved Howl’s Moving Castle and also enjoyed the Hayao Miyazaki film adaptation of it.

Sherwood Smith – I think Sherwood Smith writes fun adventure stories and I also love the slow burn romances in her books. I need to catch up on her books because I haven’t read her more recent releases. My favorites of hers are Crown Duel and the Sasharia en Garde duology.

Kristin Cashore – I recently reread Graceling and Fire for a book club discussion and I was reminded of how beautiful Kristin Cashore’s writing is. Strong female protagonists, wonderful worldbuilding and love stories I could root for.

Meg BurdenNorthlander and The King Commands are seriously underrated novels that they’re now out of print. I really enjoyed reading them and I wish they would get more attention. Also hoping that Meg Burden will publish more books.

Andrea K. Host – AKHost is a fairly recent discovery for me, I read and loved her Touchstone trilogy (YA sci fi) and Medair duology (epic fantasy) earlier this year and I’ve been itching to reread them. I’ve been recommending her books to anyone who will listen.

Rachel Neumeier – I thought House of Shadows was a really good read and I’ve been meaning to read The Floating Islands for a while now! I like that Rachel’s books are standalones, which is rare for the genre.

Frances Hardinge – I thought both A Face Like Glass and The Lost Conspiracy were amazing and I feel like Frances Hardinge is a reliable author when it comes to epic fantasy. These two books are also standalones so you can start with either of them.

Juliet Marillier – Another author I need to catch up on since she has several books that I still haven’t read. I highly recommend her Sevenwaters series, Daughter of the Forest and Son of the Shadows are brilliant works of fiction.

Have you read any of these authors? Would you have recommendations for me that would have similar writing to these authors?

Authors I Should Read

Authors to read

I wanted to participate in last Tuesday’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Brooke and the Bookish) with the topic of “Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling Me That I MUST Read” but unfortunately, I missed it. I fell asleep earlier than usual that night instead of working on a blog post. But I really like the topic so I wanted to do a spin off. Instead of books, I wanted to talk about authors that have been broadly and specifically recommended for me.

Mary Renault – This particular author was brought to my attention when Elizabeth Wein recommended it for Megan Whalen Turner (MWT) fans in her guest post for Queen’s Thief Week. I have copies of both The King Must Die and The Bull from the Sea in my TBR pile.

Dorothy Sayers – Here’s another author who has been recommended several times for MWT fans, especially the books about Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. I’ve read Strong Poison but it didn’t have that much of an impact with him. I do have copies of Have His Carcase, Gaudy Night and Busman’s Honeymoon and I just need to find time to read them.

Connie Willis – I can’t even remember how many people have recommended this author’s time travel books. I’ve had a copy of To Say Nothing of the Dog for a while not but I heard that it would be better to start with the duology Blackout and All Clear.

Simmone Howell – I haven’t read any of this author’s books but I’ve heard that Girl Defective is an amazing Aussie YA novel so I got a copy of it late last year when a friend passed by Singapore from Australia.

Guy Gavriel Kay – So many fantasy fans have recommended this author’s work and I still haven’t read any of his books. I have copies of Tigana and the first two Fionavar books but just haven’t been in the mood for them. Especially Tigana, which is such a doorstopper.

Susanna Kearsley – I’ve seen other bloggers give positive reviews for this author’s books and that has made me curious. My friedn Heidi of Bunbury in the Stacks very kindly sent me a signed copy of The Winter Sea so I can start with that.

Genevieve Valentine – I’ve seen several bloggers (such as Ana of The Book Smugglers and Maureen of By Singing Light) rave about The Girls at the Kingfisher Club on Twitter so I’m very curious about it.

Virginia Kantra – I know my good friend Brandy of Random Musings of a Bibliophile loves Virginia Kantra’s books (which has been recommended by our favorite author Laura Florand). I grabbed a copy of Carolina Man back when it was on sale and it’s just waiting in my Kindle.

Kelly Hunter – Another Laura Florand recommendation! She mentioned that Kelly Hunter is a romance author who has written books with great dialogue, set in Singapore and Hong Kong. She recommended that I start with Wife for a Week, which is the first in a series about the Bennett family. Li of Me and My Books seconded the recommendation when I mentioned it on Twitter.

Joann Sfar – This is actually a bit funny since I found out about this graphic novel author through Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (which I still need to review). The two MCs are fans of his work and that made me curious. I’ve checked in a bookstore here and his books aren’t available in Singapore.

I hope I’ll be able to put a dent on this list before the year ends. I’ll keep the rest of you posted. Care to share authors who would be included in your must read/highly recommended list?

#ArmchairBEA 2014: Author Interaction

ArmchairBEA 2014

Let’s talk interacting with authors IRL (in real life) or online. This is your opportunity to talk about your favorite author readings that you have attended. Or, you can feature your favorite author fan moment (i.e., an author sent you a tweet or commented on your blog). Maybe you even want to share how your interactions have changed since becoming a blogger or share your own tips that you have learned along the way when interacting with authors as a blogger.

I love this topic! Because as an avid reader, I’m a bigger fan of authors than celebrities or rock stars. I love that blogging has let me interact with authors both in real life and online. As a blogger, I’ve been constantly amazed at how friendly and approachable some authors are. Some of my favorite author moments are when they:

Reply to tweets, emails and blog posts – It always makes my day when an author replies to my tweets or emails or even comments on a blog post. Or when they retweet a review that I’ve written.

Write guest posts for my blog – I am always happy to host guest posts on the blog because I feel like it spices things up to have someone else share their thoughts in this space. Whenever I ask an author for a guest post and he or she says yes, I’m usually in a state of disbelief that someone who writes books for a living would be willing to write for my blog. I’m super thankful that they’re willing to do that.

Read books I recommended – During the rare times that an author picked up a book based on my recommendation, I felt that it was a huge compliment because they were willing to give a book that I liked a try.

Rose Under Fire US edition

Send me signed copies of books – The authors of the books I read don’t usually come to Singapore (or even to Manila back when I was based there) so I only have a handful of signed copies of books. I get really excited whenever I get a signed copy of a book because they’re not so easy to obtain. I feel like these signed copies are prized possessions!

Include me in the acknowledgments section of the book – I can count in one hand the number of times that this has happened and it’s such a lovely feeling to see your name in print like that.

It hasn’t happened yet and I don’t know if it ever will since I don’t think I write the kind of reviews that get quoted, but I would love to have a blurb of mine included in a book. What about the rest of you, care to share how you’ve interacted with authors as a book blogger?

Authors and Book Bloggers with Good Behavior

Roald Dahl quote

Image from Tumblr.

Shae of Shae Has Left the Room (formerly known as Bookshelvers Anonymous) has chosen to focus on authors and bloggers with good behavior by compiling a list of them on her blog. I think it’s great to look on the positive aspects of interacting with authors and other readers instead of all the issues and drama that has been peppering the blogosphere lately. I know I’ve said this before but I just wanted to say that I try to stay away from drama because I want to keep my blog a happy place. I thought it would be a good idea to come up with my own list.

I think of authors as rock stars and I feel like one of the perks of being a book blogger is getting to interact with authors. I’m continually amazed at how nice and friendly some of them are, responding to tweets and emails about their books or even going the extra mile by sending a signed copy. Some of them are active bloggers themselves, talking about their writing process or how they promote their books. Sometimes, they even provide free content on their blog (snippets and short stories) as a way of reaching out to their fans. Most authors (probably all?) are also readers and I love getting recommendations from them. I put together a list of awesome authors, which is in no way comprehensive. I’ll probably remember to add someone after I publish this post. Oh and I feel a bit guilty about this but I thought I should mention that I haven’t even read the books of some of the authors I’ve interacted with – I’ll try to get to them soon! In alphabetical order:

Chris Mariano
Chrissie Peria
Elizabeth Fama
Elizabeth Wein
Francisco Stork
Hazel Osmond
Ilona Andrews
Julie James
Laura Florand
Liza Palmer
Mary Ann Rivers
Meg Burden
Megan Whalen Turner
Melina Marchetta
Mina V. Esguerra
Nicola Moriarty
Rachel Neumeier
Robin McKinley
Ruthie Knox
Sarah Rees Brennan
Shannon Hale
Sherwood Smith
Tessa Bailey

Mary GrandPre

Artwork by Mary GrandPré

One of the reasons why I love being a book blogger is getting in touch with fellow readers and book bloggers. I may not visit or comment on other book blogs as much as I would like but if I had all the time in the world to browse online, I would visit these blogs:

Alex of A Girl, Books and Other Things
Alexa of Alexa Loves Books
Allison of The Allure of Books
Ana and Thea of The Book Smugglers
Angie of Angieville
April of Good Books and Good Wine
Brandy of Random Musings of a Bibliophile
Capillya of That Cover Girl
Charlotte of Charlotte’s Library
Estara (who doesn’t have a blog but I wanted to include her in the list)
Flannery, Catie and Tatiana of The Readventurer
Heidi of Bunbury in the Stacks
Holly of Book Harbinger
Jamie of Perpetual Page Turner
Janice of Specfic Romantic
Jo of Wear the Old Coat
Kristen of Fantasy Café
Laura and Donna of Bitching, Books and Baking
Li of Bookdaze
Maggie and Noelle of Young Adult Anonymous
Maja of The Nocturnal Library
Mandee of The Bookish Manicurist
Maureen of By Singing Light
Michelle of See Michelle Read
Nomes of Inkcrush
Reynje of Wordchasing
Sandy of Pirate Penguin’s Reads
Shae of Shae Has Left the Room
Steph of Steph Su Reads
Tin of Rabbitin
Tina of I Like It Dog-eared
Wendy Darling of The Midnight Garden

Like I said, this is not a comprehensive list and I’d like to apologize in advance to anyone I might have forgotten to include. I like highlighting nice authors and bloggers like the ones mentioned here as a way of saying thank you to everyone who has been so wonderful. You guys make blogging worth all the effort. 🙂

Let’s spread the good will, who are some of the authors and bloggers you are thankful for?