AWESOME Authors I Discovered in 2017 *and* Am Looking Forward to Reading More From

Technically this was a Top Ten Tuesday topic… buuut it’s not this week’s, so this is a fail 😉 Ah well, pish posh, who cares about rules when it comes to sharing great books? I certainly don’t. And I really wanted to do this topic, because there’s nothing I like more than talking about AWESOMENESS (aside from griping about suckfests… moving on…). Besides, it was this or talk about *nothing* for Nothing Day (yes that’s a thing to, happy Nothing Day everybody!)

Anyhoo enough rambling- gonna try to not repeat myself too much from my best of 2017 post, although it can’t be entirely avoided 😉 Here’s some amazing authors I discovered in 2017:

solzhenitsyn

Solzhenitsyn– I’m beginning to sound a lot like a broken record when it comes to the Gulag, but that’s not the only book I read by Solzhenitsyn last year. I started off my journey into the Siberian wastes with One Day in the Life of Ivan Densovitch and that motivated me to continue reading. Speaking of Siberia…

ruta sepetys

Ruta Sepetys– WOW what a writer. Of the two books I read by her last year, I preferred Salt to the Sea to Between Shades of Grey, but either way her stories pulled me in and were impossible to forget. There’s no question that I want to read more by this author.

murder-on-the-orient-express-agatha-christie

Agatha Christie– two things happened on my blog last year relating to Christie: 1) I announced that I had zero intention of reading her work and… 2) I actually read her work. I have since seen the error of my ways and plan to read more soon 😉

ice twins

S. K. Tremayne– gosh Tremayne reminded me reignited my zest for thrillers… I have to read MORE!

alan partridge

“Alan Partridge”– I read two books by “Alan Partridge” last year- I don’t think I’ve ever laughed at a book so much. It’s easy for me to say, considering that there are hilarious (yet totally mundane) asides on getting a car into gear in these books, that Steve Coogan could literally put out *anything* for this character and I’ll read it.

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Robin Hobb– it took me long enough but I finally read Assassin’s Apprentice last year! And as some of you may know, I was so blown away it that I ended up going a little crazy, reading both the Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies in one go… Yeah, it’s no wonder I got a bit Hobbed out by the end of my massive binge. Still, though my appetite may have been dampened temporarily, I want to *jump right back up on that horse* and continue reading in 2018!

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Mark Lawrence– I read a very respectable 4 books by Lawrence last year and they were all fantastic fantasies- now I want MORE… Lucky for me Grey Sister is out this year 😉

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Ed McDonald– Blackwing was certainly one of the best debuts I’ve ever read- WOWEE- you can make a safe bet that I want to read the next one!

bear and the nightingale

Katherine Arden– what list about 2017 would be complete without Arden? You all know by now how much I loved Bear and the Nightingale (if not, hi nice to meet you, I’m the Orangutan Librarian and I loved this book). So naturally I’ll be reading and reviewing Girl in the Tower soon- watch this space.

snow child

Eowyn Ivey– gorgeously atmospheric and beautifully written- I adored how this was a fairytale retelling woven together with a historical setting. I will definitely have an eye out for her other books!

Phew- managed to only repeat 3 from my top ten! Have you read any of these? What’s the best author you discovered in 2017? Let me know in the comments!

Salt to the Sea Took Me On A Journey

salt to the seaOkay, I’m not gonna take a roundabout route here: I absolutely loved this book.

While I enjoyed Between Shades of Grey, I didn’t actually end up loving it as I hoped (perhaps it was overshadowed for me by Solzhenitsyn’s Ivan Densovitch– but more on that another time). But this book… this book blew me away!

Like Between Shades of Grey, the writing was stunning and the build-up in action was perfect. But what really sold me on this book was how much I connected with characters and felt like I was taken on a journey with them, discovering who they were and what made them tick. I have read other books that have tried to make personalities, in similar circumstances, as swoon worthy and incredible as these characters- but so few actually succeed in making something that resembles both the heroic and the human. I salute Sepetys for her success here- it is such a rare feat and deserves applause!! Plus- and I have to mention it- there was a wonderful little Easter egg that linked the characters in Salt to the Sea with the ones in Between Shades of Grey (you won’t be getting any spoilers from me though- see if you can spot it yourself!)

Of course, the subject matter is intense and serious, just as Between Shades of Grey is, and I truly admire Sepetys for educating people on so many important issues. So, yes, librarians out there (and not just us apes with an abundance of bananas on the internet) stock up your libraries- because this is worth investing in.

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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 So have you read any of Sepetys work? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!