Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. Last week I accidentally mixed up July 2nd and July 9th’s dates. Whoops.
This is such a hard prompt. Mostly because I’m cheap, and also because I’m very picky. So I suppose I’m going to add a sub title to the prompt: Auto Buy Authors: Or, Those Authors Whose ARCs and Library Books I Jump Onto Right Away, and Short of Finding Copies There, Purchase the Book. Much catchier. Just rolls off the tongue.
Back in the day, I used to try to purchase an entire author’s collection, either all the books they wrote or everything in a series (*cough* Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey *cough cough*), until I realized that I 1) outgrew the series 2) my asshole brother kept stealing my books and 3) moving a lot means moving the books and books are really heavy. After the third move, my wife threw up her hands and said No More. Now we pay movers or bribe her coworkers with pizza and beer.
Do I have fewer books than I used to? I guess? I still have a lot, but I also use the shit out of my local libraries (yes, that is a plural) and also NetGalley and Edelweiss. I really only buy a book when I either loved it so much I might reread it in the future or if I couldn’t snag and ARC and my library isn’t going to purchase it—and even then I might just buy the ebook depending on the price.
So the list, since I’m rambling in explaining my methodology. Many of these authors don’t have an extensive bibliography, because I probably won’t like everything someone puts out (e.g., loved The Light Brigade, was meh about The Stars are Legion, likewise with the Vorkosigan series—my favorite!—vs the Sharing Knife).
For real this time!
I just finished With the Fire on High and loved it, and I also loved the very different The Poet X. I don’t own these, but maybe I will (at least The Poet X)? Either way, Acevedo is one of my auto-read authors. Her writing is absolutely magical. I’ll be eagerly anticipating her next release.
After reading the underwhelming but still good King of Scars, I came to this conclusion: holy shit I will read anything she puts out even if it’s scribbled on a napkin. Her writing has matured considerably since Shadow and Bone, and while she can take a while with the set up, her endings are always spectacular.
I’m a longtime Mercy Thompson fan, and while lots of series tend to devolve in quality as they go on, this one has just kept upping the ante. I also love the Alpha and Omega series too, which is the companion series to Mercy—pretty much everything in this world. I own her earlier works as well, although I don’t like them as much. If you’re looking to step your toe into urban fantasy land, Moon Called is where to start.
I LOVE the Green Rider series. Yup, still a fan even after the weird steampunk shit that went down in Mirror Sight. Although I’ve read some things about the author had has made me lose some respect for her, I’ll still continue reading this series to the end. Whenever that end is. At a 3-5 year wait between books, I’m in it for the long haul.
Sarah Lyons Fleming
Until the End of the World and The City trilogies are my favorite zombie books, hands down. As an indie author, there is no way I can find her books at my library, and I have no qualms whatsoever about snatching up each new book because they are all so damn good. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.
The Insignia trilogy is one of those incredibly underrated YA sci-fi dystopias where I just scratch my head and try to figure out why people slept on this series and gobbled up shit like Divergent instead. Maybe it was the fact that the MC was a boy. I dunno. But she bowled me over again with Diabolic, and I need book three so badly! The constantly pushed back publication dates are making me antsy. I need to know how it ends!
Lancaster is another indie author, and currently has two books published out of a promised quartet, but the Stariel series has quickly jumped to one of my all-time favorite fantasy series. I just love the atmosphere, the setting and the main character, Hetta. Everything about it. This is one of the few books where I bought the ebook and then also the hardcopy (the author graciously gave me an ARC for book two, which didn’t affect my review in any way).
Another author where I don’t buy the books but belly flop onto the library copy like no tomorrow. She writes standalone historical fiction generally set in the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries, usually with Chinese heroines (although The Secret of a Heart Note is a contemporary and just delightful). Her books are filled with people of color and she tells stories of those who are usually forgotten in American history. Her latest book, The Downstairs Girl, is one that I am absolutely dying to read.
It’s not too often that I just connect with an author’s writing style, but holy fuck have I fallen hard for Rogerson’s lyrical writing. It reminds me of early Garth Nix or other pre-Twilight YA authors, and I just get serious nostalgia vibes from her writing. I adored An Enchantment of Ravens (she was on my auto-read list after that), but Sorcery of Thorns is one of my favorite books of all time. It happened. It cracked my top 10 YA books. It’s that good. Also, if you enjoyed Sorcery of Thorns, A.J. Lancaster’s writing has a comparable feel? More NA/adult but very similar.
N.K. Jemisin (I haven’t read everything of hers yet—damn she has a lot of stuff—but she’s so good!), Linsday Buroker (I used to buy everything, but then didn’t like some of her stuff and she also writes faster than I can read), Mary Robinette Kowal, Robin McKinley (love her early work, not so much the recent stuff), Lois McMaster Bujold (anything Vorkosiverse, still need to read the Desdemona novellas, but still scarred by the Sharing Knife), Marissa Meyer (so long as it’s not a villain origin story, I’m good), Holly Black (love her recent works, less so her earlier stuff), Martha Wells (Murderbot!!), P. Djèlí Clark (alternate history Cairo, steampunk and djinns!) and Casey McQuiston (yes, yes, she’s only got the one so far, but that one was spectacular).