Book ReviewsTop Ten Tuesday

Top 10 New to Me Authors


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday hosted by Broke and Bookish asks for ten authors whose work I read for the first time this year. At first I thought I would struggle to get to 10 but a quick look at my list of reviews and books read shows I had way more than 10. Some of them were Booker prize contenders, others were authors that I’ve heard about a lot through other bloggers. So here is my list of the best….


  • Huraki Murakami: I’d been nervous about Murakami because of his use of magical realism but Norwegian Wood was recommended by a work colleague. Excellent choice that has given me the courage to read something else by this author.
  • Barbara Pym: this is a name thats been on my radar screen for a long time based purely on the number of bloggers I see who enjoy her work. Some Tame Gazelle was a delightful introduction.
  • Elizabeth Strout: I’m not entirely sure how I came across her and read My Name is Lucy Barton. It was certainly before she was shortlisted for the Booker. Some of her backlist has gone on my wishlist as a result.
  • Anne Enright: Irish authors can sometimes overdo the misery but Enright hit just the right note with her Booker prize winning The Gathering 
  • Amelie Nothomb : A Belgian author recommended by a work colleague. Fear and Trembling is actually set in Japan which was her home for many years. A quirky novel about the cultural protocols in that country, particularly as they affect women.
  • Graham Swift:  I finally got around to reading his Booker prize winning novel Last Orders and was taken by his ability to create multi-layered characters.
  • Yoko Ogawa: Another author whose quirky style kept me engaged when I read The Housekeeper and the Professor

And now for three authors that, were it not for the Booker Prize, I wouldn’t have discovered this year. They were all long listed or shortlisted.

  • Ian McGuire:   Superb story telling was on display in The North Water
  • Wyl Menmuir: I read his novella The Many and was bowled over.It’s an atmospheric story that is also a bit of a puzzle.
  • Madeleine Thien: If I say her novel  Do Not Say We Have Nothing should have won the Booker prize, you’ll understand how much I rated this book.



What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

13 thoughts on “Top 10 New to Me Authors

  • so glad you met some of my friends ;-): Murakami, Nothomb, and Ogawa

  • Yikes, another meme… one I’d like to do, but not today or I’ll never deal with the backlog of reviews!
    PS I think it was your review of The Many that prompted me to read it, that was a beaut read.
    PPS Understatement of the Year: “Irish authors can sometimes overdo the misery” (made me remember those five-hankie Frank McCourt books….)

    • My backlog is getting longer every week……
      I’d love to find an Irish authored novel that doesn’t feature lots of rain, lots of tea drinking, a priest and a tortured soul

  • I love Elizabeth Strout’s writing, and greatly enjoy Barbara Pym. (I think Quartet in Autumn is her best.) I’m glad that Madeleine Thien won Canada’s Giller Prize. 🙂

  • Like you I’ve been wary of Murakami, but I think Norwegian Wood will be a good starting place for me. Next year will be the year I finally try him!

    I also plan to read my first Pym, Quartet in Autumn, quite soon.

    Do try Enright’s The Green Road.

    • Ive read the Green Road – some parts of it (the story featuring the gay son and his fears of AIDS) were superb but the resolution of the story was disappointing. I didnt get the motivation of the mother at all

  • Great list – some of whom I’ve read (including a lot of Murakami, and one Enright and one Pym) and some of whom are on the TBR (Swift, Strout and Ogawa). I’ve never heard of Nothomb but she sounds interesting. (Did you review her – you probably did, but I don’t remember all the authors I don’t know, if that makes sense!)

  • Glad to see the Norwegian Wood eased you into Murakami and even more delighted that Elizabeth Strout hit the spot. I wish I could say that I got on with Barbara Pym but in that I’ve failed although I’ve not tried Some Tame Gazelle.

    • I read another by Pym which I thought better than Some Tame Gazelle – it was Quartet in Autumn. Darker than Tame Gazelle


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