Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme that was started by The Broke and Bookish and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists (something I share) and each week participants come up with a list of ten(ish) things based on a theme.
The theme for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday is Bookish Discoveries I Made in 2019. I have to admit I seriously struggled with this week’s topic. There were just too many things to choose from, authors, books, blogs, publishers, bookish merch… I’ve therefore gone with a sort of scattergun approach of slightly random stuff that caught my attention during 2019. I apologize in advance…
I could quite easily fill the whole top ten with author’s I discovered during 2019 but I really wanted to include some other stuff so I’ll just go with the standouts. 2019 was the year when I finally picked up books by Jay Kristoff and Brandon Sanderson. I’ve had their books on my shelf for ages but with the hype around them kept putting them off. Having now finally read them I can confirm that all of the hype is 100% justified. Both Skyward and the Nevernight trilogy were in my fave books of the year.
Samantha Downing and Beth O’Leary also seriously impressed me with their debut books My Lovely Wife and The Flatshare putting them very squarely on my “must look out for books by” list. Also on that list are Will Carver, Antti Tuomainen, Doug Johnstone and pretty much every author on Orenda Book’s list. Their books are just so original and different.
Every year I make a half hearted attempt at the Popsugar Challenge and every year I probably only manage to fill around half the prompts but it does almost always lead to some kind of discovery and a broadening of my reading. In 2019 that discover was new genres. I seriously had no idea that cli-fi and LitRPG were even a thing but apparently they are. I will admit to not being so keen on LitRPG (I found Ready Player One kind of boring) but I am liking cli-fi (probably due to my love of dystopians and post apocalypse stories)
New Book Festivals
I love a good bookish event, particularly when it’s genre fiction so was very excited for the very first Cymera festival in Edinburgh in June 2019. Over the weekend there were around 70 science fiction, fantasy and horror writers including Victoria Schwab, Claire North, Ben Aaronovitch and Adrian Tchaikovsky.
I was volunteering at the event so I didn’t get to see a huge number of authors (I was selling tickets in the box office) but the events I did make it to were brilliant and with it being the first year it wasn’t too crazy. I did get to chat to a few authors, publicists etc as they stopped into reception, and had a fantastic if somewhat stressful time (why do printers hate me). I also discovered that Anna Smith Spark has the best shoes ever.
Also last year was the first ever Capital Crime festival in London. I didn’t manage to make it as it was a little too close to the Bloody Scotland Festival but the programme looked incredible. There’s a strong possibility I’ll be wandering my way down there this year.
When I was younger I used to absolutely love Choose Your Own Adventure books so I was very excited to see them making something of a comeback in 2019 with some adult versions. I read a couple of them during the year, mostly would you survive a zombie apocalypse style stories (I would not), and had a lot of fun. The absolute highlight of the year CYOA wise however was Susan Dennard’s Twitter CYOA, the Luminaries. Every day for 6 months hive mind Winnie (aka around 2000 followers) made some incredibly poor decisions in a story full of magic, romance and adventure. It was hands down the best thing on Twitter even if we did spend around a fortnight in a garage trying to decide whether to take a dirt bike or a car.
I finally picked up the Nevernight trilogy by Jay Kristoff this year and discovered the joy and horror of reading books with extensive footnotes. The footnotes were brilliant and definitely had a lot of the funniest moments but trying to read them in an ebook was just hell. I did manage better with a physical copy of the book but to be honest I had to resort to the audiobook to make it through Darkdawn.
Full Cast Audiobooks
I’ve always been a little anti full cast audiobooks, I tried to listen to one a year or so ago and hated it, but this year after listening to Illuminae and Daisy Jones and the Six discovered just how good they can be. Illuminae in particularly completely blew me away with how fantastic it was (I did not think that book could ever work on audio) and I can’t wait to read the other books in the series.
So that’s my discoveries from 2019. Did you make any discoveries last year that you think everyone should know about?
Feel free to leave comments below and links to your top ten’s.