Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Previous Top Ten Tuesday Topics
- 20th December: Books I Hope Santa Brings This Year
- 27th December: Most Recent Additions to My Book Collection
- 3rd January: Favourite Books of 2022
- 10th January: Most Anticipated Books Releasing in the First Half of 2023
- 17th January: Bookish Goals for 2023
This week is a look back again at 2022 and those authors we met for the first time last year. And isn’t it great to meet new favourite authors year after year. Of course there are the old favourites, the reliable familiar authors who we just know we are going to enjoy, but new authors add some extra spice and variety… and often then become some of our new favourites!
New-To-Me Authors in 2022
Let’s begin with a full and complete list of the new-to-me authors that I read this year which is as follows, which I think amounts to 24 new-to-me authors last year, out of 59 books read in total which amounts to nearly half of my reading! Mathematically, 41% which is quite a high percentage perhaps. Much of this is because I try to follow some of the reading prize longlists, which often push new authors in my direction… plus of course social media recommendations and novels which have been on my radar for a while but never got around to…
- Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
- Eva Jurcyzk
- Sally Hinchcliffe
- Rosie Andrews
- Rachel Ingrams
- Katya Balen
- John Scalzi
- Violet Kupersmith
- Kirsty Capes
- Angie Thomas
- Meg Mason
- Adrian Tchaikovsky
- Elle McNicoll
- Claire Kohda
- Miranda Cowley Heller
- Alan Garner
- Elizabeth Strout
- T. L. Huchu
- Catriona Ward
- Jessica Townsend
- Claire Keegan
- Travis Baldree
- Martha Wells
- Andrea Levy
Now, let’s try to put some meat on the bare bones of that list and categorise some of them…
Favourite New-To-Me Authors
Treacle Walker, Alan Garner
An introspective young boy, Joseph Coppock squints at the world with his lazy eye. Living alone in an old house, he reads comics, collects birds’ eggs and plays with his marbles. When, one day, a rag-and-bone man called Treacle Walker appears, exchanging an empty jar of a cure-all medicine and a donkey stone for a pair of Joseph’s pyjamas and a lamb’s shoulder blade, a mysterious friendship develops between them.
A fusion of myth, magic and the stories we make for ourselves, Treacle Walker is an extraordinary novel from one of our greatest living writers.
Sorrow and Bliss, Meg Mason
Everyone tells Martha Friel she is clever and beautiful, a brilliant writer who has been loved every day of her adult life by one man, her husband Patrick. A gift, her mother once said, not everybody gets.
So why is everything broken? Why is Martha – on the edge of 40 – friendless, practically jobless and so often sad? And why did Patrick decide to leave?
Maybe she is just too sensitive, someone who finds it harder to be alive than most people. Or maybe – as she has long believed – there is something wrong with her. Something that broke when a little bomb went off in her brain, at 17, and left her changed in a way that no doctor or therapist has ever been able to explain.
Small Things Like These, Claire Keegan
It is 1985, in an Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal and timber merchant, faces into his busiest season. As he does the rounds, he feels the past rising up to meet him – and encounters the complicit silences of a people controlled by the Church.
Woman Eating, Claire Khoda
Lydia is hungry.
She’s always wanted to try sashimi, ramen, onigiri with sour plum stuffed inside – the food her Japanese father liked to eat. And then there is bubble tea and the vegetables grown by the other young artists at the London studio space she is secretly squatting in. But Lydia can’t eat any of this. The only thing she can digest is blood, and it turns out that sourcing fresh pigs’ blood in London – where she is living away from her vampire mother for the first time – is much more difficult than she’d anticipated.
Then there are the humans: the people at the gallery she interns at, the strange men who follow her after dark, and Ben, a goofy-grinned artist she is developing feelings for. Lydia knows that they are her natural prey, but she can’t bring herself to feed on them.
If Lydia is to find a way to exist in the world, she must reconcile the conflicts within her – between her demon and human sides, her mixed ethnic heritage, and her relationship with food, and, in turn, humans.
Before any of this, however, she must eat.
The First Woman, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
As Kirabo enters her teens, questions begin to gnaw at her – questions which the adults in her life will do anything to ignore. Where is the mother she has never known? And why would she choose to leave her daughter behind? Inquisitive, headstrong, and unwilling to take no for an answer, Kirabo sets out to find the truth for herself.
Her search will take her away from the safety of her prosperous Ugandan family, plunging her into a very different world of magic, tradition, and the haunting legend of ‘The First Woman’.
Careless, Kirsty Capes
Sometimes it’s easy to fall between the cracks…
At 3.04 p.m. on a hot, sticky day in June, Bess finds out she’s pregnant.
She could tell her social worker Henry, but he’s useless.
She should tell her foster mother, Lisa, but she won’t understand.
She really ought to tell Boy, but she hasn’t spoken to him in weeks.
Bess knows more than anyone that love doesn’t come without conditions.
But this isn’t a love story…
Most Fun New-To-Me Authors
The Kaiju Preservation Society, John Scalzi
They’re big, they’re bad and they’re about to become extinct . . .
Jamie’s dream was to hit the big time at a New York tech start-up. Jamie’s reality was a humiliating lay-off, then a low-wage job as a takeaway delivery driver. During a pandemic too. Things look beyond grim, until a chance delivery to an old acquaintance. Tom has an urgent vacancy on his team: the pay is great and Jamie has debts – it’s a no-brainer choice. Yet, once again, reality fails to match expectations. Only this time it could be fatal.
It seems Tom’s ‘animal rights organization’ is way more than it appears. The animals aren’t even on Earth – or not our Earth, anyway. In an alternate dimension, massive dinosaur-like creatures roam a tropical, human-free world. And although Kaiju are their universe’s largest and most dangerous animal, they need support to survive.
Tom’s ‘Kaiju Preservation Society’ wants to help. However, others want to profit. Unless they’re stopped, the walls between our worlds could fall – and the consequences would be devastating.
All Systems Red, Martha Wells
As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure.
In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.
But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.
On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid–a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.
But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.
Shards of Earth, Adrian Tchaikovsky
The war is over. Its heroes forgotten. Until one chance discovery . . .
Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade his mind in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.
Eighty years ago, Earth was destroyed by an alien enemy. Many escaped, but millions more died. So mankind created enhanced humans such as Idris – who could communicate mind-to-mind with our aggressors. Then these ‘Architects’ simply disappeared and Idris and his kind became obsolete.
Now, Idris and his crew have something strange, abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects – but are they really returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy as they search for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, and many would kill to obtain it.
Legends and Lattes, Travis Baldree
Worn out after decades of packing steel and raising hell, Viv the orc barbarian cashes out of the warrior’s life with one final score. A forgotten legend, a fabled artifact, and an unreasonable amount of hope lead her to the streets of Thune, where she plans to open the first coffee shop the city has ever seen.
However, her dreams of a fresh start pulling shots instead of swinging swords are hardly a sure bet. Old frenemies and Thune’s shady underbelly may just upset her plans. To finally build something that will last, Viv will need some new partners and a different kind of resolve.
A hot cup of fantasy slice-of-life with a dollop of romantic froth.
Best YA New-To-Me Authors
October, October, Kayta Balen
October and her dad live in the woods. They know the trees and the rocks and the lake and stars like best friends. They live in the woods and they are wild. And that’s the way it is.
Until the year October turns eleven. That’s the year October rescues a baby owl. It’s the year Dad falls out of the biggest tree in their woods. The year the woman who calls herself October’s mother comes back. The year everything changes.
The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.
The Library of the Dead, T. L Huchu
Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker – and she now speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children – leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honour bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.
She’ll dice with death (not part of her life plan . . .) as she calls on Zimbabwean magic and Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets. And in the process, she discovers an occult library and some unexpected allies. Yet as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?
Like a Charm, Elle McNicoll
Edinburgh is a city filled with magical creatures. No one can see them… except Ramya Knox.
As she is pulled into her family’s world of secrets and spells, Ramya sets out to discover the truth about the Hidden Folk with only three words of warning from her grandfather: Beware the Sirens.
Plunged into an adventure that will change everything, Ramya is about to learn that there is more to her powers than she ever imagined.
And so there we have a range of my newest favourite authors – new names for me to be looking out for, collecting their back catalogue, building my to-be-read pile with… Which of these have you come across, whether this year or previously?
Upcoming Top Ten Tuesday Themes
January 31: Freebie
February 7: 2023 Debut Books I’m Excited About
February 14: Love/Valentine’s Day Freebie
February 21: Favorite Heroines
February 28: Genre Freebie (Pick a genre and build a list around it. It could a list of favorites, a to-read list, recommendations for people interested in reading books in that genre, “if you like this, try this”, etc.)