Top Ten Tuesday [12]: Best Discoveries of 2014

FullSizeRender-7 Hello there.

For today’s prompt, I’m listing the top ten authors that have made quite an impression on me. These authors may have been veterans, but it was my first time reading their work.

I have to say that I had a tough time composing this list. Since this year, I’ve started to slowly veer away from my preferred genre. Because of that, I’ve discovered quite a few authors. These ten authors, however, truly made a significant impact on me.

top 5

1.      Anthony Doerr.  It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Anthony was my first choice. Perhaps it’s because I just recently read his work, which I loved with all my heart. But this man is something else. His work was out of this world.

Stand outside for a minute. Be very still. Now, imagine the sound waves and lightwaves that carry messages from one end of the world to another. These messages are invisible to the eye, and yet they’re out there. Imagine something so precious like that. That’s what his book was about. Everyone is interconnected, one way or another. And the messages that don’t see carry so much weight and importance that it’s surreal the way he describes everything.

2.     Marisha Pessl.  By contrast, my introduction to Marisha Pessl’s work was as dark as All the Light We Cannot See is hopeful. This woman is brilliant. She created a novel whose primary  focus was on characters that readers will never truly know. Marisha is an award-winning, best-selling author. And yet, I’ve never heard of her before I serendipitously decided to read Night Film in time for Halloween.

3.     Sarah Waters.  Sarah has been writing for years. With five books under her belt – most of which – have garnered awards, her most recent work, The Paying Guests was my first. While it is true, that I didn’t quite enjoy this as I’d hoped, it at least made me curious about the rest of her work.

4.     Kate Atkinson. The mind of this woman must be a maze only a few can master.  She’s written several books, and much like the first three authors on this list, she’s also an award winning writer. By stroke of luck, Life After Life landed on my lap when I saw it at the second hand bookstore that I visited one weekend. I wasn’t prepared for the brilliantly complex structure of this novel. Needless to say, Life After Life made a Kate Atkinson fan out of me.

5.     Guillermo del Toro is, first and foremost, a film maker. So when I saw clips of his new tv series, I knew it was going to be great. The book was better than the adaptation, of course. And while I have yet to read the consequent books after The Strain, it made me realize how visceral del Toro is – in film, and in words.

six to ten

6.     Brandon Sanderson is a widely known fantasy author with a cult following. I’ve always been intimidated of his hefty books. This year, I decided to dip my foot in his world. While Steelheart is in no way near close to his other work,  I thought it was a good introduction, nonetheless. Unless you’re into high fantasy novels, Sanderson is the kind of writer you have to ease yourself into.

7.     James Patterson is another author  who’s written a million books. This year, I discovered his Confessions series via a free download of the audio book.  I’ve always been a tentative reader of suspense books, but this series lived up to everything I’ve heard about him.

8.      M.D. Waters. How much do I love this author and her work? I never thought I could enjoy Sci-Fi, but Misti changed my mind pretty quickly.  If you haven’t read her books, you are missing out. She is such a phenomenal story teller.

9.     Yōko Ogawa. This year, I discovered this Japanese literary powerhouse from a recommendation by a relative. She’s written so many award-winning pieces as well, but if you do decide to check her out, you need to start with Hotel Iris. Sensual, dark, and disturbing are just a few words that I could say to describe her world.

10.     Anne Bishop. I’m not a paranormal reader. I’ve had my share of werewolves, vampires, and whatever creature of the night roam the pages of those books. But since The Others comes highly recommended by a lot of trusted book buddies, I decided to give a try.  I’m so glad I did. I’ve become a fan  of this author because of her series.

What’s on your list today?


  • I don’t think I would enjoy his high fantasy works, but Steelheart was amazing. And there are so many fantastic sounding books in post. I especially need All the Light We Cannot See in my life (like right now)

  • I need to check some of those and Sanderson ROCKS 🙂

    Hi btw

  • I really want to read All the Light We Cannot See, the cover kind of reminds me of The Light Between Oceans (I think I got that title right). And YAY BRANDON SANDERSON! I’m glad you like him because I know you don’t really like fantasy 🙂

    • All the Light We Cannot See is one of my all time favourites. I hope you’ll give it a try. 🙂

  • Ooo, lots of authors I’ve been eyeing but haven’t read. Nice cheat sheet for me! 🙂

  • I have heard a lot about James Patterson but he is another author who I have yet to try any of his books out! I intend to try reading things by Anthony Doerr because I have heard about how amazing the book you mentioned is. I hadn’t heard of Brandon Sanderson until now, but his book sounds pretty cool. I will have to check it out!

    • Anthony Doerr’s latest is the most amazing piece of literature I’ve read this year! And oh yes, Sanderson’s Steelheart is ah-mazing.

  • FINALLY I’ve found someone who loves Night Film as much as I do. I thought it was so brilliant. I love when you can tell how much thought an author has put into their work. I was actually told to download The Night Film app to use it alongside the book, and omg was it amazing! It made my reading experience that much better. I really want to dive into Sanderson’s work as well. I’m not a huge fantasy fan, so I figured I would start off with the Rithmatist, just to ease myself in. Not to mention his books are freaking massive, which is another reason I’m reluctant to start. Great list Joy!

    • OMG. LOVED. LOVED. LOVED IT. I didn’t really use the app while reading, but the book itself is full of curiosities. Like the newspaper clippings, pictures, and web news. I especially like the fan domain!

  • Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    Nice top 10…. unfortunately I haven’t read any, but I have eyed a few of them before!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  • I haven’t read Anne Bishop yet – though she’s right up my alley – I need to pick up her books soon!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    • Oh yes. Anne Bishop is pretty awesome! I’ve seen some people with ARCs of the third book to her series, so of course I’m uber jealous!

  • Shame on you. Only choosing authors I have never read anything by, lol (A) but that’s okay 😀 I’m glad you have read them and ended up loving books by them. <3 Amazing list Joy. I hope you will find a whole bunch of other new amazing authors & books to read 😀 Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3

  • The prose of Anthony Doerr sounds phenomenal. I love books that instill a sense of beauty in readers, they’re the ones that will always stay with you. Gosh, most of these authors wouldn’t normally even be on my radar, you’re so incredibly well read Joy. Going to check them out based on your love for them. Your recommendations never steer me wrong. Thanks for sharing <3

    • Aw. Thanks, Kelly. <3 Though I have a feeling I should be keeping a close eye on your 4 and 5 star reads since you're money on those!

  • I really enjoyed Life After Life too, surprisingly so as it wasn’t overly fast-paced and was quite repetitive, but in an enjoyable way – that’s an achievement! I so want to read All The Light We Cannot See!! Surprised Sanderson is on here – is it a fantasy book?? I want to read Mistborn!!

    My TTT:

    • Steelheart is definitely not a Mistborn type of fantasy! It’s easier to take for someone like me who abhors fantasy novels. 🙂

  • I love that your trying new genres and authors! I need to do more of this.

  • Ooh, I really enjoyed Steelheart and Archetype as well, and I have Written In Red that I really hope to get to soon because it sounds amazing!

    • You should read that soon. It’s so good. 🙂

  • Amen to Anne Bishop!

    The only Sanderson I’ve read is when he finished the late Robert Jordan’s series. I keep hearing how good his fantasies are, I want to try them but it’s always so long! Gah!

    • Oh I know. I can’t handle his long fantasy novels. This one is pretty tame, if you ask me. 🙂

  • Great list! The only author on here I am familiar with is Patterson. I have read a few of his books and have enjoyed them overall. I do want to read Kate Atkinson sometime!

    • I hope you’ll enjoy Atkinson! Thanks for stopping by, Christina. 🙂

  • Great list! I have All the light we cannot see on my Kindle and I intend to read it over the holidays!

    • Oh I hope you’ll enjoy! I loved it to pieces. <3

  • I started reading ‘A song of ice and fire’ in 2014, so I think George R.R. Martin is on my list. And Neil Gaiman! And Markus Zusak.

    • George RR Martin is definitely a bucket list author for me. I hope you’re enjoying his books so far!

  • Sweet! I got some great recommendations from this. I love year wrap-up posts! I may need to make another Christmas trip to the bookstore to pick up the Night Film for my Dad (and me).

    • The Night Film is so wonderful. I hope you’ll love it. You like exploring dark annals and alleys, so this one is perfect for you. 🙂

  • Christy

    The only one I’ve read is The Strain. But there are a few I want to read – Steelheart, Written in Red … yeah, I need to get on it.

    • I’m actually pretty surprised you haven’t read Written in Red! Get to it, girl!

  • I’ve only read the Others, but I so love this series! I’m also glad you did give it a try.

    • I didn’t even hesitate. You were one of the bloggers who recommended it. 🙂