Tuesday 17 December 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

This week's Top Ten Tuesday from the Broke and Bookish is authors that were new to me this year.

I love a good list and I love any opportunity to reflect on the year that's been. So this is perfect!

First up for me was Elizabeth Strout.

Early in the year I read and loved The Burgess Boys so much that I now plan to read Olive Kitteridge in the New Year for my 2014 challenges.

2. J.M. Coetzee

I read The Childhood of Jesus with a little bit of trepidation. Even now, I'm not quite sure that I understood it all, but the writing was incredible and I was fascinated by the journey he took me on.

3. Alex Miller

Coal Creek was my first attempt at this award winning Australian author. I loved his sense of place (outback Queensland) and his protagonist, Bobby Blue.

4. Barbara Pym

I know! How have I, a major Jane Austen fan, managed to miss BP all my life?
But thanks to Pym Reading Week I finally read a couple of her books, Excellent Women & Jane and Prudence.
A life-long love affair has now begun!

5. Zora Neale Hurston

What a find Zora was.
A HUGE thank you to The Classics Club for their readalong of Their Eyes Were Watching God earlier this year. If not for this, I may have gone through my life without ever knowing about this gem of a book.

6.Brene Brown

I discovered Brown via a TED talk (below).
I found her talk inspirational although not always particularly relevant to where I am in life right now. I've been browsing through a couple of her books since, The Gifts of Imperfection and I Thought It was Just Me with a similar feeling. I can recognise my journey in her words, but at the same time I feel like I've moved on as well.

7. Yotam Ottolenghi

I discovered Ottolenghi's cookbook Jerusalem this year. The salads in particular are divine. As a result, I found myself impulse buying Plenty, not long after.

8. Haruki Murakami

I tackled 1Q84 this year with gusto and pleasure. I loved this tale of parallel universes and have slowly been accumulating his backlist ever since.

9. Steven Herrick

Australian children's writer, Steven Herrick regularly wins awards and accolades, but I've never read him. Until I picked up Pookie Aleera is Not My Boyfriend, that is.
Now I'm a convert and will try to read some of his teen books in the New Year.

10. Graeme Simsion

If you haven't read The Rosie Project yet, then go and get a copy now!
It's the perfect summer holiday read (or for those on the other side of the world, perfect for curling up in front of a cosy fire with!)
It's light and easy, laugh out loud funny! An impressive debut Australian novel bound for the big screen (I can already visualise the cocktail and dancing scenes!!)


  1. Anonymous17/12/13

    I read 1Q84 (how did you find it?) and four more books of Haruki Murakami this year! I read a book by Brene Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection) in 2012. I have to agree with number ten. I enjoyed The Rosie Project so much, it's going to my list of favorite books this year.

    1. My reviews for 1Q84 are under the Murakami label down the left hand side of my blog.
      There's certainly a lot of love out there for The Rosie Project :-)

  2. Olive Kitteridge! I read that. Maybe I'll check out Burgess Boys. It's always fun to see what others are reading, and such a treat to discover a new favorite author.

  3. Anonymous18/12/13

    I've never heard of Barbara Pym but as a big Jane Austen fan, I must check her out now ;)

    Yay for Haruki Murakami (I still have 1Q84 sitting on my Kobo waiting to be read but I loved Norwegian Wood, (oh my, I actually read him for the first time this year, I should sneak him onto my list! lol) and Graeme Simsion (definitely up there as one of the books I recommended the most this year) :)

    - Lianne @ caffeinatedlife.net

  4. Anonymous18/12/13

    I've only read one Elizabeth Strout book (Amy and Isabelle), but always felt that I should go back and read more of her books! Barbara Pym is another one that I should read.Really interesting choices... and of course, hurray for The Rosie Project!

    Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies

    1. I met Graeme Simsion at work recently...just before he was flying out to the States actually, to do a tour to promote his book. You can follow him on twitter as Prof Tillman too :-)

  5. Is it sad that I don't know any of those authors? *hangs head in shame*
    Happy Tuesday <3
    Our TTT
    Doris @ OABR

  6. That's okay Doris, 4 of my authors are Australian, one Japanese, one Israeli/British and another is classic Brit through and through. I loved Crewel though - the ability to weave time was well conceived - great imagery.

  7. I didn't participate in the TTT this week, but if I had my list would have included Graeme Simsion. The Rosie Project was such a delight to read. I read Barbara Pym for the first time a couple of years back and keep meaning to read more of her stuff.

  8. You've listed some of my favorites, especially Elizabeth Strout! The Burgess Boys was an excellent novel, but Olive Kitteridge is an all-time favorite. Also Barbara Pym and Zora Neale Hurston. J.M. Coetzee is wonderful, but definitely takes a little extra brain power. I really need to read more Australian authors...

  9. Anonymous18/12/13

    I loved The Rosie Project too!

    A big YES for Murakami and Coetzee, I'm a big fan of both. I still haven't read anything by Alex Miller but I have Autumn Laing to read yet and I'd love a copy of Coal Creek, have heard great things! I don't have any books by the others in your list and I haven't read them either - some of them I haven't heard of! Which is actually a good thing, because I love learning about new books and authors to try!

  10. What a wonderful year of reading you've had Brona. I've read a number of your authors- Coetzee, Pym (only one, but I've been stocking up on more too) and Simsion of course. I'm very keen to read Steven Herrick, and indeed just picked up Pookie Aleera from my library yesterday. I'm little bit daunted and ever so freaked out about the verse novel format but will give it a crack.

  11. Great list! I agree with several of your choices and hope to discover a couple of others myself in the coming year, particularly Graeme Simsion with The Rosie Project.


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