One of the benefits of taking on my reading challenges over the past couple of years is that they gave me the opportunity to try out books by new authors that I might never have picked up or even heard of before. By doing these challenges, the number of books I read per year has increased significantly, and I make an effort to avoid re-reading unless a prompt specifically calls for it. I also try to avoid choosing more than one book by the same author in the year, which even further broadens my range. Over the past two years, I’ve discovered several great new authors that I might never have tried otherwise. Below I will list the author, and the book of theirs that I have already read, all of which I believe have been mentioned in more detail in past posts.
Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and the official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.
1) Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
This was actually a book that I picked up before I ever started doing reading challenges, and it has quickly become one of my favourites. I loved how Kathryn Stockett brought her characters to life and really captured what life was like for women in the 60s. I thought the book was very powerfully written. It has already been 8 years since The Help came out and she has not released anything else yet, but I’m really looking forward to reading anything else she has to offer!
2) Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You)
This was one of the earliest new books that I added to by TBR when I started my Goodreads account. It was released in 2014, and I saw it all over Goodreads for the past few years. This book was Celeste Ng’s debut novel, which detailed the lives of a Chinese-American family in the 1970s whose oldest daughter has gone missing. This was one of the first stand-out books that I read this year, and as soon as I finished it, I went back to Goodreads to see when Celeste Ng’s book would be out. It looks like she has something new coming out this fall, and I can’t wait to give it a try.
3) Patrick Ness (A Monster Calls)
I read this book last year, and it was easily one of the highlights. I devoured the entire thing in one sitting, and it was by far one of the strongest and most emotional books I’ve read in the past few years. I was struck by how well Patrick Ness captured the raw emotion of the main character’s experiences, especially for a middle grade book. When I looked him up on Goodreads, several of his books caught my interest — especially The Rest of Us Just Live Here, which immediately reminded me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’ve managed to fit that book into this year’s challenge, but I would love to read more of them.
4) Kristin Hannah (The Nightingale)
I had seen Kristin Hannah’s name a few times on Goodreads, especially in connection to The Nightingale, a WWII story told from the perspective of two sisters living in France during the Nazi occupation. This was one of the most unique WWII stories I’ve read, and Kristin Hannah’s writing style immediately drew me in. As I’ve mentioned with the other authors above, I thought that she really brought her characters to life. When I looked up her books on Goodreads, I was surprised to find that there were so many. Right away, I added the majority of them to my TBR and I’d love to read more of her work.
5) Kristina Riggle (The Whole Golden World)
This was a book that really caught me off-guard. I chose it to fulfill a prompt that called for a book with a beautiful title. I’m always hesitant about categories based on attractive covers or titles since I honestly pay minimal attention to either of these (although title moreso than cover) when choosing a book to read. I was extremely impressed by the amount of character development in this book, which focuses on an affair between a high school student and her married teacher. I went into the book with very low expectations, but it ended up being one of the strongest books I read all year. I have since read a few other books with a similar plot, but this still remains the best of the bunch. I would definitely be interested in trying more of Kristina Riggle’s writing.