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Top Ten Tuesday: Five New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Five New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015

Top Ten Tuesday I am very much behind with Top Ten Tuesdays, but I’m now catching up with the last few topics of the year. All nice wrap-up topics for the year! Here’s the first one, New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015. I originally planned to make a list of ten, but in the end I decided on five authors that really stood out to me.

Five New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015

  1. Cixin Liu
    Cixin Liu is definitely my number one new favourite author this year! I adored the two books of the Three-Body series and I can’t wait for the last book next year!
  2. David Levithan
    Technically I read a book that he co-authored last year, Will Grayson, Will Grayson. But this year I finally read one of his own books, Every Day, and I loved it. A few of his other books have been on my shelf for a while and I can’t wait to read them.
  3. Emily St. John Mandel
    I adored Station Eleven. I definitely want to check out more of Mandel’s books!
  4. Jeanette Winterson
    I can’t believe I only read my first Winterson book this year! But I enjoyed it a lot and I am looking forward to more.
  5. Tess Sharpe
    I loved her debut Far From You and I’m looking forward to what else she’s going to write! Her next novel is about female friendship, which sounds awesome 😀
Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From

Top Ten TuesdayIt’s been a while since I participated in Top Ten Tuesday. But I like this week’s topic!

Thank you Goodreads for keeping these stats for me, haha. Although making this list wasn’t quite as straightforward as I thought it was going to be…

Top Ten Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From

  1. Haruki Murakami with a grand total of 23 books!
    I mean, wooooww. And I haven’t even read all of his work yet, by far…
  2. J.K. Rowling: 20 books
    Technically, 21 books, if we include Robert Galbraith. Also, there’s a bunch of Harry Potter rereads. And there’s going to be more rereads in the future.
  3. Carlos Ruiz Zafón: 9 books
    I finally read all of his books. More translations, please!
  4. Neil Gaiman: 6 books
    I want to read so much more of his work.
  5. John Green: 6 books
    Why though.
  6. Douglas Adams: 5 books
    Hitchhiker’s Guide, need I say more.
  7. Banana Yoshimoto: 5 books
  8. Laini Taylor: 4 books
  9. Darren Shan: 4 books
    Actually, this should be 12 books, and actually, half of them were also childhood rereads…
  10. Natsuo Kirino: 4 books
    *still waits impatiently for In*

I’ve also got three honourable mentions, that I felt didn’t quite belong on the list above…:

  1. Paul van Loon: 7 books
    Why am I putting him here at the bottom when I’ve read 7 books? Mostly because I read all of these books during my childhood and haven’t picked any up since then. I loved his books but I’m not sure if they will still be as enjoyable now that I’m older, so I’m afraid to reread…
  2. H.G. Wells: 5 books
    He’s down here because it’s cheating; half of what I read were short stories.
  3. Annie M.G. Schmidt: 5 books
    Same situation as Mr. Van Loon, although I definitely want to reread Schmidt’s books! Her books are wonderful.
Top Ten Tuesday: Ten ALL TIME Favorite Authors

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten ALL TIME Favorite Authors

Top Ten Tuesday This list would’ve been difficult to put together two years ago, but I read so many amazing new-to-me authors in the last year that my list has grown much longer.

Ten ALL TIME Favorite Authors

  1. Haruki Murakami
    Favourite author forever, the end.
  2. J.K. Rowling
    Also favourite author forever. She brought us the amazing world of Harry Potter. And I liked her other works alright too.
  3. Carlos Ruiz Zafón
    I was completely mesmerised by The Shadow of the Wind and have read all-books-but-one. And I’m only not reading the last one (Marina) yet because then I’ll have ran out!
  4. Neil Gaiman
    I loved everything I read by him so far, and he’s an awesome person.
  5. David Mitchell
    Typical case of I-loved-what-I-read-and-I-need-to-read-more.
  6. Rachel Hartman
    I’ve only read the Seraphina series and I’m eagerly waiting for more by Hartman. Her style is awesome!
  7. Laini Taylor
    Daughter of Smoke and Bone was one of my favourite series last year and I reallllyyy need to read more by Taylor. Her writing is magical.
  8. Yōko Ogawa
    Finished all her work that’s been translated to English. Loved most of it! Definitely keeping an eye on Ogawa.
  9. Sarah Waters
    Queen of historical lesbian fiction.
  10. Oscar Wilde
    I admit I do not love everything of his, but I still have a special fondness for him.
Discussion: Writing about someone who is not like you

Discussion: Writing about someone who is not like you

Yesterday I finished reading Robin Talley’s Lies We Tell Ourselves. The book definitely left an impression on me. For those who do not know, the book is about two teenagers – one black and one white – and is set in 1959 at the time of desegregation of a high school in Virginia. Not only does the book deal with desegregation, but on top of that the two girls fall in love with each other. I know a bit about the situation of (de)segregation in US history, but not as much as I would like (not having grown up in the US with US history). I am very happy to have read it and can recommend it to everyone (the book is also a real page turner, btw). When I put it down, I thought Talley had done a great job.

Then I read some reviews on GR, and one reviewer mentioned (this is me paraphrasing) she was uncomfortable with a white (although queer) author using the voice of a black character, to comment on desegregation and black politics. That got me thinking.

I completely get where this reviewer is coming from. Would this book have been different if it had been written by a black author? I am 100% sure that yes, it would have been different. Very different. So yes, I do think it matters who writes a book like this.

I have mixed feelings about this issue myself. As for Talley’s Lies We Tell Ourselves, I think it was a really good book and it’s clear she did her research. I will leave off commenting on it any further as I do not think I am the best judge (queer but white).

However, I read plenty of books with queer characters, some of which have been written by (assumed) straight authors. The verdict? I have absolutely adored many (not all) of these books and it did not necessarily bother me that they were written by a(n assumed) straight author. (I have to say I do carefully pick my LGBT reads, so I probably managed to avoid the real train wrecks.) But I do think the trick is in the way the author deals with a topic. The successful books were clearly written by good authors who can empathise with characters different from them. They were respectful, the queer characters were well developed characters and not mere stereotypes.

It can also go wrong (sometimes horribly). For example, books (by assumed straight authors) that are happy to go into queer politics or that are trying to be emotional coming out stories, but somehow they get it all wrong. Especially books told from a straight person’s POV. Not necessarily bad, but there have been cases where these types of books just give me the shivers.* Sometimes, these books get praised by a large (mainstream) audience. This bothers me especially because I know queer authors are not getting the same kind of attention most of the time – and it’s a reason why I would pick books by queer authors about queer topics over books by straight authors.** At the same time, the same thing sometimes happens with books that I do think are well written, and in that case I am at least happy people get to read (good books) about queer characters, no matter who the author is.

I am divided. Do I think it’s cool that these diverse books exist, and are being read? Hell yes. Does it matter who writes them? I feel mixed. Yes… probably. But not necessarily. Not always. Uhm, maybe?

What do you think? Always wrong, sometimes wrong, doesn’t matter, better than nothing?

*) And an entirely different situation, but: I am sure many queer readers are familiar with certain LGBT (mostly M/M) romance books&stories written by straight authors for a straight audience, and they make me feel really queasy (and wanting to punch someone in the face, to be frank). The same goes for a significant part of fanfiction (where being queer is okay as long as you’re hot and famous, and as long as it’s for the sake of a straight audience).

**) This rightfully is an ongoing topic in the Diverse Books debate, no matter which minority is involved.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books by my Favourite Authors That I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Read Yet

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books by my Favourite Authors That I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Read Yet

Top Ten Tuesday Woooowww look at that title. Sorry about that XD I’ve chosen a slight twist on this week’s TTT: Top Ten Books I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Read From X Genre.

Because don’t we all have that problem? You absolutely adore an author, but for whatever reason you haven’t read all of her/his works yet… Either they have published too much, or you want to savour the pleasure of reading a book by this author for the first time, or you simply haven’t had the time.

Ten Books by my Favourite Authors That I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Read Yet

  1. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
  2. After Dark by Haruki Murakami
  3. Goodbye Tsugumi by Banana Yoshimoto
  4. Amrita by Banana Yoshimoto
  5. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  6. Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  7. The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi by Arthur Japin
  8. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
  9. number9dream by David Mitchell
  10. Affinity by Sarah Waters