I was going to list my favorite books of the year, but I have way, way more than ten, and some authors I just like them so much and yet I didn’t want them on the list twice (or in Rainbow Rowell’s case, three times), so instead of my favorite books of the year, I’m telling you my favorite authors I read this year.
(This is in random number order, except for #1, which is absolutely my #1).
10. Laini Taylor
I read this novel in February and am still thinking about it. I read the sequel but I think I must have been going through something because I literally remember nothing about it, so I will have to reread it and report back.
Strayed can make every extraordinary experience completely ordinary, which sounds like an insult, but which is the exact opposite: everyone is exactly the same, no matter what she is going through, and we can all relate to one another. That’s what she does with her writing, and it’s thrilling and heartbreaking.
8. Martha Beck
I am not ashamed to admit that I have read every single one of her columns in O Magazine that can be found online. I just love how she makes every single thing so completely possible, and I love that she believes in everyone’s Wildly Improbable Goals. She’s also quite clever and funny.
7. Meg Wolitzer
I am finishing this novel right now, and it’s the only thing by her I’ve ever read, but it’s wonderful. It reminds me a lot of Prep, which is one of my favorite novels ever, and yet it’s a lot different, too. I certainly can’t relate to any of the characters on a personal level (I couldn’t with Prep either), but I love how Wolitzer gives me access to a completely different time and society and actually makes me care about what happens to these pretentious, sometimes spoiled, sometimes downright evil, people. It also asks the question that Sheryl Sandberg talks about–about opting in instead of opting out–and what that kind of life looks like.
6. Maria Semple
A bit of a copout because I tried to read her first novel, This One is Mine, and I only got about three pages in before it was due back at the library, and then I never sought it out again. Still, Bernadette is so fun, the most fun I’ve had with a book all year, so I had to include Semple.
She is groovy. All her novels are great, and I waffle between liking Attachments and Eleanor & Park more, but today I vote Eleanor & Park. I really liked Fangirl, but not like the other two.
4. Chad Harbach
This remains my favorite novel of the year. If you are a Melville fan, I highly recommend this novel.
Did you think I was going to forget to include contemporary romance authors? Absolutely not! Young’s novels are fun, so so fun. I like them all, and I shall be a fan for life.
2. Marian Keyes
You’ve heard me talk about her enough lately, right? Yeah. She’s great.
I just absolutely love this man’s writing, and he deserves every single award he ever gets. I read Middlesex this year as well, and I’d previously read The Virgin Suicides, and I liked them both, but there was something about Marriage Plot that just made it click for me: oh, this guy is a genius. Right.