Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten New To Me Authors I read in 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme sponsored by the blog, “The Broke and The Bookish.”

Thank God for my short story reading project. Without it, I don’t think I have read ten “new to me authors” this year. About half of the following are form short story reading. Here they are, in descending order with #1 being my favorite.

10. Kevin Lynn Helmick
His novella “Driving Alone: A Love Story” was “different” and brilliant.

9. Douglas Watson
I loved his short story collection “The Era of Not Quite.” Read my post about it here.

8. Kyle Minor
His story collection “In the Devil’s Territory” was one of my favorite books of the year. I posted about it here.

7. Caitlyn Horrocks
Her short story, “The Sleep,” will be a finalist in my upcoming 2013 short story reading project awards post. See my post about it here.

6. Hugh Howey
I was spellbound by his runaway self-published hit “Wool” earlier this year. What a page-turner!

5. Henryk Sienkiewicz
The “elder statesman” on this list, his short story, “The Lighthouse Keeper of Aspinwall” was wonderful.

4. Neil Gaiman
Yes, I’d never read him until this year’s “The Ocean at the End of the Lane.” He hasn’t seen the last of me…

3. Steven Milhauser
His unique short story “Phantoms” was also among my favorites of the year. I think he also has a new story in the latest New Yorker. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s in my plans.


2. Ruth Ozeki (above)
I just finished it, but certainly one of my favorite novels of recent years was her “A Tale for the Time Being.” I highly recommend it.


1. Betty Smith (above)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” was my other favorite novel for the year. A classic that I had somehow neglected until now. Also highly recommended.

Other new to me authors I enjoyed (“Honorable Mention” if you will): Alexander Pushkin, Rob Smales, Lori Benton, Jade Eby, R.J. Sullivan, Robert Rebein, Marissa Meyer (the Lunar Chronicles one, not the Yahoo CEO), Stephen Chbosky, Eric Garrison, Orson Scott Card, Kristal Stittle, Hagiwara Sakutar, Sam Lipsyte, Claire Keegan, Charles Beaumont, Rebecca Emin, and Alice Adams.

What a fun list to put together! Being reminded of discovering all these great, new (to me) authors made me feel good about my 2013 reading accomplishments.

What about YOU? Who were your favorite literary discoveries in 2013?


  1. December 17, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    I’m glad you liked the Neil Gaimain. He’s a favorite of mine and I really enjoyed The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
    I also recommend Steven Milhauser’s short story collection, “The Barnum Museum.”


    • Jay said,

      December 18, 2013 at 8:26 am

      I definitely will be reading some more Milhauser. He was one of the great finds of my 2013 short story reading project.

      I already own Gaiman’s “American Gods” but haven’t gotten to it yet. Several people have suggested I add a short story or two of his to my 2014 project.


  2. Laura said,

    December 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Neil Gaiman is on my list too! Only I read GRAVEYARD BOOK. I’ve heard nothing but good things about OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE, so it looks like that’s going on my reading list too.


    • Jay said,

      December 18, 2013 at 8:28 am

      Thanks for the visit and comment, Laura! I’ve heard grat things about the Graveyard Book too. A friend of mine’s who family is reading it for a kind of “family holiday book club” in the next couple weeks. Neat idea, huh? 🙂


      • Laura said,

        December 19, 2013 at 6:04 pm

        That IS neat! I like that idea. Should suggest it to my family.


  3. Dale said,

    December 17, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Jay! Looks like I will have to put more Neil Gaiman on my list, also. Did you read The Perks of Being a Wallflower or something else by Stephen Chbosky? I enjoyed Wallflower.

    Impressive list of new authors! Mine would include George Eliot and Mark Helprin and Margaret Mitchell.


    • Jay said,

      December 18, 2013 at 8:30 am

      Hi Dale,
      As you know, I plan to get to Helprin this winter. 🙂 Yes, it was The Perks of Being a Wallflower that I read. I was a bit disappointed in it as, for me, it didn’t live up to all the hype. Maybe that was an unfair expectation, though.


  4. hkatz said,

    December 19, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    This is a great list of recommendations; I haven’t heard of a bunch of these authors, so now I’m excited to look into them. I agree with you that short stories can introduce you relatively quickly to a wide range of authors.

    I recently finished reading a Gaiman collection: Fragile Things. Until then, the only work of his I’d read was Coraline, which I didn’t really get into. But I’d like to read more of his work. And read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which I’ve also put off 🙂 I know what you mean about classics you’ve “somehow neglected until now” – this year was the first time I read Little Women… and I’m female, English-speaking and grew up in the US…


  5. Cassie said,

    December 20, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    I didn’t like The Ocean at the End of the Lane, but I almost feel bad for not liking it so I’m going to try to read another good thing by him in 2014.


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