This week’s TTT is about authors who should have more recognition. Bear with me here.
Nikola Barker It seems Barker’s works have flourished in her native UK, but remain relatively unknown here which is such a shame. Her most recent release, 2012’s The Yips, was in the running for the Man Booker Prize. Easily her most popular novel, Darkmans is one of my all-time favorites and introduced me to a name I’m determined to give a future child. Interestingly, Darkmans is a third book in a series, but I think it’s a series you can read out of order; I had no problem following what was going on. Also, Barker must be paid by the word because her books are long. 800+ pages are the norm for Barker’s works, but those 800 pages fly.
Elizabeth Marie Pope Pope only wrote two novels – one in the 50s, the other in the 70s. Last December I discovered The Perilous Gard and fell head-over-heels. Tudors and Fairy Folk, a slow romance, and a strong female lead earned that novel a spot on my favorites of 2012 list and I immediately purchased her other novel The Sherwood Ring. Obvs I wasn’t alive when either of those books were first published, but reading them took me back to my childhood.
Evelyn Waugh You should know by now that I never pass up the opportunity to fangirl over Waugh. I feel that, while he is certainly a popular author, his heyday has passed & is now thought of as a boring assigned-reading author. He’s actually incredibly witty and cynical – JUST MY TYPE – and his books feel fresh, as though they could have been written today rather than 60+ years ago.
Lara Zielin You all have Zielin to thank for getting my into not only contemporary YA, but issue novels. Last year’s The Waiting Sky flew under the radar but it was SO. GOOD. Tornado chasing is awesome, but it doesn’t fix a broken home & alcoholic mother. It was tough and raw and I still think about it nearly a year later. Her other novels deal with equally touchy subjects like cancer, teen pregnancy, & religion.
Douglas Coupland Okay, okay, so he’s got plenty of love already, but I feel that was such a 90s love, that he is quintessentially a 90s writer. From start up dotcoms to employees at Staples, Coupland just has an overall feel of days gone by – and that’s not a bad thing! In fact, JPod, a novel focusing on the lives of a group of employees at a Vancouver game design company, sucked me it and had me singing Coupland’s praises. JPod was even adapted to a short-lived sitcom!
Jennifer Shaw Wolf Guys. GUYS. Wolf is still pretty new on the scene, but her debut, Breaking Beautiful garnered some pretty high ratings. This is a little cheatsy on my part, but her next release, Dead Girls Don’t Lie, is what really turned me into a fan. Trust me, you’ll want to read it. Delightfully chilling and fast-paced. All-in-all, that novel was amazing and one of my favorites of 2013. You can bet I’ll be following Wolf’s works from now on.
Diana Wynne Jones Okay, hold up. Hear me out. As much as I adore Diana Wynne Jones, I feel that some of her series are passed by in favorite of Howl’s Moving Castle or Chrestomanci (one of my ALL-TIME FAVORITES, btw! ♥) I’m a huge fan of her Derkholm duology. The Dark Lord of Derkholm & The Year of the Griffin feature Pilgrim Parties, Dark Lords, wizard, enchantresses, griffin children, magic, & a quest to be the first man on the moon. I devoured these books as a child and they were among the first “bigger” novels I read. While I was always an avid reader, prior to Jones I mainly read 200-page books. These novels are 400+ pages, while my Chrestomanci copies are 600+. Fantasy owes a lot to Jones and her lesser-known works need the attention they so rightfully deserve.