Top 5 Tuesday was started by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, and I jumped on board for November, because her choices were awesome! Thanks Shanah!
This was HARD!!
I know we can go more than 5, but it feels like cheating so I’m forcing myself to cut it down. I had to do a pro/con list just to figure out which five I should go with.
Then, of course I had to mention the others at the end, but I still stuck with five. Five fabulous authors that get me through the dark times!
Five authors that I know always keep me reading until late in the night.
Below is the author picture, bio, and my 4 favorite books by each of them. Let me know if you’ve read any!
1. TJ Klune
When TJ Klune was eight, he picked up a pen and paper and began to write his first story (which turned out to be his own sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid—he didn’t think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it. He never heard back from the video game company, much to his chagrin). Now, over two decades later, the cast of characters in his head have only gotten louder, wondering why he has to go to work as a claims examiner for an insurance company during the day when he could just stay home and write.
Since being published, TJ has won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Romance, fought off three lions that threatened to attack him and his village, and was chosen by Amazon as having written one of the best GLBT books of 2011.
And one of those things isn’t true.
(It’s the lion thing. The lion thing isn’t true.)
Nobody’s surprised to see TJ Klulne on my list today. In the last year I’ve devoured most of what this man has written, and loved almost every single one. If you love contemporary romance, Paranormal, Comedy, Urban Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Dystopia… anything your little heart desires, then try TJ Klune. He’s the only genre-nonspecific author I’ve ever found. If you love emotional romance, more heart then physical attraction, then read TJ Klune. He puts the L in love story!
2. Melina Marchetta
Melina Marchetta was born in Sydney Australia. Her first novel, Looking For Alibrandi was awarded the Children’s Book Council of Australia award in 1993 and her second novel, Saving Francesca won the same award in 2004. Looking For Alibrandi was made into a major film in 2000 and won the Australian Film Institute Award for best Film and best adapted screen play, also written by the author. On the Jellicoe Road was released in 2006 and won the US Printz Medal in 2009 for excellence in YA literature. This was followed up by Finnikin of the Rock in 2008 which won the Aurealis Award for YA fantasy, The Piper’s Son in 2010 which was shortlisted for the Qld Premier’s Lit Award, NSW Premier’s Lit Award, Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, CBC awards and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. Her follow up to Finnikin, Froi of the Exiles and Quintana of Charyn were released in 2012 and 2013. Her latest novel Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil is an adult crime novel.
I’d never even heard of Melina Marchetta before joining Goodreads. If nothing else, I can thank the readers social network for making sure I didn’t go through life without her. The fact that most readers in the US haven’t read Jellicoe Road or Finnikin of the Rock breaks my heart. Melina Marchetta is the single most emotional, character driven, writer I’ve ever read. I’ve made it my personal goal to convince others to read her work!
And that means you!
3. Neal Shusterman
Award-winning author Neal Shusterman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he began writing at an early age. After spending his junior and senior years of high school at the American School of Mexico City, Neal went on to UC Irvine, where he made his mark on the UCI swim team, and wrote a successful humor column. Within a year of graduating, he had his first book deal, and was hired to write a movie script.
Wherever Neal goes, he quickly earns a reputation as a storyteller and dynamic speaker. Much of his fiction is traceable back to stories he tells to large audiences of children and teenagers — such as his novel The Eyes of Kid Midas. As a speaker, Neal is in constant demand at schools and conferences. Degrees in both psychology and drama give Neal a unique approach to writing. Neal’s novels always deal with topics that appeal to adults as well as teens, weaving true-to-life characters into sensitive and riveting issues, and binding it all together with a unique and entertaining sense of humor.
Anyone who’s a fan of Neal Shusterman would all say the same thing; Shusterman’s imagination is immense and wondrous! There’s something about how he takes heavy topics and weaves them into a fantastical story, bringing new light to old debates, is awesome. I keep thinking that his magic is a fluke, and the next book will feel more like everything else out there being written, but it doesn’t. Scythe is just as thought provoking as Unwind was. I’d love to interview him.
4. Heidi Cullinan
Heidi Cullinan has always enjoyed a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. Proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality, Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. She writes positive-outcome romances for LGBT characters struggling against insurmountable odds because she believes there’s no such thing as too much happy ever after. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys playing with new recipes, reading romance and manga, playing with her cats, and watching too much anime.
Normally I’m not a fan of authors who shove too many political opinions into their romance novels. Our political climate is something we have to deal with daily in our real world, I prefer my reads to be my escape into a better world. However, it’s not at all how I feel about Heidi Cullinan. There’s just something about her characters, and their passion, that makes me feel like a warrior when I read her books. I care about the Blues Brothers crusade in Carry the Ocean. Maybe it’s because she captures my feelings perfectly. She also does it with some of the best characters I’ve ever read. Walter, Emmett and Baz are my three favorites.
5. Rainbow Rowell
Rainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS and LANDLINE). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK and FANGIRL). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.
When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things.
She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.
Eleanor & Park was my first read by Rainbow Rowell, and I remember being so captivated by how she wrote attraction. I’m not just talking about the romance, because a lot of authors write wonderful romance. Rainbow Rowell writes the best descriptions of attraction. I remember Eleanor talking about having the urge to bite Park’s face, and sometimes bite my husband because I just need something stronger than a kiss! I swear, it can’t only be me! Or, in Fangirl when Cath was filled with butterflies when her love interest held her sleeve. The anticipation of almost holding hands, she nailed it perfectly. So, for me, Rainbow’s descriptions of attraction is what sets her apart as one of my top 5 instabuys. I wish she’d write another novel!