Top 5 Tuesday is created and run by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. Thank you Shanah for all the work you do on this! You can join the fun by checking out the topics for the month here.
I hope everyone is staying safe in the current situation. Today, my office officially closed and I worked from home for the first time. Draco, my lovely kitten, made a fine addition to the team. I won’t lie, I’m very nervous – I’m supposed to be starting a new job in two weeks, but as Australia is a few weeks behind the major outbreak we’re seeing in Italy and saw in China, I don’t really know how that will affect everything. But for now, I’m very glad I don’t have to commute because I can get a little extra sleep! My partner and I are implementing daily lunchtime exercise (yoga today!) to help us keep fit and hopefully reduce mental health stress from social distancing.
This week’s Top 5 Tuesday continues the March theme of authors for each letter of the week, and today we’re looking at letters K – O.
Authors beginning with K
TJ Klune & Adib Khorram
I found TJ Klune last year when I read Wolfsong, the first book in his werewolf romance series – and holy shit I did not expect the complete destruction of my soul as I read it. It was incredible! Every time I mention this author, I get more recommendations for which of his books to read next and I can’t wait to read the rest of his work. Klune has two new books out this year. The House in the Cerulean Sea is an adult fantasy, about a social worker for magical youth who must go to a magical island to investigate an orphanage. The Extraordinaries is Klune’s debut YA, a new take on the superhero story featuring a queer teen with ADHD.
Adib Khorram wrote one of my favourite books of 2019, Darius the Great Is Not Okay. This had such a poignant and relatable mental health story, the most incredible development of a father-son relationship, and a brilliant male friendship at its core. I am SO FREAKING EXCITED we get a sequel. This year, Darius the Great Deserves Better is coming and brings new struggles as Darius tries to work out what he wants for the future. And I think that cover is one of my favourite of 2020. I just adore the colour contrast so much.
Authors beginning with L
Laura Steven is, without a doubt, the funniest writer I’ve ever read. The Exact Opposite of Okay astounded me, because I have never found a novel as funny as I did that. And yet it also manages to be an incredible feminist novel addressing slut shaming and female empowerment alongside the captivating and hilarious main character, Izzy. Izzy’s journey continues in A Girl Called Shameless, and this year we have a new Laura Steven book: The Love Hypothesis, the bisexual romcom I’ve been dreaming of for so long.
Authors beginning with M
Mira Grant & Anna-Marie McLemore
Well these are two rather different authors… Mira Grant (a pseudonym for Seanan McGuire) is a horror writer of the most incredible horror ever! Into the Drowning Deep was one of the first horror novels I’ve ever read, and it is the standard from which I hold all up to now. I think it still remains one of the longest reviews I’ve written (if you’d like to read about how terrifying this novel is, check my review out here!) It was the most intense, terrifying, thrilling book, bringing a fiersome twist to mermaids, is one of my all time favourites, and I’m really due a reread…. (Update: I’ve started rereading. Writing this got me too excited.)
Anna-Marie McLemore is an author I’ve been meaning to read for a while, and whilst I haven’t yet started any of their books yet, I wanted to shout them out as one of the authors I’m most excited to read this year! Anna is one of my favourite book bloggers favourite authors, and I hear so much about them that I really need to just get my act together and start. Dark and Deepest Red, Anna’s newest release, is sitting on my shelf right now and I very much plan on reading it soon.
Authors beginning with N
Another one of my favourite reads of last year, this week’s list is full of my favourites! Like a Love Story absolutely blew me away. Set during the 1980s AIDS crisis, it is one of the most emotionally stunning, beautiful uplifting books, the most brilliant tale of friendship and love and the power of life. I would love everyone to pick this book up. I have a full review here!
Authors beginning with O
If I had to think of a book or two I wished I heard more people talking about, I think Do You Dream of Terra-Two? would be one of them. This really kicked me out of a reading slump last year. It was also the very first book I reviewed on this blog, so holds a very special place in my heart. (If you want to see how I’ve progressed – and hopefully I have! – you can read it here.) Do You Dream of Terra-Two? is a heavily character driven science fiction journey, inspired by the 1960s Space Race and set in a world which continued its drive and race to the skies. It feels very similar to sci-fi like Becky Chambers and Emma Newman, in that it brings a strong focus on brilliant, detailed characters, and less of the heavy science. I really loved this one, and I think Temi Oh is going to be a writer to watch in speculative fiction.
That’s it for this week. I have no idea how Australia is going to be doing next week, and I wish so much love and strength to everyone around the world to get through this. Please stay safe out there, and do practice social distancing if you are able to. And try to focus on the bright side: for me, it’s that little bit extra sleep and no need to stuff myself on a awfully humid tram to commute into the city. But find what you can focus on to stay positive in this pretty hellish environment right now.