Top 5 Tuesday: Alphabet Authors Part 3

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.

Hi everyone,

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

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

Abdi Nazemian

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

Temi Oh

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.

Top 5 Tuesday: Alphabet Authors Part 2

Top 5 Tuesday is created and run by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. You can join the fun by checking out the topics for the month here.

Hi everyone,

I am a fool and because we had a public holiday on Monday I totally lost track of days and forgot it was Tuesday. So Happy Top 5 Wednesday?! The world clock tells me it is still Tuesday somewhere in the world, so I’m going to write this so fast to get it in time! Continuing last week’s theme, this week we are looking at authors from F-J.

Authors beginning with F

Fonda Lee

Fonda Lee is an author pretty new to me. I started (and finished) her two novels Jade City and Jade War in January this year, they were my first reads of the year! They had been on my tbr for soooo long and I finally decided to tackle all the massive fantasy tomes on my shelf, starting with these. And I loved them! Filled with twists and turns, characters you expect to be around for a while suddenly…aren’t, incredible worldbuilding and magic system, and morally grey characters. I just LOVE. This is a fantasy series not to miss. Bring on the end to the trilogy in 2021!

Authors beginning with G

Sophie Gonzales

Enter the reimagined queer 90s romcom you’ve always dreamed of! Sophie Gonzales’ Only Mostly Devastated is one of the funniest, most joyful, sassy books I’ve read. Described as a queer Grease meets Clueless, it is the YA romcom I wanted in my youth. It is just the most fun. Ollie, the main character, is so sarcastic, he is a character after my own heart. I’m lucky enough to live in Melbourne, and so tomorrow get to go meet Sophie at her book launch. But if YA contemporary, queer romance, or 90s romcoms are your thing, then this book is for you! Check out my full rave review of this one here!

Authors beginning with H

Shaun David Hutchinson

We are the Ants is the only book I’ve read from Shaun David Hutchinson so far, but I already know he is an author I’m going to love reading more from. We Are the Ants was such an emotional read, Hutchinson has such an honest and relatable way of discussing mental health, I fell in love with the book and loved every second. I’m not usually a memoir reader, but Brave Face is one I really want to read as it talks about Hutchinson’s experience with mental health issues. I also am incredibly excited for his queer political romance The State of Us releasing this year!

Authors beginning with I

Ivy Pochoda & Jordan Ifueko

‘I’ was the first of the letters I really struggled with. So whilst I couldn’t think of any authors I’ve read beginning with I, I could think of two books releasing this year I wanted to shout out. Ivy Pochodo’s These Women is a serial killer literary thriller. A story about female empowerment, focusing on five women all connected to a dangerous, obsessive man. It sounds thoroughly dark and intriguing and oh so thrilling.

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko is the very different, debut YA fantasy about a woman sent to the city to compete to join the Crown Prince’s circle of advisors, but who is bound by a magical wish to kill him once she gains his trust.

Authors beginning with J

Joan He & N.K Jemisin

Two authors, one new to me last year, another I have loved for years! So of course I had to talk about them both. Joan He’s Descendant of the Crane was one of my favourite books last year. It is a detailed, political fantasy, a murder mystery with magic, and the most twisty YA fantasies you’ve ever read. It was incredible work for a debut author, and He’s second novel, The Ones We’re Meant to Find, somehow sounds even more incredible. It’s described as We Were Liars meets Black Mirror, and is about a girl living on a deserted island with no memory of who she is, and a girl trying to save an Earth ravaged by natural disasters. And He says it is even more twisty than her first, which I can’t even comprehend.

N.K Jemisin is certainly no stranger to fantasy readers. She is one of the biggest names in fantasy, most well known for her Broken Earth series, the queer as fuck, science as fuck, utterly captivating, geological masterpiece. It is, and will likely remain forever, one of my favourite fantasy series. N.K Jemisin also has a new book coming at the end of this month, The City We Became, based on a previous short story, about cities with souls. And New York has five of them.

That’s it for this week. Next week I will definitely not forget what day Tuesday is and have to stay up late to write this post and thus be exhausted at work tomorrow, definitely not.

Top 5 Tuesday: Alphabet Authors Part 1

Top 5 Tuesday is created and run by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. You can join the fun by checking out the topics for the month here.

Hi everyone,

Whoooooops, so I managed to miss every single February Top 5 Tuesday?! I had an unexpectedly busy February so really didn’t get much of a chance to blog in between all my FFFeb Instagram posts, but things are slowly beginning to calm down.

I’m both excited (and kinda scared) for the March topics! Last year, Shanah created the Alphabet week theme for a whole month where we had to find a title beginning with every letter of the alphabet. I feel like I was very not good at it at all – a lot of cheating with ‘The” and “A” book titles! But this time, it’s Alphabet Authors! Which has no easily available cheat! (Though by X, I have no doubt I’ll be like ‘if the name includes the letter’…..) This first week though should be slightly easier! I decided to not focus on only first or last names, to make it at least a little bit easier for me since I failed so badly last time. So here goes, the first week of Alphabet Authors!

Authors beginning with A

A.J Hackwith & K. Ancrum

Starting with a bang! I wanted to talk about two authors because both these authors jumped onto my ‘favourite authors ever’ list very recently!

A.J Hackwith wrote the incredibe snarky queer fantasy of your dreams, The Library of the Unwritten (with the sequel The Archive of the Forgotten releasing in October). I loved this book. It felt like the fantasy I had been needing for so long – it’s lighthearted and fun and was so different to the stream of very heavy fantasy books I’d been reading. You can check out my full review here, but I predict this to be one of my favourite books of the year so I would love to get somebody else reading this series!

K. Ancrum is someone I started reading last year, fell in love with The Wicker King, fell more in love with The Weight of the Stars and then pretty much died when I found out her next novel is a queer Peter Pan retelling, Darling. She is one of my ‘will always read’ authors, her work is known for it’s fantastically unique designs (definitely one to try pick up a hard copy for!) and I can’t wait to read her next book!

Authors beginning with B

Akemi Dawn Bowman

I randomly picked up Starfish at the library last year, not really knowing what to expect, but vaguely remembered seeing some bloggers praise the book. And I was blown away. The raw power of Starfish was so unexpected and so heartbreakingly familiar, it’s probably one of the novels I’ve felt most seen it. I can’t wait for her novel Harley in the Sky which is releasing this year and involves a circus, and more of the phenomenal mental health rep Bowman is known for.

Authors beginning with C

Caitlin Starling

Caitlin Starling’s The Luminous Dead was one of my favourites books of 2019. It was one of my first novels in horror, and I loved it so much. I was so impressed at her ability to create so much tension and fear and drama with just two characters and one, very tight, caving system. Her next two novels sound equally thrilling, one involving a Crimson Peak gothic horror about haunted mansion and ritual magic, and one involving a deadly plague (how current).

Authors beginning with D

Mason Deaver

Another amazing read from 2019! Mason Deaver’s debut novel I Wish You All the Best was one of the most beautiful, most emotional, most queer novels I read all year. Telling the story of a depressed nonbinary teen who is kicked out of home, it is a difficult but important read. Their next novel, The Ghosts We Keep, releases later this year. Dealing with grief, rejection, PTSD, and with an nonbinary teen at the centre of it all, I’m pretty sure I’m going to continue to love everything Deaver writes.

Authors beginning with E

Erin Gough & Erin Morgenstern

And to wrap things up, I bring you two Erins!

Erin Gough is a fantastic Aussie author who wrote one of the funniest YA books I’ve read, Amelia Westlake. Set at a fancy Australian private school, it’s an f/f romcom featuring bad girl Will and perfect student Harriet as they fight back against the misogynistic, homophobic crap at their school. I’ve worked in the Aussie education sector (in publishing) for the past few years, and ohmygod it is so fucking accurate I was crying with laughter. I love love love this novel, and I can’t wait to see what Erin writes next!

My second Erin is the wonderful Erin Morgenstern, who has written some of the most hyped books I think I’ve seen: The Night Circus and The Starless Sea. I was embarassingly late to The Night Circus, only reading it last year. But it was so delightfully magical and immersive and it’s one of only a few bookd where I immediately ordered the author’s next work, the second I put down the book. I might not have gotten around to reading The Starless Sea yet, but I know I will love it!

That’s it for this week! Have you read and loved any of these authors too? Can’t wait to see get back into Top 5 Tuesday and read everyone’s posts!

Top 5 Tuesday: Authors I Need to Read

Top 5 Tuesday is created and run by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. You can join the fun by checking out the topics for the month here.

Hi everyone,

How’s everyone’s NaNo going? We’re almost half way through the month and I’m….well…..not doing as well as I wanted to! I’m at around 12000 words currently, but I haven’t written for the past four days at all. I have a defence for 50% of those days: I had planned to catch up on Sunday for the previous two days, but ended up in bed with a horrific migraine. And then Monday, I triggered an asthma attack, I’m guessing through the combination of highest pollen level possible in Melbourne + going for a run + cleaning the bathroom with a closed door. All that means is that I’m now rather behind and getting annoyed at myself which is really not helping the whole writing process at all.

If you’re doing NaNo this year, let me know how it’s going! If you want to add me as a buddy on the site, I’m rh_aitken!


But onto Top 5 Tuesday! This week, I’m here to dream about all the authors I really need to get around to reading. Because ohmygod there are so so many and I can’t quite believe some of the names on this list.

Angie Thomas

I KNOW I’m starting with a really big author and it’s so embarassing I haven’t read any of her work yet! However, I am hopeful because I do have a stunning copy of The Hate U Give on my bookshelf currently, and so I’m definitely aiming to start reading Angie Thomas before the end of the year!

Samantha Shannon

Most of this list is going to be “sorry but in my defence I have this author on my shelf and just need to get around to reading.” I have a copy of Priory on my shelf which is very sad because I started this book, loved it, and I KNOW it’s so good, but its just so heavy to carry around on public transport that I haven’t read more than 50 pages. I’m hoping that over the Christmas break I’ll get around this, when I am able to sit down at a table and read it – hence no carrying around. I’m also really keen to read The Bone Season and very very almost joined in with the recent Boneathon, but I couldn’t get a copy in time.

Erin Morgenstern

So everyone I know seems to adore The Night Circus, and Erin Morgenstern has a new book coming out this month, which I have heard nothing but incredible things about and so I definitely need to read both of these! Luckily, I actually have The Night Circus currently borrowed from the library, so maybe that will be my next read…

SO – at the time of scheduling this post on Monday, I actually have managed to finish my library copy of The Night Circus so technically this doesn’t count anymore…However my asthma attack has left me quite exhausted so I’m keeping it on the list. Please pretend I haven’t read and adored it….

Sarah J Maas

Yes. I know. I don’t know how I’ve managed to not ever read a book by Sarah J. Maas. But somehow I have. I have ACOTAR on my shelf right now so I’ll probably start it some point soon…ish. Mainly because I feel so much shame for being pretty much the only person in the book community to not have read anything by her…

Anna-Marie McLemore

One of my favourite bloggers has been talking about McLemore for so long and I keep saying ‘I need to pick this up!’ for literally all of her books. But when I read the blurb for her 2020 release, Dark and Deepest Red, I knew without a doubt I REEEEALLLY need to get onto McLemore’s work because I am missing out on so much!


That’s it for this week and my Top 5 authors I need to read. Most of these I am fairly confident I will get to in the next few months, because I actually have a copy of all of them. But I also have copies of so many other incredible books so who knows if I’ll ever get to these. Which of these authors do you think I should read first?

Paws out,
Rach + Draco