Top Ten Tuesday: Authors you should be reading

Top 10 TuesdayDespite the wonderful diversity of the bookish blogosphere, at times it seems as though everyone is raving about the same popular author or hot new trilogy. So this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a great one, I think: name ten authors who deserve more recognition. I’m attempting to limit my list to authors who are currently alive and writing, so I’m not sure if I’ll get to ten, but here goes:

1. Anna Dean — She writes mysteries set in Jane Austen’s England, and her style is spot-on! Try Bellfield Hall, the first book in her series featuring spinster/sleuth Dido Kent.

2. Rachel Aaron — I picked up the first Eli Monpress book, The Spirit Thief, a couple years ago, and it absolutely knocked my socks off. I love fantasy novels of the sword-and-sorcery variety, but they often seem derivative and formulaic. Aaron breathes new life into the old tropes, and I highly recommend the first three Eli Monpress books especially.

3. Jasper Fforde — Okay, so Fforde is probably too well-known for this list. He definitely has a large following, but I think it might be a little isolated from the mainstream, so I figured I’d mention him. 🙂 Do you love literature? Do you enjoy wildly wacky plots set in an alternate universe? Do ridiculous puns cause you to cackle hysterically? If so, you should definitely give the Thursday Next series a try! Start with The Eyre Affair.

4. Rainbow Rowell — Again, perhaps too popular for this list? It seems as though Eleanor & Park has already gotten significant Internet buzz, but let’s keep it coming! And don’t forget about her first novel, Attachments, which is equally swoony and romantic!

5. Jude Morgan — Yes, I’ve mentioned him before, but I’m going to keep mentioning him because he’s great! If you love Austen and Heyer but don’t know where to go next, look no further. Try A Little Folly, An Accomplished Woman, or Indiscretion.

6. Carol Berg — Another fantasy writer of the sword-and-sorcery persuasion. I first read her Lighthouse duet, Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone, and was very impressed with it. The pacing is slow, but the world-building and characters are very solid. Definitely recommended for fans of this genre.

7. Julie James — Her novel Practice Makes Perfect was my introduction to the contemporary romance genre, and it convinced me that not all romance novels are ill-written drivel. I’ve really enjoyed all her books so far, though I have yet to read her latest, Love Irresistibly. The great thing about James is that she actually succeeds when she tries to be funny!

And, uh, that’s all I can think of right now. So you tell me: what other authors should I be reading?

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