The Summer of Discovery

I think that this past summer may have been the summer when I discovered more new authors that I love than I ever will in any other summer of my life.

Here’s the list of authors that I read books by for the first time this year, in no particular order. Brian McClellan (Promise of Blood), Mur Lafferty (The Shambling Guide to New York City), Brent Weeks (The Night Angel Trilogy), Ursula K. LeGuin (A Wizard of Earthsea), Patrick Rothfuss (Name of the Wind and Wise Man’s Fear), Guy Gavriel Kay (Tigana), Myke Cole (Shadow Ops: Control Point), Scott Lynch (The Lies of Locke Lamora), Neil Gaiman (American Gods), John Scalzi (Redshirts), Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game), and George R. R. Martin (A Game of Thrones).

If there is even a single author on that list whose books you have not read, you are doing yourself a disservice. I loved every single book I read over the summer, and will be buying more by all of those authors when possible.

In some ways, it may have been the best summer of my life. While simultaneously being the worst, if that’s possible. I’m really not sure yet.

I’m not saying that I won’t have a summer ever where I don’t read more books that I love than this one. I’m just saying that they won’t be from new authors. They won’t be discoveries. They’ll be continuations.

And that’s fine with me. I love continuations, and I am glad that every single author listed above has more books published or on the way to publication, because I want to read them.

But I also want to continue to discover new authors. This will be harder for me, as I now have a much larger number of authors whose works I love and will read over a new author given the choice. Some of these authors are putting out ridiculous numbers of books (Sanderson, I’m looking at you), and so I know my reading schedule will be quite busy.

I think the lesson I learned is not that I read too many new authors. It’s that I enjoy reading new authors, and I have to keep reminding myself that, even though the authors I currently love could probably keep me happy for the rest of my life, I need to continue to explore and discover new authors. I think that’s something everyone should try to do more of. It expands your horizons. I know that, at least for me, several of the authors above have done things in their writing I didn’t know were possible before, or gone in new directions, that make me want to try similar things in my own writing.

So yes, I’m always looking for new recommendations. Just be aware that I have something that is probably around 100 books of back-log right now. If you recommend something, I may not get to it until 2015 or 2016.

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