Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-me authors read in 2017

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is:

Top ten new-to-me authors I read in 2017

I don’t take part in Top Ten Tuesday every week, but I thought this one would give me an opportunity to take another look back at 2017’s reading as well as looking forward to the future. The ten authors I’ve listed below were all new to me last year and I am now interested in reading more books by all ten of them, in 2018 if possible.


1. Rebecca Mascull

Rebecca Mascull was the first author to come to mind when I saw the topic for this week. Until 2017 I had never read any of her books, but The Wild Air and Song of the Sea Maid both impressed me enough to win a place on my books of the year list. I still have her first novel, The Visitors, to look forward to.

2. Robert Graves

I read I, Claudius in 2017 and enjoyed it more than I’d expected to (Ancient Rome is not one of my favourite periods to read about). The sequel, Claudius the God, is on my Classics Club list and I will try to get round to it this year.

3. Helen Steadman

I was pleased to discover Helen Steadman in 2017 because she writes about the North East of England, which is where I am from. Her debut novel, Widdershins, is about the Newcastle witch trials of 1650 and apparently a sequel is on its way.

4. Allan Massie

Death in Bordeaux is the first in a quartet of crime novels set in 1940s France. I liked it enough to want to read the others, which is fortunate as I need to read the fourth one for my Reading the Walter Scott Prize project.

5. Elizabeth Jane Howard

Having heard so much about Elizabeth Jane Howard’s Cazalet Chronicles, 2017 was the year I got round to starting the series myself. I enjoyed The Light Years and am looking forward to continuing with the second book, Marking Time.

6. Nicholas Blake

Nicholas Blake (Cecil Day-Lewis) is one of several classic crime authors I read for the first time in 2017 (Michael Innes is another). So far The Corpse in the Snowman is the only book of his that I’ve read, but I have another of his Nigel Strangeways mysteries lined up to read soon.

7. Nicola Cornick

I enjoyed reading two Nicola Cornick books in 2017 – The Phantom Tree and House of Shadows. Both are historical fiction involving dual time periods; her earlier novels don’t really appeal to me but I’m hoping she will write more books like these two!

8. RF Delderfield

Delderfield’s Long Summer Day was another of my favourite books of 2017. I’m planning to read the other books in his A Horseman Riding By trilogy this year, before going on to explore everything else he has written.

9. Antonia Senior

Antonia Senior’s The Winter Isles is a fascinating story set in 12th century Scotland. Although I didn’t quite manage to love it, it has made me curious about her other novels.

10. Gerald Durrell

I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but I did enjoy Gerald Durrell’s Three Singles to Adventure and Golden Bats and Pink Pigeons in 2017. Maybe 2018 will be the year I finally read his Corfu trilogy!


Have you read anything by any of these authors? Which new-to-you authors did you discover in 2017?

21 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-me authors read in 2017

  1. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

    Great list! I need to read some Rebecca Mascull and I have a copy of Widdershins on my kindle so I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it – like you it was the North East setting, and the witch trials, that made me pick a copy up and if there’s a sequel on the way I’ll have to try and get to it soon.

    • Helen says:

      I would highly recommend both of the Rebecca Mascull books I read last year. I can’t decide which one I liked the best! Widdershins is interesting too – I hope you enjoy it.

  2. Café Society says:

    Thank you for reminding me about Massie. I have been meaning to read him for ages but somehow he had dropped off my radar. Durrell is magnificent. I read him during a difficult period in my early twenties and however bad things seemed he could always make me laugh. Do try The Bafut Beagles.

    • Helen says:

      I really enjoyed the two Durrell books I read last year, particularly Three Singles to Adventure. Thanks for recommending The Bafut Beagles – I do want to read more of his books, so I’ll look out for that one.

  3. whatmeread says:

    I would like to read more Durrell, too. So far, it’s just been My Family and Other Animals, which was hilarious. I think I read the Massie on our reading list, but it didn’t make much impression. I, Claudius and the rest of that series are very good.

  4. piningforthewest says:

    I’ve read I,Claudius and Claudius the God also The Light Years and I’m reading Long Summer Day at the moment. I think I’d like to read Widdershins and The Winter Isles. We have all of Massie’s Bordeaux books, maybe I’ll get around to them this year.

  5. Katie @ Read-at-Home Mom says:

    I have Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals sitting right here waiting for me to read this year. The only thing I’ve read by him so far is The Fantastic Flying Journey, and I’m curious about his other work. Great list!

  6. cirtnecce says:

    Awesome! I swear by Geradl Durrell and Elizabeth Jane Howard is great! I too discovered Rebecca Mascull truly this year; I had attempted The Visitors but it just did not work for me, but Song of the Sea Maid…lovely! I also included Robert Graves in my 2018 TBR reading challenge based off your review. I have not got on with his writings in past, but I need to give him another try!

    • Helen says:

      Sorry to hear The Visitors didn’t work for you. I do still want to read it, after enjoying her other two books so much. I hope you get on better with Robert Graves this time – I found I, Claudius quite challenging but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

  7. Liz Dexter says:

    I’ve read Durrell and Dangerfield and half a non-Cazalet EJH but didn’t get on with her too well. I didn’t note particularly new authors for me this year, which is a bit annoying but I’ve already combed through the journal for author genders and can’t face doing it again! Happy reading for 2018, and great authors to look out for!

    • Helen says:

      Thank you – and happy reading to you too. It did take me a while to look back through my list of books read in 2017 and pick out the new authors, so maybe I should note them as I go along this year.

  8. jessicabookworm says:

    I’m afraid I haven’t read any books by these authors, however I am looking forward to reading Nicola Cornick for the first time this year, as I have The Phantom Tree lined up on my Kindle.

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