Lists, Reviews

You Need To Know…(A Top Ten List)

Did you know?

I start far too many questions with that phrase (as a lover of trivia, I like to share). But did you know I have a life list? I do. Here are a few things I’ve managed to cross off:

File all of that under things you didn’t need to know. So what do you need to know? This week’s top ten list: authors who deserve more recognition. So here are ten names you need to know.

Cliff Jumping

My brother and I cliff jumped while we were vacationing at Lake Powell. Sadly, no one took a photo.

In no particular order (as hosted by The Broke and The Bookish):

10. Frank Bill. Because Crimes in Southern Indiana and Donnybrook are as good as it gets in ‘grit-lit’.

9. Donald Ray Pollack. If I haven’t convinced you to read him yet, you’re totally hopeless. 😉

8. Kelly Braffet. Her novel, Save Yourself, is so very, very good.

7. Liza Klaussman. If you’ve read Tigers in Red Weather, it will come as no surprise that the author is a huge fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald, but she is also the great-great-great-granddaughter of Herman Melville.

6. Patrick deWitt. I loved The Sisters Brothers and I’m looking forward to Ablutions. How can you not love an author who can sum up your entire being in two quotes?

I could not sleep without proper covering and spent the rest of the night rewriting lost arguments from my past, altering history so that I emerged victorious. (This is me.)

The things I had come to find humor in would make your honest man swoon. (This is true too.)

5. Patrick Somerville. I loved his short story collection The Universe in Miniature in Miniature. I do appreciate a good cover and great title.

4. Will McIntosh. Because everyone should give good speculative fiction a chance.

3. Owen King. He is funny and Double Feature is excellent. Also, fun trivia fact for you, he’s married to number eight on this list. They are cute together on twitter.

2. Amber Dermont. Sailing, boarding schools, and anagrams.

1. Janice Clark. I haven’t finished her debut novel The Rathbones yet, but it is good so far. Here is a bit of praise it has earned: ‘Think Moby-Dick directed by David Lynch from a screenplay by Gabriel Garcia Marquez…with Charles Addams doing the set design and The Decembrists supplying the chanteys’ (The Millions). How can you top that?

It wouldn’t hurt you to know authors Matt Bell, Carol Rifka Brunt, Shalom Auslander, Lance Weller, or Adam McOmber either…

Did you know that dead bodies can get goosebumps? They can, though it’s not for the same reason living bodies do. Did you know that on July 16th Albert Einstein met with Leo Szilard and Eugene Wigner? This meeting changed the world, as it set in motion the events that would create the Manhattan Project and the atomic bomb.

Please tell me one author I should be reading…? Anyone else love (what amounts to) useless knowledge?


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  • lauratfrey

    I’m kind of laughing about Patrick DeWitt needing more publicity. He’s EVERYWHERE in Canada.

    Thanks for the tip on Liza Klaussman! I’m on the lookout for any kind of female connection to Moby-Dick. It’s such a guy’s book in many ways.

    • Rory

      I’m going to have to look up and see if he’s Canadian. I didn’t think he was, but he doesn’t get much attention here. Even when The Sisters Brothers was longlisted for the Booker Prize….nothing.

      I’m reading The Rathobones right now, which has earned minor comparisons to Moby Dick, except it’s written by a female and centered around a female protagonist. It’s a little odd, but good so far.

      Warning: if I consider something a little odd, it’s probably REALLY odd by the average person’s standards. 🙂

      • lauratfrey

        Yeah he’s Canadian. We are pretty proud of him. I guess I should read it???

        I like really odd books 🙂

        • Rory

          The Rathbones or The Sisters Brothers?

          Though just to be on the safe side, read both! I absolutely adored The Sisters Brothers, the sense of humor in it is great.

  • Lianne @

    Ooh, I didn’t know that about Liza Klaussman. I hope to get around to Tigers in Red Weather at some point…soon…lol

    Yay for Patrick deWitt! 🙂

    My TTT

    • Rory

      Tigers in Red Weather was definitely one of the highlights of my 2012 reading. I do sincerely wonder if we’ll ever get to everything on our TBR list. I’m thinking not.

      • Lianne @

        Ooh, nice, definitely have to bump it up the want-to-read pile now, lol.

        Haha, same here, it’s one of those never-ending constants of a book blogger/reader’s life xD

  • Christine @ BookishlyB

    Some new ones to look up and add to my wish list!

    • Rory

      My job is done then.

  • booksaremyfavouriteandbest

    So interesting that Kelly Braffett made your list because truly, the cover of her book could not have been less appealing for me…. But on the strength of your review, I added it to my TBR stack.

    • Rory

      That is one of the drawbacks of the book, but at least it’s a superficial one. I checked out the covers of her other books as well, nothing to get excited about…

      The book definitely sucks you in and that is just what I needed when I read it. For the record: & Sons is finally picking up – thankfully.

  • priscilla

    Lots of titles for the TBR! I actually have The Sisters Brothers but haven’t read it yet–I’d better get on that (and then the Pollack.). I’ll recommend Keith Lee Morris’s novel The Dart League King and his short story collection Call It What You Want. He’s a terrific writer–The Dart League King was one of my favorite reads of 2010.

    • Rory

      I’ll have to check him out, I haven’t heard of him before. I love the title Call It What You Want.

      The Sisters Brothers is a must read. Bonus that you already have it!

  • Loni

    I’ve been wanting to read Owen King’s debut… I should get on that…
    I like unique books … and useless knowledge.
    Is there a book/author for you from my list this week ( My Top Ten )
    Have you read any Octavia Butler?

    • Rory

      It’s excellent, it’s a bit of a slow start (so don’t give up on it!).

      I love trivia. To be honest, it drives most people I know a little crazy. I can’t help it, my mind is like a sponge. 🙂

  • Elizabeth

    You know, I’ve never heard of any of these authors (again I think it comes from reading primarily YA). I loved the quotes on #6 though, I’m EXACTLY like that! So maybe I’ll start with him 🙂

    • Rory

      Should I lose an argument (not that that ever happens), I do replay it in my head before I fall asleep. Glad to know I’m not the only one.

      Also, I can’t sleep without a blanket. Even when it’s 90 degrees at midnight, I still need one to sleep. That is one habit I wish would go away!

  • Bonnie (@missbonnie13)

    Donald Ray Pollack… hmm… I think I’ve heard you mention him a few times. 😀

    • Rory

      And today was library day. Don’t think I’ve forgotten, I’ll be looking for your updates on Goodreads to make sure you are reading it.

      • Bonnie (@missbonnie13)

        hahaha Yes, yes. I officially have possession of it.

  • Laura

    You may have just convinced me to read Liza Klaussman, which I had never really considered, and to reconsider Amber Dermont. I just picked up Devil All The Time for $1.99 at my local used bookstore.

  • Bookseller Cate

    A comparison to Melville will always intrigue me. (Fitzgerald doesn’t hurt either.) I’ll have to look for Lisa Klaussman. I think Tigers in Red Weather is in the store’s fiction section right now.

  • juliegreenart

    This is fantastic! I haven’t read any of these authors yet so I’ll have to do my best to work through them. Interesting selection. Loving your review of This Bright River.

    I have another author to add to the list and that’s Australian Thriller author Chris Allen ( who has written (and is writing the third of) the Intrepid book series featuring star agent Alex Morgan, a “get stuff done” kind of guy. Have you read his work? He’s pretty damn brilliant! Really think he’s worth finding out about.

    Thanks again, I’ll be sure to come back to this list.

  • Sarah Says Read

    Darn, the only one I read from your list is Patrick DeWiit and I didn’t really love The Sisters Brothers :/ I’ll have to explore some of the others!

  • Jay @ Vailia’s Page Turner

    Owen King is the only one I recognize from this list. And now I know of his wife 🙂
    Here was my Top Ten.

  • christinasr

    Haven’t read any of these but added a couple more to my insane wish list… Thanks (I guess…!!)

  • Pingback: Patrick deWitt: Notes on a reading | Reading in Bed()

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