Hidden Gems: Discovering Favorite Authors

One of my favorite pastimes is wandering through old bookstores, library sales, rummage sales. The old paperbacks and hardcovers call to me – what stories do they have to tell that I have not yet heard?

It’s true I often get recommendations of what book to read next, what’s selling hot, or what author might appeal to me. But it’s through these haphazard hobby searches that I’ve found some of my favorite hidden gems that are now on my bookshelves.

Maggie Stiefvater: A car-racing, dream-weaving, man-eating horse creator who also loves art, music, dogs and goats. What’s not to love about Maggie? She captured me with her novel, Shiver, that I stumbled across at a thrift store. But her grip was firmly around my heartstrings with The Scorpio Races. I read the novel every October (when the races are getting underway in the book). The world-building, vivid characters and heart-stopping race scenes make this one of the best books I’ve ever read.

Tawni O’Dell: I found a paperback copy of Back Roads at a college booksale in my early 20s. I read the book over the weekend, and quickly read her other works. Her novel, Fragile Beasts, is one of my favorites of all time. A tale about an elderly spitfire of a woman with a beloved retired riding bull; two orphaned teenage boys, a cat and an entirely eclectic sense of family throughout. I’ve read it no fewer than five times over the years.

Markus Zusak: I discovered an interest in World War II as a kid in junior high who read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. That novel has always stuck with me. Having two grandfathers who served in WWII, my interest has long since continued. The Book Thief presented itself to me as a ragged hardback at a scholarship sale for the high school. I’ve read the novel twice, and it still makes me cry. Zusak has become one of my favorite authors.

Happy reading!


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