Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2020

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

PREVIOUS TOP TEN TUESDAY TOPICS:

Isn’t it great when you find a new author and they are fantastic! It is like talking to someone for the first time and realising that you have just so much in common and you make a new friends.

So what follows is a list of all the authors who were new to me in 2020. Some were debut writers in their own right and therefore just new, others are established authors who are new only to me. And I think we shall try to focus on the authors this week.

Leigh Bardugo

What did I read?

Ninth House

What did I think?

Loved it! Great fun with magic and ghosts and college campuses.

What else has she written?

The Grishaverse novels – which I might leave to one side for now; but I am looking forward to the sequel to Ninth House, apparently due this year

Abbi Waxman

What did I read?

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

What did I think?

I liked the premise and the characters – and who wouldn’t want to work in an independent bookshop? It was a warm and heart lifting read which felt right for keeping my spirits up during a fatal global pandemic.

What else has she written?

I Was Told It would get Easier and Other People’s Houses – neither of which I am rushing to get. Sorry. I think this novel was right at the time, but that time is moving on…

Casey McQuiston

What did I read?

Red, White and Royal Blue

What did I think?

Lovely escapist fun – gay romance between the First Son of America and the Prince of Wales, it was nowhere near as raunchy as the media suggested and actually rather coy.

What else has she written?

This is really not my usual genre but there is something appealing about her forthcoming One Last Stop which I will look out for.

Becky Chambers

What did I read?

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

What did I think?

A book title that says it all! A ragtag crew on a spaceship with enough time to bicker, bond, discover themselves and fall in love with each other. Great fun and full of warmth.

What else has she written?

There are two more books in the Wayfarers series with a fourth coming out this year, The Galaxy, and the Ground Within. This is likely to be a series I come back to.

Candice Carty-Williams

What did I read?

Queenie

What did I think?

Loved the frankness and honesty and humour of Queenie’s journey and the appalling racist micro-aggressions and fetishisation.

What else has she written?

Various contributions to magazines and journalism, and a second novel People Person is coming out this year, I believe. I will be looking out for that.

Bernardine Evaristo

What did I read?

Girl, Woman, Other

What did I think?

Totally blown away. This was a wonderful beautiful book.

What else has she written?

Oh, there is a whole back catalogue of novels and drama! How did I not know of her before she was nominated for the Booker? Much joy to be mined from this discovery.

Taylor Jenkins Reid

What did I read?

Daisy Jones and the Six

What did I think?

I liked the mock-documentary style and the recreation of the music scene. And the character of Daisy was wonderful: mercurial, frustrating, mesmerising. Was it a little too tidy at the end?

What else has she written?

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is the big other book, but there were a few more prior to that; and Malibu Rising is being published this year.

Maria Kuzniar

What did I read?

The Ship of Shadows

What did I think?

It was… alright. It was very Middle School and felt a tad light to me. As a reader of much YA, I was not blown away.

What else has she written?

Nothing yet but The Ship of Shadows has scope for a sequel / series. There were many threads left dangling.

Deepa Anappara

What did I read?

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

What did I think?

An important novel exploring India’s missing children, and a great depiction of slum life… but it felt weighted down by its agenda a little.

What else has she written?

Much journalism, I think this was her first novel.

Tamsyn Muir

What did I read?

Gideon the Ninth

What did I think?

Loved the madness of it – the relationship with Harrow, the necromancy, the bizarrely contemporary and familiar language… One of the few novels where I enjoyed reading fight scenes!

What else has she written?

The sequel Harrow the Ninth is waiting for the right time to be read!

Kiley Reid

What did I read?

Such a Fun Age

What did I think?

Interesting concept, very relevant to 2020’s Black Lives Matters, hugely let down by the conclusion.

What else has she written?

Nothing that I am aware of: Such a Fun Age was her debut novel.

Holly Jackson

What did I read?

The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

What did I think?

Great! A surprisingly dark YA detective novel uncovering the secrets in a small British town.

What else has she written?

The sequel Good Girl, Bad Blood which was also great!

TJ Klune

What did I read?

The House in the Cerulean Sea

What did I think?

Lovely! Fantasy, middle aged gay romance. And phoenixes. Quality warm escapism and I loved the bureaucracy of DICOMY!

What else has he written?

A range of queer romances. Check them out here

Stacey Halls

What did I read?

The Familiars

What did I think?

I found it a little flat. Seventeenth century witch hunts and witch trials should have been a more compelling read. It was… ok. I didn’t hate it – but it might have been more fun if I had.

What else has she written?

The Foundling which I do actually have, but there are a lot of other books I want to read first. Perhaps if I run out of other books…

Francine Toon

What did I read?

Pine

What did I think?

Fantastically creepy gothic novel set in Scottish Highlands. Genuinely disturbing in places, I loved the sense of community she created – albeit a community with its own fractures.

What else has she written?

Nothing else: Pine was her debut.

It is interesting: I had not planned to focus on new-to-me authors last year but fifteen of them feels like quite a high percentage; and I had not consciously been away of how many of them would end up being female on this list! And with the pandemic, there are a lot of books here that I might not have picked up any other year, and which I am glad I did!

I cannot wait to read your new-to-you authors from last year and please do drop me a comment if you pop by!

FORTHCOMING TOP TEN TUESDAY TOPICS:

  • February 2: Books Written Before I Was Born (These can be books you’ve read or want to read!) (submitted by Davida Chazan @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog)
  • February 9: Valentine’s Day/Love Freebie
  • February 16: Purple, Yellow, and/or Green Book Covers (in honor of Mardis Gras, which is today!)
  • February 23: Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud (Claire @ Book Lovers Pizza)

22 comments

  1. So many of these are on my TBR! I’m so excited for The Ship of Shadows–I’ve been getting very into Middle Grade recently–and I really want to give Queenie a try. I just finished the final book in the Wayfarers series and the whole series is brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ve got such a great list here. Yea to Leigh Bardugo – Always!! Taylor Jenkins Reid almost made it to my list, but I don’t know if I’ll read more books by her. Even though I did enjoy Daisy Jones. I am definitely having a look at Holly Jackson. Now that’s my kind of read!

    Happy TTT!

    Elza Reads

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I couldn’t ever make up my mind about reading The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder or not, but it’s been on so many TTT lists lately I might have to try it out after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I retired as a high school librarian in 2017 and I am ashamed to say I only recognize your first author. Oh dear. Thanks for visiting my blog.

    Like

  5. I love Leigh Bardugo’s books so much, although I haven’t actually gotten to Ninth House yet. I’d definitely recommend reading her Six of Crows duology at some point. I’ve been meaning to read Red, White, and Royal Blue, Daisy Jones and the Six, and Gideon the Ninth for absolute ages, but maybe I’ll get to them this year?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, I love that we did a similar layout! 😉 Nina Hill, Queenie, and Daisy Jones are all on my TBR. Happy to see you enjoyed them. ❤

    Like

  7. This is so many new authors! I’ve only read Leigh Bardugo out of this list, of which I also need to check out Ninth House eventually. I’ve heard of several of these, but I particular want to read Holly Jackson’s books.

    Liked by 1 person

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