Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2021

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

As we close January, we bring the month of retrospective lists to a close with a list of new authors. And this is one of my favourite things about reading: discovering new authors, new voices, new perspectives on the world. Of course, the comfort of familiarity is wonderful too, but in my reading, novelty (sorry, pun was rather intended there, which doesn’t make it good!) brings its own vitality!

So, here are the authors I read for the first time in 2021

Monique Roffey

I adored this book with its lyrical longings and the rhythms of the Caribbean language and ocean and weather in its prose – gorgeous.

Patricia Lockwood

Can a dog be twins?

I loved the humour in this novel, as the narrator pursues her internet influencer life style. She becomes increasingly aware of its vapidity, as her sister gives birth to a seriously disabled child and the novel abruptly switches modes at the point. Powerful.

Janice Hallett

Hallett approached the genre of crime fiction from a different perspective in these novels – presenting a stream of first hand evidence, messages, emails, audio files, to the reader to decipher for themselves. Gone are the knowing detectives, the Holmes and the Poirot, to guide us and it was a breath of fresh air in an over-stuffed genre. Great, fun reads.

Rachel Cusk

I cannot say I liked Second Place, but then I am not entirely sure that I fully understood it either. A grumpy painter. His flighty girlfriend. A sweet mother-daughter relationship. It had its moments of joy … but they were wide spread.

Raven Leilani

I loved Luster’s narrator, another struggling working class black millenial, struggling to find herself. Somewhat oddly moving into her married lover’s marital home, invited to do so by his wife. Some truly gorgeous writing.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This book does exactly what it states in the title: it is a wonderfully effective Gothic novel replete with ancient mansion, family secrets, violence and blood, set in Mexico! And it is deliciously creepy and vicious in the violation it depicts.

Amanda Craig

Mixtures of fairytale and mythology abound here, tied up with a Hitchcockian murder mystery style: two women on a train, in a heady meeting and intoxicated by their various troubles with men, decide to switch murders and dispose of the other’s husband. Is all as it seems? Of course not!

Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone

This Is How You Lose The Time War

Is it cheating just a little to put these two together?

Possibly, but I have only read this novel, produced by them together, so what other choice have I?

And Time War is a glorious song to love, a paean to the ability of love to escape from death, conflict and the apparently interminable time war. I adored both the conflict in it – wonderfully imaginative worlds, both organic and technological, and their war back and forth along the strands of time – and of course the relationship and the romance and the passion and the lyricism of the letters between Blue and Red.

Mick Herron

River Cartwright, Jackson Lamb and the cadre of failed spies – alcoholics, people who mislay sensitive files, spies who cannot manage simple tracking or training exercises – are an entertaining bunch. Once Jackson Lamb’s farting is put to one side.

Clare Chambers

I found these utterly charming books – especially Small Pleasures – and Clare Chambers writes with a deftness and a control that is exquisite when depicting thoroughly decent people acting decently in Small Pleasures, and slightly less decently in The Editor’s Wife.

Naoise Dolan

I adored this book – ex-pat Irish girl struggling to make ends meet in Hong Kong meets and moves in with a banker with money to spare. I loved the relationships and the characters, and especially the little vignettes of the school teaching. And Dolan is a fantastic follow on Twitter. Just saying!

Anne Tyler

My first Anne Tyler, and I loved this quiet and gentle tale of Micah, a quiet man in a carefully managed routine, which gets shaken up by the arrival of a young man claiming to be (potentially) his son. It was a gorgeous and affect read, with so much warm humour in it.

It is lovely, for a change to focus on the authors – the real living people – behind the books that we come to love, to cherish and just to whole-heartedly enjoy! Have you read any of these? Please do drop me a comment below, let me know your thoughts and join the conversation!

Upcoming Top Ten Tuesday Themes

  • February 1: Books with Character Names In the Titles (Submitted by BookLoversBlog and Lucy @ Bookworm Blogger)
  • February 8: Love Freebie (come up with your own topic having to do with love)
  • February 15: Books Too Good to Review Properly (I have no words!) (Submitted by Dedra @ A Book Wanderer)
  • February 22: Dynamic Duos (Submitted by Elley @ Elley the Book Otter)

32 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2021”

  1. I’m kinda sad to say that I haven’t read any of these authors yet but so many of their books ARE on my TBR! I’m especially looking forward to reading Leilani and Moreno-Garcia this year. Great list! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read Anne Tyler before. I read The Accidental Tourist for an English Lit class. I haven’t read any of the other authors, but The Mexican Gothic is on my TBR. Thanks for stopping by my blog! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is nice to celebrate the authors behind the books for a change. I have only read Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, but I do intend to read more of her work. I have heard Anne Tyler’s name for years but have yet to read one of her books. This is a great list. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I also discovered Silvia Moreno-Garcia last year, with Velvet Was the Night, and I’m excited to read more of her work! This is a great list, and I’m excited to discover some books by the authors you’ve listed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very impressed by your layout skills – getting those images to line up must have taken you quite some effort.

    I have just bought Small Pleasures, never having read Clare Chambers previously

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Several of these books AND authors are new to me, so thank you for sharing! Mexican Gothic is on my tbr. So many readers have enjoyed it. I’m super intrigued by so many of these. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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