Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I discovered in 2020
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.
I read 240 books in 2020, and a lot of those were new-to-me authors. It’s been really hard to narrow this list down to just ten, because I could have easily gushed over 20+ authors who I read for the first time in 2020 and really loved.
However, these were by far the best of the best new authors that I read in 2020, and I’m looking forward to reading more from all of them in the future.
10. Dean Atta
I had never heard of Dean Atta until The Black Flamingo was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize. It blew me away, and I highly recommend it if you want to read a coming-of-age YA novel in verse. However, I then read one of Dean Atta’s adult poetry collections and I didn’t love it as much as I was expecting to. Although I’ll definitely be reading more of Atta’s work in the future, I didn’t feel able to place him any higher on this list.
9. Jennifer Lynn Barnes
My friend Anya has recommended that I read Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ novels more times than I can count since I’ve met her, but for some reason I never got around to picking one up. That changed in 2020, when I was honoured to be asked to participate in the blog tour for The Inheritance Games. Reminding me of a cross between Truly Devious and Dynasty, I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the sequel, The Hawthorne Legacy, when it is released. Luckily Jennifer Lynn Barnes has released tons of books over the years, though, so I’ve got a big backlist of her books to work through.
8. Colson Whitehead
I don’t often read literary fiction, but when Elliot Brooks and her partner read The Underground Railroad and really enjoyed it I decided that Sean and I should give it a go as well. Because it’s part of a genre I don’t pick up that often, it did take me a while to get into it, but the story is so powerful that I really felt every word of it. I have The Nickel Boys on my Kindle and I’m hoping to read it as soon as possible.
7. Jennifer Bell
I was intrigued by the cover of Wonderscape when it first popped up on NetGalley, but I didn’t end up requesting it until Gavin from How to Train Your Gavin read it and was absolutely raving about how brilliant it was. I ended up loving it, too, as it’s like a middle grade version of Ready Player One! I also read Jennifer Bell’s debut novel, The Crooked Sixpence, in 2020 when it was chosen as the Middle Grade Monthly read in November, and I’m looking forward to carrying on with the rest of this trilogy.
6. Robert Jackson Bennett
The first two books in the Founders trilogy absolutely blew me away. I’ve been seeing people raving about these books on Booktube for a little while, so I eventually caved and borrowed them from the library and I was not disappointed. With the dry sarcasm of Pierce Brown combined with the creativity of Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jackson Bennett is a brilliant author and I’m looking forward to the third book in the Founders trilogy finally being announced.
5. Michelle Harrison
Michelle Harrison is an author who I’ve known about for an awfully long time, but because I didn’t read much middle grade I just assumed I was too old for her books. However, after reading A Pinch of Magic for Believathon I couldn’t resist carrying on with the series, and I’ve now got the third book in the trilogy pre-ordered and I’m looking forward to reading it as soon as it arrives at the beginning of February. I’ve also bought the first book in the Thirteen Treasures series, so I’m looking forward to starting that as well!
4. Jay Kristoff
Jay Kristoff is a late addition to this list, as we read Illuminae in December and that was my first ever Jay Kristoff read. I absolutely flew through it and can’t wait to read Gemina (which is on my TBR for this month – luckily I still have a few days left!) and eventually read some of Jay Kristoff’s solo offerings, too. I managed to pre-order a signed copy of Empire of the Vampire last week: bring on September!
3. Robert Jordan
I don’t know why I waited until 2020 to finally start the Wheel of Time series, but I’m so glad that I finally picked it up. I was a bit apprehensive about reading these because of how long they are – the first book comes in at around 700 pages, and I think it’s one of the shorter installments! – but I have read the first three books in the series now and the lowest rating I’ve given any of them was 4.5 stars. I’m hoping the rest of the series will live up to my expectations: only 11 more books to go!
2. Jessica Townsend
In 2020 I read books one and two in the Morrigan Crow series, and I discovered a new favourite middle grade story. Following a cursed child called Morrigan Crow, this story has magic and whimsy but isn’t afraid to play with darker elements as well. The third novel in the series, Hollowpox, was released towards the end of 2020, and it’s a book which I can’t wait to get my hands on.
1. Elizabeth Acevedo
I’d been interested in reading Elizabeth Acevedo’s writing since her debut novel, The Poet X, was released, but for some reason I didn’t actually pick it up until 2020. I loved it so much that I read Clap When You Land a couple of months later, and I’ve got With the Fire on High on loan from the library at the moment. Elizabeth Acevedo has definitely become one of my favourite authors, but at the moment I’ve only read her novels in verse. I’m looking forward to reading With the Fire on High, which has a more traditional narrative structure, and discovering whether I love Elizabeth Acevedo’s writing no matter what style she is using.
And those are the ten best authors that I discovered in 2020! Please leave links to your Top Ten Tuesday posts down in the comments, so I can find out which authors you discovered in 2020.
Have a great week, and I’ll see you again soon!