TTT: New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2020

Welcome back to Top 10 Tuesday, where this week’s topic is going to be the easiest one I’ve done so far in 2021! As always, TTT is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and you can find hundreds of other participants on the blog if you click through!

I want to go ahead and thank Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess) and her Fantastic Stranglings Book Club for introducing me to almost every single one of these from last year, because that’s the easiest way I found to complete this list (even though I did read several new-to-me authors on my own).

1 – Silvia Moreno Garcia

She’s the author of Mexican Gothic, which is one of the top books on my list from last year. It was also one of the creepiest books I read last year, and I really want to read more from her. I’ve got to wait until my current library holds expire/are finished first, though!

2 – Naomi Novak

She’s the author of A Deadly Education, which holds the title for “best book of 2020” for me (and I am eagerly awaiting the sequel, The Last Graduate, due to come sometime in Summer 2021, and I’ve already pre-ordered it). I didn’t know that “Dark Academia” was a genre, but now I know and it’s truly exactly what I wanted.

3 – Alex Landragon

He’s the author of Crossings, which was pretty trippy. I still need to go back and re-read it in the “secret” Baroness sequence (which you follow the book not in chronological order, but by jumping between the chapters based on the page numbers at the end of each chapter).

4 – Katherine Arden

She’s the author of the Winternight Trilogy, which got me out of my reading slump last year (I read all three books in two days). And then I immediately got straight back into that slump. I absolutely loved the Russian folk lore she wove into her stories, and I want to read anything else by her now.

5 – Stuart Turton

I’d seen The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle floating around the book blogosphere for a long time, but hadn’t made the jump into it because I was afraid the book wouldn’t live up to the hype. Luckily, Evelyn Hardcastle lived up to the hype (which made it all the more disappointing when The Devil and the Dark Water did not).

6 – Grady Hendrix

I read The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, and thought it was wonderfully campy, but a little more NSFW than I wanted. It wasn’t terribly scary (I’m a wimp when it comes to horror), and I think I’d like to borrow his other books from the library so I can make a better decision as to whether he’s the author for me or not.

7 – Elisabeth Thomas

She’s the author of Catherine House, which was the first Dark Academia book I read last year (but it was before I’d heard of the term Dark Academia). Catherine House didn’t end the way I wanted it to (I need a sequel), but I enjoyed Thomas’s prose and wish I could just go ahead and get over my writer’s block because now there are inaugural poets who are younger than me and I feel like I’ve missed out on so much in life by neglecting my novel for almost two and a half years.

8 – Kate Winkler Dawson

She wrote American Sherlock, which helped forensics in the US grow into something more respected. It was the first non-fiction book I read last year (thanks, Fantastic Stranglings), and her writing style was so easy to follow (even if it was about a subject I’d never heard anything about!), which makes me want to read the other non-fiction books she’s written.

9 – Luanne G. Smith

She wrote The Vine Witch, and I’ve bought the next two books in the series but haven’t read them yet. (I may have to go back and re-read The Vine Witch first!). I thoroughly enjoyed the book, because the magic system was so wholesome. (Well, until you’re blown to pieces by a vengeful witch, but that’s a minor detail.)

10 – Tomi Adeyemi

I wanted to like Children of Blood and Bone so badly, and I even bought the second book in the series before reading the first because I was so convinced I’d love it, just like all the reviewers seemed to do. Alas, it was just the same YA coming of age/fighting against the bad guys story that exists in hundreds of other books that came before it, just with a different cast of characters. One of the bigger disappointments of 2020.

Six of these ten authors were ones that I met via the Fantastic Stranglings Book Club, and the others are from books that I’d either already had on my shelf or purchased on a whim from the Kindle Store. I definitely want to see more from all of these authors, and I’m looking forward to my 2021 reading list!

What about you? Who’s your favorite new-to-you author from 2020? Let me know in the comments!

And as always, keep reading.

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