Top Ten New-to-Me Authors in 2019

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is a freebie, and since I love making best-of lists in December, I thought I’d start with the best authors I discovered this year.  So far in 2019 I’ve read 113 books, and 75 of those are authors I read for the first time.  I included authors writing different types of books, and books written in a unique style.  I’m looking forward to reading more from these talented writers.  If you have other recommendations by these writers, please let me know!

  1. Sarah Moss: for Women’s Prize-nominated (but sadly not winning) The Ghost Wall. She’s also written The Tidal Zone, Night Waking, and Bodies of Light.
  2. Louise O’Neill: for the very powerful Asking For It.  This book still haunts me.  Also on my TBR is her Only Ever Yours.
  3. Susan Orlean: for The Library Book. I’d heard of The Orchid Thief and loved the movie based on it, but this was my first read by her.
  4. Elizabeth Acevedo: for the moving The Poet X.  Her latest is With the Fire On High.
  5. James Baldwin: I loved the poetry of If Beale Street Could Talk. Other books by Baldwin include Go Tell It On The Mountain, The Fire Next Time, and Notes of a Native Son.
  6. Rebecca MakkaiThe Great Believers was one of the most powerful books I read this year. I’m not sure what else to read by her though.
  7. Ruth Reichl: I read more about food this year than I normally do! Reichl’s engaging narrative style made her memoir Save Me the Plums much more than a book about food. She’s written a number of other vividly-titled memoirs, including Comfort Me With Apples and Tender at the Bone.
  8. Angie Kim: I loved her debut novel Miracle Creek, and meeting her made me appreciate her work even more.
  9. Lori Gottlieb: her highly-praised Maybe You Should Talk to Someone gave me so much to think about, and I loved getting an inside look into what therapy is like.
  10. Rachel Kadish: I loved her historical novel The Weight of Ink, about Jews in 15th century England, Portugal and Amsterdam. She has two other novels.

And a few more just-for-fun writers: Silvia Moreno-Garcia for The Gods of Jade and Shadow, Scarlett Peckham for her steamy historical romance novels, and Tricia Levenseller for her Pirate King series.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  What authors did you discover this year?


  20 comments for “Top Ten New-to-Me Authors in 2019

  1. December 10, 2019 at 8:29 am

    A reminder that I need to read Poet X.

    • December 10, 2019 at 10:26 am

      The Poet X is so good! I hope you love it.

  2. Nikki @The Night is Dark and Full of Books
    December 10, 2019 at 8:48 am

    Glad to see you found so many new favorite authors. Some authors I discovered this year were Gail Honeyman, Alex North and Ali Land. I read all of their debut novels and will definitely pick up anything they publish next!

    • December 10, 2019 at 10:24 am

      I loved Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine! I haven’t read the other two authors but I’ll check them out.

  3. Sumedha
    December 10, 2019 at 9:25 am

    The only author I recognize here is Elizabeth Acevedo, and she’s really good! I absolutely loved The Poet X as well, and I can’t wait to read With The Fire On High.

    Here’s my TTT 🙂

    • December 10, 2019 at 10:25 am

      The Poet X was so good. I’m looking forward to reading more by her. Thanks for the comment!

  4. lydiaschoch
    December 10, 2019 at 10:35 am

    I’m going to be keeping a close eye on this post to see what other people recommend in your comment section!

    My TTT.

    • December 10, 2019 at 11:24 pm

      There’s a lot of recommendations! I hope you find someone you like.

  5. December 10, 2019 at 11:41 am

    I’ve read THE LIBRARY BOOK and MIRACLE CREEK, but truthfully, I didn’t love either of them. I’d read more by Kim, but I believe MIRACLE CREEK is the only one she has out now. Glad you found some new authors to love this year!

    Happy TTT!


    • December 10, 2019 at 11:20 pm

      Sorry to hear those books didn’t work for you but thanks for commenting! Any recommendations of authors you discovered this year?

  6. December 10, 2019 at 11:53 am

    Silvia Moreno-Garcia was a new-to-me author this year, too! I’ve heard that her other work is also enjoyable, so I’m planning to check out some of those next year.

    • December 10, 2019 at 11:23 pm

      Her other books look really good, I’m happy to have discovered her.

      • December 11, 2019 at 10:57 am

        I agree, I’m happy to have other books of hers to try out.

  7. December 10, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    Oliver Sacks, Diane Setterfield, Maya Angelou, Octavia Butler, Joseph O’Connor, Anthony Horowitz, Imogen Hermes Gowar, Robin Hobb, and Grace Lin were new to me authors I’d like to read more of. And I second Lori Gottleib. I was surprised to find I had so many on my list!

    • December 10, 2019 at 11:19 pm

      Octavia Butler is so good, I really want to read more by her. And I loved Gowar’s book. Thanks for the recommendations!

  8. December 10, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    I discovered Ibi Zoboi, Jessica Townsend, & Angela Saini this year. That Rachel Kadish book sounds good.

    Here’s my list:

    • December 10, 2019 at 11:18 pm

      I’m not familiar with those authors, thank you for the recommendations!

  9. Dedra @ A Book Wanderer
    December 10, 2019 at 11:25 pm

    Sadly, I haven’t read any of these authors yet. Hopefully I can get to some of them next year! Great post. 🙂

    My TTT

  10. December 11, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    I am in love with Elizabeth Acevedo’s books! I discovered her this year, too, as well as Ruth Reichel–I read Save Me The Plums, too. Very good list–James Baldwin! Everything of his is worth it.

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