Tuesday, January 26, 2021

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

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! This week it's time to look back again, at the authors we read for the first time last year. I am always a little embarrassed about these, there are so many great authors I've still never read!


Chang-Rae Lee: I'd heard good things about his work even before his Native Speaker was selected for my book club, and I'm really excited to read more from him because I thought that book was very good.

Jennifer Egan: I actually had kind of mixed feelings about A Visit From The Goon Squad (mostly related to my ongoing resentment about being tricked into reading books of short stories that call themselves novels), but thought highly enough of her actual writing that I'll read more from her.

Zadie Smith: I finally got to White Teeth, which I'd had recommended to me for ages, in 2020 and it was just as good as I had been lead to believe. I'm definitely planning to read her other books!

Jo Nesbo: I did not read one of his acclaimed Harry Hole novels, but the standalone The Son, but I'll honestly say I was not particularly impressed and am unlikely to read more from him. 

Laila Lalami: The Moor's Account was an interesting book club choice, there was a lot to digest there, and I found her a strong enough storyteller that her other books, which were already on my to-read list, are still there!

Isabel Allende: Daughter of Fortune is a book I've seen frequently enough in thrift stores (which is absolutely where I picked up my own copy) that I wondered if maybe it wasn't actually that good and that's why people give their copies away? Nope, it was very good and entertaining and House of Spirits is next up from her for me.

Christopher Hibbert: I love royal histories and he writes quite a lot of them. His book on the Borgias was competent...informative, certainly, but not really told with a strong sense of narrative, so while I'll read the other ones he's done that I already have, I probably won't buy more from him. 

Philip Roth: He's one of those authors that's a big enough deal that you feel like you should read, and my best friend loved The Human Stain, so I tried it and it did not work for me. I actually do still want to read a couple other Roths but I am going to be very judicious about them going forward. 

John Green: I don't read much young adult anymore, but he'd been praised quite a bit and so this year I picked up Looking for Alaska. I did not find it incredible, but did think it was solid YA and I'll read more from him probably!

Rebecca Solnit: I found her feminist essay collection Men Explain Things To Me to be fascinating and resonant. I am definitely going to be reading more of her essays, as well as her other nonfiction!


  1. Men Explain Things To Me does sound good.

    My post.

  2. I am always looking for more non-fiction! I think Men Explains Things To Me sounds great!

    My Top Ten

    1. It's pretty short and really interesting!

  3. I haven't read any of these authors except John Green (definitely not a fave), but I love that you notice books which appear frequently in thrift stores. I do that too. I see Sarah Addison a lot; a few of the summaries look good so now I hope I have a similarly positive experience when I finally try her out.

    1. Browsing thrift store bookshelves is something I really miss about pre-pandemic life!