Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that currently resides at The Artsy Reader Girl and features bloggers sharing lists on various book topics. The official topic for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday was “Resolutions/Hopes for 2021 (bookish or not!)”, however, I am going to do something a little different and instead I will list the top New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2020. This is actually the official Top Ten Tuesday topic set up for a fortnight’s time, but I have an Australian fiction themed list planned for that week (it falls on Australia Day), so I decided to move this list forward a little.
I am very excited to do this list as each year I am lucky enough to read novels from authors who I was previously unfamiliar with and whose works I really love (make sure check out my 2019 version of the list). 2020 was no exception and throughout last year I had a wonderful time reading a huge range of books from several authors who were completely new to me. This includes some debuting authors, as well as more established writers whose works I only got around to this year; as long as I had not read anything from them before 2020, they were eligible for this list. Many of these new-to-me authors produced amazing novels, some of which I consider to be some of the best books released in 2020. As a result, this list may feature a bit of overlap with my top books and audiobooks lists of 2020 that I have previously published on this blog.
Like many of these lists that I do, I ended up with quite a substantial group of authors that I wanted to include, many of whom produced some fantastic and compelling reads. I was eventually able to whittle this list down to my top ten favourites, as well as featuring a generous honourable mentions section. While I did have to exclude a couple of authors whose books I really liked, I think I came up with a good list that represents which authors I am really glad I decided to try for the first time last year.
David Wragg – The Black Hawks
John Jackson Miller – Star Trek Discovery: Die Standing
Jeremy Szal – Stormblood
Steve Parker – Deathwatch: Shadowbreaker
Top Ten List:
Luke Arnold – The Last Smile in Sunder City and Dead Man in a Ditch
The first author that I am going to feature on this list is Luke Arnold, who had an impressive debut earlier this year with The Last Smile in Sunder City, a great urban fantasy novel set in dark city where magic has suddenly and traumatically died. Arnold managed to complete two novels this year, and with the sequel, Dead Man in a Ditch, did an awesome job following up from the first book. I look forward to seeing how this series continues in the future, and Arnold is a great new author that I was glad I tried out.
Nick Martell – The Kingdom of Liars
There was no way I could do this list without featuring Nick Martell, who debuted in early 2020 with The Kingdom of Liars, an outstanding fantasy novel that was extremely impressive. Not only was The Kingdom of Liars one of the best debuts of 2020 but it was also one of my favourite books of the entire year. I had an incredible time reading this cool novel and I am eagerly awaiting the sequel, The Two-Faced Queen, which is set for release in a couple of months.
Richard Osman – The Thursday Murder Club
Another exciting new author I checked out in 2020 was British comedian and television personality Richard Osman, who debuted with the clever and hilarious crime fiction novel, The Thursday Murder Club. This was an amazing first novel from Osman, and I am now deeply invested in checking out any future novels from him, especially the sequel to The Thursday Murder Club planned for later this year.
Jim Butcher – Battle Ground
I have been meaning to read one of legendary fantasy author Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files novels for ages now, and this was the year I finally took the plunge by listening to the latest entry in the series, Battle Ground. Battle Ground was an epic thrill ride that I had an incredible time listening to and which served as an intriguing introduction to the series for me. I think that I will try to listen to several earlier entries in this awesome series this year, and I look forward to seeing how the initial adventures turn out.
Jeff Lindsay – Just Watch Me
I was quite intrigued when I heard that Jeff Lindsay, the author of the iconic Dexter thrillers, was writing a series that focused on epic heists, and I ended up grabbing a copy of the first book, Just Watch Me. Just Watch Me was a fantastic and captivating read, and I just started reading the sequel, Fool Me Twice, and I cannot wait to see how it turns out.
Mark Lawrence – The Girl and the Stars
High acclaimed fantasy author Mark Lawrence is another author who I have had my eye on for several years but never had a chance to read before. However, when Lawrence released the first entry in a brand-new series last year, I decided to check it out, and boy was I glad that I did. The Girl and the Stars was an impressive and captivating novel set deep beneath the ice of a desolate planet that I had an amazing time reading. I am eagerly looking forward to the next entry in this series, and I will have to go back and read some of Lawrence’s earlier books.
Sarah Beth Durst – Race the Sands
I have mentioned quite a few times this year how much I deeply enjoyed the latest novel from Sarah Beth Durst, Race the Sands, which was the first book I checked out from this bestselling author. Race the Sands was an outstanding novel filled with cool action, creative fantasy elements and great characters, I had an excellent time getting through it. Due to how much I loved my first Durst novel, I am planning to read some more of her books soon, starting with The Bone Maker, which is coming out in a couple of months.
Max Brooks – Devolution
Another major author who I finally got around to checking out this year was Max Brooks, who produced the thrilling and exciting horror novel Devolution, which sees a small village attacked by sasquatches. This was an excellent and amazing novel that was so much fun to read and I fully plan to check out Brooks’ other big book, World War Z soon.
Mike Shackle – We are the Dead
I heard some really good things about Mike Shackle’s 2019 debut, We are the Dead, when it first came out, and I really regretted not reading it then. I decided to remedy this last year when I grabbed the audiobook version of this book, which turned out to be a captivating and fantastic read. I had an amazing time reading We are the Dead and I cannot wait to check out the sequel, A Fool’s Hope, which just came out.
John Scalzi – Redshirts
The final entry on this list was the clever and wildly entertaining Star Trek parody Redshirts by bestselling science fiction author John Scalzi. Scalzi is an author whose books I have been thinking of checking out for a while, and when I had a long road trip earlier in the year I took the opportunity to listen to the audiobook version of this extremely funny novel which was narrated by Wil Wheaton. I was not disappointed, as Redshirts ended up being an excellent novel that presents a hilarious parody of classic Star Trek tropes and was an insane amount of fun.
Well, that’s the end of this latest Top Ten list. I think it turned out rather well and it encapsulates some of the best new authors I checked out in 2020. I look forward to reading more books from these authors in the future and I have no doubt they will produce more epic and incredible reads. Make sure to let me know which new authors you enjoyed in 2020 in the comments below and make sure to check back next week for another exciting list.