Top Ten Tuesday: New to Me Authors Read in 2020

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and Bookish and hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl where we get a new topic for a top 10 list.

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Can you believe we’re almost at the end of January? Where does the time go? Now, while it’s good to look ahead, there’s still plenty of time for reflections. This week, we’re spotlighting books by new-to-me authors. Now, you may notice that this list is a carbon copy of my Best Books of 2020 list, but that’s because my best books also happen to be ones by authors not necessarily new to me, but ones that I’d been long aware of and finally read.

1. Fredrick Backman: Just one of his books was enough for me to know that Backman thrives on the tears of his readers. Beartown is one of the best books I have ever read. His understanding of human nature and the complex relationships we develop in our lifetime is masterful. His characters are so relatable you can see yourself, your family, and neighbours in them, heightening that emotional impact of his words. 

2. Madeline Miller: You know that any book set during the Trojan War is going to be tragic. What I wasn’t expecting was to get an even greater love story. The Song of Achilles is a beautiful tale of love and fate. This book shines a spotlight on the hidden hero of the Trojan War as, through his eyes, we see the life and love he holds for a hero blessed by the gods. 

3. Fonda Lee: Fantasy fans do not want to pass on Fonda Lee. Both Jade City and Jade War knocked me for six with its unflinching brutality, complex characters, and intricate world-building where sensory enhancing Jade steers the influence power and legacy. This book does not hold back. The stakes are high and the losses personal and heavy. The burden of leadership on a local and international scale weighs heavy on our lead characters, leading them to take drastic actions that have devastating personal consequences.

4. Helen Hoang: You need a good romance now and then, and Helen Hoang sets the bar high with the oh so swoon-worthy ‘Kiss Quotient.‘ This book is adorable, steamy, and endearing. The chemistry between Stella and Michael is undeniable, but it’s how the two support one another and encourage personal growth for their own sake, not anyone else that makes this book such a treat. 

5. Haruichi Furudate: The first foray into the world of manga did not disappoint. With fluid art that can easily translate to screen and a plethora of lovable characters, Furudate’s Haikyuu is a feel-good, heartwarming journey of teamwork, friendship, and volleyball. I can’t wait to continue with the manga series.

Which new-to-me author did you read for the first time in 2020?

43 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: New to Me Authors Read in 2020

  1. I love Haikyuu! I’ve seen all of the anime but have only read the first three volumes of the manga. I’m hoping to start collecting it this year. 😊

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    1. Jade City is such an explosive yet intimate fantasy. I hope you enjoy if you get the chance to read it. The Song of Achilles absolutely floored me. I was not expecting the book to make me so emotional haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve heard so many good things about Fredrick Backman and Bear Town has been on my TBR for a while, I’m so glad to hear you loved it and it captured complex relationships so well. I’ve only read Circe by Miller but the writing was stunning so I would love to check out The Song of Achilles. Ahh… so excited for Jade City, it is going to be soon so I can stop saying ‘I can’t wait’ haha !! I hope you are able to find some great new-to-you authors this year πŸ’•

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    1. Beartown is seriously one of the best books I’ve ever read. It really dives deep into the best and worst of humanity and is so incredibly frustrating and moving. I’m hoping to read Circe this year and I have high hopes after The Song of Achilles.
      I do hope you enjoy Jade City as much as I did and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the book.

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  3. I read The Song of Achilles for the first time last year as well, and despite being a big mythology fan and knowing exactly what was going to happen, I still found myself crying with the last pages of this book πŸ’• It’s so well done and beautifully written. I can’t wait to read Circe this year!

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    1. Right? No amount of anticipation could prepare me for just how emotional the end was. I get chills when I think about it. Miller’s way with words is breathtaking. I’m so excited to read Circe this year too. πŸ˜€

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  4. I like the way you write, Lois! “Backman thrives on the tears of his readers” πŸ™‚
    There are some great recommendations here. I’ve been meaning to get back into reading after. I read a book a month in 2019 (good for me!) but then 2020 happened and, well, you know the how it went!

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    1. Thank you so much. Backman’s writing is beautifully brutal haha.
      My reading habits have been on a rollercoaster for years. I go through bouts of reading and then months without looking at a book, despite having an entire shelf dedicated to my owned unread books haha.

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    1. Even knowing how the Song of Achilles was going to end, I was still wholly unprepared for how emotional it would be.
      Aaaah I am so excited for you to read Jade City. My messages are open for when you need to unleash those shouty capitals haha.

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  5. Hi Lois!
    Glad that you love Fonda Lee’s writing! I’m a huge fan of Jade War and Jade City and can’t wait for the new book to come out πŸ™‚
    I haven’t read the Haikyuu manga but I’ve watched some of the anime. It was so fun and heart-warming!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My only regret is taking so long to read them haha. I feel like Jade Legacy is going to be absolutely brutal.
      I adore the anime and the manga is just as vibrant and heart-warming. I love the characterisation in the manga/anime.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. i really liked both helen hoang books i read. i think i liked the bride test better, even though most people love the kiss quotient more. she’s definitely a romance author i’ll look forward to pick up whatever she puts out next, she has such a good way of writing characters & chemistry!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sorry for the late reply, but I love that you had such a great experience with Bride Test and it makes me so much more excited to read it. πŸ˜€

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