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

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. 

This week’s topic is:

New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2020

  1. J. Elle:
    • J.Elle is an author and advocate for marginalized voices in both publishing and her community. Born in Houston, Texas, Jess is a first-generation college student with a Bachelor of Journalism and Master of Arts in Educational Administration and Human Development. Her passion for empowering youth dates back before writing to her first career in education. She’s worked as a Preschool Director, Middle School Teacher, and High School Creative Writing Mentor. In her spare time you’ll find her volunteering at an alternative school, providing feedback for aspiring writers, loving on her three littles, or cooking up some dish true to her Texas and Louisiana roots. Wings of Ebony is her first novel.
    • I read: Wings of Ebony! I received an e-arc of her book late last year. It is released as of today, and I highly recommend it!
  2. Karen M. McManus:
    • Karen M. McManus is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying, Two Can Keep a Secret, One of Us Is Next, andThe Cousins. Her work has been translated into more than 40 languages worldwide. Karen lives in Massachusetts and holds a master’s degree in Journalism from Northeastern University, which she mostly uses to draft fake news stories for her novels.
    • I read: The Cousins! A very fun Young Adult mystery novel, released in 2020.
  3. Intisar Khanani:
    • Intisar Khanani is the author of several books, most recently Thorn and the prequel novella Brambles. The sequel to Thorn, The Theft of Sunlight, is set to be released later this spring!
    • I read: Brambles and Thorn! The Dauntless series is a great addition to Young Adult fantasy, and I can’t wait for The Theft of Sunlight!
  4. Stephen Graham Jones:
    • Stephen Graham Jones is a prolific writer of fiction. His next book, My Heart is a Chainsaw, is set to be released later this fall.
    • I read: The Only Good Indians! If you want to be kept up at night by haunting imagery this is your book.
  5. Rory Power:
    • Rory Power is the New York Times bestselling author of Wilder Girls and Burn Our Bodies Down. She grew up in New England, where she lives and works as a crime fiction editor and story consultant for TV adaptation. She received a Masters in Prose Fiction from the University of East Anglia, and thinks fondly of her time there, partially because she learned a lot but mostly because there were a ton of bunnies on campus.
    • I read: Wilder Girls! An absolutely bizarre and intriguing Young Adult novel.
  6. Celeste Ng:
    • Celeste Ng is the author of two novels, Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere.Celeste grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Shaker Heights, Ohio. She graduated from Harvard University and earned an MFA from the University of Michigan (now the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan). Her fiction and essays have appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, and many other publications, and she is a recipient of the Pushcart Prize, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among other honours.
    • I read: Little Fires Everywhere! This is an interesting adult fiction novel with poignant themes surrounding adoption and secrets.
  7. Katie Alender:
    • Katie Alender (rhymes with “calendar,” but spelled differently) grew up in South Florida, where she attended high school at the Palm Beach County School of the Arts, studying Communication Arts. After graduating, she studied film at the Florida State University Film School, and then moved to Los Angeles, where she worked in TV development and production for several years, including a long stint producing dog shows for Animal Planet.
    • I read: The Companion! Her latest release, this book was a Young Adult mystery that would pair well with The Cousins.
  8. Emma Donoghue:
    • Born in Dublin, Ireland, in October 1969, she is the youngest of eight children of Frances and Denis Donoghue (the literary critic). In 1990 she earned a first-class honours BA in English and French from University College Dublin. She moved to England, and in 1997 received her PhD (on the concept of friendship between men and women in eighteenth-century English fiction) from the University of Cambridge. Her newest novel The Pull of the Stars (2020) was inspired by the centenary of the Great Flu of 1918 and is set in a Dublin hospital where a nurse midwife, a doctor and a volunteer helper fight to save patients in a tiny maternity quarantine ward.
    • I read: The Pull of the Stars! An extremely detailed historical fiction novel that was released in 2020.
  9. Patrick Ness:
    • Patrick Ness has written nine books: 2 novels for adults (The Crash of Hennington and The Crane Wife), 1 short story collection for adults (Topics About Which I Know Nothing) and 6 novels for young adults (The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, Monsters of Men, A Monster Calls, More Than This and The Rest of Us Just Live Here).
    • I read: The Knife of Never Letting Go! I don’t think I’ll be reading the rest of his series, but he clearly has a decent fanbase without me!
  10. A.S. Thornton:
    • A.S. Thornton has evolved from book blogger to author with a particular fondness for writing forbidden love in ancient deserts. She lives with her husband who deserves a trophy for the amount of gooey love scenes he’s edited. After spending time in Chicago and Colorado, they decided the snow is wholly overrated, and settled in Northern California.
    • I read: Daughter of the Salt King! This is her debut novel, set to be released on February 2nd, 2021.

Have you read any books by these authors? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!


  1. lydiaschoch says:

    I’m so curious about Brambles and Thorn.

    My post.

    1. Thanks! I highly recommend them!

  2. Leslie says:

    I read The Cousins and it was my first by her. I really enjoyed it!

    My Top Ten

  3. Oh Emma Donoghue is wonderful – and Patrick Ness is to die for! Have you read And The Ocean Was Our Sky yet? Wonderful. These are the fifteen authors who were new to me last year – quite a few outside my usual reading genre.

    1. I haven’t read that yet! I’ll have to check it out, thanks!

  4. Ooh, welcome to the club of Katie Alender appreciation (I am not a good spokesperson for it, apparently, since I’ve been pronouncing her name all wrong up to this point).I really enjoyed her Bad Girls Don’t Die books for their spookiness quotient and Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer, for its fun ridiculousness, but haven’t read anything else. The Companion sounds fantastic.

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