We only have a few more days left in 2018, which means there are only a few more end of the year posts. Before I get into the really good stuff (my favorite books of the year and the ever-popular reading stats infographic), I thought I’d share some of the authors I discovered in 2018. While I did read quite a few books by authors I was already familiar with, I read even more by authors that were new to me this year. There were a lot of them, so today, I’m just going to discuss a few of that I think are noteworthy. Don’t worry, I’ll try not to spoil my book favorites.
The authors on this list are in no particular order (I hate ranking my favorites). But they are all authors whose writing I experienced for the first time this year and would read more from. Here are the top fifteen authors I discovered this year:
Akwaeke Emezi. I absolutely loved Freshwater, Akwaeke Emezi’s debut novel. This book might not be for everyone, but I thought it was absolutely brilliant. Not only is Emezi’s writing amazing, she has a unique way of looking at the world that made me view things differently. I can’t wait to see what she does next.
Tara Westover. If you haven’t heard of Tara Westover’s Educated, where have you been this year? Her memoir was fantastic, and I’ve been thinking about it all year.
Jasmine Guillory. I rarely read romance novels, but I couldn’t resist The Wedding Date. I loved how diverse it was, and I also really enjoyed the romance. I am looking forward to reading more of Guillory’s work next time I’m in the mood for romance.
Nnedi Okorafor. All it took for me to become obsessed with Nnedi Okorafor’s writing was one tiny novella (Binti). She managed to pack an epic story into 90 pages, and I loved it. I can’t wait to finish this series, and then read more of Okorafor’s writing. (She’s currently working on a TV series with George R. R. Martin, and I am so excited.)
Tom Miller. I was sold on Tom Miller when I heard feminist historical fantasy. His characters were really special, the story was really creative, and I cannot wait to see where he takes his sophomore novel.
Laura Anderson. I cannot believe I hadn’t heard of Laura Anderson before this year. And I am so glad I took a chance on The Darkling Bride when the publisher reached out to me, because it was such an intriguing novel. It has a bit of mystery, a bit of romance, and a bit of historical fiction, and I enjoyed it so much. I’m looking forward to reading more of her books, especially because so many of them are about the Tudors, and I always love Tudor fiction.
Walter Isaacson. Okay, so I didn’t exactly discover Isaacson this year, but I finally read one of his books. And it is easily my favorite biography. I’m planning on reading at least one more of his books in 2019 (spoiler for my 2019 reading list: I am planning on reading his biography of Albert Einstein next).
Olivia Kiernan. Detective mysteries are not usually my thing. But I thought I’d give this one a shot after the publisher reached out, and I don’t regret it one bit. I probably won’t be picking up a lot of other detective mysteries in the future, but I do want to keep reading this series.
C. W. Gortner. This is another author of historical fiction who I’m shocked I hadn’t heard of before. I enjoyed The Romanov Empress so much! The writing made it easy to get immersed in the story, and I liked learning about a historical figure I didn’t know too much about. I’ve got my eye on his Lucrezia Borgia novel.
Andrew Sean Greer. There is a reason Less won the Pulitzer Prize, which is also the only reason I heard about it in the first place. There are a lot of great LGBT books out there, but I liked that Greer explored an older gay character who is dealing with a different set of problems than many of the younger characters I’ve encountered. It was really refreshing.
Taylor Jenkins Reid. I can not believe it took me this long to read Taylor Jenkins Reid, but I am so glad I did. I was always interested, but just assumed her books were lighter romances, which isn’t my usual thing. I was wrong, and I’m glad I was. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo broke me, and I loved it. I am definitely planning on reading more of her books in 2019.
Stuart Turton. I think I forgot to include The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle in my favorite new releases, but I really did enjoy it! For a debut mystery, it was extremely well-written, and did not feel at all like a debut. I was also very impressed with how well Turton could get an insanely complicated story to make sense. I will be reading whatever he comes up with next.
Marisha Pessl. That’s right, I hadn’t read Marisha Pessl until this year (despite owning two – now three – of her books). But, for some reason, Neverworld Wake piqued my interest, and it ended up being one of my favorite young adult books in a while. I think I need to read Night Film soon.
Lydia Kang. I am so glad Lydia Kang decided to write a weird historical fiction novel, because I could not resist it. And I ended up absolutely loving The Impossible Girl! There are so many great things about this novel – the characters, the story, the diversity, the writing – and it made me want to read more. I think A Beautiful Poison is next on my TBR.
Yaa Gyasi. Homegoing is absolutely epic and brilliant. I may have gotten a little bit depressed when I discovered that Yaa Gyasi, the incredibly talented author of that amazing novel, is the same age as me. I was blown away by her debut novel, and for her to have written something like that at such a young age is messing with my head a little bit (or a lot). It feels like the culmination of decades of writing experience. I will read anything she writes, and I can’t wait for more.
That’s it for the best authors I discovered in 2018. I am so in love with all of these writers and their work, and I had a few fangirl moments while writing this post. I’m glad most of these authors already have more books available for me to read, so I don’t go through withdrawals in 2019.
Have you read any of these authors? Did you discover any new authors you love in 2018?