Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-me authors I read in 2018

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) gives us a chance to look back at our 2018 reading and pick out ten authors we read for the first time last year. I have chosen to focus on authors I enjoyed and whose work I’m planning to read more of in the future.


1. Dorothy Whipple

I had been curious about Dorothy Whipple for a long time, knowing that she is one of the most popular authors published by Persephone. After reading Someone at a Distance, I understand why and will definitely be reading more of her books.

2. Graham Swift

I hadn’t thought Graham Swift would be my sort of author, but I enjoyed his short novel Mothering Sunday enough to want to read more.

3. Monica Dickens

The Winds of Heaven by Monica Dickens won a place on my favourite books of 2018 list. I want to investigate her other books now, probably starting with Mariana.

4. E.M. Delafield

The Diary of a Provincial Lady proved to be a funny, witty, entertaining read – and a good place to start with E.M. Delafield. I’m hoping to meet the Provincial Lady again in 2019.

5. Tim Leach

Smile of the Wolf, a beautifully written novel set in 10th century Iceland, was my first Tim Leach book. I’m looking forward to reading his previous two, The Last King of Lydia and The King and the Slave.

6. Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor was an author I’d been meaning to try for years and I finally got round to reading A Game of Hide and Seek in 2018. I’m sure I’ll be reading more of her books soon.

7. Pat Barker

I didn’t love The Silence of the Girls as much as I’d hoped to, but I was pleased to have the opportunity to try a Pat Barker book at last.

8. Kate O’Brien

That Lady, a historical novel set in 16th century Spain, was chosen for me by one of last year’s Classics Club Spins. Kate O’Brien’s other books sound very different, but I’m interested in trying another one.

9. Elizabeth Jenkins

Harriet was a dark and disturbing novel but I loved it. Now I want to read The Tortoise and the Hare, which seems to be the only other Elizabeth Jenkins book still in print.

10. Richard Hull

The Murder of My Aunt was another of my books of the year from 2018. I have recently received a review copy of one of his other crime novels, And Death Came Too, so I’m hoping that will be another good one.


Have you read anything by any of these authors? Which new-to-you authors did you discover in 2018?

31 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-me authors I read in 2018

  1. Café Society says:

    Mothering Sunday was my first Swift as well, although I read it the year before, I think. Like you, I was more impressed than I had expected to be. Delafield is a long standing favourite and you remind me that I should schedule a re-read at some point. I have also long admired Pat Barker’s work but The Silence of The Girls disappointed me. I didn’t think she brought off what she was trying to do. I still ended up being more emotionally engaged by the men than by the women.

    • Helen says:

      The Silence of the Girls wasn’t really what I had expected either – I was surprised that there was so much focus on Achilles. I’m looking forward to trying some of her other books, hopefully this year.

  2. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

    Great list! I need to read The Silence of the Girls asap and I’ll definitely be checking out Smile of the Wolf, too – I visited Iceland at the end of 2017 and I’ve been wanting to read more books set there since.

  3. Elle says:

    I just read Mothering Sunday and also adored it despite thinking I probably wouldn’t! Swift is such an economical writer. Or at least he is in that book. Will definitely be reading more of him.

  4. whatcathyreadnext says:

    I really liked Smile of the Wolf too and can certainly recommend The Last King of Lydia which I read a few years back. Like you, I was hoping to like The Silence of the Girls more than I did (though I know others have raved about it and I wouldn’t be entirely surprised to see it on The Walter Scott Prize longlist). I much preferred the books in her Regeneration trilogy.

    • Helen says:

      Yes, The Silence of the Girls is definitely a possibility for the longlist. I’m looking forward to reading more of Pat Barker’s books, particularly the Regeneration trilogy.

  5. Carmen says:

    I’m not acquainted with any of these authors but I would like to read The Silence of the Girls and The Murder of My Aunt. Last year I found three new to me authors whose works I want to explore further: Madeline Miller, Denis Johnson and James Carroll.

  6. lakesidemusing says:

    Mothering Sunday was a favorite a year or two ago and I meant to read more of Swift’s work right away, but haven’t gotten to it yet. Dorothy Whipple has been a favorite for year. I see several other authors on your list that I’d like to read.

    • Helen says:

      I do want to read more by Graham Swift but it will probably be a while before I get round to it too. It’s too early for me to say whether Dorothy Whipple will be a favourite, but I did enjoy Someone at a Distance and will try to read another of her books soon.

  7. Margaret says:

    I used to read a lot of Monica Dickens’ books years ago but I don’t remember The Winds of Heaven – loved her other books though, especially One Pair of Hands. I’m glad you enjoyed The Murder of My Aunt as I have a copy in my TBRs.

    • Helen says:

      I think The Murder of My Aunt is my favourite of the British Library Crime Classics I’ve read so far. I’m pleased to hear you loved some of Monica Dickens’ books – I’ll definitely be reading more of them and will look forward to One Pair of Hands. 🙂

    • Helen says:

      I had been meaning to read one of her books for years, so I’m glad I finally did it in 2018. The Silence of the Girls probably wasn’t the best choice to start with, but I liked it and will be reading more!

  8. whatmeread says:

    I’ve read most of your New to Me authors and also most of those books, but Tim Leach is new to me, and the book about Iceland sounds really fascinating, so I’ll put him on my list.

  9. cirtnecce says:

    I think I will post something similar…its seems like fun and also makes you think, which authors you would want to explore. Hull and Delafield will definitely feature in mine as well!

    • Helen says:

      Yes, I had fun putting this list together and looking back at last year’s reading again! I’m glad you enjoyed Hull and Delafield in 2018 too. 🙂

  10. Karen K. says:

    I’ve loved everything by Dorothy Whipple so far, and I really enjoy Monica Dickens and E. M. Delafield. Haven’t read Pat Barker yet but I have Regeneration on the TBR shelves. I’ve heard it’s great but the subject is a little scary. I loved Taylor’s Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont but the other books I’ve read by her were a little dry, must keep trying because people seem to love her.

    • Helen says:

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed some of these authors too, Karen. I definitely want to read more by Whipple, Dickens and Delafield. I don’t think Elizabeth Taylor will become a favourite author, but I do want to read more of her books too – maybe I’ll try Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont next.

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