Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I discovered in 2021

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) gives us a chance to look back at our 2021 reading and pick out ten authors we read for the first time last year. I have listed below a mixture of new-to-me authors I loved and others I’m still not sure about.


1. Kate Quinn – I read The Rose Code in 2021 and loved it; in fact it was one of my books of the year. I want to read her new one, The Diamond Eye, which is being published in March, but she also has plenty of earlier novels for me to explore.

2. Leïla Slimani – I chose to read The Country of Others because I thought it would be interesting to read a book set in 1940s Morocco written by a French-Moroccan author. I did find it interesting, but it was also very bleak and depressing. I’m not sure whether I’ll try more of Slimani’s books.

3. Jennifer Saint – I really enjoyed Ariadne and am looking forward to starting my review copy of Jennifer Saint’s new book, Elektra, in which she tells the stories of three more women from Greek mythology.

4. Angela ThirkellHigh Rising had been on my Classics Club list for years and I eventually picked it up last summer. I don’t think Thirkell is going to become a favourite author, but I found a lot to like in this book and will try to read the second one in the series soon.

5. Gill Hornby – I read Miss Austen just before Christmas and really enjoyed it. Her earlier novels don’t appeal to me, but her next one, due out this year, is also Austen-inspired so I’m definitely interested in reading it.

6. Joan Aiken – I had been meaning to try Joan Aiken’s books for years and finally got round to it in 2021 with her 1976 Gothic novel Castle Barebane. I’m hoping to read more of her work soon.

7. Tim Pears – I read The Horseman, the first in Tim Pears’ West Country Trilogy, in 2021 and hoped that I would love it and want to read the rest of the trilogy immediately. However, although I thought it was beautifully written I found it very slow and am unsure whether to continue.

8. Rumer GoddenBlack Narcissus was one of my final reads of 2021. Although I didn’t love it as much as I’d hoped to, I found it interesting and atmospheric and I’m planning to read more by Rumer Godden.

9. Tom Hindle – I loved Tom Hindle’s debut novel, A Fatal Crossing, which I reviewed last week but read towards the end of 2021, hence its inclusion on this list. I can’t wait to see what he writes next.

10. John Bude – I read The Sussex Downs Murder last year and enjoyed it, although I found the mystery too easy to solve. British Library Crime Classics have published a lot of Bude’s other crime novels, so I will probably try another one.


Have you read any of these authors? Which new (or new-to-you) authors did you discover last year?

16 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I discovered in 2021

  1. Cyberkitten says:

    I picked up the Jennifer Saint book last week so that might get read this year… or next… Kate Quinn keeps showing up on my radar so maybe someone is trying to tell me to read her.. [grin]

      • Cyberkitten says:

        I have a few similar ones that I might read together [muses]. Maybe I’ll read ‘Pandora’s Jar – Women in Greek Myths’ by Natalie Haynes first so I don’t miss too many of the subtleties… Sounds like a plan!

  2. Karen K. says:

    I loved Joan Aiken as a child but have only read a couple of her Gothic novels for adults. She wrote a creepy novella called Died on a Rainy Sunday that was oddly enough in the YA section when I was young. Definitely not what I’d call YA nowadays! I also love Angela Thirkell but sometimes her books have racist comments which are a real needle scratch.

    • Helen says:

      Yes, that’s often a problem with authors from Thirkell’s era, isn’t it? I’m glad you love her books anyway – I had mixed feelings about High Rising but still want to try the next one in the series.

  3. hopewellslibraryoflife says:

    The Horseman is on my TBR already as is Miss Austen. I’ve read and enjoyed one book by Rumor Godden, one of the crime series, and Angela Thirkell has been on my radar thanks to bloggers, but isn’t easy to find here.

  4. whatmeread says:

    I haven’t read that particular Kate Quinn, but the one I read (The Alice Network) was a DNF for me, I’m afraid. It’s interesting what you have to say about the ones I have read. I too found The Horseman trilogy slow and thought the first book was the best one. You got me curious about Castle Barebane and Miss Austin

  5. Lark says:

    I’ve read one book by Thirkell, and one by Bude. And I’m familiar with Joan Aiken. But I haven’t read any of the other authors on your list.

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