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 weeks topic was New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2020, I wasn’t sure whether I’d read 10 new authors last year but when I looked on Goodreads, I realised that I had actually read 18 new authors. Here are ten of them.

  1. The Book of Evidence – John Banville – This has been on my long list of things I’d like to read for a long time. it sounded exactly like the sort of thing I like to read. Criminal, not particularly likeable narrator, murder of a completely innocent person – it sounded ideal. However, this did not live up to my expectations or all the praise heaped on it. Disappointing.
  2. Queenie – Candice Carty-Williams – I saw this on a BBC programme The Novels that Shaped Our World and it sounded interesting. And it was, in terms of race and how black women are treated, but I did find the narrator’s voice a little irritating. I’m too old now to be able to relate to the issues facing twenty somethings.
  3. Faggots – Larry Kramer – This has been on the TBR for a long time. It describes the lives of gay men in the seventies before the AIDS crisis. Although the novel is about the search for love, there is definitely a lot of sex and bondage. Definitely not for the faint hearted.
  4. A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula Le Guin – Le Guin is another author I’ve been meaning to read for a while but on the basis of this I’m not sure I’ll read any others. This was well written but I didn’t really take to the main character or his quest. Not enough tension for me.
  5. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov – This was a strange read. Humbert was a unpleasant and irritating narrator always justifying his heinous behaviour. It was interesting and clever rather than enjoyable.
  6. Born a Crime – Trevor Noah – This was an excellent read about Noah growing up in South Africa where his birth is considered a crime as the relationship between his white, Swiss father and his black mother is punishable by five years in jail.
  7. The Hand That First Held Mine – Maggie O’Farrell – O’Farrell creates two very different timelines in this novel and at first they seem to have very little in common. There is Lexi, living in post-war Soho, having left the suffocating morality of her parents house and Elina, and her husband, Ted live in present day London with their new child. As the novel progresses, Ted starts to remember long forgotten events and it becomes clear that there are more links between him and Lexie than were first apparent.
  8. Normal People – Sally Rooney – I decided to read this before the TV programme last year and I can’t say I understand why it has been quite so popular. It’s not badly written but it left me a bit cold.
  9. Contact – Carl Sagan – This was an interesting read because it was such an unusual angle on the subject. As this was written by a scientist, it was a very calm, sensible read with much close detail. A little lacking in emotion maybe but generally enjoyable.
  10. Miss Chopstick – Xinran – I needed to read a author starting with X for last year’s reading challenge. This detailed the lives of three sisters who move to Nanjing at the turn of the 21st century. An interesting look at recent history.

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