Friday, 20 December 2019

Notable Authors of 2019 (My Year in Books)

As the year draws to a close, we naturally start reflecting on the last twelve months... Here in the book blogging community, one way we do this is by reflecting on the books we've read & the authors we've encountered throughout the year. Today I'm talking about the authors; highlighting authors I've returned to, debuts I have loved, and also new to me authors I'd like to read more from.

Returning to tried & true authors is one my favourite things to do year by year, whether it be a new release or a backlist book I have yet to get to. 

Without a doubt my most anticipated release of 2019 was The Starless Sea by ERIN MORGENSTERN. I adore The Night Circus, it is one of my all time favourite books (& I have returned to it many times now), and the thought of a new book from Erin Morgenstern left me both nervous and excited... Only natural when you feel such a connection to the previous work of a writer. I pre-ordered my copy of The Starless Sea (something I rarely ever do) and delved in pretty much as soon as I got it - and, luckily, LOVED it!

Other authors I returned to this year and had super positive experiences with: DIANE CHAMBERLAIN (The Dream Daughter), JANE HARPER (The Lost Man), KATHERINE WEBB (The Hiding Places).

Authors I returned to this year and had good experiences with: CECELIA AHERN (Roar), JODI PICOULT (A Spark of Light), MICHELLE PAVER (Wakenhyrst), HARRIET EVANS (The Garden of Lost and Found), CLAIRE FULLER (Bitter Orange).

Sometimes, not often, but sometimes, you return to a tried & true author and the reading experience isn't quite what you had hoped... I had two such experiences this year with: KATE MORTON (The Clockmaker's Daughter) and ALICE FEENEY (I Know Who You Are).

Three debut novels really stood out to me this year, two being 2019 release and the other being a late 2018 release.

When All is Said by ANNE GRIFFIN was my first fictional read of the year, and proved to be a great start. The main character of this story, Maurice, takes us through his life story in the one single night - Maurice is a character who has stayed with me all year long.

The Way of All Flesh by AMBROSE PARRY is a book I borrowed from my local library, not knowing much about it, with it being one of those gem finds. Ambrose Parry is actually a pseudonym for a married couple writing together. The book itself is a historical crime fiction novel, set against the backdrop of Edinburgh with a medical element running throughout - the depth of the story, and writing style, is really what stood out to me. The Way of All Flesh is the first book in a series, but I have yet to get to the next.

The Familiars by STACEY HALLS is another historical fiction book, quite gothic in nature (much like the previous debut mentioned) with a focus on witches. For me, The Familiars was one of those books you easily fall into, cocooned from start to finish. Stacey Halls has announced a 2020 release: The Foundling, which I am keen to read also.

As well as discovering new to me authors through debuts, I've also come across a few more that I've read for the first time this year.

An absolute favourite of mine this year has been What the Wind Knows by AMY HARMON; a truly beautiful historical fiction book with time travel elements. The plot was well crafted, characters too, with the setting of Ireland being so immersive... It honestly just felt perfect; everything came together perfectly. Amy Harmon has quite a few books published, however I am eyeing her next release - Where the Lost Wander - as my next pick of hers.

KRISTIN HANNAH is another author I read for the first time in 2019... In fact I picked up two of her books. I read The Great Alone earlier on in the year, and very recently finished Winter Garden which was amazing!

Other authors I read for the first time this year and want to read more of: SHARI LAPENA (An Unwanted Guest), TAYLOR JENKINS REID (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo), ANNA MAZZOLA (The Story Keeper), TAYARI JONES (An American Marriage), BRIDGET COLLINS (The Binding).
So that concludes this post... Some may have already noticed, but I thought it worth mentioning that I have only focused on adult fiction in this wrap up, not including middle grade & nonfiction (which I read a fair amount of also).

I would love to hear a little about the authors you've read this year, especially ones you'd recommend, so be sure to leave any in the comments below.


  1. I'm so glad you read Amy Harmon and Kristen Hannah. Two of my favorites. What the Wind Knows is my favorite read of 2019. I also love Taylor Jenkins Reid. Highly recommend all of her books! :)

    1. I have been seeing you talk about Amy Harmon & Kristen Hannah for years, Brandie - I'm so happy to have finally discovered their works. I can see why What the Wind Knows is your favourite of the year; a truly stunning book.

  2. I really need to try Kristen Hannah and Jane Harper. And really a whole lot of other authors you named! I went mostly cozy mysteries this year so I have a feeling that will be my most repeated authors.

    1. So many authors, so little time :-P

      It is nice to just fall into a genre and read a bunch of similar type books every now & then.

  3. Great post! I often think about just the books at the end of the year, but not authors, which is probably awful since I do think about authors generally. Lol. Hmm. Now you have me thinking...

    Jodi Picoult is an author who is new to me this year, and the book I read by her is one of my favorites of the year. I definitely need to read more by her!

    1. I feel like in some ways that looking back on the authors gives you a different perspective almost.

      Great to hear you read & enjoyed a new author this year.


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