Top Ten Tuesday: New To Me Authors in 2023

Posted January 30, 2024 by Nicky in General / 40 Comments

This week’s topic from That Artsy Reader Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about authors I discovered for the first time in 2023. I don’t keep very good track of this, but I’ll take a look at my 2023 books and see if anything jumps out… I’m not trying to pick authors whose books are perfect, just some that (in looking back over the year) stand out to me.

  1. Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù. This one’s on my mind because I’m eager to read the last volume of The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System. I haven’t read danmei before, and a lot of the stuff the story takes for granted is new to me… but I had fun getting into it, and the characters linger in my mind. I only seem to have one review up so far, but reviews of volumes two and three are coming soon!
  2. Juneau Black. I discovered the Shady Hollow series in November or so, and tore right through them. They’re cosy crime stories, only the intrepid detectives are a fox and a bear — in fact, everyone in this town is an animal. It reminded me of the Redwall books, only a different genre.
  3. Akane Tamura. I don’t think I reviewed any of the volumes of this manga on the blog, but I tore through A Side Character’s Love Story, and I’m very eager to read more. The romance is a slow burn, but they communicate with each other so well (most of the time, at least) and they’re really sweet. The whole series seems to be available on Kindle Unlimited, at least in the UK, by the way…
  4. Ali Hazelwood. I’d been meaning to try her work for a while, but this was the year I started! I’ve only read the three novellas collected into the Loathe to Love You book, and I didn’t love all of them equally, but I had a good time.
  5. Fonda Lee. Once more, I’d been meaning to read her books for a long time (I’ve owned a copy of Jade City since it came out), but I got started in 2023 by reading her new novella, Untethered Sky. It made the list of my favourite reads this year.
  6. Travis Baldree. I loved Legends & Lattes instantly, and it made my top ten books from 2023! I enjoyed the prequel as well, though not quite as much.
  7. Malka Older. A similar story to some of the others: I intended to read her work before, but finally got round to it this year, via the novellas The Mimicking of Known Successes and The Imposition of Unnecessary Obstacles. I loved them both.
  8. Cassandra Khaw. Not all her books appeal to me, but I absolutely loved The Salt Grows Heavy, so I think I’ll give more of them a try!
  9. Thor Hanson. Let’s get some non-fiction up in here! I enjoyed both his book about bees, Buzz, and his book about how animals and ecosystems are adapting to climate change, Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid. He’s written a couple of other books, and I’ll probably pick them up at some point.
  10. Tom Ireland. As far as I can tell, he’s only written one book, so I’ll have to keep an eye out in future. I really loved The Good Virus: absolutely right up my street in every way. Bacteriophages are fascinating, maybe a way forward for dealing with antimicrobial resistance, and his anecdotes, case studies and interviewees were all engaging.

That was pretty difficult, not because I don’t read books by new-to-me authors, but because it’s sometimes a bit of a gamble. Plus, for graphic novels, the creative team often don’t work together on any other titles, and you’re never quite sure if what you enjoyed about it was a particular storywriter or the work of the whole team or what.

What about you? Is this a difficult topic for you, or could you easily name ten new-to-you authors you loved in 2023?

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40 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: New To Me Authors in 2023

  1. There were a few authors who came to mind immediately when I saw the prompt, like Will Storr and Jon Ronson. They’re journalists of the weird and strange — cults, supernatural, psychopaths, that kind of thing. Others I went through my reading list to jog my mind about. I had to google danmei, and…. XD Not my cup of tea. Rather amusing that it’s the most popular kind of fiction in China, though.

    • Ah yes, I’ve read a couple of Jon Ronson’s books, if I remember rightly.

      And haha, danmei’s definitely a more niche genre. I was surprised by how heavy MXTX’s work is on worldbuilding and action, though!

    • I really want to read more danmei! Not all of them sound like my thing of course, like any genre, and there were things I didn’t love so much about SVSSS… but it’s fun to branch out and try new things, and I bet there’s plenty I would love.

    • I really, really liked it — it felt like a hug of a book. I know a couple of people who thought it was overhyped, so I don’t want to say too much, but for me it was lovely.

    • It really is, I ended up rereading it as a comfort read just a couple of months later. XD

      I really liked Untethered Sky, so I should give Jade City a go… but so many books, so little time.

  2. Omg, you need to read Fonda Lee’s Jade City and the rest of the series! It’s so good! Ugh, just thinking about them again gives me all kinds of feels! I really hope you enjoy them when you get to them!

    • The Good Virus was really good! It discusses antimicrobial resistance a lot, and mostly how we might be able to use bacteriophages for it (though he also points out a number of difficulties with that).

  3. I’m so excited to see Fonda Lee on this list. Untethered Sky was one of my favourite reads last year as well and her Green Bone Saga series is one of my all-time favourite series! Baldree and Hazelwood are also favourites and I can’t wait to read more from them soon. I hope you discover more new and amazing authors in 2024!

    • I read quite a lot of new-to-me authors, but often only one book, so I wasn’t always sure whether they were going to be 100% my thing in the longer run… maybe I should’ve been less picky making my list, heh.

  4. Funny I hear so many conflicting opinions about Untethered Sky, it is on my to read list after I finish the Green Bone Saga. Love seeing Legends & Lattes on your list as well. I have just started reading it, and I must say I already like it, I kind of like the low stakes I am getting this moment, I am only 29 p in.

    • Huh, I hadn’t seen many reviews out there for that one! I wonder what people didn’t like about it.

      I love Legends & Lattes, it’s like a hug of a book. Or a mug of hot chocolate. (Not a fan of coffee, myself…)

  5. I discovered Juneau Black last year too! I didn’t include them on my list because I haven’t reviewed their books yet on my blog and I only listened to one, but I definitely want to listen to all the books in the Shady Hollow series. 🙂

  6. Fonda Lee is one of my absolute favorite authors. I enjoyed Untethered Sky a lot, and the Green Bone Saga is possibly my favorite series ever. It is epic, exciting, and emotional. I think I’ve just convinced myself to do a re-read soon. lol. I hope you enjoy it when you’re able to pick it up!

  7. I hear such good things about Ali Hazelwood, but for some reason have a mental block in actually wanting to try her books. That’s okay, there are enough books to read without adding another new-to-me author to my list.

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