Blogs and YouTube channels mainly focused on books are a fantastic resource for readers, if I can say so myself. Thanks to various bloggers and youtubers, I discovered some authors whom I had never heard of before and whose books I also haven’t seen displayed in bookshops in Portugal since then.
When I started thinking about authors that I learnt about thanks to the bookish community, six names immediately sprang to mind. But this is by no means an exhaustive list.
It may be a surprise to some of you to see Daphne du Maurier’s name on this list. But, being from Portugal, she was a complete unknown to me. It was thanks to either Lauren from Lauren and the Books or Simon from SavidgeReads on YouTube that I decided to read the magnificent Rebecca. Since then, I’ve also read Jamaica Inn, The King’s General, My Cousin Rachel, The House on the Strand and The Birds and Other Stories. Her work is, generally speaking, atmospheric, full of vivid characters and sprinkled with mystery.
The first time that I heard about John Burnside was on Jen Campbell’s YouTube channel, if I’m not mistaken, when she raved about his novel The Dumb House. I adored its twisted plot and beautiful prose so much that I decided to read one of his books every year since then. I didn’t love The Devil’s Footprints and Glister as much, but they were still good reads.
I can’t remember precisely thanks to whom I discovered Marie Brennan, but I recollect seeing someone holding a copy of A Natural History of Dragons on a YouTube video. It is the first book in The Memoirs of Lady Trent series, which is about how Isabella became a famous dragon naturalist. It also explores issues regarding women’s rights, social classes and the ethics behind some scientific methods. I have finished another three books in this fantasy series (The Tropic of Serpents, Voyage of the Basilisk and In the Labyrinth of Drakes) and am currently reading the last one (Within the Sanctuary of Wings).
I have Emma and Marina Sofia to thanks for introducing me to Romain Gary. So far, I’ve only read one book by him, Uma Vida à Sua Frente (The Life Before Us in the English translation). I quite liked it, though. It’s about the strong bond between a motherless Muslim boy and the Jewish woman who took care of him.
I discovered the Icelandic author Sjón thanks to someone on YouTube, but I can’t remember whom. The book recommended was Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was, whose main character is a teenage boy who loves watching films and whose sexual identity has repercussions. I loved the writing style.
I read the collection of short stories Diving Bells by Lucy Wood after it being recommended by Simon and Jen Campbell. It is full of magical realism elements and references to the sea.
Have you read books by any of these authors? Are there any authors that you decided to read after I mentioned them? Tell me in the comments!