Must Read Authors to Add to Your Reading List

We all have our favorite authors. You know, those whose books you will always pick up, without knowing anything about the storyline. These must read authors vary for everyone depending on what you like to read. However, these are some of my favorites whenever anyone asks me for a book to read.

Note: These are in no particular order. I checked my bookshelves and pulled authors as I saw them.

Down the Book Jar’s Must Read Authors

Ruth Ware

My first Ruth Ware was The Woman in Cabin 10. I had seen it all over Instagram and heard good things about it so I picked it up at a library sale. It did not disappoint. It was one of those books that you just couldn’t put down. Then, I picked up In a Dark, Dark Wood at an airport while I was traveling and had a craving to buy another book. Since then, I have read The Turn of the Key, The Death of Mrs. Westaway, and currently have The Lying Game on my bookshelf. Ruth Ware is a great suspenseful writer who always keeps you guessing. She has another book publishing this year, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.

Favorite Book: In a Dark, Dark Wood

ruth ware in a dark dark wood

Madeline Miller

Madeline Miller is a must read author if you’re a fan of historical fiction and/or mythology. Since I am a huge fan of both, I’m a big fan of her. The Song of Achilles was selected as a book club pick at work, and I loved it. Then, I was able to get Circe from my library and loved it! It’s the perfect mix of mythology and historical fiction. You connect with her characters, and just get immersed in the story.

Favorite Book: The Song of Achilles

madeline miller the song of achilles

Dan Brown

Now Dan Brown is a bigger, well-known author than a couple on my list. I do have a caveat to putting him here. For me, he is one of my must read authors only because of the Robert Langdon series.In all fairness, I haven’t read any of Dan Brown’s other books, but I will always pick up a new Robert Langdon book.

Favorite Book: Inferno

dan brown inferno

Jodi Picoult

I almost always enjoy Jodi Picoult’s books. She has had a few duds (to me), but the majority are just wonderful books. I appreciate her ability to take a pressing issue and create a novel around it. I have been reading her since high school, and she’s still someone who I will always seek out to see if there are any new books or books I haven’t read yet.

Favorite Book: Nineteen Minutes or Small Great Things

jodi picoult small great things

Liane Moriarty

A friend of mine (shout out to Kayla!) and I like to trade books sometimes. A few years ago, she had told me she had a book I just HAD to read. Enter: Big Little Lies. It was so good. I dropped just about everything to finish the book as quickly as I could. Since, I’ve picked up a couple more Liane Moriarty books: Truly Madly Guilty and The Husband’s Secret. Nether of them have quite lived up to BLL, but they’re still great reads.

Favorite Book: Big Little Lies, duh.

liane moriarty big little lies

Stephanie Storey

Stephanie Storey is a bit of a newer author, but she is absolutely one of my top must read authors. Another book club pick was Oil and Marble, her first book. It follows da Vinci and Michaelangelo as they’re creating the Mona Lisa and David respectively. There’s one scene toward the end of the novel where they unveil David and it was unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I felt like I was there. Just too beautiful for words. She also has another book Raphael, Painter in Rome that I really enjoyed, but want to read again (silly eBooks).

Favorite Book: Oil and Marble

oil and marble stephanie storey

Matthew Pearl

Matthew Pearl is another “off the beaten path” must read author. He takes famous authors, like Charles Dickens or Edgar Allen Poe, and creates historical fiction novels around them. It’s such an interesting concept. The books are heavily detailed, but always entertaining.

Favorite Book: The Last Dickens

matthew pearl the last dickens

Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane wrote Shutter Island. This was an instance where I saw the movie before I read the book, and I still liked the book better. That’s how good it was. I’ve read a few of his other books since. He’s always detailed, but his novels also always keep you guessing.

Favorite Book: Shutter Island

dennis lehane shutter island

V.E. Schwab

In all fairness, I have only read the Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab, but I absolutely loved it. She has a few other books, and I have heard nothing but good things about them. The series was classified as “fantasy”. If that’s what fantasy fiction is, then count me in.

Favorite Book: A Darker Shade of Magic

victoria schwab shades of magic

Blake Crouch

Blake Crouch completely took me by surprise. I was looking for a book or two to put on my Kindle for a trip. Dark Matter happened to be available. It looked good, so I went for it. HOLY COW. It messed with my head in the best way. It was a mixture of science and psychology (which is a form of science, I know) in a way that didn’t make me feel stupid for not knowing. THEN, Recursion came out, and it was just as amazing.

Favorite Book: Recursion

bllake crouch recursion

I feel like this is a fairly wide spread of must read authors. It also doesn’t even begin to scrape the surface of authors I love and love to follow. You can count Sally Hepworth, Mary Kubica, Gillian Flynn, Glennon Doyle, and so many others in my list of must read authors. Who are yours? I always like to discover new authors!

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