At Discover Books, we love to recognize the wonderful writers whose books fill our website and our hearts. So, we’ve compiled a list of ten authors with July birthdays that we’re celebrating. We’re featuring authors from both classic and contemporary times, as well as writers of adult, children’s, and young adult books. However, the works on this list are just a small sampling of the used and new books that you can find at DiscoverBooks.com and on the Discover Books app!
Born July 21, 1889
Ernest Hemingway is remembered as one of the leading Lost Generation writers (i.e. authors who came of age during World War I), along with William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and many others. The signature characteristic of Hemingway’s writing is its understated style. He wanted to tell the most realistic stories in the simplest way possible and allow his readers to find their own deeper meaning or truth in his work. This technique has influenced many writers since Hemingway, with some embracing the style and some rejecting it.
In addition to his signature style, Hemingway’s travels throughout Europe and Latin America also influenced his writing. His best-known novels include The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, and The Old Man and the Sea. For the latter, Hemingway won the 1953 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction.
Henry David Thoreau
Born July 12, 1817
Henry David Thoreau’s nonfiction writings were mostly based on the Transcendentalist Movement of the 1830s. He applied the philosophy of Transcendentalism as he spoke out on many social issues, especially abolition and environmental concerns. Thoreau’s love of nature prompted a two-year simple-living experiment that became the subject of his most famous book, Walden. He is also known for writing the essay “Civil Disobedience,” which inspired the ideas and actions of leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
Born July 30, 1818
Along with her sisters Charlotte and Anne, Emily Brontë was one of the major British authors of the Romantic Movement of the early 19th century. The three sisters published many of their poems and short stories together, usually under the pen names Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. Due to Emily’s untimely death at age 30, she only wrote one full-length novel, Wuthering Heights. However, this tragic love story is recognized as a literary classic and has been adapted many times for stage and screen.
Born July 30, 1980
Celeste Ng’s most popular novel is Little Fires Everywhere, which tells the story of two families whose secrets upset the daily life and culture of a small Ohio town. In addition to being a #1 New York Times bestseller and winning a Goodreads Choice Award, the book was the September 2017 Reese’s Book Club pick. In 2020, Hulu released a television miniseries adaptation of Little Fires Everywhere with Reese Witherspoon starring and producing. Ng’s other works include the thriller Everything I Never Told You and various short stories.
Born July 22, 1948
Susan Eloise Hinton is often credited with inventing the genre of young adult literature. She wrote her most famous novel The Outsiders when she was 16 and based the story off two rival gangs at her high school. Hinton’s publisher suggested she use her initials on the cover so that male book reviewers of the 1960s wouldn’t dismiss the novel because a woman wrote it. Additionally, the book generated public controversy upon its publication and was banned from some schools because of strong language and violence. However, The Outsiders launched Hinton’s successful career in young adult writing (which continued with novels like That Was Then, This Is Now) and is widely appreciated today.
Born July 27, 1973
Judith Rumelt Lewis, better known by her pen name Cassandra Clare, got her start in writing by publishing online fan fiction and magazine articles. She later became famous for developing the Shadowhunters universe. These young adult fantasy novels include the six-book series The Mortal Instruments and four trilogies: The Infernal Devices, The Dark Artifices, The Last Hours, and The Eldest Curses. The first novel in The Mortal Instruments (City of Bones) was adapted into a movie in 2013, and the 2016-2019 television series Shadowhunters is based on her novels as well.
Born July 11, 1899
Elwyn Brooks White authored one of the best-known children’s novels in history: Charlotte’s Web. This 1952 story of the deep friendship that develops between a pig and a barn spider has sold millions of copies worldwide and received numerous awards. White’s other children’s novels include The Trumpet of the Swan and Stuart Little. He also wrote and edited articles for the New Yorker for nearly 60 years and collaborated with his former professor William Strunk Jr. on the writing handbook The Elements of Style.
Born July 28, 1866
Before becoming an author of children’s short stories, Beatrix Potter studied biology and was known for her scientific illustrations of fungi, plants, and animals. She eventually shifted her career to focus on literary illustration and began drawing many of her classic animal characters, including Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, Squirrel Nutkin, and Jemima Puddle-Duck. Inspired by the fairy tales she grew up reading, she invented stories based on her illustrations, which quickly became beloved by children. Her writing is still popular and formed the basis of the 2018 movie Peter Rabbit and its 2021 sequel.
Born July 13, 1963
Born Raquel Jaramillo, R.J. Palacio is best known for her children’s novel Wonder. This book follows the story of August Pullman, a young boy born with a genetic craniofacial difference that has prevented him from attending regular schools, until he starts fifth grade. He faces many challenges in school, particularly bullying from other students because he looks very different from them, but he eventually learns to appreciate himself for who he is. Wonder was adapted into a movie in 2017, and Palacio has written many companion short stories to the novel. Although Wonder is intended primarily for middle-grade readers, bookworms of all ages can enjoy and find value in August’s story.
Born July 31, 1965
In 1990, Joanne Rowling was riding a train from Manchester to London when she had an idea for a children’s book series: a young boy attending a school for wizards. Seven years and twelve publisher rejections later, the first book in the Harry Potter series hit shelves. All seven of the original Harry Potter novels became international bestsellers and received a variety of awards. From 2001 to 2011, eight blockbuster film adaptations of the novels were released, two of which–Sorcerer’s (Philosopher’s) Stone and Deathly Hallows: Part 2–made more than $1 billion at the box office. The series also inspired spin-off media such as the Fantastic Beasts movie series and the West End/Broadway play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
As with many female authors writing about male main characters, Rowling’s publisher advised her to use a gender-neutral pen name. Therefore, Rowling added the middle initial K in honor of her grandmother Kathleen. She has also written several adult crime fiction novels under the pen name Robert Galbraith.
If you want to shop used or new books at the lowest prices from all these authors and more, visit DiscoverBooks.com. You can also read our author birthday lists from April, May, and June if you missed any of them. We hope you’ll find your next favorite read with us!