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Topic: Debut Novels

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Subject: Debut Novels
Date Posted: 7/14/2007 10:28 AM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2006
Posts: 3,183
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Since I read a lot of series books and am always trying to fill in the holes, I love when I come across a new author in their debut novel. I thought it might be interesting to list some debut novels you have discovered.

One I thought was very good was  "The Interpretation of Murder" by Jed Rubenfeld.


Date Posted: 7/14/2007 4:03 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,744
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I read "Angel's Rest" by Charles Davis a few months back and LOVED it.  It's a coming-of-age story about a young boy in the early 60's (I believe) in Appalachia.  Wonderful storytelling.

Date Posted: 7/14/2007 9:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2006
Posts: 4,669
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Here's one coming out August 3rd, I haven't read it yet, but the author is from my town.

Summers at Blue Lake: by Jill Althouse-Wood

From Publishers weekly
Barbara Jean Ellington, BJ, is at a crossroads. Recently separated from her cheating husband, Bryce, BJ and five-year-old son Sam depart Michigan for her late grandmother Nonna's home in Pennsylvania. While sorting out her life, BJ comes across Nonna's private notebooks, and she uncovers family secrets—including how Nonna and her lesbian partner, Grandma Lena, came to spend their lives together. As BJ learns more about her family history, she is haunted by memories of her childhood and her first true love (and Lena's nephew), Travis. Things begin to look up when he appears one day, recently divorced, on her lawn, but a late reappearance by Bryce could muck things up. This is Althouse-Wood's first novel, and though she begins with an interesting premise, the novel falls victim to prose leaden with preciousness

Last Edited on: 7/14/07 9:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/14/2007 10:13 PM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2005
Posts: 456
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Tasha Alexander's And Only to Deceive (published last year, now available in paperback) was my favourite author debut from last year. 

Date Posted: 7/15/2007 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/8/2007
Posts: 8,523
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The Blackbird Papers by Ian Smith was good.  Also, Speak Softly, She Can Hear by Pam Lewis was good.  That was sort of a "dark" story though.  Good, but dark and creepy.

Date Posted: 7/16/2007 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2005
Posts: 2,168
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Immoral by Brian Freeman. His second one was Stripped, and I enjoyed it as much as the first.

Date Posted: 7/17/2007 5:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2007
Posts: 729
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Marcym, I just ordered this one. It sounds good. Thanks!
Date Posted: 7/17/2007 6:31 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn was brilliant!

Date Posted: 7/17/2007 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
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Marcym I just received Brian Freeman's "Immoral".  I have requested more books by that author.  He must be good because all of his books have been w/l.

Date Posted: 7/18/2007 9:03 AM ET
Member Since: 10/18/2005
Posts: 44
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Shane Gericke and his first book is Blown Away.  I am reading it now and I have to say it is one of the best books I have read in a long time.  It's a thriller and it has kept me turning the pages.  I love the characters.  There is a second book and I have it wish listed.  I don't know if I want to wait for it though.  May just run out and buy it so I can read it right away. 

Date Posted: 7/18/2007 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 7,581
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good idea, Charlie!  I'll have to think on this

Date Posted: 7/20/2007 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 12,184
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In The Woods by Tana French!  I can hardly believe this is her first novel, it is excellent.  I finished it a few weeks ago and I'm STILL thinking about the book.  I know I'll be going back and reading it again to catch what I missed the first time around.




Date Posted: 7/21/2007 11:04 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2005
Posts: 2,168
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Looks like I better dig my copy of Blown Away out of Mt. TBR if it's that good.

Date Posted: 7/24/2007 10:30 AM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2006
Posts: 182
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If you like fantasy, about a year ago I read Brandon Sanderson's debut Elantris and was very impressed.  The book is actually 2 years old now.  Sanderson has since started a trilogy called Mistborn which is also quite good so far.  Book 2 of Mistborn comes out at the end of August and I'm almost counting the days ...  Give him a try - he's got some fresh, unique ideas in his books.  They're not your typical fantasy story of elves/dwarves/humans battling ogres/trolls/evil warlocks on a quest for the ancient talisman of magic power.




Date Posted: 7/24/2007 2:12 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2007
Posts: 351
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If you like scary creepy books, Heart-Shaped box by Joe Hill is good, so far.  ;o)

Date Posted: 7/24/2007 2:39 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2005
Posts: 641
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Blue Mercy by Illona Haus was an excellent debut novel (now a 3 book series) set in Baltimore.

And I also enjoyed Freeman's Immoral.  Stripped is on it's way to me and I have the third novel Stalked on my WL

Date Posted: 7/24/2007 4:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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RIVER, CROSS MY HEART, a first novel by Breena Clarke.  

This is a warm and graceful first novel.  It takes place in Georgetown in 1925.  It is a novel about a close knit African American community.  The author paints a wonderful picture of the culture and what life was like for the people who were not too far desended from slavery.  The story centered around a young girl, who has to deal with the aftermath of her younger sisters death.  This is a "feel good" story and I would higly recommend it, especially to teenage girls and their mothers.

Date Posted: 7/24/2007 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/3/2006
Posts: 181
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I just started Icelander by Dustin Long and it is incredible! It is very creative and strange and funny - sort of Icelandic saga meets classic detective meets fantasy. The language is really beautiful and fun as well.

Date Posted: 7/24/2007 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2006
Posts: 3,183
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And my WL grows.........sigh.

Date Posted: 7/26/2007 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2005
Posts: 641
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And I found another...... I just finished George D. Shuman's 18 Seconds  and it was unbelievable....

Date Posted: 7/26/2007 10:35 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2005
Posts: 164
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I just finished The King of Lies by John Hart.  Reminds me of  Turow.  It was quite good for a first novel.   He has a second one out now called Down River.

Date Posted: 7/27/2007 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2006
Posts: 31
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I picked up a book by Lee Child "The Killing Floor" at the library and was surprised to find myself reading it straight through in one night (because it's not my usual genre).  I have since then read all the books in the Jack Reacher series (took about a week and a half, there are about 8 or 9 books).  I recommend trying them, even if they don't seem your "cup of tea".

Date Posted: 7/29/2007 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 4/12/2007
Posts: 140
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Ooooh, I just finished Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwartz.  I couldn't put it down.  Great debut.

- Tracy



Date Posted: 7/29/2007 1:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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I'll have to second the Lee Child books.   "Poison Study" by Maria Snyder was excellent too.

Date Posted: 8/4/2007 10:39 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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I just finished THE EDGE OF THE CRAZIES, a debut novel by Jamie Harrison.  It is the first of a series of fun "borderline" cozy mysteries.  The story is about murders in a laid-back small town in Montana......that has been invaded by a bunch of  Hollywood- type, film folk.

The New York Times Book Review wrote---"A Madly Original Debut."

Last Edited on: 8/4/07 12:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1