I remember a year-end post on Rachelle Gardner’s blog two years ago, where she listed “ten really good first novels”. It was an impressive list of publicly acclaimed books and I was shocked to learn they were all first novels for their authors.
- Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
- The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
- The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon
- The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
- Peace Like a River, Leif Enger
- The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
- The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd
- Catch-22, Joseph Heller
You won’t find too many books by debut authors on my shelves. I’m a cautious reader and tend to wait for recommendations from others before spending my money. On the other hand, if I see a title that appeals to me I rarely stop to check if it’s a first book or a fifteenth. So I was surprised to realize several books that I’ve enjoyed lately are from debut authors:
- Crossing Oceans, Gina Holmes
- Dead Witness, Joylene Butler
- Code Blue, Richard L. Mabry
- Losing Faith, Denise Jaden
- Bad Latitude, Dave Ebright
- The Secret Year, Jennifer Hubbard
- The Preacher’s Bride, Jody Hedlund
- The Forest for the Trees, Betsy Lerner
- Bitter, Sweet, Laura Best
What’s also interesting to me is that all of them except one I learned about because of a blogging connection with the author. Who says blogging doesn’t sell books?
What have you read lately by a debut author? What brought it to your attention?