Saturday, September 26, 2015

Debut Novels

Books by new authors are always exciting for me.  Before I read a debut novel, I wonder if this author will become the next best-selling author or if this book will lead to a fantastic series that I can't put down. Occasionally I come across a debut novel that does not live up to the hype surrounding it. The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips was one of those novels. I tried very hard to read it, but after the tenth time of hearing the 'Person with Bad Breath' repeated when Josephine talked to her boss I decided not to finish it. Actually it may have been the bathroom scene that was my breaking point. Normally I read the book from cover to cover good or bad, but this was one I just said, "No more!". I'm sure there is reasoning behind not giving the person a name or even a gender and choosing to just refer to them as the 'Person with Bad Breath', however this just left (pardon the expression) a bad taste in my mouth. The reviews were very good for this book, but I had to get past the first 20 pages, and quite frankly I have lots of books to read and this one was just not worth my time. 

Here are a few debut novels I read recently and enjoyed a great deal. 

The Courtesan: A Novel by Alexandra Curry
A timeless novel based on Sai Jinhua a woman who is a legend in Chinese history. This novel bridges the tumultuous gap between East and West. 

Bream Gives Me Hiccups: and Other Stories by Jesse Eisenberg  
This debut story collection is witty and laugh-out-loud funny. If you enjoy listening to comedians you will love this book.

The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young
A southern Gothic mystery novel that combines literary suspense, and romance with a mystical twist. This is a fast-paced suspenseful thriller. 

The Girl From the Garden by Parnaz Foroutan
This suspenseful novel of desire, obsession, power and vulnerability paints a powerful portrait of an extended family in Iran. 

Everybody Rise: A Novel by Stephanie Clifford
Bracing, hilarious and often poignant, this debut novel shows us what happens when money and class collide. 

Where the Moon Isn't by Nathan Filer
This is a debut novel you won't want to put down. While on vacation, Matthew Homes and his older brother sneak out in the middle of the night. Only Matthew returns home safely. This is Matthew's story and his attempt to make sense of what happened that night so long ago. Drama, intrigue and humanity fill this book with amazing authenticity. It is absolutely wonderful.

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