Trade publication Publishers Weekly recently released its top 10 debut novels of the season (what season? Summer? Baseball? Debutante?). Many have late 2009/early 2010 release dates, so keep an eye out for them for future book-club planning. Mom, this means you. Also, in an effort not to infringe on any copyrights (and to add some spice to my day), I’m only giving 6-word descriptions of each book.
1. A Glass of Water, by Jimmy Santiago Baca (Grove Press, Oct.). Undocumented Mexican immigrants struggle in US.
2. Blacklands, by Belinda Bauer (S & S, Jan.). Boy + serial killer = pen pals = dangerous.
3. Moonlight in Odessa, by Janet Skeslien Charles (Bloomsbury, Sept.). All about Russian e-mail-order brides.
4. The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, by Heidi Durrow (Algonquin, Feb.). Am I black or white?
5. Union Atlantic, by Adam Haslett (Doubleday/Nan A. Talese, Jan.). Four faces give depth to financial world.
6. The Calligrapher’s Daughter, by Eugenia Kim (Henry Holt, Sept.). Young woman in Japanese-occupied Korea.
7. Mathilda Savitch, by Victor Lodato (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Sept.). Teen girl unravels beloved sister’s death.
8. Rizzo’s War, by Lou Manfredo (Minotaur Books, Oct.). Old cop, new cop, dirty tricks.
9. The Ghosts of Belfast, by Stuart Neville (Soho Crime, Oct.). Former IRA hitman haunted by past.
10. The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight, by Gina Ochsner (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Feb.). Bridget Jones in post-Soviet Russia?
(This is a stretch.)
Fun fact: Average age of debut author (out of 8 authors — two ages not given): 49.
The team at Amazon also named their favorite books of the “season,” aka new releases from January-July 2009. Check out their picks here.