Introducing some new authors and new favourites

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At the Library with Jenn Calder

There’s something really exciting about discovering a new author. If you find someone whose writing style you like, it often means that you then have years of books ahead of you.  

The hopes that you’ll love every book as much as this first book. The desire to read something new and different from what you’ve read before.

This week I’d like to highlight some good new authors that we’ll likely see some great books from in the future, and some authors whose debut books I loved.

Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson sounds like a dark story about Pete, a social worker in Montana.  Pete is working with troubled kids, and this novel covers two in particular, but it also goes into the story of Pete’s missing daughter.  

GoodReads (a social networking site for readers ~ feel free to add Cumberland Public Libraries as a friend) has a prize for debut authors as voted by the members.  The 2013 winner was Tangled by Emma Chase.  This is a good debut book to pick up if you’re looking for a steamy romance.

The second place book was The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker.  A golem is a mythical creature from Jewish folklore made out of clay.  Jinnis stem from Arabic mythology and are able to take the shape of animals or humans.  These two mythical creatures become unlikely friends. It’s both a fun fairytale and a deep literary work.

I know these are all books that I plan to check out.

Some older debut novels I’ve enjoyed include:

Still Alice was Lisa Genova’s 2007 debut novel about a Harvard professor with early onset Alzheimers.  This book is moving, sad, and insightful.  It’s a must-read, but be prepared because you’re going to need tissues (and you’re going to start worrying about Alzheimers every time you misplace your car keys).  Genova went on to write Left Neglected and Love Anthony.

John Green is an author I cannot praise highly enough.  His first book, Looking for Alaska, takes place in a boarding school in Alabama.  While this is a book targeted at teens, don’t write it off if you’re over the age of majority.  Green is a great writer; he makes you feel what the character feels, and he writes great dialogue for memorable characters.  After reading Looking for Alaska, I suggest you check out his other books.  

There are some novels you read and you cannot believe it’s the author’s first book because it is so polished, smart, and fantastic.  Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson is that type of book.  This story about a burn victim (word of warning: the burn treatment scenes are really difficult to read) has a complicated structure because the action takes place in the present and in a past life. It’s not clear if what happened in the past really happened or if it’s all been imagined by a woman with bipolar disorders and schizophrenia.

For more great books like these check out your local library or look at our online catalogue at www.cumberlandpubliclibraries.ca.

 

Denise Corey is the Chief Librarian at the Cumberland Public Libraries.

Organizations: Cumberland, Harvard

Geographic location: Fourth of July Creek, Montana, Alaska

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