The best books lists are starting to appear. I will note a few that feature debuts.
- Nobody is Ever Missing, by Catherine Lacey. This book tells the story of a woman who flees Manhattan for New Zeland. It is described as a beautifully written book of a lost woman trying to find herself.
- The Story of Land and Sea, by Katy Simpson Smith. A historical novel set in North Carolina during the American Revolution, which tells the multi-generational story of a family.
NPR packaged their top book picks into a “book concierge” site. It’s a fun site to explore with plenty of titles to discover. You can sort titles by witty book categories like, “rather long” or “funny stuff,” to find books that might appeal. Under “realistic fiction,” I found Ng’s book, along with 2 a.m. at the Cat’s Pajamas, by Marie-Helen Bertino, which I reviewed earlier this year. They also featured Smith Henderson’s Fourth of July Creek, which explores the relationship between and boy and a social worker in Montana. It has been described as a moving and powerful read and has been shortlisted for the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize.
And over at Goodreads, their community singled out three debuts in the fiction category, all which I’ve mentioned at some time this year:
- Redeployment, by Phil Klay, who also just won the National Book Award for this book
- The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing, by Mira Jacob
- The Enchanted, by Rene Denfeld, who was also shortlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize and who I wrote about earlier this fall
I hope these lists inspire you to pick up a new book for yourself or something to gift to someone else. The book I review next, which I did not see on any of these lists, was one of my favorite debuts of the year, Island of a Thousand Mirrors, by Nayomi Munaweera.