These ten amazing titles were chosen by a group of booksellers (inlcuding Carrie!) as the most exciting debuts of the year. We can't wait to talk about them with you! Reviews by Carrie.
Sara and Lejla remind us that slipping back into an old friendship is the most comfortable and impossible thing to do. With too much shared and not enough spoken, Catch the Rabbit holds the truth of how growing up and coming of age are two separate events, neither of which anyone really does with grace, or without pain.
Childhood memoirs are tricky, but Tran is skilled at bringing forth her youth alongside reflections brought on by age and understanding. A heart wrenching read of the difficulties of survival, mental health issues, and a fractured family. Though filled with struggle and pain, House of Sticks manages to glide on wings of hope and possibility.
Judge this book by the cover. Sensual, exposed, and unapologetic. Mendez pours more soul into his characters than words can handle and lets them leak through your fingers. You will want to mop them up and bring them solace.
Tumultuous and tender, this fantasy novel took me to my roots with Hungarian mythology. I could almost feel my grandmother sitting on the edge of the bed telling her careful stores, always dished out with lessons of morality and humanity. There might be many sides to a coin, even many coins, but right and wrong are always clear.
Reading Fox & I was like sneaking my father’s worn copy of Sand County Almanac out to my childhood treehouse all over again. Raven fills her pages with wilderness, introspection, and perfect literary nuggets. A book about books, a book about nature, a book about self discovery, a book about what we can learn if we are paying attention, and a book about what we learn when we let ourselves become distracted. (NB: Catherine Raven will be appearing at Skylark on July 22. Link to event details is here.)
Complex and layered, there are a million ways to read this clever Cambodian-American collection. Each story stands strong alone, anc with expertly woven threads of commonality the collection ties itself to your heart.
It is not often that I reread a debut work almost instantaneously, but Mrs. March clawed her way over my waiting stacks and into my hands for two consecutive curl-up-and-read-the-whole-thing days. I can't wait to discuss Mrs. March with customers . . . perhaps over a freshly baked loaf of olive bread.
An impressive and bold collection which will urge forth important conversations. Not one story reads like another, capped with a novella that stands on its own. It is an honor and a privilege to read Johnson’s work.
Every so often an author is just as good at plotting as they are at developing characters. Mahmoud has crafted a beast of a novel with woven points of view, topics that matter, and enough heart to bring on the feels. I can only hope that this debut is just the beginning.
A bold debut bringing refreshing honesty and candor to a young queer life in Seoul. This novel fills your head and makes you listen, reminds you to feel, and encourages you to look beyond the noise.