Six Big Debuts for Summer and Fall

~posted by Frank

Each year, tens of thousands of librarians and booksellers attend Book Expo America to mix with publishers and authors and attend panels about the state of the industry. One of the highlights is the Editors’ Buzz Panel, and this year they selected six highly anticipated debuts they’re most excited about:

FICTION
City on Fire
 by Garth Risk Hallberg. New York City, 1977. A disparate group of characters – from heirs to a fortune to suburban punks, cops and journalists, and more – are somehow related to a shooting in Central Park. But things will change permanently during a citywide blackout. This 900-page novel about love, money, family, art and everything in between was the subject of a bidding war among ten publishers. It’s that good…

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh. Boston, 1960s. When Eileen’s not cleaning up after her alcoholic father or shoplifting on the weekends, she’s working as a secretary at a prison for teenage boys. Her bleak world is opened up by Rebecca, a beautiful and bright beacon who starts working at the prison. That is, until Rebecca pulls her into a crime she can hardly conceive. It’s creepy, darkly funny and will keep you guessing until the end.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware. English countryside, present day. Lee is a crime writer who rarely interacts with the outside world or veers from her routine. Yet when she receives an invitation out of the blue to spend time in the north of England with an old friend, she takes it. When she wakes up injured and foggy 48 hours later in the hospital, she wonders not what happened, but what was it that she did. This twisty page-turner with an unreliable narrator could be the next Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

NONFICTION
Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine
by Damon Tweedy. “Being black is bad for your health” is the unfortunate truth in this important book. Tweedy recounts his days as a medical student, where he faced discrimination, and the social, cultural, and economic factors that contribute to the health problems in the black community. Tweedy’s examination of the challenges black doctors and patients face is balanced with solutions to provide a better way forward for all.

Home is Burning: A Memoir by Dan Marshall. Marshall’s charmed life in L.A. is disrupted when he returns home to Salt Lake City after his mother’s cancer returns and his father is diagnosed with ALS. Uproariously funny, inappropriate, profoundly sad and moving, this warts-and-all memoir paints a starkly honest portrayal of himself as a “spoiled white jerk” who struggles to make sense of it all. Miles Teller (of Whiplash) has signed on to star in the film adaptation.

The Three Year-Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui’s Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory by Julie Checkoway. In 1937, a group of Japanese-American children are living in a segregated work camp on a sugar plantation in Maui. Their life of virtual slavery is altered when a schoolteacher trains them to swim in a dirty irrigation ditch and turns them into world champions and American heroes. Fans of inspirational true stories along the lines of Unbroken and Boys in the Boat will find this required reading.

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