– posted by Andrea
This summer The Seattle Public Library, in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures, is excited to offer a summer reading program for adults called Summer Book Bingo! In order to help you along on your quest to complete your bingo sheet, we have pulled together some book suggestions based on each category. Follow this series throughout the summer!
Today in Summer Book Bingo reading – let’s find some authors under 30! Except… are we looking at writers currently under 30, or authors who were under 30 when they wrote their first book but are well over 30 (or…dead) now? I say that’s up to your readerly discretion. Here are some ideas for both interpretations:
Authors currently under 30:
Téa Obreht – In 2011, 25 year old Obreht published her debut novel The Tiger’s Wife, and that same year she became the youngest writer to ever win the prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction. Set in the war torn Balkans, this weaves together a doctor’s story of her grandfather’s last days, rumors of a man who claims to be immortal, and the extraordinary story of the tiger’s wife.
Samantha Shannon – The Bone Season, the first in a seven book series hailed as “Harry Potter for adults,” came out when the author was just 21. In the near future, London is controlled by a totalitarian force with the sole purpose of destroying clairvoyants. Captured, dreamwalker Paige Mahoney discovers a world beneath the one she knew. If you enjoy fantasy novels with elaborate worlds and a glossary of made up vocabulary, this book is for you.
Helen Oyeyemi – putting everyone else to shame, she turns 30 this December and has already published five novels. Begin with The Icarus Girl, published when Oyeyemi was just 20; or start with her latest, Boy Snow Bird, just out in 2014.
Authors first published under 30, now older or dead:
James Baldwin – an expat living in Paris, at 29 Baldwin’s first novel Go Tell It on the Mountain was published in 1953. This classic coming of age novel explores growing up Black in Depression-era America, trying to earn the love of one’s father, and the effort to sustain and build community in the face of dehumanizing oppression.
Anthony Marra – A Constellation of Vital Phenomena was published in 2013 when Marra was 28. In this novel the lives of three disparate people intertwine while saving a child’s life in a novel that spans 1994-2004, covering two wars in Chechnya, in a story both brutal and beautiful.
Mary Shelley – Frankenstein was published anonymously in 1818, when Shelley was just 21. In this classic of horror fiction, Victor Frankenstein, fascinated by the quest for eternal life, plays God when his unnatural experiments with cadavers bring forth a new being into the world, only to forsake his own creation with horrifying results.
Hankering for more ideas, or just curious about more of these literary overachievers? Explore more with this list in our catalog.