#BookBingoNW: published when author was under 35

Book Bingo 2019 is now underway, and we know many of you are out there pouring over your 2019 bingo cards planning what to read, so today I’m here to help you fill the “published when author was under 35” square. Here are some suggestions for fiction, nonfiction and memoir published when the author was younger than 35; you can find even more ideas in this list.


Severance by Ling Ma
Candace Chen is living an unsatisfied life as a publishing production assistant in New York City when the pandemic Shen Fever strikes. Candace, surprisingly, is one of a few who seem immune to the disease. She joins a handful of others trying to make a go of it, while reflecting back on the life she had before.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
In early 1900s Russia, young Vasya roams her father’s rural estate on the edge of the forest, communing with the spirits of her house and woods. When her father remarries, her devout stepmother Anna prohibits the family from practicing the rites that honor the household spirits. AS the townfolk follow Anna’s lead, the helpful spirits weaken and the frost-king returns, with only Vasya capable of helping.

The Girls by Emma Cline
Now middle-aged, Evie Boyd reflects on the summer of 1969 when she was a bored teenager struggling to fit in. After she saw three freewheeling teen girls at a park, Evie shoplifted and stole to ingratiate herself with the girls and their charismatic leader, Russell, and eventually became a part of their cult. A coming-of-age tale with plenty of self-reflection, inspired by the Charles Manson cult.


Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep
Upon the publication of Go Set a Watchman in 2015, Cep learned that Harper Lee spent years investigating a series of rural Alabama murders with plans to write about them, but never published any work on the topic. Cep details the crimes themselves, Lee’s fascination and work on the subject, and Lee’s struggles with fame and artistic creativity. Find it in the Peak Picks section at your library branch!

Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter by Ben Goldfarb
Goldfarb presents the beaver, a keystone species that are architects of North America’s ecosystems. From the long term impact of the fur trade on beaver populations, to current efforts live in harmony (or not) with beavers, and the vast array of positive impacts beaver dams and lodges have on varied habitats, this gripping tale may just have you proclaiming yourself a Beaver Believer.

One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul
In this collection of sharply humorous essays, Buzzfeed editor Koul mines the details of her life in stories about a shopping trip gone awry, the elaborate preparation for a family wedding, and meeting her best friend at college. Woven into these tales is pointed social critique about life as a woman of color in predominantly white cities, navigating restrictive gender rules, and dealing with internet trolls.

And my personal under-35 MVP: Helen Oyeyemi, who has written seven books and turns 35 in December of this year. That means you can get her latest, Gingerbread from the Peak Picks collection; or read her first novel, The Icarus Girl; or her short story collection What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours.

You can also browse our catalog list of fiction, nonfiction and memoir published when the author was under 35.

Looking for still more authors to choose from? Several august organizations annually recognize fiction writers under age 35. The National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 recognizes young, debut fiction writers from around the world who have published their first book of fiction within the five preceding years. It’s a designation designed to recognize writers whose work is expected to “leave a lasting impression on the literary landscape.” Or, check out the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, given to a writer 35 or younger for a novel or collection of short stories; check out each year’s shortlist for even more deserving authors.

For more ideas for books to meet your Summer Book Bingo challenge, follow our Shelf Talk #BookBingoNW2019 series or check the hashtag #BookBingoNW2019 on social media. Need a Book Bingo card? Print one out here or pick one up at your Library. Book bingo is presented in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures.

~ posted by Andrea G.

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