Lists, Reviews

Debut fiction 2013: A top ten list

The week’s topic: top ten 2013 debut novels I would like to read. This is a hard top ten list to write. For starters, I do like to actually read the books I list, so if I include it on the list I feel like I am committing to it. It also prohibits the inclusion of my go-to authors. I’ve already read two of my anticipated 2013 debuts (Twelve Tribes of Hattie and Ashenden). However, 2013 is going to be a banner year for authors I already enjoy. Stephen King has two novels coming out, Neil Gaiman has one, Joe Hill has one (not to mention Locke and Key), Warren Ellis had one, John Sandford has two, possibly the new Donna Tartt, see what I mean – there are a lot of books to choose from. Also, I am not actually very good at keeping up with what is going to be published and when (especially is I am not familiar with the person). So, I am doubtful about my ability to make it to ten (Update: I made it to nine).

In no particular order:

1. In the House Upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods by Matt Bell

2. Frances and Bernard by Carlene Bauer

3. The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani

4. The Andalucian Friend by Alexander Soderberg

5. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion (although an earlier publication, the movie is coming out this year and they’re re-promoting it, also the prominent blurb on the front is by Stephenie Meyer – worrisome)

6. Z by Therese Anne Fowler (and I’m not the biggest Fitzgerald fan, but this looks appealing)

7. Love with a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche (okay, so I am sneaking a memoir in here)

8. Double Feature by Owen King (this literarily remarkable family obviously has more talent than is fair)

9. Donnybrook by Frank Bill (if you haven’t read Crimes in Southern Indiana and you like dark fiction – read it now)

So, as I only have nine, it is up to you to recommend the tenth debut novel. Suggestions?

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  • booksaremyfavouriteandbest

    Double Feature looks exactly like my kind of book. It’s now on my list. I requested an ARC of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls a week ago – funny, the book jacket I saw did nothing for me but I read the blurb and thought it looked good. The book jacket you’ve shown looks a hundred times more appealing!

    Frances and Bernard also looks great. My TBR stack just grew a few more inches.

    • Rory O’Connor

      You’ll finally be reading a King novel – if only his son.

      I requested that other novel as well, haven’t heard yet, but it too was subject to a bidding war. My favorite covers I’ve seen of late: Love Is a Canoe (last review) and The Flame Alphabet.

      • booksaremyfavouriteandbest

        re Owen King – I know! Maybe when I’ve read that I’ll progress to his father? 😉

        Oddly, I picked The Flame Alphabet for my ‘What’s in a Name?’ reading challenge (topic is fire and I’ve had Flame Alphabet sitting on my Kindle for ages…) Have you read it?

        • Rory O’Connor

          No, just picked it up from the library today actually. Reviews were only mediocre, but it sounds dark enough to be satisfying.

  • Janita

    Do not worry about the Stephenie Meyer blurb. Warm Bodies is NOT the Twilight of the zombie genre. It’s beautifully written, it’s witty, the characters are phenomenal, and the book has an actual plot 😛 You will love it, I guarantee it! Check out my TTT 🙂

    • Rory O’Connor

      Excellent, excellent. So far I’ve only really enjoyed one zombie novel (Zone One), though I found World War Z to be fine – though the movie looks to resemble nothing of the book. I’m looking forward to reading Warm Bodies, I just got my eARC today – it’ll be happening soon 🙂

  • Suzanne van Rooyen (@Suzanne_Writer)

    Warm Bodies is fantastic (although neither a 2013 nor debut publication :P) It was my favourite book of 2012. Truly excellent.

    • Rory O’Connor

      I thought it was his debut novel? It’s being marketed that way. Either way, everyone says it’s great so I can’t wait to read it! Glad to know that it was good enough to be a favorite.

  • Care

    I wouldn’t have a clue how to do this list! I don’t know ANY thing about to be published – new authors or old. I just never seem to notice?

    • Rory O’Connor

      This list took a lot of effort, however I’m lucky that most debut novel descriptions start out as “A startling debut from fresh new voice…”, it takes some of the guess work out 🙂

    • Rory O’Connor

      I typically only know when my most favorite authors are publishing, although even I missed Richard Russo’s memoir last year…

  • Daphne

    I wouldn’t worry about the Stephenie Meyer blurb. She also recommended The Hunger Games, which is why it took me three years to read it. So, she has some taste 🙂

    • Rory O’Connor

      It surprised me recently when I read her entry into “My Ideal Bookshelf”, I had no idea she was so influenced by the classics.

  • Jessica

    Wow, I haven’t heard any of those, but they all look fantastic! I’ll have to keep my eye out for them! Great picks 🙂

    Here’s my Top Ten!

  • Dana

    Nice list! I am going to have to add a few of these to my list too!

  • picturemereading

    I need to pick up Warm Bodies as well!

    • Rory O’Connor

      I’ve barely started it, hopefully it is as good as everyone is saying.

  • Bonnie (@missbonnie13)

    I’m also very excited for Love with a chance of drowning.. not usually a huge fan of memoirs but this one definitely has me intrigued. Warm Bodies was very different but I really enjoyed it! And ignore Stephanie. haha 🙂
    Frances and Bernard is on my list too! And I’m going to have to check out ‘In the House..” that sounds really interesting. Great list!!
    The Top Ten 2013 Debuts I’m Looking Forward To

    • Rory O’Connor

      Thanks, it’s always nice to find another adult fiction reader. I admit Frances & Bernard initially went on my list because of my fascination with Flannery O’Connor, but then I read it is supposed to be surprisingly funny so it stayed.

  • Jessica

    Great list! I’ve heard really good things regarding Warm Bodies. I’m not much of a Zombie fan, but it does look interesting and I’ll attempt it soon. I’m also not a big fan of Fitzgerald, but Z is calling my name.

    • Rory O’Connor

      Having just finished Warm Bodies, I would call it above average zombie fare, but nothing exceptional. There’s not a lot in the way of gore if that is an issue for you, after all, it is a zombie love story…

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