Are you doing this challenge yet? I am having a blast exploring new authors this month through
their debut novels. And to add a little twist to the process I looked for debut authors of color. If you read any of the books from this list you can mark off two categories at once! That's what we call strategic reading.
Jade Chang's debut novel is filled with laugh-out-loud moments that come at you at a furious pace. The Wang family has just lost everything in the 2008 financial crisis and patriarch (at least in his mind) Charles Wang decides that the way to deal with things is a road trip with his spectacularly dysfunctional and highly entertaining family. This is also available in ebook format and downloadable audiobook.
I listened to the downloadable audio version of Yaa Gyasi's debut novel and the narrator was excellent. I often walk and listen at the same time but this book stopped me in my tracks. Several times I found myself just standing still in the yard or on the trail listening to a particularly intense passage in the book. Homegoing is an earthy and often brutal epic saga of a family but it is the individual characters you get wrapped up with as they are carried through life from 18th century Ghana to 20th century Harlem. This book comes in just about every format you could hope for with ebook, preloaded player, large print, audiobook CD. Now all we need is for it to be made into a movie.
It's best not to go into this novel expecting a sunny story about a beach resort. It is set in a Jamaican resort community but it is about the people who live and work there not the tourists who visit. The characters are complex and often broken but you will find yourself drawn into their stories and caring very much about what happens to them. Here Comes the Sun, like Homegoing, isn't an easy read but it is worth every wrenching moment. This is a book that will stay with you long after the last page. It is also available in ebook, downloadable audio, large print, and audiobook CD.
If there was a 10 to Try category for sweeping sagas I would have had it done with these last three novels! And After Many Days is set in Port Harcourt, Nigeria where seventeen year old Paul Utu has gone missing. This tragic moment is the central question of the novel. What happened to Paul? But how author Jowhor Ile answers that question takes the reader through the family's past to reveal secrets long buried. The politics of the region play a huge part in this story and are twined together with the mystery of Paul's disappearance. The younger brother, Ajie is our guide through this lyrical and powerful novel. This book is also available in ebook, downloadable audio, and audiobook CD.