"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Top Ten Best Debut Books

The Broke and Bookish

This week's top ten topic is debut books. This provided me with a significant challenge since I rarely pay attention to whether a book is a debut novel for an author. This topic, therefore, presented me with an opportunity to do some good research and I am very pleased with what I discovered. See what you think and let me know if I missed some other debut novels that you feel are worth of a Top Ten billing.

Top Ten Best Debut Novels

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, 1960
To be fair, this was her only novel. But I believe that To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the best books every written, so it deserves top billing on my list.

2. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, 1967
Susan Eloise Hinton started writing The Outsiders when she was 18 years old. According to Wikipedia it is now the second-bestselling young adult novel in publishing history. Though it was written in the 1960s its themes are still relevant today.

3. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, 1999
Speak was Ms. Anderson's debut YA novel. Few Printz award books have stood the test of time the way this book has. Its message of the importance of the need to speak up in the face of trouble is still an important message today.

4. Looking for Alaska by John Green, 2005
This gem of a book launched John Green's writing career. It is a marvelous mixture of funny and poignant-a perfect YA novel.

5. Eragon by Christopher Paolini, 2003
This magical fantasy book was written by Paolini when he was a teenager. I can't help but think about how amazing his imagination is when I read it or the sequel books.

6. Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, 2003
An amazing book. It is hard to believe that it was from a debut author.

7. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver, 1988
I'm a huge Kingsolver fan. This book demonstrated her concern for social justice and equal rights that she has continued to champion throughout her writing career.

8. Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, 2002
I can still recall crying for the first 72 pages of this book when I read it nearly ten years ago. It remains popular in my library today.

9. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, 2003
This book was a slow-starter for me but once I picked up momentum I was swept up in the love story that traveled through time.

10. Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, 2002
This story really touches my heart. I've reread it several times and always "feel" it at my core.

11. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, 2003
I really like Bray's writing style and this is the first book of a fabulous series.

Honorable Mention:
-Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going- a funny, yet touching YA story, 2003
-Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick- a sweet, thoughtful YA story published in 2010.
-The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson- my favorite YA book of 2010


  1. I'm finding so many books I left off my own list. A Great and Terrible Beauty is a great book, and The Lovely Bones is so haunting. Great list!

  2. I SOO wanted to list A Great and Terrible Beaty as well, but it's actually not her debut novel (I looked it up).
    I really enjoyed Eragon and the other 2 books, I'm not so patiently waiting for the final book!

  3. Speak and The Lovely Bones where both startlingly beautiful and alarming. All great books you've listed :)


  4. Nice, we have four of the same choices. Oh and Secret Life of Bees is such a good choice too, i forgot about that one.

  5. According to Goodreads 'Kari' is her first book, published in 2000. Wonder which of these is wrong :S

  6. Speak made my list too! And, the others are on my TBR list.

  7. You shame me, ma'am -- how could I have forgotten S.E. Hinton?!

  8. I enjoyed your list. I've actually read every one on it, except The Bean Trees, but I've read a couple of other Kingsolver's books and I really like her too.

    Good list!

  9. Great list, Anne! You motivated me once again to participate this week, though I didn't have time for a kids' list, too.

    I've got some of the same ones on my list. I also love Barbara Kingsolver but haven't read The Bean Trees - it's been on my TBR list for a long time!


  10. Awesome list! I fell in love with the cover of Eragon which I bought for my growing (future) classroom library but haven't read it yet. I will...but when?!

  11. Mockingbird's on my list too, of course, and I'm so glad you included Speak: it's so hard to believe that such a skillfully crafted novel was Anderson's first!

    Quite an impressive line-up!

  12. OMG Loved To Kill a Mockingbird, Eragon, The Outsiders, A Great and Terrible Beauty and the Lovely Bones! I really want to read Speak though! Thanx for dropping by my blog, AMAZING List and Happy Reading!

    Rabiah @ Confessions of a Readaholic

  13. You definitely picked a few debut books that would have made it into my top 15. Kite Runner and The Time Traveler’s Wife are amazing. I also enjoyed the Secret Life of Bees and Eragon. The fact that Paolini self published that book as a teenager is awesome!

  14. I can't believe I forgot A Great and Terrible Beauty. I really enjoyed that one.

  15. Thank you for stopping by! I can't believe I forgot "The Outsiders" and "The Lovely Bones"! I loved both of them. Glad to know another fan of John Green. :)

  16. There are so many other great debut novels that I should have/could have listed that I found on other participants lists:

    Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
    Memoirs of a Geisha by Golden
    She's Come Undone by Lamb
    Thirteenth Tale by Setterfield
    and, of course,
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by Rowling

  17. I loved A Great and Terrible Beauty. To Kill a Mokingbird is one of my all time favorites.


  18. The Bean Trees! I wish I had thought of that. A friend of my parents gave me the book as a gift when I was a teenager and it was my favorite for a couple of years. I wanted to name my first born Turtle.

    I also enjoyed Looking for Alaska and The Sky is Everywhere.



I look forward to your comments and interactions! Join in the conversation.