More On First Novels

Roundups of first novels continue. USA Today offers their four picks of the new crop. White Tiger is shaping up to the critical success of the season.

The White Tiger

by Aravind Adiga

  • Hardcover: $24.00
  • Publisher: Free Press (April 22, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1416562591
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416562597
  • Amazon Ranking: 19,410
  • Audio CD: Unabridged, $34.99
  • Narrator: John Lee
  • Publisher: Tantor Media; edition (May 1, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1400106656
  • ISBN-13: 978-140010665

The White Tiger was New York magazine’s favorite and is USA Today editor, Dierdre Donahue’s pick. She calls it “one of the most powerful books I’ve read in decades. No hyperbole. This debut novel from an Indian journalist living in Mumbai hit me like a kick to the head…”

So you can judge for yourself, USA Today also offers an excerpt, which proves what PW said in it’s 1/14 starred review, “It’s the perfect antidote to lyrical India.” LJ (2/15) also starred the book.

It is on order in most libraries in modest quantities. Some have already received it.

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The Story of Forgetting

By Stefan Merrill Block

  • Hardcover: $25.00
  • Publisher: Random House (April 1, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1400066794
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400066797
  • Amazon Ranking: 1,386
  • Audio CD: $34.99, Unabridged
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, (May 1, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1400107172
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400107179

The Story of Forgetting is review editor Bob Minzeheimer’s pick; “Magical and scientific, Stefan Block’s surprisingly compelling novel explores the mysteries of Alzheimer’s disease. Yet it is not depressing.”

It was reviewed by Janet Maslin in the 3/27 New York Times. Maslin seems to have trouble figuring out what to make of it. While she dwells on the book’s idiosyncrasies (a meandering plot with no “schematic master plan”), she finds many of the book’s digressions charming, and, overall “ablaze with love and vitality.” Summing it up, she says, “The Story of Forgetting is a fresh, beguiling novel in what is sure to be the rapidly expanding genre of Alzheimer’s literature.”

It is owned, in small quantities with comfortable holds to copy ratios, in all libraries I checked.

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Girls in Trucks

By Katie Crouch

Girls in Trucks, Katie Crouch

  • Hardcover: $21.99
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (April 7, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0316002119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316002110
  • Amazon Ranking: 814
  • Audio CD: $29.98
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio (April 7, 2008)
  • Reader: Author
  • ISBN-10: 1600242723
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600242724
  • Large Type Paperback: $21.99
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (April 7, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0316027618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316027618

Girls in Trucks is USA Today review editor Carol Memmot’s pick. It is also the top BookSense pick for the month of April. It has the highest Amazon ranking of the five debut titles USA Today selected. It is owned by most libraries; some are still showing on order status. Heavy reserves, as high as 10 to 1, are building in some locations.

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Submarine

By Joe Dunthorne

  • Hardcover: $22.00
  • Publisher: Random House (March 25, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1400066832
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400066834
  • Amazon Ranking: 239,059

Occasional USA Today contributor James Endrst says of this coming-of-age novel, “Dunthorne is an extraordinary talent who imbues his young Oliver, who is twisted in the throes of his parents’ marital woes, his emerging sexuality and penchant for social science, with enviable depth perception… While this adolescent journey hardly breaks new ground, it does offer a glimpse of greater things to come.” It is owned in small quantities by most libraries with no reserves.

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