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The Best Books of 2014? Debut/Lesser Known Authors

Last week I posted: The Best Books of 2014?: Authors We Know and Love

This week it is time for the debut authors. 

Here are the 2014 releases that caught my eye:


 You Disappear

You Disappear by Christian Jungersen

Five words from the blurb: teacher, accident, tumor, fraud, brain

You Disappear investigates brain injuries, free-will and what makes up our true self. Scientific research is wrapped up in a compelling psychological drama, packed with twists. You Disappear was originally published in Denmark, but will be available in English for the first time next year. 

We Used to Be Kings

We Used to Be Kings by Stewart Foster

Five words from the blurb: boy, madness, 1970s, free, space

We Used to be Kings is the story of a young boy’s descent into madness. It promises to be funny and heartbreaking, whilst also letting us reminisce about the 1970s. 

The Giraffe's Neck

The Giraffe’s Neck by Judith Schalansky

Five words from the blurb: biology, teacher, Darwin, climate, depopulation

A wonderfully cruel central character? A husband’s obsession with breeding ostriches? A biology teacher educating children about evolution and climate issues? Sounds like a fantastic mix of ideas!

When Mr Dog Bites

When Mr Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan

Five words from the blurb:  Tourette’s, year, live, swearing, stressed

This book is described as a cross between The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, but with Tourette’s. I haven’t read a book containing a character with Tourette’s before so I’m interested to see how it’s handled. 

Black Moon

Black Moon by Kenneth Calhoun

Five words from the blurb: stopped, sleeping, panic, desperation, gift

Black Moon describes a world without sleep. It is such a simple concept, but it sounds like it will be a wonderfully compelling read.

The Night Guest

The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane

Five words from the blurb:  psychological, battle, unequal, particular, women 

This book has been getting more advance praise than any other 2014 release. The hype for this book is going to explode soon. I’m looking forward to finding out how a simple story about two women living together can cause so many people such excitement!

Tristano: A Novel

Tristano by Nanni Balestrini

Five words from the blurb: computer, re-sorts, novel, lovers, destiny

Balestrini isn’t a debut novelist, but he isn’t very well known in the UK. Tristano is an experimental novel which was first published in Italy in 1966. It is comprised of  ten chapters, each with the fifteen pairs of paragraphs. These are then randomly ordered in each copy of the printed book; meaning that no reader has the same experience. I’m not sure it will work, but I’m intrigued to find out!

Look Who's Back

Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes

Five words from the blurb: Hitler, 2011, YouTube, viral, star

Hitler reappearing in 2011 and becoming a YouTube star? It’s such a mad idea! I really need to know why so many German people loved this book!

Other books to look out for:

Above by Isla Morley

The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss

The Wives of Los Alamos by TaraShea Nesbit

The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss

 A Song for Issy Bradley by Carys Bray

Gretel and the Dark by Eliza Granville

The Kept by James Scott

The Bear by Claire Cameron

The Visitors by Rebecca Mascull


Do you like the sound of these books?

Which 2014 books are you looking forward to?


12 replies on “The Best Books of 2014? Debut/Lesser Known Authors”

I have been trying to make my 2014 wish list all about series and books by favourite authors because I am running out of room! Debuts will have to be for e-readers and the library, but I haven’t given much thought to them yet!

Kailana, It is great to hear that you’ve already discovered so many books you are running out of room! I hope you manage to squeeze in a few debuts as they are often the best 🙂

I’m hearing about a lot of these for the first time, but I will say that the Jungersen book is quite good. I read the first book Jungersen had translated into English — The Exception — and liked it a lot, and the advance copy I read of You Disappear was pretty good. Really interesting.

Jenny, I hadn’t heard anything about the Jungersen – I just picked it out of the catalogue as I thought it sounded interesting. It is great to hear that my hunch is correct and you enjoyed it. I look forward to trying it.

I love this post Jackie. Debut authors; must be thrilling for them too to have their book appear in a blog.
The one that caught my eye is You Disappear. And needless to say the Hitler one too. Read the synopsis on amazon and sounds like a good laugh. The author seems to have pulled it off for the German public.

I love that you take 5 words from the blurb. It is a great, fast way to see if you’re interested in the book or not. And your list is great too. I like discovering lesser known books.

Of those I’m looking forward to both ‘We Used to be Kings’ and ‘The Night Guest’. I haven’t really looked at next year’s debut titles in too much detail yet though one I quite fancy the sound of is Jason Hewitt’s ‘The Dynamite Room’. Also Brian Payton’s ‘The Wind is Not a River’ seems like it might be worth a look (though the US and UK covers give wildly different impressions of what kind of book it will be! Literary War Fiction or Epic Romance?).

David, I hadn’t heard of ‘The Dynamite Room’. Thanks for drawing it to my attention! I’m not sure about ‘The Wind is Not a River’ – I’m not a big fan of war fiction or epic romance so it would have to have some amazing reviews before I gave it a try. Let me know if it turns out to be good 🙂

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