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Old 07-04-2019, 11:16 AM   #31
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I find this a frustrating category; it's been difficult to find first books without having a specific author in mind, and often the first book turns out to be one that isn't anything special. [...]
Yes, I hit this too.

The other thing I hit was that some of what I considered are priced way beyond what I think they're worth. For example I thought of John Irving's Setting Free The Bears, but the asking price is horrendous for what is really a fairly mediocre book, interesting mainly for what it presages in his later work.

I just finished a book that's taken me like 2 weeks (a good book, just no time to settle in to it), and at first I thought it was kismet. It seemed an excellent first novel that I think would have been very interesting to discuss here ... but it turns out The Binding by Bridget Collins is not actually her first novel, she has published others under B.R. Collins.


CRussel, I'd normally have added my vote to your fantasy nomination, but it so happens that C.J. Cherryh is an author I've never gotten on with very well. I haven't read the particular book you nominated, but have read some of her other work.

For the others... as I said above, it's mostly a mood thing. Heavily distracted at the moment.
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Old 07-04-2019, 12:06 PM   #32
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Yes, I hit this too.

CRussel, I'd normally have added my vote to your fantasy nomination, but it so happens that C.J. Cherryh is an author I've never gotten on with very well. I haven't read the particular book you nominated, but have read some of her other work.
For what it's worth, this is not fantasy. And is the start of what is, by far, her best and most important series. I have mixed reactions to her other books -- some I like, a lot, some not so much. But this book (and the eponymous series it spawned) have been among my favourites.
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Old 07-04-2019, 01:25 PM   #33
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The other thing I hit was that some of what I considered are priced way beyond what I think they're worth. For example I thought of John Irving's Setting Free The Bears, but the asking price is horrendous for what is really a fairly mediocre book, interesting mainly for what it presages in his later work.
You have my undying gratitude for not nominating a John Irving book.
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:02 PM   #34
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I've been too busy at work the last few days to follow this thread. Why does it take so much work to go on vacation?! I will nominate The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. $2.99 Amazon US (Free with Amazon Prime), £4.49 Amazon UK, $3.99 Amazon Canada and $9.99 Amazon AU.

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Umberto Eco’s first novel, an international sensation and winner of the Premio Strega and the Prix Médicis Étranger awards

The year is 1327. Benedictines in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon—all sharpened to a glistening edge by wry humor and a ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where “the most interesting things happen at night.”
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:07 PM   #35
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I will third The Man Called Ove because I've already read it and loved it and hope more people read it! Also I like Dazrin's idea to nominate something from another country that is outside of what we typically read.
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:08 PM   #36
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I shall second Some Tame Gazelle, Barbara Pym is someone I haven't read and would like to do so.
I will third it for the same reason.
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:14 PM   #37
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I really wanted to nominate Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson because I've read other books but not her debut. Also I love the cover with the train tracks. However it does not seem that her books are offered in e-format in Canada.

I thought about nominating Carrie by Stephen King as something outside my normal comfort zone. I did not know that was his debut novel. As mentioned previously his works scare me too much, but I've seen the movie so at least would know what to expect.
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:14 PM   #38
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In my current mood nothing else nominated so far really does it for me, so I'm going to nominate a recent read that I thought was both different (for me) and very good for a debut novel. And while it is written by a US author, she appears to be well qualified to have written this book set in medieval Russia using Russian mythology:

I nominate The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.
I've put a hold on this at a few of my libraries. While I prefer to read book club selections because it's more conducive to note-taking, the audiobook will be available to me almost immediately and it seems as if it would be a good listen while swimming, so I may go ahead with that and back it up with the text down the line if called for.
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:21 PM   #39
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Ok, my second nomination comes from Japan. Not a new country overall but an interesting and influential novel for our consideration:

I Am a Cat by Soseki Natsume
480 pages, Japan, 1905
Amazon ($10) | GoodReads
Interesting, especially given the Japanese obsession with cats. I'll give this a second, and I've already put it on hold at the library, with a projected 2 week wait, so that's all good. Sadly, there doesn't appear to be an audio version available.
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Old 07-04-2019, 02:41 PM   #40
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I've been too busy at work the last few days to follow this thread. Why does it take so much work to go on vacation?! I will nominate The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.
I've come close to nominating this other months when it could fit, so I shall be watching this with interest, also.

Enjoy a well-earned vacation!
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Old 07-04-2019, 03:50 PM   #41
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I thought about nominating Carrie by Stephen King as something outside my normal comfort zone. I did not know that was his debut novel. As mentioned previously his works scare me too much, but I've seen the movie so at least would know what to expect.
I also considered Carrie; I liked the first few Stephen King novels before souring on him, and have thought it would be fun to revisit Carrie via audiobook one of these days.
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Old 07-04-2019, 03:51 PM   #42
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Heads up -- A Man Called Ove is $0.99 CAD at Amazon Canada and Kobo Canada (~75 cents USD!) as compared to $13 at Amazon US. I have no idea how long this price will last, but if you have interest in the book, I'd take a short trip to Canada!

Last edited by CRussel; 07-04-2019 at 04:20 PM. Reason: added Amazon and Kobo links
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Old 07-04-2019, 04:10 PM   #43
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Happy July 4th to our American members!

I’ve had a tough time with this theme. And honestly, several of the nominations sound kinda heavy to me, and /or require more work than I can muster in this heat. So I’m going to lighten up the choices by stealing an idea from CRussel.

I nominate the first Nero Wolfe, Fer-de-Lance. It’s available in my library (overdrive?), and can be had in US kindle for $7.94.
In Kobo it is: $9 Canada; $5 US; and $10.22 Aud.

Last edited by Victoria; 07-04-2019 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 07-04-2019, 04:23 PM   #44
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I've put a hold on this at a few of my libraries. While I prefer to read book club selections because it's more conducive to note-taking, the audiobook will be available to me almost immediately and it seems as if it would be a good listen while swimming, so I may go ahead with that and back it up with the text down the line if called for.
It's the reverse for me -- a 22 week hold for the audio book, but "Available Soon" for the eBook. I put the eBook on hold.
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Old 07-04-2019, 05:01 PM   #45
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Heads up -- A Man Called Ove is $0.99 CAD at Amazon Canada and Kobo Canada (~75 cents USD!) as compared to $13 at Amazon US. I have no idea how long this price will last, but if you have interest in the book, I'd take a short trip to Canada!
I'm going to be in Banff for a few days here soon, hopefully the price stays. There are a few other books I need to grab while I'm up there too.
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