Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Top 10 Best Debut Books

Today's Top Ten Tuesday featured topic at The Broke and The Bookish is Top Ten Best Debut Books.  This post is also being shared as part of Top Ten Tuesday at Oh Amanda. These are my favorite debut books in order of publication date.

Black Beauty (Sterling Classics)Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (1877)
Black Beauty is a handsome, sweet-tempered colt with a strong spirit. As a young colt he is free to gallop in the fresh green meadows with his beloved mother, Duchess, and their kind master. But when his owners are forced to sell him, Black Beauty goes from a life of comfort and kindness to one of hard labour and cruelty. Bravely he works as hard as he can, suffering at the hands of men who treat animals badly. But Black Beauty has an unbreakable spirit and will, and is determined to survive...
To Kill a Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary EditionTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)
A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel—a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man's struggle for justice—but the weight of history will only tolerate so much.
Where the Red Fern GrowsWhere the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls (1961)
First published in 1961, a modern-day classic for children follows the friendship between a boy and his two dogs as they search out adventure along the dark hills and river bottoms of Cherokee country.
CarrieCarrie by Stephen King (1974)
An unpopular teenage girl whose mother is a religious fanatic is tormented and teased to the breaking point by her more popular schoolmates and uses her hidden telekinetic powers to inflict a terrifying revenge.
Interview with the VampireInterview with the Vampire by Ann Rice (1976)
Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force--a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses.
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind (1976)
Survivor, genius, perfumer, killer: this is Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. He is abandoned on the filthy streets of Paris as a child, but grows up to discover he has an extraordinary gift: a sense of smell more powerful than any other human's. Soon, he is creating the most sublime fragrances in all the city. Yet there is one odor he cannot capture. It is exquisite, magical: the scent of a young virgin. And to get it he must kill. And kill. And kill.
Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of MysteryBunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery by James and Deborah Howe (1979)

Is he or isn't he a vampire?

Before it's too late, Harold the dog and Chester the cat must find out the truth about the newest pet in the Monroe household -- a suspicious-looking bunny with unusual habits...and fangs!
Relic (Pendergast, Book 1)Relic by Lincoln Child (and Douglas Preston) (1995)
Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum's dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human...

But the museum's directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate the new exhibition, in spite of the murders.

Museum researcher Margo Green must find out who-or what-is doing the killing. But can she do it in time to stop the massacre?
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: 10th Anniversary Edition (Harry Potter)Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling (1997)
Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That's because he's being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he's really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.
The RisingThe Rising by Brian Keene (2003)
The dead are returning to life as intelligent zombies. Trapped by the undead, escape seems impossible for Jim Thurmond. But Jim’s young son is alive and in dire peril hundreds of miles away. Despite overwhelming odds, Jim vows to find him— or die trying. Joined by an elderly preacher, a guilt-ridden scientist, and a determined ex-prostitute, Jim embarks on a cross-country rescue mission. They must battle both the living and the living dead. And for Jim and his companions, an even greater evil awaits them at the end of their journey. This is the time of...The Rising.
Do you have any favorite debuts that didn't make the list?  Let me know!


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  1. We have a couple books that overlap. I've seen HP on quite a few lists so far. Bunnicula sounds hilarious.

  2. Nice list! Black Beauty was a great book and I still tear up whenever I think about Where the Red Fern Grows. I thought Perfume was a unique book... Also, you really need to make a point of reading I Capture the Castle :)

  3. To Kill a Mockingbird is showing up everywhere...the only I've read here is "...Vampire", I thought it was OK.

  4. The cover for Bunnicula is SOO cool :) Though I think I wouldn't have cuddled with my bunny as much if I'd read it as a child.. I need to read a lot of the books on your list!

  5. I was surprised to see someone else who chose Where the Red Fern Grows! I love animal stories-happy or sad. Bunnicula would definitely be in my next set of top ten debuts. My kids and I read the whole series together!!!

  6. I agree with To Kill a Mockingbird and Black Beauty. I read Interview with the Vampire so long ago and I remember struggling through it a bit, but loved the movie (Tom Cruise as Lestat)

  7. Interview with a Vampire was written that long ago? ReallY? Wow...

  8. Bunnicula really is an awesome book (and an awesome series). I have a thing for animal books, too. Where the Red Fern Grows makes me cry for days...

    Some of Rice's vampire books are better than others, but I love Interview. The image she paints of Claire trapped in a young girl's body... it's chilling. And yes, it really is that old. Haha.

  9. I had Interview with the Vampire and Carrie on my list too but had to cut it back to just ten. I didn't realize there were so many great debut books until I did my list.


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