Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Previous Top Ten Tuesday Topics
- 20th December: Books I Hope Santa Brings This Year
- 27th December: Most Recent Additions to My Book Collection
- 3rd January: Favourite Books of 2022
- 10th January: Most Anticipated Books Releasing in the First Half of 2023
- 17th January: Bookish Goals for 2023
- 24th January: New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2022
- 31st January: Freebie: Fictional Readers
This week’s theme is a look forward to debut authors that have already piqued our interest – which does require a little research… and also a solid publicity campaign behind those authors. So the following list is drawn from various sources, selected by reason of their covers, their blurbs, the endorsements and of course the inherent interest I have in the themes and genres they represent.
The End of Nightwork, Aidan Cottrell-Boyce (5 January)
Pol suffers from a very rare hormonal disorder that ages him erratically: when he was thirteen, his body aged ten years overnight, and now in his early thirties, he still has the outward appearance of a twenty-three-year-old. But with his condition dormant, Pol and his wife Caroline manage to live an ordinary life in London. They’re happy enough, even if having a young child has put something of a strain on their marriage. That and Pol’s obsessive interest in the writings of an obscure seventeenth-century Puritan prophet, Bartholomew Playfere, and his premonitions of ecological disaster and the end of the world.
But while Pol is failing to complete his research on Playfere, he encounters a radical new movement that argues that all economic and political events are part of an aeon-long struggle between the old and the young – that the ‘hoarist’ habit of violence, their need to conquer, has also affected how they treat the planet. The leader of this popular movement predicts an imminent inter-generational conflict – father against son, mother against daughter – that echoes Playfere’s own prophecies.
Against this increasingly fraught backdrop, Pol’s dormant condition threatens to resurface – putting both the safety and happiness of his family at risk.
Elements here remind me of The Time Traveller’s Wife or Benjamin Button – a dark whimsy perhaps – and alongside that the historical period of both Pol and his seventeenth century obsession are deeply tempting! And as a plus, the heritage of the Cottrell-Boyce name is a draw.
The Things That We Lost, Jyoti Patel (12 January)
Nik has lots of questions about his late father but knows better than to ask his mother, Avani. It’s their unspoken rule.
When his grandfather dies, Nik has the opportunity to learn about the man he never met. Armed with a key and new knowledge about his parents’ past, Nik sets out to unlock the secrets that his mother has been holding onto his whole life.
As the carefully crafted portrait Avani has painted for her son begins to crack, and painful truths emerge, can the two of them find their way back to each other?
Any book that wins the #merky prize has got to be worth a look, doesn’t it? The #merky does champion new authors and great writers over its five year history and the synopsis sounds great!
The New Life, Tom Crewe (12 January)
After a lifetime navigating his desires, John, married to Catherine, has met Frank. Meanwhile Henry’s wife Edith has fallen for Angelica.
A shared vision for the future brings John and Henry together to write a revolutionary book in defiance of convention and the law.
Their daring book threatens to throw John and Henry, and all those around them, into danger. How far should they go to win personal freedoms? And how high a price are they willing to pay?
This novel sounds absolutely thrilling – historical exploration of gender and sexuality in Victorian England and an endorsement by Kate Atkinson is a plus! The reviews use the word “sensuous” regularly!
Maame, Jessica George (14 February)
Meet Maddie Wright.
All her life, she’s been told who she is. To her Ghanaian parents, she’s Maame: the one who takes care of the family. Her mum’s stand-in. The primary carer for her father, who suffers from Parkinson’s. The one who keeps the peace – and the secrets.
It’s time for her to speak up.
When she finally gets the chance to leave home, Maddie is determined to become the kind of woman she wants to be. One who wears a bright yellow suit, dates men who definitely aren’t on her mum’s list of prospective husbands, and stands up to her boss’s microaggressions. Someone who doesn’t have to google all her life choices.
But when tragedy strikes, Maddie is forced to face the risks – and rewards – of putting her heart on the line.
But will it take losing everything to find her voice?
This looks like a great and charming novel, a tale of a child forced to grow up before her time and finding her own voice and identity.
Dazzling, Chikodili Emelumadu (16 February)
Treasure and her mother lost everything when Treasure’s daddy died. Haggling for scraps in the market, Treasure meets a spirit who promises to bring her father back – but she has to do something for him first.
Ozoemena has an itch in the middle of her back that can’t be scratched. An itch that speaks to her patrilineal destiny, to defend her people by becoming a leopard. Her father impressed upon her what an honour this was before he vanished, but it’s one she couldn’t want less.
But as the two girls reckon with their burgeoning wildness and the legacy of their fathers’ decisions, Ozoemena’s fellow students at her new boarding school start to vanish. Treasure and Ozoemena will face terrible choices as each must ask herself: in a world that always says ‘no’ to women, what must two young girls sacrifice to get what is theirs?
One Small Voice, Santanu Bhattacharya (23 February)
India, 1992. The country is ablaze with riots. In Lucknow, ten-year-old Shubhankar witnesses a terrible act of mob violence that will alter the course of his life: one to which his family turn a blind eye.
As he approaches adulthood, Shabby focuses on the only path he believes will buy him an escape – good school, good degree, good job, good car. But when he arrives in Mumbai in his twenties, he begins to question whether there might be other roads he could choose. His new friends, Syed and Shruti, are asking the same questions : together, buoyed by the freedom of the big city, they are rewriting their stories.
But as the rising tide of nationalism sweeps across the country, and their friendship becomes the rock they all cling to, this new life suddenly seems fragile. And before Shabby can chart his way forward, he must reckon with the ghosts of his past . . .
An endorsement by Max Porter? Already a prize winner? And set in the thrilling environs of Mumbai and a coming of age narrative? All looks great.
The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Andy Africa, Stephen Buoro (13 April)
Fifteen-year-old Andrew Aziza lives in Kontagora, Nigeria, where his days are spent about town with his droogs, Slim and Morocca, grappling with his fantasies about white girls – especially blondes – and wondering who his father is. When he’s not in church, at school or attempting to form ‘Africa’s first superheroes’, he obsesses over mathematical theorems, ideas of black power and HXVX: the Curse of Africa.
Sure enough, the reluctantly nicknamed ‘Andy Africa’ soon falls hopelessly and inappropriately in love with the first white girl he lays eyes on, Eileen. But at the church party held to celebrate her arrival, multiple crises loom. An unfamiliar man claims, despite his mother’s denials, to be Andy’s father, and the gathering of an anti-Christian mob is headed for the church – both set to shake the foundations of everything Andy knows and loves.
Andy sounds like a delightful narrator to spend time with, vulnerable and innocent in a dangerous world he is unlikely to fully comprehend…
Death of a Bookseller, Alice Slater (27 April)
Roach – bookseller, loner and true crime obsessive – is not interested in making friends. She has all the company she needs in her serial killer books, murder podcasts and her pet snail, Bleep.
That is, until Laura joins the bookshop.
Smelling of roses, with her cute literary tote bags and beautiful poetry, she’s everyone’s new favourite bookseller. But beneath the shiny veneer, Roach senses a darkness within Laura, the same darkness Roach possesses.
As Roach’s curiosity blooms into morbid obsession, it becomes clear that she is prepared to infiltrate Laura’s life at any cost.
I love a good crime novel; I love a novel set in the literary world… this seems like a great fit – and also I love the vibrancy of the green of the cover!
Psyche and Eros, Luna McNamara (25 May)
The greatest love story ever told…
Born into an era of heroes, a prophecy claims that Psyche – Princess of Mycenae – will defeat a monster feared even by the gods themselves. Rebelling against society’s traditions, she spends her youth mastering blade and bow, preparing to fulfil her destiny.
But she is soon caught up in powers beyond her control, when the jealous Aphrodite sends the God of Desire, Eros, to deliver a fatal love-curse. The last thing Eros wants is to become involved in the chaos of the mortal world, but when he is pricked by the very arrow intended for Psyche, he is doomed to love a woman who will be torn from him the moment their eyes meet.
Thrown together by fate, headstrong Psyche and world-weary Eros will face challenges greater than they could have ever imagined. And as the Trojan War begins and the whole of the heavens try to keep them apart, will they find their way back to each other… before it’s too late?
Is there room in the world for another feminist retelling of Greek myth? Of course there is!
Shanghai Immortal, A. Y. Chao (1 June)
Half vampire. Half fox-spirit. All trouble.
Pawned by her mother to the King of Hell as a child, Lady Jing is half-vampire, half-hulijing fox-spirit and all sasshole. As the King’s ward, she has spent the past ninety years running errands, dodging the taunts of the spiteful hulijing courtiers, and trying to control her explosive temper – with varying levels of success.
So when Jing overhears the courtiers plotting to steal a priceless dragon pearl from the King, she seizes her chance to expose them, once and for all.
With the help of a gentle mortal tasked with setting up the Central Bank of Hell, Jing embarks on a wild chase for intel, first through Hell and then mortal Shanghai. But when her hijinks put the mortal in danger, she must decide which is more important: avenging her loss of face, or letting go of her half-empty approach to life for a chance to experience tenderness – and maybe even love.
Reading Samantha Shannon’s A Day of Fallen Night at the moment, I am clearly in the mood for more adult fantasy – and the setting in Jazz Age Shanghai sounds delicious!
Mrs S, K Patrick (8 June)
In an elite English boarding school where the girls kiss the marble statue of the famous dead author who used to walk the halls, a young Australian woman arrives to take up the antiquated role of ‘matron’. Within this landscape of immense privilege, in which the girls can sense the slightest weakness in those around them, she finds herself unsure of her role, her accent and her body.
That is until she meets Mrs S, the headmaster’s wife, a woman who is her polar opposite: assured, sophisticated, a paragon of femininity. Over the course of a long, restless heatwave, the matron finds herself irresistibly drawn ever closer into Mrs S’s world and their unspoken desire blooms into an illicit affair of electric intensity. But, as the summer begins to fade, both women know that a choice must be made.
As a teacher I tend to avoid too many books featuring schools, but this sound fantastic: the cloistered and intense world of the boarding school and its heightened emotions bodes well, as does the exploration of gender and identity.
The Unfortunates, J K Chukwu (03 August)
It has come to my attention that smoking kills, along with police, loner white boys, and looks. While embroiled in the process of trying to live, I have written this honors thesis. It is dedicated to the first years who haven’t yet died from alcohol poisoning, exhaustion, or overdosing. This work has been a labor of love and of hate. In it, you will find juxtaposition, verisimilitude, French, Freud, and anything else I’ve wasted 60K a year to learn.
I would like to thank my advisors: Mr. White Supremacy, Mr. Capitalism, Ms. Racism, and, of course, my Life Partner for all the guidance they have provided during this process.
 Ma lettre d’adieu.
 When writing an honors thesis, you can get away with vague antecedents.
 My depression
“Darkly humourous” seems to sum up this novel, and certainly the precis in the blurb fits that description! It sounds delicious!
And there we have my pick of the debut novels – at least those that I have heard of – coming out this year. Which appealed to you? And what would you recommend to me? As always, I love to read your comments and see your own preferences so please do drop me a line!
Upcoming Top Ten Tuesday Themes
February 14: Love/Valentine’s Day Freebie
February 21: Favorite Heroines
February 28: Genre Freebie (Pick a genre and build a list around it. It could a list of favorites, a to-read list, recommendations for people interested in reading books in that genre, “if you like this, try this”, etc.)
March 7: Bookish People I’d Like To Meet (These can be authors, book characters, book bloggers/influencers, cover designers, cover models, etc.)
March 14: Books on My Spring 2023 To-Read List
March 21: TTT Rewind (Pick a previous topic that you missed or would like to re-do/update.)
March 28: Books for People Who Liked Author X
10 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: 2023 Debut Books I’m Excited About”
I’m really bad with staying up to date with debuts. I read one so far this year, but don’t have any others on my TBR. I’ll have to check out some of these. I hope you love them all.
I have Maame by Jessica George on my list too. I’ve read it already and it was a beautifully written book.
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Thanks for letting me know – I am looking forward to this one a lot!
I grabbed on of your selections for my list but I did give you credit. Check out my list and see. Thank you.
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Maame was my favorite read in January! I hope you are able to read it soon and enjoy it as much as I did.
Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!
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I’m thinking about Maame, too.
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Maame is without a doubt this week’s favorite anticipated book – seems to be on almost every list. BUT, your list has the most books I’ve not heard of yet and 3 are making my TBR – One Small Voice, Psyche & Eros and The Unfortunates…..I was anticipating that this week would be deadly on my TBR, but many of the books are showing up on multiple lists so I’m thrilled to find some new ones to look forward to.
Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys
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Death of A Bookseller is one I was aware of, having been drawn in by that incredibly vibrant cover when looking for books to buy when Waterstones was doing their double stamps offer in November. Psyche and Eros was not one I’ve heard of, but one I’ll now be adding to my TBR.
My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2023/02/07/top-ten-tuesday-406/
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I love novels about family secrets, so THE THINGS WE LOST sounds like it’s right up my alley. I hadn’t heard of it before, so thanks for the heads-up!
Happy TTT (on a Wednesday)!
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