9 debut books you should read this November and December

No one can believe 2021 is ending in less than two months, but you better believe there are still some fascinating debut books for you to discover. Below are nine debuts coming out that you should order from your indie bookstore now because the supply chain issue is real.

Win Me Something by Kyle Lucia Wu (Tin House; Nov 2)

In this nuanced debut, a biracial, quiet girl who never really felt like she fit in, comes of age as she begins to nanny for a rich, white family. Wu’s writing is pitch perfect from start to finish. The introspective and subtle plot floats off the page.

Eternal Night at the Nature Museum by Tyler Barton (Sarabande; Nov 2)

The stories in Barton’s debut are unbelievably funny, poignant, and expertly crafted. Expect very short flash fiction to mini-novellas. Barton covers the gamut in his debut collection. He doesn’t pull punches and gives readers a sampling of everything he has to offer and does it extremely well.

The Four Humors by Mina Seçkin (Catapult; Nov 16)

A young Turkish-American woman has a lot to juggle while back in Instanbul. She’s grieving her father’s death, helping her grandmother, studying for the MCAT, and keeping her chronic illness in check. Seçkin’s writing is tender and transportive. She understands so much about what young readers want and need to connect with. Her debut is truly unforgettable.

The Teller of Secrets by Bisi Adjapon (HarperVia; Nov 16)

Set in 1960s Ghana, Secrets follows a strong woman who tried to keep her family together while political upheaval ravages her country. In this eye-opening ook, Adjapon offers a book that won’t soon be forgotten as this West African writer introduces herself to American readers.

Chouette by Claire Oshetsky (Ecco; Nov 16)

This book is wild. While the story is unique and gripping, it’s truly Oshetsky’s grasp of language that elevates this from a weird and quirky novel to a jaw-dropping experience.

Dava Shastri’s Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti (Grand Central; Nov 30)

Ramisetti is on her game with this debut. The journalist writes about a living legend who begins to examine her life after a cancer diagnosis. It’s the perfect balance between tear-jerker and laugh out loud comedy. It’s the perfect book for someone who wants to have a good time reading while also feeling a little introspective.

Hello, Transcriber by Hannah Morrissey (Minotaur; Nov 30)

Follow a police transcriber as she tries to solve a harrowing case in this fast-paced mystery. It’s a thriller that will keep you up at night as you try to play along with solving the central mystery.

Beasts of the Little Land by Juhea Kim (Ecco; Dec 7)

Kim’s book is one of the most beautifully written books in recent memory. The epic, historical fiction explores 20th Century Korea in a time when everything is changing and finding oneself isn’t something to desire, but something necessary to discover. Kim reveals how cultural and political landscapes changed so much during this time and how it shaped Korean citizens forever.

You Never Get It Back by Cara Blue Adams (University Of Iowa Press; Dec 15)

In a series of linked stories where place (from Maine to Virginia to New Mexico) is at the forefront, Cara Blue Adams explores class, gender, longing, and violence. It’s a sensitive and thought-provoking collection filled with somber moments and strong and unforgettable characters.

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