Elizabeth Gonzalez James feels Mona at Sea can help serve the community

Elizabeth Gonzalez James feels Mona at Sea can help serve the community

Elizabeth Gonzalez James was certain Mona at Sea would never be published. It was passed on in 2015 and sat in a drawer until she entered it to the Santa Fe Writers Project award. Even when she won, she wasn’t sure if she’d sign a contract.

We discussed the long journey she took and Mona took from graduating with a business degree during the Great Recession to publishing a book about unemployment over a decade later.

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The Best Debut Books of 2021 (So Far)

The Best Debut Books of 2021 (So Far)

We’re (check’s calendar) halfway through 2021?!

The pandemic that changed so much of our day to day lives is waning. Like the rest of us, bookstores, publishing, and authors are slowly figuring out how to return to normal. The one constant from the last 18 months has been literature. Especially debut writers who watched their dream of publishing be overshadowed and sometimes forgotten entirely.

Debutiful’s mission of helping readers discover debut authors became even more important and your support has meant the world. Thank you for reading and listening to Debutiful. More importantly, thank you for discovering debut authors. They’re the reason this site exists and their words drive everything Debutiful does.

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A Life of Books with Eve Gleichman and Laura Blackett, authors of The Very Nice Box

Eve Gleichman and Laura Blackett are best friends who write together. Their natural chemistry oozes onto the pages of their debut The Very Nice Box. It’s an off-kilter work place comedy where bad men get what’s coming to them.

I asked the duo to fill out the semi-regular “A Life of Books” questionnaire to help introduce them to readers.

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10 debut books to read this June

10 debut books to read this June

Summer is here and the books aren’t stopping. The first half of 2021 ends with a pile of debuts so delectable it was hard to narrow Debutiful’s recommendations down to just ten. The books featured below range from dark queer romances to somber reflections on race in America to books filled with off-the-wall humor.

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Alex McElroy’s wickedly funny satire The Atmospherians is this summer’s first must-read novel

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Alex McElroy has produced the season’s first must-read book. The Atmospherians is about shitty men, cults, and social media. It couldn’t be a more poignant and insightful view into modern society. McElroy’s also knows how to land a laugh. They’re not trying to be funny, but what they produced in this novel is one of the best satires in a long time.

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Vince Granata knew he always had to write his heartbreaking and revealing memoir Everything is Fine

Vince Granata knew he always had to write his heartbreaking and revealing memoir Everything is Fine

Vince Granata‘s memoir Everything is Fine is one of the most heartbreaking books I’ve ever read. I think that term is thrown out a lot; however, the story inside it truly made me weep. Vince’s brother, with undiagnosed schizophrenia, killed their mother. His memoir is about that event and what came after. How could he still love his brother? How would their family move on? So many questions I asked myself how I’d react in Granata’s shoes but couldn’t.

Everything is Fine is a moving mediation on pain and suffering, but also love and persistence. We corresponded via email about his background and why this memoir had to be written.

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10 debut books you should read this May

10 debut books you should read this May

Can you believe it’s… checks notes… May. May 2021. Is it really?

As the year keeps on churning, so does the book world. Somehow, May has managed to put out a collection of debut books so delectable, it almost seems unfair to the other months. From indie memoirs to books about cults to short story collections that will knock you out. May did the damn thing.

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A Life of Books with JoAnne Tompkins, author of What Comes After

A Life of Books with JoAnne Tompkins, author of What Comes After

JoAnne Tompkins, author of What Comes After, had a career as a mediator and judicial officer before writing her debut book. In her first novel, she explores a familiar situation: an idyllic town turned upside down by a the shocking death of two teenage boys.

The book, however, is about more than the mystery. It’s about how the families can put their lives back together and how the town can trust again. It’s a meditation on optimism in the darkest of times.

Below, the author answers Debutiful‘s A Life of Books Questionnaire.

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