Sophomore Triumphs | The Reader’s Shelf, October 15, 2016


Second novels can be tricky. Will the buzz surrounding a first splash be repeated, or will that sophomore effort turn out to be a one-hit wonder? Here are six titles that shine as much as the debuts that preceded them.

Oh, the Horror! | The Reader’s Shelf, October 1, 2016


Here are just some of the debuts that horror fans can look to this ­Halloween season.

The Mystery of Love | The Reader’s Shelf, September 15, 2016


The start of the school year might prompt a new reading plan, such as working through a series one has always wanted to try. For fans of mystery and romance, there are plenty of choices to be had.

New Discoveries: A Variety of Debuts | The Reader’s Shelf, September 1, 2016


Finding a debut author is a special delight for bibliophiles, regardless of their preferred reading matter: fiction, nonfiction, or specific genre. Here are six titles that would never be shelved together but do offer up the delightful promise of a new author.

A Running Start | The Reader’s Shelf, August 1, 2016


Running competitions are the most elemental of Olympic events, with a pedigree dating back to the Classical Games and ­Pheidippides’s legendary trek from Marathon to Athens. Readers seeking to immerse themselves in the lore and feel of the sport have a wealth of titles to choose from that will sweep them up into Rudyard Kipling’s “unforgiving minute” filled “with sixty seconds of distance run.”

Summer Days, Reading Away | The Reader’s Shelf, July 1, 2016

invincible summer

Just the term summer reading is evocative, promising all kinds of thrills, from quick, immersive jaunts to literary experiments. These debuts span that range to fill a day on the beach, a few hours tucked up on a porch, or a longer period of concentrated reading time.

This Old House | The Reader’s Shelf, June 15, 2016

fiercombe manor

When you pass an abandoned mansion, are you immediately transported back to a time when people were elegant and skeletons were hidden in every closet? Here are seven books that feature those fascinating edifices, with an atmospheric feel and parallel narratives that switch between time lines.

Debuts Beyond Genre | The Reader’s Shelf, June 1, 2016


It is becoming increasingly clear that trying to fit a book into a narrowly defined box can be a fool’s errand. Blends, crossovers, and mixes quickly muddy the waters, while authors more often resist the constraints of a label. Here are six debuts in that vein.

A Voice in the Wilderness | The Reader’s Shelf, May 15, 2016


The six books below shed light on the forest, highlighting its glory and its shadowy depths, while readers can immerse themselves in those worlds knowing they are safe in their favorite chair.

Growing Up Literary: Coming-of-Age Debuts | The Reader’s Shelf, May 1, 2016

you should pity us instead

Coming-of-age stories are an indelible part of literature; from Huckleberry to Scout, the characters that fill their pages are iconic. Here are six debuts that explore, through a wide range of mode and method, the painful path to maturity.