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New Leaf Nominations for August 2019 • First Things First: Debuts
#11  issybird 07-02-2019, 08:33 AM
I'll second Hilary Mantel's Every Day is Mother's Day.
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#12  issybird 07-02-2019, 08:58 AM
Quote gmw
And that's just off the top of my head. I'm sure that together we could come up with quite a list of authors with interesting background.
My favorite current example is Ben Pastor, an Italian woman writing under a man's name in English about a German army officer; her novels are then translated into Italian by someone else. It's infuriating that the books in Italian come out faster than the English ones, which are released in a slow trickle. I'm considering nominating one of her books, either the first to be published or the first in the chronology - probably the latter. There's no hard-and-fast rule to apply to that conundrum, which is situational; sometimes there's no ideal solution. (I'm looking at you, Sharpe.)
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#13  Bookpossum 07-02-2019, 09:16 AM
Quote issybird
My favorite current example is Ben Pastor, an Italian woman writing under a man's name in English about a German army officer; her novels are then translated into Italian by someone else. It's infuriating that the books in Italian come out faster than the English ones, which are released in a slow trickle. I'm considering nominating one of her books, either the first to be published or the first in the chronology - probably the latter. There's no hard-and-fast rule to apply to that conundrum, which is situational; sometimes there's no ideal solution. (I'm looking at you, Sharpe.)
Oh, this sounds interesting!
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#14  issybird 07-02-2019, 09:29 PM
Quote Bookpossum
Oh, this sounds interesting!
I'm undecided between nominating one of Pastor's Martin Bora series or the first in Boris Akunin's (Russian) Erast Fandorin series, but I'm leaning toward the former.
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#15  gmw 07-03-2019, 12:00 AM
Quote issybird
I'm undecided between nominating one of Pastor's Martin Bora series or the first in Boris Akunin's (Russian) Erast Fandorin series, but I'm leaning toward the former.
Without meaning to sway you in any way (well, maybe a little) as interesting as Ben Pastor sounds, the books are very expensive on Kobo AU ($17.57), whereas Boris Akunin's books are merely normally expensive ($12.99).
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#16  gmw 07-03-2019, 12:43 AM
I was flicking through my list of "authors of interest" (generally come from reading short fiction collections and discovering authors whose work I find interesting), and came across: Benjanun Sriduangkaew, and found that her first novel Scale-Bright seemed like a good match (an award winning debut novel) and the tide this month of looking outside Anglophone works.

But a couple of odd things I found out (while waiting to see if a client is going to spoil my unusually quiet day). First, Wikipedia says ... well, I'll let you read it for yourself, see here under the "Online Activity" heading. This controversy is also mentioned in various Goodreads reviews. Had anyone here heard of this before?

I also noted that Wikipedia said:
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Sriduangkaew has said in an interview that she was born in Pattani Province in southern Thailand. After attending university in Bangkok, she worked in Manila, Jakarta and Hong Kong. Other sources dispute this, claiming that she was born in California.

I must say that my enthusiasm for trying this author has waned considerably.
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#17  Bookpossum 07-03-2019, 03:29 AM
I must say none of this does anything for me! That said, just because it's on the internet doesn't mean it's true of course.
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#18  issybird 07-03-2019, 07:00 AM
Quote gmw
Without meaning to sway you in any way (well, maybe a little) as interesting as Ben Pastor sounds, the books are very expensive on Kobo AU ($17.57), whereas Boris Akunin's books are merely normally expensive ($12.99).
I was going to check prices before I made my decision, so you've made that call for me! Also a factor is that while I know Akunin is widely available on OverDrive, I don't think Pastor is. There are also audiobooks of the Fandorin novels, for those who prefer that (I'm currently listening to a later one while I swim.) For anyone who's interested in the Pastor books, they occasionally go on sale at Kindle US for $1.99, but obviously I can't count on a timely sale and it wouldn't work for the ROW anyway.

Quote gmw
I must say that my enthusiasm for trying this author has waned considerably.
The allegations seem to be proved and that would be it for me, also. I think it's one of the issues of our times: is a work good enough to justify supporting a person of reprehensible character, ideas or actions? Certainly not in this case!
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#19  issybird 07-03-2019, 07:34 AM
As indicated above, I'm nominating The Winter Queen by Boris Akunin, the first in the Erast Fandorin chronology. I've been reading this series over time with enjoyment. There's much of interest in terms of Russian political and social history and part of the fun is that each novel is written in a different crime novel style. The translation is highly regarded and I personally enjoy the narration of the books, also.

From Amazon:

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Moscow, May 1876: What would cause a talented young student from a wealthy family to shoot himself in front of a promenading public in the Alexander Gardens? Decadence and boredom, most likely, is what the commander of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Moscow Police thinks, but still he finds it curious enough to send the newest member of the division, Erast Fandorin, a young man of irresistible charm, to the Alexander Gardens precinct for more information.

Fandorin is not satisfied with the conclusion that this is an open-and-shut case, nor with the preliminary detective work the precinct has done—and for good reason: The bizarre and tragic suicide is soon connected to a clear case of murder, witnessed firsthand by Fandorin. There are many unresolved questions. Why, for instance, have both victims left their fortunes to an orphanage run by the English Lady Astair? And who is the beautiful “A.B.,” whose signed photograph is found in the apparent suicide’s apartment? Relying on his keen intuition, the eager sleuth plunges into an investigation that leads him across Europe, landing him at the deadly center of a terrorist conspiracy of worldwide proportions.
US$12.99 | CA$13.99 | AU$12.99 | UK£8.51 | OverDrive | Audible

290 pp.
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#20  Bookpossum 07-03-2019, 08:28 AM
Sounds great! I second The Winter Queen.
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