We only present business best-selling books at the First Friday Book Synopsis, but since we base our blog posts on books, I thought it appropriate to spread the news about two books cited by Barnes and Noble Booksellers as “Great New Writers” and best in their category.
If you are not aware, it is very difficult for new writers to break in to a major bookseller. An agent is a must. Editors are expensive, but essential. Patience through multiple drafts over a long period of time is important. That is why you find some writers self-publish, because they can skirt these three factors. But, their books will never get into a major bookstore.
Jake Whyte has retreated to a remote farmhouse on a craggy British island, a place of ceaseless rains and battering winds, with only her collie and a flock of sheep as companions. But something—or someone—has begun picking off her sheep one by one. There are foxes in the woods, a strange man wandering the island, and rumors of a mysterious beast prowling at night. And there is Jake’s relentless past—one she tried to escape thousands of miles away and years ago, concealed in stubborn silence and isolation and the scars that stripe her back. With exceptional artistry, All the Birds, Singing plumbs a life of fierce struggle and survival, sounding depths of unexpected beauty and hard-won redemption.
This is Wyld’s second book, and her first since 2010. She was born in London and grew up in Australia and South London. She studied creative writing at Bath Spa and Goldsmiths University
In non-fiction, the award went to Bryce Andrews. His book is entitled Badluck Way: A Year on the Ragged Edge of the West (Atria, 2014). I found this summary on Amazon.com:
In this gripping memoir of a young man, a wolf, their parallel lives and ultimate collision, Bryce Andrews describes life on the remote, windswept Sun Ranch in southwest Montana. The Sun’s twenty thousand acres of rangeland occupy a still-wild corner of southwest Montana—a high valley surrounded by mountain ranges and steep creeks with portentous names like Grizzly and Bad Luck. Just over the border from Yellowstone National Park, the Sun holds giant herds of cattle and elk amid many predators—bears, mountain lions, and wolves. In lyrical, haunting language, Andrews recounts marathon days and nights of building fences, riding, roping, and otherwise learning the hard business of caring for cattle, an initiation that changes him from an idealistic city kid into a skilled ranch hand. But when wolves suddenly begin killing the ranch’s cattle, Andrews has to shoulder a rifle, chase the pack, and do what he’d hoped he would never have to do. Called “an elegant memoir” by the Great Falls Tribune, Badluck Way is about transformation and complications, about living with dirty hands every day. It is about the hard choices that wake us at night and take a lifetime to reconcile. Above all, Badluck Way celebrates the breathtaking beauty of wilderness and the satisfaction of hard work on some of the harshest, most beautiful land in the world.
Andrews was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. He studied at Whitman College and the University of Montana, and has managed several cattle ranches in the West. He lives in Montana.
Sometimes, it is good to get away from the best-seller tables and look at the racks of books from new authors.
I plan to buy and read both of these over the next few months.