I also gather lists for when I am stumped (yes, it happens to the best of us). Sometimes you are having an off day, and your brain cannot come up with a good backlist title that is actually on the shelf.
However, a good list with a variety of options is hard to come by.; in fact, I use a large compilation of lists, a mash-up of you will, that I have accumulated over time. But today I have one for you that has well written, well received, popular titles from many different genres.
From Learn-gasm (hate the name, but bare with me) is this list of the 50 Most Famous and Impressive Debut Novels of All Time.
Of course there are some obvious titles here like the first Harry Potter and The Hobbit, but there are also some great options like Player Piano and White Teeth.
The list is in chronological order and it goes up to 2007.
I would also suggest this list for book clubs who are in a rut. Which reminds me, if your book club is in a rut, I am presenting my book club program for patrons entitled, "Recharge Your Book Cub" on October 26th at 7pm at the La Grange Public Library. Use the link to register. It is free and open to anyone who can get themselves there.
First novels by famous authors is one of my popular tips to jazz up your book club selections, but in full disclosure, I originally got that trick from Ted Balcom back when he trained me to lead book clubs. Hope to see you there.