Authors to watch in 2012

    Here are two authors we think will make a splash in 2012.

    Susan Cain

    The first book, submitted by Carolyn Beeler, is “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain.

    Cain argues American society rewards the bold and outspoken, but actually depends on the power of introverts.

    She writes that many important people — including Albert Einstein, Mohandas Gandhi, Rosa Parks and Vincent Van Gogh — were introverts who accomplished what they did because of their quiet temperaments, not in spite of them. Cain argues the perceptive and cerebral nature of introverts is often undervalued.

    University of Pennsylvania marketing professor Adam Grant has found introverts to be better business leaders in many contexts.

    “I’m one of those people myself. Growing up as an introvert, I was pretty convinced that I could never do anything like teaching,” admitted Grant. “Susan’s book was one of the factors that changed my mind and led me to believe there were strengths that introverts brought to the table, that I could actually bring into my professional and personal life.”

    The book goes on sale Jan. 24.

    MJ McGrath

    Maiken Scott suggests British author MJ or Melanie McGrath as another writer to watch in 2012. McGrath’s debut novel, “White Heat,” is set in the Arctic Circle. It has all the ingredients of a page-turner for fans of thrillers. An intriguing heroine, a twisting plot, and a sprinkle of romance are set against a fascinating backdrop of endless ice, bitter cold, tensions over land and resources, and social problems such as addiction and corroding families.

    The book’s compelling heroine is Inuit guide Edie Kiglatuk, who uses her her keen and well-trained hunting instincts in playing detective.

    McGrath is a journalist by trade and that really shows in the book. She spent a lot of time in the Arctic Circle and wanted to write more than just a good murder mystery, as she explained during an interview with the BBC.

    “I felt that the more people understood the Inuit, the more respect they would have for them and the more they would see that the Inuit really are the stewards of the Arctic,” she said. “And whatever happens in the Arctic, it needs to be led by the Inuit.”

    Readers will be introduced to the beauty and realities of life in the Arctic where bodies don’t rot and bones reappear as ice thaws.

    The book, published in August, also offers an enjoyable lesson on native foods such as seal blubber and blood soup.

    McGrath plans to turn this successful book into a series — so watch out for Edie’s return!

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