Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

The lens zooms in, then draws back." Beautiful Children (Random House, January 2008) by Charles Bock. First book, novel. Agent: Jim Rutman. Editor: David Ebershoff. Publicist: Jynne Martin.

"Lightning first, then the thunder." The Invention of Everything Else (Mariner Books, February 2008) by Samantha Hunt. Second book, novel. Agent: P. J. Mark. Editor: Anjali Singh. Publicist: Taryn Roeder.

"I might as well say, right from the jump: it wasn't my usual kind of job." People of the Book (Viking, January 2008) by Geraldine Brooks. Fifth book, third novel. Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh. Editor: Molly Stern. Publicist: Louise Braverman.

"He saw the dim image of the traffic cop make a right-face turn and fling out a white-gloved arm, signaling that the flow of cars from the east should stop and that those toward the south now had the right of way, and at the same instant he heard the cop's shrill whistle: Wrrrriiiiiieee" A Father's Law (Harper Perennial, January 2008) by Richard Wright. Twenty-second book, sixth novel. Agent: Bill Reiss. Editor: Hugh Van Dusen. Publicist: Jane Beirn.

"In the river of my dream I'm ankle-deep / in the water's muddy froth, my cuffs rolled up." Undertow (Persea Books, January 2008) by Anne Shaw. First book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Gabriel Fried. Publicist: Stefanie Wortman.

"Penny spotted the anopheles mosquito one mid-morning break at Hatfield Girls' High School." The Leper Compound (Bellevue Literary Press, January 2008) by Paula Nangle. First book, novel. Agent: Anna Bierhaus. Editor: Erika Goldman. Publicist: Lottchen Shivers.

"A fetus doesn't sit passively in its mother's womb and wait to be fed." The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead (Knopf, February 2008) by David Shields. Ninth book, first memoir. Agent: Henry Dunow. Editor: Ann Close. Publicist: Sheila O'Shea.

"He is seated in the first darkness / of his body sitting in the lighter dark / of the room, // the greater light of day behind him, / beyond the windows, where / Time is the country." Behind My Eyes (Norton, January 2008) by Li-Young Lee. Fifth book, fourth poetry collection. Agent: Alison Granucci. Editor: Jill Bialosky. Publicist: Samantha Choy.

"Candor may have indeed arrived, / after years of mistrust, / persisting on my part, / as to what exactly it is." Infamous Landscapes (Fence Books, December 2007) by Prageeta Sharma. Third book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Rebecca Wolff. Publicist: Rebecca Wolff.

"When I was young, I spent the summer holidays with my grandparents in Switzerland." Homecoming (Pantheon Books, January 2008) by Bernhard Schlink. Eighth book, seventh novel. Agent: Lynn Nesbit. Editor: Carol Janeway. Publicist: Liz Calamari.

"Nothing could have been further from my mind." Swimming in a Sea of Death (Simon & Schuster, January 2008) by David Rieff. Eighth book, first memoir. Agent: Andrew Wylie. Editor: Alice Mayhew. Publicist: Kelly Welsh.

"Then the imagination withdraws, drifts across the table / to investigate the glass flowers rolled in cloth tape." Seven Notebooks (Ecco, February 2008) by Campbell McGrath. Seventh book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Millicent Bennett. Publicists: Michael McKenzie, Jessica Purcell.