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Wonderful books you've read which nobody else has heard of!

(37 Posts)
HopeForTheBestExpectTheWorst Sun 12-Jul-09 19:22:45

Sort of inspired by something on my other thread, which books have you read and loved but which no-one else has heard of?

Mine are:

The Juniper Tree by Barbara Comyns
- sort of loosely based on the Grimm fairytale of the same name; really good writing, captivating story (link to amazon)

Ancestors by Robyn Davidson
- picked this up when in Australia years ago, and every single person I've leant it to since has loved it (link to amazon)

Amnesia by Douglas Cooper
- I bought this because I liked the cover, but it turned out to be a surreal yet wonderful read. I've never re-read it myself, but I've given it to friends who've also loved it (link to amazon)

Paper Moon by Joe David Brown
- this is the novel that the film came from, but almost nobody I know has even heard of the film, let alone the book! A second-hand bookshop find for me. It's really funny and heart-warming (link to amazon)

christie2 Mon 13-Jul-09 00:04:45

I had to really think on this one. I remember reading one called "losing Edie" by Deborah Corey. I bought it because the author was from the a nearby small town where I grew up. It was really good and echos in a small way the Narrator in "To Kill a Mockinbird" a child trying to make sense of adult issues and family troubles.

tigerbear Mon 13-Jul-09 00:36:13

La Prisonniere by Malika Oufkir - a true story, and truly incredible.

BalloonSlayer Mon 13-Jul-09 07:55:50

"The Ogre Downstairs" is a children's book by Diana Wynne Jones. I utterly love it and still read it as an adult blush. The plot is funny, the characters are believable, and it features a step family who are constantly fighting, and a marital-break up. I had never encountered that in a book when I read it first (age 10), so I guess it was the parallels with my own family I appreciated. I don't think I have ever read anything else by her; too afraid it wouldn't be as good. It always puzzles me how people rave about JK Rowling (only read the first Harry Potter and it struck me as thoroughly average) yet no one talks about Diana WJ.

"The Fatal Englishman" by Sebastian Faulks. Actually I am sure people have heard of it, but I don't know anyone else who has read it so I can't talk about it to anyone. sad

It's quite new but I loved "Direct Red" by Gabriel Weston, which is about what it's like to be a surgeon. It's very thought provoking on matters of life and death and medicine, and the one person I know who would probably also love it and talk about it with me has just had a traumatic experience so I know I'd better not lend it to her.

Maria2007 Mon 13-Jul-09 09:04:04

Interesting thread. Mine are: Tully by paullina simonds. Almost paradise by susan isaacs (ideal for a beach holiday). Feast of love by Charles Baxter. I'll think of others...

ByThePowerOfGreyskull Mon 13-Jul-09 09:07:47

I read a great book called felidae a few years ago, whenever I mention it noone has ever heard of it.

tattycoram Mon 13-Jul-09 09:22:06

I've been meaning to get hold of Direct Red, Balloon Slayer thanks for reminding me.

Mine is So Long See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell

VietnameseCobbler Mon 13-Jul-09 09:24:08

hope for the best is the most efficient poster in the world!
i read the review of direct read and have got it for a surgery obsessed mates birthday

ByThePowerOfGreyskull Mon 13-Jul-09 09:25:06

ooh also, Frank Lean, has written some great crime thrillers and noone I know has heard of him!

HopeForTheBestExpectTheWorst Mon 13-Jul-09 13:33:13

It was one of the things I liked most about having friends who read similar type books to me - that one or other would always find something new that the others hadn't heard of, and we could pass it on.
And I was the sort of person who could NEVER walk past either a second-hand bookshop or any bookshop having a sale - I got loads of books which I'd never, ever have bought otherwise, especially when I was a poor student.

I'm also really swayed by book covers - which makes me sounds very shallow, I know, but I've found that if the publishers have done their job properly, then the cover should tell you something about the book. Of course, this occasionally backfires, because I'm duped into buying a book that I think will be just my style, based on the cover, and it turns out to be crap.
Anyway, buying based on cover is one way that I've found some interesting books which I wouldn't necessarily have bought based on description alone.

I haven't heard of any of the books mentioned so far!

BalloonSlayer Mon 13-Jul-09 13:37:09

Vietnamesecobbler, you can read Direct Red in a day, you can't put it down and it's a very easy read, you could easily read it before you wrap it up for your friend < sneaky >

MayorNaze Mon 13-Jul-09 13:44:46

anything by Erich Segal

he wrote Love Story, you know the film with Ali McGraw? the book is much better

he wrote a handful of books, all seem to be out of print. i practically have palpitations of exctiement when i come across them in charity shops.

only one left i haven't read/got and haven't even sniffed it anywhere

HopeForTheBestExpectTheWorst Mon 13-Jul-09 18:36:05

Oooh, I read the sequel to Love Story (Oliver's Story) - another secondhand bookstore find - at an age when I hadn't even heard of Love Story.

Which one are you looking for, MayorNaze (oh, just got your name; 'tis very good )

hana Mon 13-Jul-09 18:39:44

Crow Lake, Mary Lawson
A Good House, Bonnie Burnard

both books set in small town canada - are brilliant

HopeForTheBestExpectTheWorst Mon 13-Jul-09 18:52:05

Ah, I have a bit of a thing about Canada, so shall be looking both of those up, hana!

shonaspurtle Mon 13-Jul-09 18:58:37

Castles Burning by Magda Denes

The Cuckoo's Parting Cry bu Anthea Halliwell

Castles Burning is an autobiography about growing up as a Jewish girl in Hungary during WWII. Cuckoo's Parting Cry is fiction set in the 20s but they both give the impression that the authors genuinely remembered what it was to be a child.

BalloonSlayer, DWJ is my favourite children's author bar none. I read quite a lot of her books as a child and was amazed (and delighted) as an adult to find that she'd kept one writing and there were lots more to read (dunno why I was amazed hmm). I'd recommend Witch Week and Fire & Hemlock especially but it's all good.

hana Mon 13-Jul-09 18:59:00

then also check out

Fall on your Knees, Ann-Marie MacDonald
The Shipping News, Annie Proulx
Colony of Unrequited Dreams, Wayne Johnson

happy reading!

shonaspurtle Mon 13-Jul-09 19:00:45

yy Fall on Your Knees is amazing.

infin Mon 13-Jul-09 20:27:24

I agree that 'Crow Lake' is great.
Disliked 'Tully' though.
My little heard of book is 'Cloth Girl' by Marilyn Heward Mills. here
I think it is her first novel, set in Africa, it was a fantastic read for me.

MayorNaze Tue 14-Jul-09 11:17:06

yay! HopeForTheBestExpectTheWorst - am looking for Man, Woman and Child - expect i could track it down on amazon but you can't beat the thrill of an unexpected treasure in the charity shopgrin

Maria2007 Tue 14-Jul-09 15:34:06

Very very interesting thread. Thanks for some great recommendations.

Personally I'm very into american contemporary fiction. I really like Amy Bloom & Lorrie Moore, as well as Charles Baxter (not sure here they're that well known, but I really recommend all their books). On the 'lighter' side, there's a couple of American authors who I've enjoyed in the past- Elinor Lipman & Sara Lewis- no one on this side of the pond seems to have read them, and they're a bit like chic-lit, good for beach holidays. Susan Isaacs is also great for relaxing, romance & whodunit combo kind of reads (WHY do I keep suggesting beach holiday books?! Maybe I need a beach holiday myself actually). I've also enjoyed an American author- Wally Lamb. He's written 3 books, all of which are very interesting, long reads (again, not completely literary books, but very good reads. A bit heart-wrenching though).

I also recommend this.

Maria2007 Tue 14-Jul-09 15:35:23

Oh, and I also recommend Danny Leigh's 'the monsters of gramercy park'.

Sunshinemummy Tue 14-Jul-09 15:43:04

Not sure how well known or not these are but I loved Silk by Alessandro Baricco, Fugitive Pieces by Ann Michaels and Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim.

HopeForTheBestExpectTheWorst Tue 14-Jul-09 21:15:31

Maria2007 - Anagrams and Self Help by Lorrie Moore are two of my most beloved books. You've just reminded me of them, I think I'm going to have to do some re-reading!
I wasn't so keen on Birds of America though, and I haven't really looked to see what she's done since. But those two are just fantastic - especially Anagrams.

And oooh - that Monsters of Gramercy Park sounds very interesting!

I've now got so many books on my Amazon Wishlist, I'm spoilt for choice as to what to order first...

kitkat9 Sat 18-Jul-09 09:43:02

Maria2007 - we have the same taste in books - you're the only other person (apart from my RL friends) who's heard of Tully! Paullina Simons is amazing - you must read, if you haven't, her trilogy starting with 'The Bronze Horseman', follwed by 'Tatiana and alexander' and ending with 'The Summer Garden'. They are all utterly fabulous.

Also enjoy Wally Lamb, especially liked 'She's Come Undone'

Curtis Sittnefeld's 'Prep' - pretty good too.

I'm off to the library to look for Lorrie Moore. Ooh, and maybe get some Susan Isaacs, I do like her.

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