Under the Reader’s Radar – celebrating the quiet novel

There are thousands upon thousands of books published each year. Only a small percentage of those make it to the best-seller list. That doesn’t mean that the rest aren’t worthy of reading. It may be that they are written by self-published authors who don’t have the marketing knowledge or a small independent publisher who doesn’t have the marketing budget to spread the word. Even the larger publishing houses have a limited marketing and publicity budget so can’t promote all the novels they publish to an equal degree.

I’m part of a wonderful online community called Book Connectors where bloggers, reviewers and authors can discuss all things book related. During one of the threads there was mention of ‘quiet’ books, the ones that miss out on the big publicity push. It was agreed that it was such a shame that certain books weren’t as widely read, as the reading public were missing out on hidden gems. So that sparked a germ of an idea and I decided to do a series of posts highlight titles that myself and other bloggers and authors feel may have gone under the reader’s radar. (That was the working title for this series of posts and as inspiration hasn’t struck me with anything better, its the one I’m going with for now).

So in each post I’ll aim to highlight a couple of titles that may have been missed from your reading awareness. Hopefully you’ll discover a treat or two. And please do let me know if you have any books you’d like to suggest.

The first choice today comes from Helen Fields. Helen is the author of Perfect Remains and her latest novel Perfect Prey, was published by Avon on 27 July 2017. Helen has chosen You by Caroline Kepnes published by Simon and Schuster.

When aspiring writer Guinevere Beck strides into the bookstore where Joe works he is instantly smitten.

But there’s more to Joe than Beck realises and much more to Beck than her perfect facade. And the obsessive relationship quickly spirals into a whirlwind of deadly consequences …

A chilling account of unrelenting, terrifying deceit, Caroline Kepnes’ You is a thriller more perversely clever and dangerously twisted than any YOU have ever read.

Here’s what she has to say :

“This is a ground-breaking novel from a very unique perspective. It’s utterly creepy and deserves a lot of recognition for daring to be different with a thriller. The antagonist was so cleverly crafted. I read it in one sitting.”

The second suggestion today comes from Jane Lythell. Jane is the author of After the Storm, The Lie of You and Woman of the Hour. Her latest novel Behind Her Back was published by Head of Zeus on 10 August 2017. Jane has suggested The Widow’s Tale by Mick Jackson, published by Faber and Faber.

A newly-widowed woman has done a runner. She just jumped in her car, abandoned her (very nice) house in north London and kept on driving until she reached the Norfolk coast. Now she’s rented a tiny cottage and holed herself away there, if only to escape the ceaseless sympathy and insincere concern. She’s not quite sure, but thinks she may be having a bit of a breakdown. Or perhaps this sense of dislocation is perfectly normal in the circumstances. All she knows is that she can’t sleep and may be drinking a little more than she ought to. But as her story unfolds we discover that her marriage was far from perfect. That it was, in fact, full of frustration and disappointment, as well as one or two significant secrets, and that by running away to this particular village she might actually be making her own personal pilgrimage.

By turns elegiac and highly comical, The Widow’s Tale conjures up this most defiantly unapologetic of narrators as she begins to pick over the wreckage of her life and decide what has real value and what she should leave behind.

Here’s what she had to say:

“…What is so fantastic about the book is the voice of the Widow. We never know her name but a sense of her comes through so strongly. This may sound grim but it’s not. It is witty and authentic because the voice of the Widow is acerbic, intelligent, self-deprecating with some very enjoyable forays into malice and rudeness about others…”

So there we have it, two more books I wasn’t familiar with but which have now made their way onto my book wishlist.

Have you read either of these? Do let me know if you have any quiet books you want to shout about.

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15 Comments Add yours

  1. MarinaSofia says:

    I’ve heard about You and keep meaning to read it. And the getting into a car and just keep on driving scenario is one that has intrigued me many a time…

    Like

    1. janetemson says:

      I think they both sound good and had passed me by. And yes, driving off does sound appealing sometimes 🙂

      Like

  2. I keep meaning to read You, I’ve heard it’s really good and Joe is an interesting character. Gah, so many books – I must make time for it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      I hope you like it if you read it. There are so many books – but it’s a nice problem to have – figuring out which one to read next 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Alison says:

    That’s really nice of you to give a shout out to less well-known authors, there are certainly a lot of hidden gems out there!

    Like

    1. janetemson says:

      Thanks. There are, and it’s such a shame if they get missed. I have found out about lots of great sounding books from this feature 🙂

      Like

  4. I’ve read The Widow’s Tale. I enjoyed it and found that it made me smile or laugh out loud a few times. I have You on my TBR pile.

    Like

    1. janetemson says:

      I’m glad to hear you liked it. I like the sound of both of these and wasn’t familiar with either before this feature. Hope you like You when you get to read it 🙂

      Like

  5. I’ve heard so many people recommend YOU! I really want to read it soon…just need to reorganize my neverending TBR pile!

    Like

    1. janetemson says:

      That’s the thing about TBR’s they are neverending. But, we’d panic if they got too small 🙂

      Like

  6. BiblioManiac says:

    I love YOU! Not for the faint hearted and the most unnerving read but absolutely compelling! Great feature idea- really enjoyed this!

    Like

    1. janetemson says:

      Thank you, I think it’s important to try to find books that may have been missed but deserve a wider audience. Plus it increases my TBR dramatically!

      Like

  7. I love this concept – and thanks, that’s now two more for the TBR pile! They sound fab.

    Like

    1. janetemson says:

      Great. There are another 24 similar posts so I’ll warn you, there may be many more books you want to add 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll clear a space 🙂

        Like

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