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 to highlight titles that myself and other bloggers and authors feel may have gone under the reader’s radar. (That’s 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.
First up we have Red Room, an anthology of stories edited by A.J. Ashworth and published by Unthank Books. This is a delightful and eclectic mix of stories from a variety of authors, all of which are inspired by the Bronte sisters.
“In this collection, twelve of Britain’s most celebrated writers have produced short fictions that interact, respond and play with the legacy of the Bronte Sisters. These are stunning and elemental tales, from authors who between them have won prizes such as the Macmillan/PEN Prize,the BBC National Short Story Award, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize and the V.S. Pritchett Prize.”
Don’t worry if you’ve never read any of the Bronte novels either. This is a lovely collection of stories and indeed it contains one of the best short stories I’ve read, Ashton and Elaine, a story inspired by Wuthering Heights (which I have still never read).
You can read my full review here.
Anne Cater who blogs at Random Things Through My Letterbox has this to say about Red Room. ‘Red Room is a fine tribute to the Brontes, and most readers will find stories within the collection that will suit them.’ You can read Anne’s full review here.
Next is a suggestion from Tripfiction, a fantastic site that reviews books set around the world. The Weightless World by Anthony Trevelyan published by Galley Beggar Press.
Raymond Ess is fifty-six, a senior executive, an important man. I’m twenty-eight, his personal assistant, not important at all. We work for Resolute Aviation and we’ve come to India to buy an antigravity machine.
Their reviewer said ‘I was gripped by the story and if you ask me now, as I reflect upon the storyline, I still cannot tell you quite what it was that kept me hooked. Its ethereal quality mirrors the heat mirages that rise from the Indian plains…It’s a physical pleasure to read.’
You can read the full Tripfiction review on their website here.
If you still need convincing then I should mention that The Weightless World is long-listed for the Desmond Elliot Prize, an annual, highly regarded literary prize for a debut novel written in English. And if that isn’t enough it has only 4 and 5 star reviews on Amazon. I’ll admit I’ve not read this novel but I’ll be seeking to rectify that soon.
Find out more about the Desmond Elliot prize and the other long-listed novels on their website.