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.
This week’s first title is recommended by Catherine Hokin, author of Blood and Roses. She chose If No One Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor, published by Bloomsbury.
”This novel owes as much to poetry as it does to prose. Its opening, an invocation of the life of the city, is strongly reminiscent of Auden’s Night Mail in its hypnotic portrait of industrialised society… An assured debut’ Erica Wagner, The Times.
On a street in a town in the North of England, ordinary people are going through the motions of their everyday existence – street cricket, barbecues, painting windows… A young man is in love with a neighbour who does not even know his name. An old couple make their way up to the nearby bus stop. But then a terrible event shatters the quiet of the early summer evening. That this remarkable and horrific event is only poignant to those who saw it, not even meriting a mention on the local news, means that those who witness it will be altered for ever.
Jon McGregor’s first novel brilliantly evokes the histories and lives of the people in the street to build up an unforgettable human panorama.
‘Breathtakingly original, humane and moving, IF NOBODY SPEAKS OF REMARKABLE THINGS is an astonishing debut. ‘The work of a burning new talent … Jon MacGregor writes like a lyrical angel’ Daily Mail ‘”
See more on the Bloomsbury website.
This is what she had to say about it,
“It is simply the most poetic book I have ever read. The opening is lyrical in the way it evokes life in a Northern city and the structure moves between two characters in a way that is challenging and thought-provoking – you get to care deeply about people you only know in a very light touch way which is fascinating. It is about memories – almost heartbreakingly – and ordinary people and it is a book you hear almost more than you read. Wonderful.”
“Four people hide secrets from the world and themselves. Dory is disillusioned by men and relationships, having seen the damage sex can do. Fran deals with her mid-life crisis by pursuing an online flirtation which turns threatening. Stefan feels he is a failure and searches for self-validation through his art. Dominic is a lost boy, heading for self-destruction.
They meet regularly at a life-drawing class, led by sculptor Stefan. They all want a life different from the one they have, but all have made mistakes they know they cannot escape. They must uncover the past – and the truths that come with it – before they can make sense of the present and navigate a new path into the future.”