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.

Slightly different than normal, today’s first recommendation is an author rather than a book.

G.J Moffat, author of Blackwater, published by Fahrenheit Press on 16 May 2017. He recommends Michael Marshall Smith. His novels are published by Harper Voyager.

Talking fridges, human clone farms, flying shopping malls – we must be in the Michael Marshall Smith zone. A world all too close to our own…
Spares human clones, the ultimate health insurance. An eye for an eye but some people are doing all the taking.

Spares the story of Jack Randall: burnt-out, dropped out, and way overdrawn at the luck bank. But as caretaker on a Spares Farm, he still has a choice, and it might make a difference if he can run fast enough.

Spares a breathless race through strange, disturbing territories in a world all too close to our own.

Spares it’s fiction. But only just

Here’s what he had to say:

“Before Michael Marshall was Michael Marshall and writing weird, brilliant crime stories, he was Michael Marshall Smith and wrote weird, brilliant futuristic crime stories.  There are three novels and you could read any one and be blown away: Only Forward, Spares and One of Us.  My personal favourite is Spares.  It’s funny and weird and exciting and moving and about three quarters of the way in there’s a revelation (not a twist) that takes the book to another level in its imagination and execution.  Go read it!  Go read all of them!”

The next choice is from M.R.C. Kasasian who’s latest novel in the Gower Street Detective series, Dark Dawn Over Steep House, was published by Head of Zeus on 1 June 2017 . His choice is Maud: The Diary of Maud Berkeley

Here’s what he had to say:

“This is a wonderful book, the journals of a young woman on the Isle of Wight in 1880’s and 90’s, packed with her drawings and paintings and photographs but what stands out is her joie de vivre, her kindness and most of all her sense of humour. Cast aside your notions of Victorian stuffiness. I defy you to read this book and not smile.”

So there we have it, two more books, or authors, that hadn’t cross my bookish path before. Have you read either? If so what did you think? Also do let me know if you have any quiet books you’d like to shout about.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. ronnieturner says:

    Fantastic post! X


    1. janetemson says:

      Thank you. I do love finding out about books I may not have heard about 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. MarinaSofia says:

    Certainly new to me… well done for digging these up!


    1. janetemson says:

      Thanks. I particularly love the sound of Maud and her diary. The trouble with this feature is it dramatically increases the book wishlist 🙂


  3. This is such a great feature! I look forward to seeing more recommendations. It’s a real shame that amazing books are being missed or overlooked because they don’t have the big marketing budget behind them.


    1. janetemson says:

      Thank you. I agree, there are so many missed gems out there. Let me know if you have any recommendations 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m trying to think but at the moment my brain doesn’t seem to be engaging!


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