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.

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 suggestion today comes from Zoe Folbigg. Her novel, The Postcard, was published by Aria Fiction on 8 August 2019.

She suggested How To Fall In Love With A Man Who Lives In A Bush by Emmy Abrahamson.

Julia is looking for Mr Right, but Ben is more Mr Right-Now-He-Could-Do-With-a-Bath..

You may think you know what kind of novel this is, but you’d be wrong.

Yes, Julia is a single-girl cliché, living alone with her cat in Vienna and working in a language school. And yes, a series of disastrous dates has left her despairing of ever finding The One – until Ben sits next to her on a bench. He’s tall, dark, handsome…

…and also incredibly hairy, barefoot, a bit ripe-smelling and of no fixed abode.

You guessed it – they fall in love, as couples in novels do. But can Julia overlook the differences between them, abandon logic and choose with her heart?

Here’s what she had to say.

“Like my debut The Note, Emmy’s book was a fictionalised story based on her real-life experience – and it was quite amazing. Such an amazing life-affirming story, so brilliantly told. The author had me crying with laughter and cheering throughout, hoping that Julia and Ben could overcome the huge hurdles and make it work. Best book I’ve read in ages.”

The second suggestion today comes from J J Ellis. His debut novel, The Flower Arranger, was published by Agora Books on 5 October 2019.

He has suggested Tall Oaks by Chris Whitaker.

Tall Oaks is an idyllic small town, until the disappearance of a young child throws the tight-knit community into crisis.

Jess Monroe, the boy’s distraught mother, is simultaneously leading the search and battling her own grief and self-destructive behaviour. Her neighbours watch on, their sympathy masking a string of dark secrets.

This is a small town where nothing is as it seems, and everyone has something to hide. And as the investigation draws towards a climax, prepare for a devastating final twist . . .

Here’s what he had to say.

“It’s a fantastic novel with a great cast of characters – combined with lovely touches of humour and social observation. A joy to read.”

So there we have it, two books I’ve still to read but have now decided I must add to my TBR. Have you read either of them? Do you have a quiet book you’d like to shout about? Do let me know.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. I’ve read and enjoyed them both but Tall Oaks is stunning!


  2. Tall Oaks sounds really intriguing. Thanks for highlighting it.


  3. They both sound great! I would like to share the book, “Untangling the Webs” by Joy Pearson – it is a novel reflecting the author’s real life experiences, with a little creative license, and featuring older characters. I found it quite an inspirational read, actually, and very fun!


    1. janetemson says:

      I’m not familiar with that book, thanks for sharing 🙂


  4. I do enjoy these posts of yours – and I’ve *never* heard of the books before! 😀


  5. MarinaSofia says:

    Tall Oaks is so, so good! Just funny and heartbreaking at the same time, as many of my favourite books are. Highly recommend it.


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