Hello, Friends Thank you for visiting another Recommendation Thursday post. Hope you get to add more books and get inspired to read them.
This week’s topic is books that deserve more attention than they are getting. Those “life-changing” books that only you’ve read and the majority haven’t even heard of. I too have that list of books, I’m always looking for people who have read them or any review both negative and positive about them. I decided to share 5 of my favourite books that I think are criminally underrated.
“I’m attracted to the underrated characters.” –Tim Crouch
( All book reviews will be linked)
The Salesman by Joseph O’Connor
Genre: Irish Literature, Thriller, Contemporary
Set in Dublin Ireland 1994, the town is infested with drug addicts and crime is at its peak. We follow Billy, a salesman whose only daughter ends up in a coma after a dastardly robbery. The culprits are apprehended and set to be a charged in court but on the day of the sentence, the gang leader escapes. Billy decides to take justice into his own hand by tracing the young culprit’s every move as he plans his revenge. But soon things spiral out of control in a very disastrous way. One small decision can ruin everything or make it better? You have to read to find out.
This book took me by surprise, it went ways (Plot-wise) that really added depth and complexity to the characters. It felt Noir in its grim atmosphere and beautiful writing. Funnily enough, I still recall the emotional impact and I read it well over a year ago. Different, Contemplative and amazing. PICK IT UP!
Tumbling by Diane McKinney-Whetstone
Genre: Historical Fiction, African American Lit
Its central characters, Herbie and Noon, are a loving but unconventional couple whose marriage remains unconsummated for many years as Noon struggles to repossess her sexuality after a brutal attack in her past. While she seeks salvation in the church, Herbie gains sexual gratification in the arms of a bewitching jazz singer named Ethel, a woman who profoundly affects both Noon’s and Herbie’s lives when she leaves with them, first, a baby girl and then later, a five-year-old named Liz.
Capturing The Essence of South Philadelphia in the 40s & 50s following a complicated black family with rooted mental and community-based issue it was amazingly developed and really powerful. I would compare this to Songs of Solomon by Toni Morrison in tone. If you want to diversify your Historical Fiction this one is for you.
The Dark Half by Stephen King
Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Mystery
“…he was, after all, a novelist…and a novelist was simply a fellow who got paid to tell lies. The bigger the lies, the better the pay.”
Thad (the protagonist) was a struggling writer after he shifts gears and decides that he will use a new pseudonym (George Stack)… BOOM! Sales and life pick up, the new books are best sellers and a lot grittier and kind of disturbing but the public eats it up. After two years he kind of tries to bury George Stack and go back to his own stuff but what he doesn’t know is the coffin won’t close.
One of the best concept in a horror book, the idea of dual personality with a twist… Using the pseudonym trope to explore inner demons in an authors life. Gruesome, Dark, Complex this one King book that more people need to read.
Airman by Eoin Colfer
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Adventure.
In the 1890s Conor and his family live on the sovereign Saltee Islands, off the Irish coast. Conor spends his days studying the science of flight with his tutor and exploring the castle with the king’s daughter, Princess Isabella. But the boy’s idyllic life changes forever the day he discovers a deadly conspiracy against the king. When Conor tries to intervene, he is branded a traitor and thrown into jail on the prison island of Little Saltee. There, he has to fight for his life, as he and the other prisoners are forced to mine for diamonds in inhumane conditions.
The author is best known for his ( Artemis Fowl Series) and This was my first of his and it was so fun and it fuses the fantasy with some History which made it feel like the event took place. The protagonist grows and it feels like a superhero origin story I highly recommend.
Union Street by Pat Barker
Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Feminist Lit
There’s Kelly, at eleven, neglected and independent, dealing with a squalid rape; Dinah, knocking on sixty and still on the game; Joanne, not yet twenty, not yet married, and already pregnant; Old Alice, welcoming her impending death; Muriel helplessly watching the decline of her stoical husband. And linking them all, watching over them all, mother to half the street, is fiery, indomitable Iris.
A raw depiction of what women go through behind the houses of Union street. Loosely connected short stories of women from 16 to 60-year-old women dealing with abuse, loss, relationships, identity and so much more. The book feels personal with each character you meet and the emotional impact slowly grips you. The author won The Booker Prize for her World War 2 trilogy and this is a testament to her powerful writing.
Thank you so much for visiting, I would really love to know some books you think are underrated.
So until next time stay Bookish 😉