Ten Underrated/Hidden Gem Books I’ve Read In The Past Year Or So
Marriage Material – Sathnam Sanghera
This is an epic tale of family, love, and politics, spanning the second half of the twentieth century, and the start of the twenty-first. Told with humour, tenderness and insight, it manages to be both a unique and urgent survey of modern Britain by one of Britain’s most promising young writers, and an ingenious reimagining of a classic work of fiction.
The Sundial – Shirley Jackson
Most people know of Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and of course, her most famous short story, The Lottery. But I would like to add this book, set in an old sinister house, and the occupants within are convinced that the world is coming to an end and that they have to close themselves off from the world. The paranoia! The wit of Jackson! The creepy old house they are in! Just brilliant.
Half a Lifelong Romance – Eileen Chang (my review)
A love affair set in Shanghai. A story of class differences. Beautiful and cinematic. Many know of Eileen Chang’s Love in a Fallen City and Lust, Caution, and I definitely recommend this one too.
Memoirs of a Porcupine – Alain Mabanckou (my review)
I mean, what other book are you going to read that’s narrated by a porcupine?
Harbinger – Joshua Dysart, Khari Evans , Lewis LaRosa , Ian Hannin , Mico Suayan
Faith first made her appearance in the Harbinger series, kind of like the X-men. The main character Peter is a powerful psiot who’s being recruited by philanthropist and fellow harbinger, Toyo Harada, to the Harbinger Foundation where he can learn to control his abilities. Of course Harada is not the man he seems. Peter is a flawed character and hard to like, but that’s where Faith comes in, she’s fun and it’s so easy to see why she got her own spin-off. I just adore Faith and while the Harbinger series is a lot more ‘doom and gloom’ than the Faith series, I’m really glad I read it!
Master Keaton – Naoki Urasawa, Takashi Nagasaki, Hokusei Katsushika (Creator)
This manga by Urasawa is such a delight. Keaton is an Indiana Jones type character, but, wait for it, he is an insurance investigator! Ok before you stifle a yawn, the stuff he investigates is quite fascinating, and he’s armed with an archaeology education as well as his experience as a former member of the SAS! Such a great manga series.
The Song Poet – Kao Kalia Yang (my review)
I know I’ve talked about this book a lot, but it really deserves every mention (it still only has 152 ratings on Goodreads!). Go read it!
Genius – by Marc Bernardin, Adam Freeman , Afua Richardson
Riveting and action-packed comic.
The Makioka Sisters – Junichiro Tanizaki, Edward G. Seidensticker
Why haven’t more people read this Japanese classic? Go read it! And hey, if you’re doing the Read Harder challenge, it fits in the “classic by an author of colour” category!
Flight – Oona Frawley (my review)
This book only has 45 ratings on Goodreads! It is definitely deserving of a wider audience. Set in Ireland in 2004 as a referendum on citizenship approaches, Flight discusses among other things, immigration, citizenship, and is beautifully written.
Have you read any of these books?
You win! I haven’t heard of a single on of these.
I read Jackson’s biography over Christmas, and now I want to read The Sundial, especially if you’re a fan.
I have The Haunting of Hill House on my TBR list but from all the great things I ‘ve heard about her books I suspect it won’t be the last so I’ll look out for The Sundial
The only one I’ve read is Shirley Jackson; when I discovered her (in the ’90s) I read absolutely everything I could find all in a burst and, as a result, I can never remember now which I’ve read and which I longed to read; clearly that’s an excellent excuse to reread/read everything at some point. But ALL the others are either on my list aleady or are NOW on my list. Do you happen to know if Master Keaton is available in full in translation?
Yay! I love the inclusion of Genius and The Sundial — those are two books I feel like I’m constantly screaming about and trying to get people to read, so yay, you are on my Genius and Sundial promotion team! 😀
I love it when these lists hold almost nothing I’ve seen or read – just added The Makioka Sisters to my list!
I wish that Genius meant it when it said Volume 1, but I am pretty sure that was the end and there has been no more in the series. I really liked it and would love more! I started reading Harbinger on Scribd but never finished. And now I am not sure if I will…
Thanks for this list! I’ve definitely added The Song Poet and Eileen Chang to my TBR.
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