Day 4: Name a book that you've read that you love, but not a lot of people talk about. Or it can be your "Best Kept Secret" book. (Indie)
- - -
Earlier this year I would have said Rainbow Rowell's Attachments, no question. This was before Eleanor & Park and certainly before Fangirl, and it felt like I had discovered something absolutely magical that NO ONE had heard of before, except for one of my internet friends who doesn't even live in the same country I do. But Rainbow certainly doesn't need my help now, and I'm slowly but surely getting everyone I know to read her stuff, so I feel like this is already a mission accomplished.
Instead, I'm going to dive into my archives and pull out some books I've been telling people to read for years, but no one ever seems to listen.
First, the Abhorsen series by Garth Nix (Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen). There's a prequel coming out later next year, so I feel like this one is extra topical. This is one of those series I discovered by accident when I used to pull random books off the library shelves and take them home without thinking (I don't do this anymore, largely because of Goodreads). This series kind of scared the shit out of me when I was in high school, but I still loved it. It's technically young adult fantasy, but it always felt really adult to me. (Granted, I was around 16 at the time, so take that with a grain of salt.) I found used copies a couple months ago and fully plan doing a re-read sometime next year.
These next two I would definitly consider hidden gems. If you liked the shades of gray complicated morality thing going on in Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire saga (or the HBO Game of Thrones series), then you should probably check out Joe Abercrombie's First Law trilogy (The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, Last Argument of Kings) . Abercrombie is a British fantasy author who seems to have made it his mission to undermine every fantasy trope that has ever existed. His books are actually a bit darker than Martin's, but they also have a wicked sense of humor and they're deceptively smart. He's created several characters that are unlike anything I've ever read in any book, ever. His subsequent books take place in the First Law world, but are not direct sequels. The original trilogy is still my favorite of his.
Also, if you're a Game of Thrones fan, it might be worth checking out David Benioff's novel, City of Thieves. I read and loved this several years ago, so when I heard he was one of the writers/producers for Game of Thrones, I was thrilled and knew it would be in good hands. City of Thieves is a semi-biographical account of Benioff's grandfather during the WWII siege of Stalingrad. The two main characters go on a quest to find a dozen eggs for a wedding cake, a nearly impossible task. It's funny and sad and entirely wonderful.
And for a completely different flavor altogether, I Capture the Castle is a coming of age story by the author of 101 Dalmations, of all things. I picked it up because of the blurb on the cover from JK Rowling and didn't regret it. There's also a hard to find film version that was pretty great as well.
And that's it for today, folks. You guys read any of these?