24 December 2010

Literary Blog Hop: Under-appreciated books

Literary Blog Hop

This week's Literary Blog Hop question, sponsored by The Blue Bookcase, is this: What literary title (fiction or nonfiction) do you love that has been under-appreciated? ... What quiet masterpiece do you want more readers to know?
For recent publications, I'm an ardent proselytizer advocate for Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, which has everything a serious reader could want: it's epic in size and scope, beautifully written, and full of grand tragedy & passion.  All set against the background of important world events, it's the story of one family's struggles with betrayal and abandonment and trust, especially between brothers.  It's also peppered throughout with a good bit of medical philosophy & ethics.  It's well-paced, fully developed, and moves from India to Ethiopia to the United States and back again.  It is almost the perfect novel, and for my money it's the best English-language novel published in the last five years, possibly the last decade. 

 I have a long list of 20th century-or-earlier publications that I don't feel have received the attention they deserve, whether they're books overshadowed by an author's more famous title, or whether the author himself or herself is mostly overlooked. Among them are Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, Jim Harrison's The Legends of the Fall, L. M. Montgomery's Emily series, Ron Hansen's The Chess Garden, Eudora Welty's One Writer's Beginnings, David James Duncan's The River Why, Cormac McCarthy's Outer Dark, Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye.  I really could go on, but since I need to head to work, I think I'll end it there.  

What about y'all?  


  1. Excellent. Good to know. And, the most wonderful part: I have this book awaiting me in my TBR!


  2. New follower! (Sorry...forgot to include this in earlier post.)

  3. BLIMEY, thats one hell of a list & some good writers in it .

  4. Merry Christmas Emily! I wish you a safe holiday filled with love. Thanks for supporting me on my blogs!

  5. Awesome recommendation. I find its geographical scope particularly interesting. Btw, just started following you. Great blog. :)

  6. Adding this to my TBR pile! Thanks!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. Have a wonderful time with them!

    Here is my Literary Blog Hop post!

  7. This book sounds like one I would really love. And a few titles from your list will be going on my tbr list--thanks for a great post...

  8. I agree with you about L.M. Montgomery's Emily series as well as Mansfield Park...so I guess that means I need to put the other books you mention on my TBR list! Thanks!

  9. I'm planning to listen to Cutting for Stone - I just downloaded it from iTunes last week.

    Merry Christmas!

  10. I have Cutting For Stone on my TBR list...sounds wonderful...thanks.

    I am new to this blog hop...glad I found it. I think I have visited before but not from Blue Bookcase's blog hop.


  11. Thank you amazing blog, do you have twitter, facebook or something similar where i can follow your blog

    Sandro Heckler


Please, sir, may I have some more? (Comments, that is!)