Posted by: chartroose | January 23, 2009

Overlooked Books #2

It isn’t easy being a reading geek.  Those of us who absolutely must read to feel like real people must suffer through many trials and tribulations, not the least of which is finding a good book to live in for awhile.  There is nothing more disappointing than starting to read a novel that you’ve been looking forward to only to find that it totally sucks and you’ve just wasted your money and/or time on a worthless piece of drivel that all the “professional” critics raved about.  I think we should be able to sue said critics for pain and suffering (or at least for the price of the novel).

I prefer reading what you, my fellow book bloggers, have to say about books and reading.  You try to be honest, and I trust your judgement most of the time.  All of my handpicked blogroll buddies are an excellent source of bookish and readerish information.  Book bloggers rock!

With this in mind, I’m going to list several books which have impressed me in the past.  If you’re ever in a bind and none of the new releases appeal to you, feel free scroll through my overlooked books posts to see if any of these older titles might suit your fancy.  I can pretty much guarantee that these novels represent my favorite reads because, unlike 95% of the books I read, these novels have impressed me enough to stick in my brain.

Here are a few for you to consider:

About the Author – John Colapinto

This is a fun and stylish tragicomic thriller.  I loved it, and I’m not even into thrillers all that much anymore.  Cal, the protagonist, is a lying, bumbling worthless excuse for a human being, but I found myself rooting for him all the way to the end of the novel.  I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, so here it is in a nutshell:  Cal finds his dead roommate’s manuscript and passes it off as his own.  He becomes famous, and that’s when everything starts to fall apart.  I need to reread this because there are many twists and turns that I’ve forgotten.  When I read it in 2003, I remember thinking that it was definitely in my top 5 for the year.

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Fleur de Leigh’s Life of Crime – Diane Leslie

Isn’t the cover awful?  I borrowed this book through interlibrary loan.  If I had seen this in a bookstore, I would’ve walked right past it because of the stupid cover.  …Life of Crime is a comical and wistful novel about a 10 year old girl growing up rich and neglected in L.A. during the 1950’s.  Her parents are incredibly selfish people who don’t really care about Fleur at all.  Fleur is a great character–she’s smart, sad and wise beyond her years, and I was sorry to let her go.  The follow-up to this novel, Fleur de Leigh in Exile, is kind of a disappointment.  Don’t bother reading it unless you absolutely must visit Fleur again because you’ve missed her.

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The Memory of Running – Ron McLarty

Smithy Ide, the antihero of this surprisingly clever and action-packed novel, is a great character.  He’s a fat, hard-drinking loser with a hugely compassionate heart.  Smithy finds himself on the adventure of a lifetime when he decides to ride a bicycle cross-country to recover his sister’s body from an L.A. morgue.  This is middle-aged Smithy’s coming-of-age tale, and what a story it is!  I keep meaning to read Mr. McLarty’s newest novel, Traveler. Someday, always someday.

This concludes this installment of overlooked books.  Try these, you’ll like them!

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Responses

  1. Thanks for the recommendations! They all sound good.

  2. I have The Memory of Running in my TBR bookcase (yes, I have an entire bookcase, and let me tell you, it is PACKED). Perhaps I’ll take a closer look at it next time I’m looking for my next read. Thanks!

  3. I’d read As Nature Made Him by Colapinto but didn’t know he had another book out. Have to give About The Author a read, it sounds good and I really enjoyed his writing style.

  4. I love it when you make our wish lists even more horrifying. Actually, one of those is on my TBRs, thank goodness (The Memory of Running).

  5. I am always always about to pick up “The Memory of Running” but for some reason I never do. Thanks for this recommendation. I’m convinced I really need to buy this now!

  6. Thank you!

  7. I’ve added The Memory of Running to my wishlist, that looks like a book I would enjoy. Thank you for the suggestions.

  8. Oooh, you reminded me that About the Author looked really good. Now I need to actually pick it up. Not that I need any help w/the TBR pile! But I keep looking and adding anyway. You never know when I’ll have unlimited time to read. (Under the freeway when the economy collapses? No, no. Mustn’t wish for it just to have more time to read….)

  9. My tbr pile is alread soooooooo high, but I’ll keep these in mind. I like your comment about living in books, that’s how I feel: they need to fit and be comfortable!

  10. They all look so…unfamiliar! But all very intriguing, especially the Fleur one. I will sack them all in time of needs. You never know what my nose will take me! Thanks. 🙂

  11. A bit of book blogger research has showed me that I’m a bit out of the loop in terms of new books. However, your casual recommendations are enough to catch my interest and I’ll certainly be on the lookout of these books now.

  12. Shown. Yes, I speak English. Shown. Excuse me. That’s embarrassing. Wow. Anyways, again, nice post.


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