BBAW: Unforgotten Treasures, or Books I Wish Hadn't Been Overlooked

We all love to see a new book picked up by the blogging community, spreading like wildfire from one blogger to the next, right? We’ve watched it happen with summer hits like The Passage (don't get me wrong, I loved it) and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, and now we’re watching the Freedom buzz-machine, with the likes of Jennifer Weiner and Oprah joining the mix.

But what of the books that get lost? The oldies-but-goodies, the new books we didn’t catch amidst the rest of the sparkly, glittery frontlist that publishers are offering?

Of the oldies-but-goodies, I’d pick out Revolutionary Road, which I read and reviewed last September (which counts, because it was after last year’s BBAW). I said it then, and I’ll say it again – Yates is a clear, crisp, and insightful author, offering up a melancholy, depressing view of married suburban life, and the consequences of trying to be like everybody else. The novel is only further driven home by the sheer believability of the story, though we like to think that such disasters happen only in fiction.

Of front-list offerings for 2010, two come to mind:

Letter to My Daughter is an almost inconceivably well-written novel of a mere 120 pages – 120 pages of a letter written by a worried, fraught mother to her daughter, who has run away. Rather than focusing on the missing child, the mother’s letter seeks to explain that really, she understands how difficult it is to be a teenager struggling under her parents’ grasp – she did it too. Heartfelt and striking, this will be appreciated by any mother or daughter, or even father or son. And most impressive of all? It was written by a man who so perfectly captured the essence of teenage-girlhood that I’m still reeling, 8 months later. Read my full review here.

Neverland, by Douglas Clegg, was actually a new edition of a previous horror novel. Clegg himself explained in his comments on my Bookgasm review that upon the original publication nearly 20 years ago, the novel practically disappeared. The new edition is revised, and includes horrific and stunning line illustrations. Not for the faint of heart, Neverland takes reality and nightmares and childhood games and mashes them together into a downright chilling horror novel. Read it with the lights on and love the shivers.


  1. it's not surprising that books fade or just slide deep below the readers radar, with the continuous onslaught of THE NEW BEST THING, which we can all get caught up in. So it's fantastic to just step aside & think of, some book that means something to you, yet seems to have escaped everyone else & then get a chance to sing its praises.

  2. Neverland sounds interesting. Hope he has better luck the 2nd time around.

  3. I agree with you about Revolutionary Road, it's a great book. I've added the others you mentioned to my "must-read" list. They sound wonderful. Thanks for passing these along.

  4. Parrish Lantern - Exactly! I loved all the BBAW posts on this. Most were books I hadn't heard of (which is point, I suppose). Definitely expanded my horizon.

    Chris - Neverland is EXCELLENT. Creepy, haunting, excellent.

    Lisa - Yes! I feel like a lot of people saw the movie but didn't necessarily read the book, and I thought the book was even more depressing. Hope you get a chance to read the other two; they're both worth the time.

  5. All of these books sounds interesting - thanks for the recommendations!


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