Thursday, January 24, 2008

Booking through "huh"

What’s your favorite book that nobody else has heard of? You know, not Little Women or Huckleberry Finn, not the latest best-seller . . . whether they’ve read them or not, everybody “knows” those books. I’m talking about the best book that, when you tell people that you love it, they go, “Huh? Never heard of it?”

There are many I can recall. Jostein Gaarder comes into mind first. I love his books. The Solitaire Mystery remains one of my all time favourite books. This can be compared to the best of fantasies. Surprisingly, few know about it. Currently I am re-reading another of his book, Sophie's World.

When I talk of Chimanada Ngozi Adichie, no one has heard of her too. Then there is Neil Gaiman, who is not well known in India. He is yet to be discovered here. Amy Tan too is not known very widely here. I recently bought her book, The Bonesetter's Daughter for half an US dollar. I am truly amazed. Jodi Picoult is so well-known but almost no one knows her, including the bookshops near my place. Small libraries do not keep any of the above author's books. I have tough time finding those. Can you believe it, I have found those authors on the roadside book bazaars, virtually for a steal? Not that I am complaining!

Update: I completely forgot to mention Warwick Deeping. He was one prolific English novelist and short story writer. His most famous novel is Sorrell and Son (1925). Deeping is a master storyteller. He seems to be forgotten as of now. He is one author who needs to be re-discovered. His works need to be widely read.