Favourite Not So Popular Books

A long time passed since the day I started blogging and the moment when I created my Goodreads account at the beginning of this year. I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to finally decide to set it up, though, because I’ve been finding it quite useful. Besides being a good tool to keep track of the books that I own but haven’t read yet (previously I only used a spreadsheet to list the books that I had read), it also made me realise that some of the books I really liked haven’t been read by that many people.

Some of the books that I really cherish have less than two thousand ratings on Goodreads. So, in comparison with other books, they are not particularly popular. Nevertheless, they are still really worth reading. These are the five that I wish more people would read:

 

The Dumb House by John Burnside

The Dumb House by John Burnside deals with quite uncomfortable topics, but that didn’t prevent me from being in awe of the way sentences were crafted. From the outset we know that Luke has performed a cruel experiment on his own children. He was fascinated by the tale of the Dumb House, so he wanted to know whether language was learnt or innate. His obsession not only with that story but also with the matter of life and death and the existence of a soul takes him down a dark path. Continue reading

‘Diving Belles’ by Lucy Wood

My rating: 4 stars

The short stories included in the collection Diving Belles by Lucy Wood are characterised both by an interesting mix of reality with magical or mystical elements, and an insightful presence of time, achieved by a thoughtful distinction between past and present actions and feelings. The passing of time is particularly perceptible on the relationships between family members and loved ones.

The opening story, ‘Diving Belles’, is a fantastic and touching example of how the feelings of the past mingle with those of the present. Iris, the main character, goes under the sea in a diving belle to see her husband, who has been away for many years. Although at first I wasn’t really understanding what was happening, all becomes clear throughout the story. This is a really atmospheric tale, being quite easy to picture the scenes. Every word seems to have been carefully chosen.

Another of my favourite stories in this collection is ‘Of Monsters and Little People’. We are told the story of a woman who is visiting her mother. But as the narrator uses the pronoun ‘you’ throughout the story, it feels like the reader is the main character. The fact that the feelings conveyed are quite relatable also helps to attain that sensation. Despite the presence of magical elements, the story is strangely believable, which is also the case throughout the majority of this collection. Continue reading