Booking Through Thursday: A Shout Out to the Great Unknown


Here is this week’s Booking Through Thursday:

Who’s your favorite author that other people are NOT reading? The one you want to evangelize for, the one you would run popularity campaigns for? The author that, so far as you’re concerned, everyone should be reading–but that nobody seems to have heard of. You know, not JK Rowling, not Jane Austen, not Hemingway–everybody’s heard of them. The author that you think should be that famous and can’t understand why they’re not…

This is a tough question to answer. I haven’t read any new or emerging authors this year (Yes, Yes, I know! We’re only 21 days into this fresh new year, but still . . .). I suppose I could promote my own work , but that seems a little narcissistic, doesn’t it? Besides, I have yet to complete that novel I’ve supposedly been working on for the past five years so there is no book to brag about. I haven’t published a short story since 2004. And I haven’t published any freelance work since late 2008.So self promotion doesn’t seem to be in order.

On the other hand, I did read some new fiction early last year, emerging writers Joe O’Connell and Karen Harrington, and they are certainly worth championing. New writers need all the promotion they can get these days. And I’ve read a lot of nonfiction that I’ve enjoyed by William Bradley.

Another writer traversing the nonfiction map whose work is worth looking into is Dinty W. Moore . Start with his witty Google Maps essay , though you’ve probably read it already. (If you haven’t, do.)

Plenty of writers out there deserve more attention. One of my favorites is New Yorker writer Susan Orlean. Her features, besides being great magazine profiles, delve into the quirkier side of life, like her recent Smithsonian magazine piece on donkeys in Morocco. And The Orchid Thief is a masterwork of literary journalism. Who knew orchids could be so intriguing?

Stephen Harrigan, essayist and novelist, deserves some love, too. Harrigan’s Gates of the Alamo does what a historical novel should: it takes you to a different time and place — revolutionary Texas — and gives you a feel for that time and place, and at the same time, gives you a cast of characters caught up in that time without being stick figures presliced for TV movies.

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5 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: A Shout Out to the Great Unknown

  1. Todd, Thanks for the kind words. Those make the writing days go better!

    And, yes, the lovely Karen Harrington’s book is one to seek out!

    Joe (the check is in the mail) O’Connell

  2. Karen, It really sounded like the BEST one, and I’m jealous. I’m sorry to miss it and miss meeting Pat Conroy. I hope to be there with the next book. I’m working on it right now…

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