Thursday, January 24, 2008

Huh? - Booking Through Thursday

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?”

Oh dear, my mind went blank when I read this question. My favourite book - which one is that? And one that other people haven't heard of? I tend not to talk about books much to anyone these days apart from my family and people at the book groups I go to and talking to these people we usually find out about books the others haven't heard of. Reading blogs I come across so many books that I haven't heard of too, so maybe other people haven't heard of the ones I like.

Trying to think what is my favourite book I looked at my catalogue on LibraryThing. I liked The Poisonwood Bible - 6,578 other people own that book - so not unknown. How about Things Fall Apart? No, 3,805 others have that. So on and so forth.

I think I've mentioned Melvyn Bragg's book A Son of War before, but that is one book I liked that not many other people on LibraryThing own (41 others). The Man Who Listens by Taylor Caldwell is another - only one other person has that in their catalogue. How about Lambs of God by Marele Day (75 others have it) or Winter in the Hills by John Wain (10 others)? I liked these too, but I'm not sure they're my favourites.

There is poetry. No one that I've talked to has heard of Jack Mapanje or his books Of Chameleons and Gods (4 others on LT) and The Chattering Wagtails of Mikuyu Prison (1 other person). I don't read a lot of poetry, but I was really taken with these, maybe because I first heard them read by Jack when I was at a Summer School for an Open University course on English Literature. Jack was imprisoned in Malawi from September 1987 to May 1991, detained without charge or trial. Hearing him tell of his experiences was so moving.


Melody said...

Wow, I have not heard of any of the names mentioned. One thing I like about bookblogs is you get all the recommendations which you have not heard of in the first place, it's no wonder our TBR pile is getting higher. ;)

Happy BTT!

Marg said...

I have read The Poisonwood Bible, and heard of Things Fall Apart, but all the others are new to me!

Poetry is one thing that I never have really been able to read and appreciate.

Table Talk said...

The poetry you mention is definitely outside my ken. I think your idea of checking against Library Thing is great; I'm off to look at my library shelf now.

kat said...

There's a copy of The Poisonwood Bible at home, but I've yet to check it out. I think I will this weekend. Cheers!

GeraniumCat said...

Like you I checked my LibraryThing catalogue - when I have a minute I'm going to see if I can find the most popular book I own, just for fun! I read and enjoyed quite a lot of Taylor Caldwell when I was young (I worked in a church bookshop). And I know I've read something by John Wain, but I can't remember what it was - it was a long time ago. I should go back to them both.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Oh Jack Mapange! I've got both those collections of his poetry. I lived in Malawi for two years and I met Jack at the Edinburgh Book Festival.

I love the Poisonwood Bible too

gautami tripathy said...

I forgot to mention Warwick Deeping! He is one author I love and no one has heard of him. He wrote some 60 boks until 1949 when he died.

He use of the language is simply beautiful.


StuckInABook said...

I'll do this properly tonight - but more or less all the books I like qualify!

Larawannabe said...

I've never heard of all those writers and books you mentioned. I've found a new appreciation for poetry, so I definitely will try to look for Jack Mapanje on my next trip to the bookstore :)

Julia said...

I have heard of The Poisonwood Bible but just never read it. I think Oprah even pick the book for her book club. All the other authors/books you listed, I never heard of them before. Very interesting of list :)

Happy Booking Through Thursday! Hope you have good weekend ahead

Julia - Yen

Lesley said...

I had a long blank moment, too. Apart from the Kingsolver and the Achebe, I don't recognise any of the others.

T.F.P. said...

Hmm, have not heard of any of those except for Things Fall Apart -- so I guess they were great choices for this week's question!

BooksPlease said...

Thanks for all your comments and good to see some from new visitors - glad to 'meet' you.

Linda said...


I tried Poisonwood Bible but couldn't get into it, no matter how many other people read and loved it. Thanks for the poetry recommendations to check out.

My fav book that no one else has heard of (yet) is "Dancing Backward in Paradise" by Vera Jane Cook. It's a story you don't want to miss about a young woman's gourney to find herself in the 1960's. Her story begins in Tennessee and ends in NYC. The characters are very memorable.

Happy Reading in '08! I enjoy your blog a lot.