Readers Advisory: Under-the-Radar Literary Picks

As we looked back through the lists of Best Books for 2009, we caught several literary picks that slipped under our radar, but look promising for readers advisory. Here they are.

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

Chosen as a “Best Book” by Amazon and the Atlantic (long list), this masterful and quirky story collection, which swings from the grandiosity of love to the dissolution of families, is available in 192 libraries, according to World Cat, and has substantial reserves as in libraries we checked.

Davis’s literary pedigree and accomplishments get their due from Susan Salter Reynolds in the Los Angeles Times. And the New Yorker recently chose Davis’s collection for its book club.

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis
Lydia Davis
Retail Price: $30.00
Hardcover: 752 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux – (2009-09-29)
ISBN / EAN: 0374270600 / 9780374270605

The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam

Chosen for Publishers Weekly‘s Best Books long list, The Man in the Wooden Hat offers a wife’s point of view on a marriage that began in adultery and was unhappily childless before ending in resigned old age. (If this plot sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the sequel to Gardam’s Orange Prize finalist Old Filth, which was told from the husband’s point of view.) According to World Cat, 305 libraries have it. Libraries we checked show high reserves on modest orders.

The Man in a Wooden Hat was an Indiebound pick and Gardam was the subject of a Publishers Weekly profile and a thoughtful Barnes and Noble Review essay, but the top reviews are from the UK.

By the way, the publisher, Europa Editions, publishes European literary titles and had a huge success with Muriel Barbery’s Elegance of the Hedgehog.

The Man in the Wooden Hat
Jane Gardam
Retail Price: $15.00
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Europa Editions – (2009-10-27)
ISBN / EAN: 1933372893 / 9781933372891

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