In her May interview on Seattle’s NPR station, WKUO, Nancy Pearl says she’s been reading two “wonderful novels” [listen here] that she will be talking about on an upcoming interview on the NPR’s national Morning Edition show.

The first, The Coffins of Little Hope, by Timothy Schaffert, (Unbridled, 4/19), also receives a strong endorsement from Ron Charles this week in the Washington Post, Janet Maslin last month in the NYT and is awarded four of a possible four stars in the 5/16 issue of  People magazine, in a review describing it as,

Memorably narrated by octogenarian obit writer Essie Myles, this is a witty, sometimes profound story about media, mortality and rash acts undertaken in the name of love.

Author Timothy Schaffert appeared in early May at the Omaha Public Library. In a promo on the local morning tv show, he offers an intriguing description of the plot (don’t worry; the intro from the show’s rather excitable hosts, who clearly have not read the book, is mercifully brief).

It is published by indie press Unbridled Books. Founded in 2003, the press has built a strong reputation in just a few years for discovering literary fiction (one of their major breakouts is The Singer’s Gun by Emily St. John Mandel, a finalist for the Indie Booksellers Choice award).

The other favorite Nancy mentions is Emily Alone by Stuart O’Nan (Viking/Penguin, March 17). She says both in it and The Coffins of Little Hope the authors allow you to get to know a character in depth, both the good and the bad, similar to what Evan Connell achieved with Mrs. Bridge and Elizabeth Strout with Olive Kitteridge.

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