Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated February 5, 2014 - 6:25am

What books are you surprised more people haven't read?  I'll get started with Joe Haldman's Forever War.  It seems like such a strong honest story of war, good and bad and indifferent, that it seems like it would have a bigger following.

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore February 5, 2014 - 7:06am

While the truest answer is my own (I mean, seriously, come on, they're funny and insightful and complex, and I wish I didn't have to resort to braggadocio to convince you), in the wider world I'll say Will Christopher Baer. He's fairly popular around these parts—a writer's writer—but he should be huge, with his disturbing neo-noir unreliable-narrator swagger.

Steve Erickson's the next one who comes to mind, with his dreamlike plotting and surreal cityscapes. That sounds like the kind of thing I'd hate, but he's a master, and underread.

I thought William Gay would be bigger than he was, especially given the rise in popularity of southern gothic. Though they did adapt one of his books, so maybe he was more widely known than I thought.

JEFFREY GRANT BARR's picture
JEFFREY GRANT BARR from Central OR is reading Nothing but fucking Shakespeare, for the rest of my life February 5, 2014 - 2:57pm

I would say Paul Quarrington, one of my top 5 authors ever. I assume that in Canada he is more well known, but even people there seem to have never heard of him. Maybe in like, Toronto he might be known by more than a handful of people.

Dmcleod's picture
Dmcleod from Florida is reading Molloy February 5, 2014 - 5:39pm

I agree wholeheartedly with Gordon. In fact, my roommate works at a used bookstore and I got him to read the first two Phineas novels, and now he is ordering them for the store.

I would add: Nathaniel West's Miss Lonelyhearts.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like February 5, 2014 - 6:36pm

Miss Lonelyhearts was pretty good.

But, (not to throw a wrench) I'm not surprised that any particular book isn't read more. There are a ton of books out there. It's more surprising when a book becomes so widely read they do a news story on it. A book going mostly unnoticed seems to be the norm, even for good ones.

Dmcleod's picture
Dmcleod from Florida is reading Molloy February 5, 2014 - 9:16pm

It's only surprising when said book hasn't been on Oprah, or The Guardian, or NPR, or what have you... These certain books tend to be acknowledged only after the author has died, or by some sort of black magic. A cult following.

Churtward's picture
Churtward from Gainesville, VA is reading Play It As It Lays February 5, 2014 - 10:44pm

The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel

KinnicSwan's picture
KinnicSwan from River Falls, WI is reading Blues For Mister Charlie by James Baldwin June 25, 2014 - 4:56am

I am always blown away when people not only haven't read "Giovanni's Room", but have no clue who James Baldwin is. In a time when gay rights are making important strides and are even somewhat fashionable, this should be a go-to book. It's written beautifully and has a gorgeous pace and feel to it.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault June 25, 2014 - 6:52am

Many, many books. From Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk (which discernibly changed my life) to The Informers by Bret Easton Ellis (which I thought was as good as Less Than Zero honestly) to a couple of Tom Spanbauer books (Faraway Places is a gem of a novella, and Now is the Hour left me stunned).

Most recent one though is Dermaphoria by Craig Clevenger, which I just finished the other day and am already rereading. Whenever a book pulls itself off so masterfully, it leaves me feeling kind of drunk or something. Dermaphoria left me wanting to explode! I'm surprised it didn't make more waves outside of like this community. I'd never even heard of it until LitReactor.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault June 25, 2014 - 6:53am

@Churtward
Oh man, kudos for naming Hempel! I love her collected short stories book!

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore June 25, 2014 - 7:14am

Hempel's collection is my desert-island choice. Well, honestly, that would be my Kindle with a solar charger (and containing several survival titles), but you know what I mean.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault June 25, 2014 - 8:16am

Every coupla months I re-check it out at the library. What I love most about it is that it's this massive book of short short stories, so everytime I have it, flip it open while sitting on the can or bus or whatever, BOOM there's a new gem by Hempel. Her work has more layers than I can even process, in such small spaces.