Lists, Reviews

Backlist fiction: Ten books to remember

This week’s top ten list: backlist fiction (as hosted by The Broke and The Bookish). These are books that run from a few to several years old. They tend to get lost in the mix of new releases and popular classics. It’s worth noting that I included only one Stephen King and one John Irving title on here, it was an exercise in restraint.

10. Black Spring by Henry Miller (1936). Sort of a continuation of the Tropics novels, check it out if you like Henry Miller (I know he’s not for everyone…).

9. Straight Man by Richard Russo (1997). It’s hilarious, Richard Russo is one of my favorite contemporary writers.

8. The Secret History by Donna Tartt (1992). A bit long, but worth reading.

7. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman (1995). The best Alice Hoffman (in my opinion only, of course).

6. Deliverance by James Dickey (1970). Spare prose and wonderfully atmospheric. Good movie too.

5. Bag of Bones by Stephen King (1996). My personal favorite of his novels, though the miniseries didn’t do it justice.

4. The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving (1981). I’m not really worried about people forgetting this one, but it’s not remembered like A Prayer for Owen Meany.

3. Islands in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway (1970). Published posthumously, it’s one of my favorite Hemingway novels. It’s divided into three parts, but was originally divided into four. The fourth one was The Old Man and the Sea and, of course, was published separately.

2. Trainspotting by Irvine Walsh (1994). It’s good and so is the movie.

1. Living; Loving; Party Going by Henry Green (released as a set of three novels in 1993). These can be a bit confusing to read, but are worth it. Especially if you like Downton Abbey…

Most overused adjective in this post? Favorite. There are three and that’s after I removed three others. It’s backlist fiction, of course I’m going to recommend my favorites (that’s four).

Photo: Pinterest user Dawn Lerner

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