10 incredible books that you missed the first time.

emily-hon-unsplash

Just before the new year, I finished Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. It was incredible. I couldn’t put it down. I read the hardcover, and at 700+ pages, it was hefty — but that didn’t keep me from lugging it everywhere, because (did I say this already?) I couldn’t put it down! It might be my favourite book of 2018 (ok, tied with Priestdaddy). I copied passages from the final pages into my notebook because I was so moved by them.

The Goldfinch came out a while ago. Books aren’t like fashion and Pantone colour trends. Fiction is life! There’s no expiration date on a novel.

But bookstores have to hustle for new releases, because that’s how the business of selling books is set up.

While novels can take years to write (thank you Donna Tartt), a book is given about four months to make a profit for the publisher. During that time (if the publisher has enough money to pay for promotion) the book might be displayed on promo tables in bookstores like Indigo and Barnes & Noble.

After that window, it’s over: the sales and marketing department usually moves on to the next new book in the schedule.

A lot of people don’t know about this window, or that bookstores can send unsold books back if they haven’t sold quickly enough, not unlike a consignment shop.

Do an author a rare kindness and request an older release from your local bookseller. You’ll make an impression at the store, you’ll feel inspired when you discover the one that got away, and you’ll be subverting the dominant marketing paradigm all at once.

Win, win, win.


Ten incredible books you missed the first time

Girl Nobody, Tomek Trzyna

The Ocean At the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman

The Emperor’s Children, Claire Messud

Monkey Beach, Eden Robinson

Bobcat and Other Stories, Rebecca Lee

Black Swan Green, David Mitchell

How Should A Person Be?, Sheila Heti

My Year of Meats, Ruth Ozeki

Woman Hollering Creek, Sandra Cisneros

The Golden Mean, Annabel Lyon


What are your favourite older releases? What did I miss the first time around? Please share your recommendations in the comments below.

xo,


Photo credit: Emily Hon on Unsplash.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something using one of these links, I may earn a commission. I only recommend books or products I trust.


Set intentions for your writing in the new year.
How to fight resistance without fighting.

15 comments

Galore by Michael Crummey is one of my all time favourite books and Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese is an exquisite read.
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
The Goldfinch was amazing, but I am in love with The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Also, Prayer for Owen Meaney and my fav by John Irving, Until I Find You. We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates. Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. The Skin of a Lion by Ondaatje, Solomon Gurskey Was Here by Mordecai Richler, Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay, And the Ass Saw the Angel by Nick Cave. I love to hear from readers what they love! thank you xo
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Pauline Clark

Mine goes way back..."We Have Always Lived in The Castle" by Shirley Jackson. Such a good read...and it's from 1962! I had no clue till I looked up the author after reading the book.
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Sarah Selecky

Thanks Julie! Oh, yeah: Kingsolver's previous fiction = <3
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Sarah Selecky

Thank you, Jim! I've never heard of Lucia Berlin, and I'm excited to find out more about her stories.
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Sarah Selecky

Thank you, Safiya! Great to remember The Night Circus, and it's Nanowrimo beginning! These are great recommendations (a friend of mine read the Verghese a few years back, and I remember her telling me about it.)
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Lucia Berlin - A Manual For Cleaning Women Her selected stories in this volume rival those of Raymond Carver.
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
I received some fabulous books for Christmas, no new releases though. I had always wanted to read Wilfred Thesiger's Arabian Sands and when I found it under the Christmas tree I couldn't speak for joy...a gift from my son. This enthralling non-fiction is even more captivating for me for I have a thing for the desert and the book seems to talk to me. Richard Waghamese's Medicine Man was incredible, and I loved The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irwing was quite astonishing, while Pearl S. Buck's Come my Beloved was simply stunning. And now I am going to dive into Chauser's Canterbury Tales which I had always meant to read but never had a chance and now I do.
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Safiya Robinson

Going to check out a few of the books on this list. One I really enjoyed - Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. And another one - The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - written over a few Nanowrimo's!
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
This for this fun topic! These were some of my favorites from 2018... Station Eleven by Hillary St. John Mandel For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
rea tarvydas

happy new year! i recently uncovered Lisa Moore's early short fiction and cannot believe i missed it. OPEN is a remarkable collection--vibrant and alive. regards, rea
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Sarah Selecky

Hi Rea! OPEN is one of my favourite story collections. Lisa Moore is a visual artist, and you can really see it in the way she writes -- the scenes are so vivid and visceral. Love that you're discovering it now!
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Sarah Selecky

Julie, two of these are my favourites too -- Annabel is wonderful, and oh! Americanah is a MUST READ! I haven't read The Frozen Thames yet; thank you for reminding me about this one! The other two are completely new to me. Can't wait to check them out.
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Julie Stewart

The Poisonwood Bible and Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Julie Corey

Amphibian by Carla Gunn The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, Maggie O'Farrell The Frozen Thames, Helen Humpreys Americanah, Ngozi Chimamanda Adichie Annabel, Kathleen Winter
Read more
Read less
  Cancel

Leave a comment