A couple weeks ago, I was reading (as one does) and I came up with a great idea for the blog hop. I decided to ask:
What’s your favourite book that “no one” has heard of? That’s a tongue in cheek way of asking you to name your favourite book that isn’t a classic or by an author that consistently sits on the best seller lists. It can be fiction or non-fiction.
I blithely added the topic to the list, and promptly forgot it. So when it came up in rotation, I had a bit of a panic attack. Luckily enough, I remembered the book I wanted to mention! Whew!
If you joined me from, A.S. Fenichel, welcome (BTW, Andrea has several books on sale if you are looking for new reading material during your self-isolating).
I know of dozens of romance writers whose books haven’t hit any bestseller lists but who write engaging, wonderful stories. But I’d hate to miss anyone, so I’m going to mention two non-romance books to avoid making a faux pas.
The book I was reading when I came up with the topic was SOCIAL CRIMES by Jane Stanton Hitchcock.
When her husband dies, New York socialite Jo Slater is shocked to learn that he left his sizable estate to a mysterious French countess. Obsessed with recovering her place as queen of New York, Jo concocts an audacious scheme of revenge. Can she pull it off?
When it was first released it hit the bestseller lists, but I was unfamiliar with Hitchcock’s work. It’s hard to pin down genre-wise—it has a women’s fiction vibe, but is wrapped around in a mysterious plot. All in all, I enjoyed it enough to mention here, though I wouldn’t say it is my favourite in this category.
That distinction goes to WORD NERD by Susin Nielsen.
Twelve-year-old Ambrose is a glass-half-full kind of guy. A self-described “friendless nerd,” he moves from place to place every couple of years with his overprotective mother, Irene. When some bullies at his new school almost kill him by slipping a peanut into his sandwich — even though they know he has a deathly allergy — Ambrose is philosophical. Irene, however, is not and decides that Ambrose will be home-schooled.
Alone in the evenings when Irene goes to work, Ambrose pesters Cosmo, the twenty-five-year-old son of the Greek landlords who live upstairs. Cosmo has just been released from jail for breaking and entering to support a drug habit. Quite by accident, Ambrose discovers that they share a love of Scrabble and coerces Cosmo into taking him to the West Side Scrabble Club, where Cosmo falls for Amanda, the club director. Posing as Ambrose’s Big Brother to impress her, Cosmo is motivated to take Ambrose to the weekly meetings and to give him lessons in self-defense. Cosmo, Amanda, and Ambrose soon form an unlikely alliance and, for the first time in his life, Ambrose blossoms. The characters at the Scrabble Club come to embrace Ambrose for who he is and for their shared love of words. There’s only one problem: Irene has no idea what Ambrose is up to.
I met Susin at the Surrey International Writers Conference a few years ago. This in no way influences how much I enjoyed this book. It is juvenile fiction at its best—clever and witty and uncondescending. I strongly encourage you to check it out.
Now it’s time to move on to Jenna Da Sie and see what her favourite “unknown” book is!