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Obscure Books You HAVE to Tell Us About

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message 1: by bup (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:03PM) (new)

bup I just added a couple of books by one of my favorite authors - a guy named Bobby Jack Nelson - whose books generally rank about two zillionth in the Amazon sales ranks.

My favorite book by him is a novel that came out in 1986 called The Pull. It's a story of a kid growing up in the woods with his lumberjack dad, and this fair where they enter their mules into the pull.

I'm passionate about Nelson, and particularly this book. It's a coming-of-age story. The last few chapters just left me feeling like my chest had been hollowed out - I was so emotionally invested and it paid off so strongly.

What books have you read, that nobody's heard of, that you want to turn people on to?

message 2: by Dani (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:05PM) (new)

Dani (kakwik) | 48 comments "Babi Yar" by Anatoli Kuznetsov. The author was a 12-year old boy growing up in Kiev when the Nazis invaded and the Babi Yar massacre took place. I was pretty young when I found this book on my parents' shelf and it really had an impression on me.

My version was printed in three different fonts. A regular font for the main bulk of the story that was originally published in the USSR, a bold font to show what the censors cut from the original printing, then another font for additions later made by the author who had by then defected to Britain.

(Added "The Pull" to my Amazon wishlist. Thanks for the tip.)

message 3: by bup (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:05PM) (new)

bup Oh - that reminds me! I just added another book - "Boy on the Rooftop" ( ). I don't know how to do links here.

It's a first-hand account from a kid (he was 15 at the time) who fought in the Hungarian uprising in 1956. Hungary attempted to escape Soviet rule (largely forgotten now, because of the 1968 Czech uprising and the Polish Solidarnosc) in the summer of 1956 - they declared neutrality, appealed to the UN for help, and none came.

For about two weeks, part of the Hungarian army, and volunteers (including this 15 year old), fought against Soviet troops in Budapest.

It's gripping, direct, and tantalizing (what happened to this kid? Is he still alive? Did he live to see the downfall of the eastern bloc and the freedom of Hungary?).

And yes, I want to read "Babi Yar" now - thanks.

message 4: by Pam (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:12PM) (new)

Pam | 87 comments I don't know how obscure it is, since Jane Fonda made a TV movie from it, but I'm always pushing The Dollmaker by Harriett Arnow.

I think the dialect puts people off. Who else drops the "e" from "the"? What does that sound like? "Duh" "Teh"? It's odd, but easy to get used to because the book is so good.

Don Robertson is another. I discovered him when Stephen King published one of his books, The Ideal Genuine Man, a story of growing old not so gracefully. From there, go read Paradise Falls and his Civil War novels, which share some characters.

Some other favorites are Ron Hansen, Larry Watson, and Charles Dickinson. I'll read anything they write.

message 5: by bup (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:23PM) (new)

bup Well, kakwik, I picked up "Babi Yar" at the library and started it today (I had to finish another book first). Thanks for the recommendation!

message 6: by Dani (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:25PM) (new)

Dani (kakwik) | 48 comments Yay! Let us know how it goes. :)

message 7: by bup (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:44PM) (new)

bup I'm done. Thanks for the recommendation - I was unaware how early in the war extermination of Jews was just par for the course.

Everyone in the world should at least read that chapter about that woman that was going to be executed and escaped. For that matter, the whole book is important, about a part of the war we in the US never hear about.

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