This coming Monday the Strange & Ordinary Library will be opening its digital doors.
Here’s a brief introduction to what you can expect from these bookish posts.
If you are a bibliophile in any way, shape or form, you’ll probably already know about most of the big new publishing releases, those novels and short story collections that are currently climbing the best sellers lists and garnering all the literary plaudits and prizes. Yet there is a whole world of independently published fiction that is by and large flying under general readers’ radars (mine too until very recently). And it’s a great shame, because from the little I have read so far, I have already discovered works I believe to be superior to some of the more acclaimed major releases. Through this little library I will be recommending those more obscure reads I come across that I believe deserve more recognition.
What you will find in the Strange & Ordinary Library:
- Independently published fiction – by this I mean novels (there may also be some short story collections featured) that are published through small indie presses i.e. nothing self-published. The works will not necessarily be new releases. Some of the publishers I am eager to explore further are Salt, Freight Books, Seren, One World.
- Translated works – books which, to my limited knowledge at least, are not widely known among English language readers. Therefore you won’t find any Murakamis or García Márquezs here. While I will be seeking out translated works published through indie presses, I will also recommend books released by the bigger publishers should I feel the works and respective authors aren’t already literary behemoths.
- Each recommendation will come in the form of a short review including reasons you might or mightn’t want to pick these books up. I will only recommend books I genuinely enjoyed reading and which I have given at least a 4 out of 5 rating. For me, four stars generally means I’d be happy to re-read said work and that both the writing and overall narrative is strong. Admittedly, I tend to give preference to writing over story, in that I would prefer to read an OK story told through gorgeous prose rather than a marvelous tale where the actual writing feels uninspired. Below is a list of some of my all-time favourite novels to give you an indication of my reading tastes so you can better judge whether my recommendations will actually mean much to you.
I hope you’ll enjoy these recommended reads.