book recommendations

Best Books of the Year: My personal Top 20

stefan mesch best books 2014

(After a popular list last year [Link] and earlier in 2012 [Link] and 2011 [Link]…)

…here are the 20 very best books I’ve read in 2014:


20: HEIDE KOEHNE, “Der Buchladen”, German novel, 2011.
Der Buchladen

19: BRIAN WOOD, “The Massive”, Books 1 to 5, Graphic Novels, 2013 and 2014.
The Massive, Vol. 1: Black Pacific The Massive, Vol. 2: Subcontinental The Massive, Vol. 3: Longship The Massive, Vol. 4: Sahara The Massive, Vol 5: Ragnarok (The Massive #25-30)

18: TIM WISE, “White like me. Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son”, Nonfiction / Memoir, 2004.
White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son

17: HARUKI MURAKAMI, “Von Männern, die keine Frauen haben”, Japanese Short Stories, 2014. (I liked his most recent novel, too.)
Von Männern, die keine Frauen haben

16: STEWART O’NAN, “Der Zirkusbrand”, Nonfiction, 2000.
Der Zirkusbrand

15: CHRISTIANE FROHMANN, “Tausend Tode Schreiben”, German anthology, 2014: 135+ personal texts about dying and loss […more here].
Tausend Tode schreiben

14: GREG RUCKA, “Lazarus”, Books 1 and 2. Graphic Novels, 2014.
Lazarus, Vol. 1: Family Lazarus, Vol. 2: Lift

13: ED BRUBAKER, “Velvet”, Book 1. Graphic Novel, 2014.
Velvet, Vol. 1: Before the Living End

12: MARTIN HATZIUS, “Alles fragen, nichts fürchten”, book-length interview with my favorite German living writer, Dietmar Dath, 2011.
Dietmar Dath: Alles fragen, nichts fürchten

11: SIGRID NUNEZ, “A Feather on the Breath of God”, Memoir, 1995.
A Feather on the Breath of God: A Novel

10: ARTHUR MILLER, “Focus”, Novel, 1945.

09: MEIKE WINNEMUTH, “Das große Los”, German Travelogue, 2012.
Das große Los

08: JAN BAUER, “Der salzige Fluss”. German Graphic Novel Travelogue, 2014.
Der salzige Fluss

07: NORA WICKE, “Vierstromland”, German novel, 2014.

06: G. WILLOW WILSON, “Ms. Marvel”, Book 1. Graphic Novel, 2014.
Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal

05: TSUGUMI OHBA, “Bakuman”, Books 2 to 20. Manga series, 2009 to 2012.
Bakuman, Volume 2: Chocolate and Akamaru (Bakuman, #2) Bakuman, Volume 3: Debüt und Ungeduld Bakuman, Volume 4: Phone Call and the Night Before (Bakuman, #4) Bakuman, Volume 5: Yearbook and Photobook Bakuman, Volume 6: Recklessness and Guts

04: ROBERTO AGUIRRE-SACASA, “Afterlife with Archie”, Book 1. Graphic Novel, 2014.
Afterlife with Archie Book 1: Escape from Riverdale

03: VALERIAN TORNIUS, “Zwischen Hell und Dunkel”, German novel, 1932.
Zwischen Hell und Dunkel. Ein Rembrandt-Roman

02: LIANE DIRKS, “Vier Arten meinen Vater zu beerdingen”, German novel, 2002.
Vier Arten meinen Vater zu beerdigen

01: ÁGOTA KRISTÓF, “The Notebook”, “The Proof”, “The Third Lie”, Hungarian Trilogy, 1986 to 1991.
The Notebook, The Proof, The Third Lie: Three Novels


For a complete list of books I’ve read in 2014, please go here [Link].


In comics, I’ve also enjoyed book 3 and 4 of Brian K. Vaughan’s “Saga” space opera [Link], Year 1 and (to a lesser degree) Year 2 of Tim Taylor’s “Injustice: Gods among us” [Link], Bryan Q. Miller’s still solid “Smallville” [Link], the Marvel books “She-Hulk” [Charles Soule, Link] and “Hawkeye” [Matt Fraction, Link].

I enjoyed the first six “New 52” DC comic books featuring Wonder Woman [Link] and started reading lesser-known series like “Promethea” [Link], “Nailbiter” [Link], “Rat Queens” [Link], “Mind MGMT” [Link] and “The Private Eye” [Link]. I’ve also enjoyed Daniel Clowes’ “David Boring” [Link].

Mark Millar’s “Jupiter’s Legacy” had a great start – but I will have to wait until 2015. [Link]

Here’s a big collage of the graphic novels I’ve discovered in 2014:

graphic novels stefan mesch 2015
Have a great 2015! More to come!


Related Posts:


and, earlier:


Best Graphic Novels 2014

underdog literature october 2014

Here are 20 monthly comic book series that caught my interest lately.

Off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention…

all published and / or collected in trade paperback collections in 2014.



01: RICK REMENDER (writer): “Deadly Class”

ongoing high school thriller / mystery series, Image Comics

Deadly Class, Vol. 1: Reagan Youth

02: MARK MILLAR (writer): “Jupiter’s Legacy”

10-issue ongoing mini-series about the children of super-heroes, Image Comics

Jupiter's Legacy Volume 1

03: CLAUDIO SANCHEZ (writer): “Translucid”

philosophical and experimental super-hero tale, Evil Ink Comics


04: KEL SYMONS (writer), “The Mercenary Sea”

adventure and espionage, set in 1938, Image Comics

The Mercenary Sea Volume 1

05: KELLY SUE DeCONNICK, “Pretty Deadly”

ongoing horror / fantasy western, Image Comics

Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The Shrike

06: LARIME TAYLOR (writer), “A Voice in the Dark”

ongoing horror / serial killer drama, Image Comics

A Voice in the Dark, Volume 1

07: ALES KOT (writer), “Zero”

ongoing spy thriller, Image Comics

Zero, Vol. 1 An Emergency

08: KYLE HIGGINS (writer), “C.O.W.L.”

ongoing period drama about Chicago’s super-hero labor union, Image Comics

C.O.W.L. Volume 1: Principles of Power

09: JOSHUA WILLIAMSON (writer), “Nailbiter”

ongoing horror / serial killer small town drama, Image Comics

Nailbiter Volume 1: There Will Be Blood

10: J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI (writer), “Ten Grant”

ongoing supernatural demon-hunter urban fantasy drama, Image Comics

Ten Grand Volume 1

11: JIM ZUB (writer), “Disney Kingdoms: Figment”

limited all ages fantasy mini-series about theme park Disney characters, Marvel Comics

Disney Kingdoms: Figment #1

12: ED BRUBAKER (writer), “The Fade Out”

ongoing noir crime drama set in Hollywood in 1948, Image Comics

The Fade Out #1

13: CHRIS MISKIEWICZ, “Thomas Alsop”

ongoing superatural urban fantasy drama – might be whimsical and melancholic. BOOM! Studios

Thomas Alsop #1

14: SIMON SPURRIER (writer), “Six Gun Gorilla”

ongoing sci-fi western action comedy (?), BOOM! Studios

Six-Gun Gorilla

15: CHARLES SOULE (writer), “Letter 44”

ongoing science fiction thriller about astronauts making first contact, Oni Press

Letter 44 Volume 1: Escape Velocity

16: RICK REMENDER, “Black Science”

ongoing crazy sci-fi adventure, Image Comics

Black Science, Vol.1: How to Fall Forever

17: MARK MILLAR (writer), “Starlight”

ongoing (?) golden-age style space opera, Image Comics

Starlight #1

18: GREG RUCKA (writer), “Veil”

Urban Fantasy / horror ongoing, Dark Horse Comics


19: KIERON GILLEN (writer), “The Wicked + The Divine”

ongoing supernatural drama about deities, reborn as hipsters, Image Comics

The Wicked + the Divine Volume 1

20: JOE KEATINGE, “Shutter”

ongoing Young Adult science fiction adventure, Image Comics

Shutter, Vol. 1: Wanderlost


I’m shocked that so many Image Comics titles made the cut: Image has launched a lot of new series, and reviews / reception has been great for most.

I’m also curious about Brian Michael Bendis’ mob drama “The United States of Murder” and Jason Aaron’s “Southern Bastards”.


5 ongoing older (but still recent) series that I want to read soon:

Revival, Vol. 1: You're Among Friends Bedlam, Vol. 1 The Black Beetle in No Way Out Nowhere Men, Vol. 1: Fates Worse Than Death Storm Dogs Vol. 1 TP

…and all recent ongoing series that I read and enjoy:

Velvet, Vol. 1: Before the Living End Lazarus, Vol. 1: Family High Crimes The Massive, Vol. 1: Black Pacific Saga #1

Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale MIND MGMT, Vol. 1: The Manager Alex + Ada, Volume 1 Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal The Private Eye, Volume One

She-Hulk, Vol. 1: Law and Disorder Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon Injustice: Gods Among Us, Vol. 1 Smallville Season 11, Volume 1: Guardian Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: Blood

I’m also curious about Geoff John’s “Superman”, Cameron Stewart’s “Batgirl” and Becky Cloonan’s “Gotham Academy”.


related Posts:


Best Books published by NYRB: New York Review of Books

underdog literature september 2014


Here are 20 books that had my interest for a while:

all (re-)published by the New York Review of Books (Link).

you can find a reader-ranked list of 360+ NYRB Classic books here (Link).

see also:

for a list of cool upcoming titles… click here [Link]


01: BARBARA COMYNS, “The Vet’s Daughter”, 133 pages, 1959.

The Vet's Daughter

02: DOROTHY B. HUGHES, “The expendable Man”, 264 pages, 1963.

The Expendable Man

03: NATSUME SOSEKI, “The Gate”, 256 pages, 1910. [Japan]

The Gate

04: G.B. EDWARDS, “The Book of Ebenezer Le Page”, 394 pages, 1981.

The Book of Ebenezer Le Page

05: CAROLINE BLACKWOOD, “Corrigan”, 319 pages, 1984.


06: CURZIO MALAPRTE, “The Skin”, 343 pages, 1949.

The Skin

07: REBECCA WEST, “The Fountain overflows”, 408 pages, 1956.

The Fountain Overflows

08: BOLESLAW PRUS, “The Doll”, 704 pages, 1890. [Poland]

The Doll

09: GEOFFREY HOUSEHOLD, “Rogue Male”, 200 pages, 1939.

Rogue Male

10: PATRICK HAMILTON, “The Slaves of Solitude”, 256 pages, 1947.

The Slaves of Solitude

11: JOYCE CARY, “Herself Suprised”, 300 pages, 1941.

Herself Surprised

12: HELEN KELLER, “The World I live in”, 192 pages, 1908.

The World I Live In

13: PENELOPE MORTIMER, “The Pumpkin Eater”, 224 pages, 1962.

The Pumpkin Eater

14: DWIGHT MACDONALD, “Masscult and Midcult: Essays against the American Grain”, 289 pages, 2011. [Cultural Studies]

Masscult and Midcult: Essays Against the American Grain

15: J.R. ACKERLEY, “My Father and myself”, 283 pages, 1968.

My Father and Myself

16: TAYEB SALIH, “Season of Migreation to the North”, 139 pages, 1966. [Sudan]

Season of Migration to the North

17: ANDREI PLATONOV, “The Foundation Pit”, 208 pages, 1969.

The Foundation Pit

18: WILLIAM McPHERSON, “Testing the Current”, 352 pages, 1984.

Testing the Current

19: VICTOR SERGE, “Memoirs of a Revolutionary”, 576 pages, 1951. [Russia]

Memoirs of a Revolutionary

20: ANTAL SZERB, “Journey by Moonlight”, 320 pages, 1937. [Hungary]

Journey by Moonlight


Bonus: 3 NYRB books that I’ve read… and that were really good:

5 of 5 stars: TOVE JANSSON, “The Summer Book”, 184 pages, 1972. [Finland]

The Summer Book

4 of 5 stars: ROBERT WALSER, “Jakob von Gunten”, 176 pages, 1908. [Austria]

Jakob von Gunten

4 of 5 stars: MARIA DERMOUT, “The Ten Thousand Things”, 208 pages, 1955. [Indonesia]

The Ten Thousand Things



related Posts:


Best Books of the 1980s

underdog literature 2014 08 august.

Here are 20 books that caught my interest lately.

Off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention…

all published in the 1980s.

see also:

for a list of cool upcoming titles… click here [Link]


01: BARRY HANNAH, “Ray”, 128 pages, 1980.


02: RICARDO PIGLIA, “Artificial Respiration”, 240 pages, 1980. [Argentina]

Artificial Respiration

03: ALAN PATON, “Ah, but your Land is beautiful”, 292 pages, 1981. [South Africa]

Ah But Your Land Is Beautiful (Vintage Classics)

04: AARTO PAASILINNA, “The Howling Miller”, 284 pages, 1981. [Finland]

The Howling Miller

05: BOHUMIL HRABAL, “Harlequin’s Millions”, 312 pages, 1981. [Czech Republic]

Harlequin's Millions: A Novel

06: TOBY OLSON, “Seaview”, 250 pages, 1982.


07: HELEN HOOVEN SANTMYER, “And the Ladies of the Club”, 1176 pages, 1982.

...And Ladies of the Club

08: KERU MIYAMOTO, “Kinshu: Autumn Brocade”, 208 pages, 1982. [Japan]

Kinshu: Autumn Brocade

09: BILLY LEE BRAMMER, “The Gay Place”, 560 pages, 1983.

The Gay Place

10: BARRY HUGHART, “Bridge of Birds”, 271 pages, 1984. [Fantasy]

Bridge of Birds: A Novel of an Ancient China That Never Was

11: FERROL SAMS, “The Whisper of the River”, 544 pages, 1984.

The Whisper of the River

12: PRAMOEDYA ANANTA TOER, “Footsteps”, 480 pages, 1985. [Indonesia]


13: JUAN JOSÉ SAER, “The Sixty-Five Years of Washington”, 220 pages, 1985. [Argentina]

The Sixty-Five Years of Washington

14: JOAN SLONCZEWSKI, “A Door into Ocean”, 403 pages, 1986. [Sci-Fi]

A Door Into Ocean

15: JON HASSLER, “Grand Opening”, 336 pages, 1987.

Grand Opening

16: LANFORD WILSON, “Burn This”, 98 pages, 1987. [Drama / Stage]

Burn This

17: PENELOPE LIVELY, “Moon Tiger”, 224 pages, 1987.

Moon Tiger

18: JACKIE KAY, “Trumpet”, 278 pages, 1988.


19: GIACONDA BELLI, “The inhabited Woman”, 374 pages, 1988. [Nicaragua]

Bewohnte Frau

20: WALTER SATTERTHWAIT, “Miss Lizzie”, 332 pages, 1989.

Miss Lizzie



related Posts:


Best Summer Books / Beach Reads / Young Adult Novels 2014: Recommendations

Underdog Literature May 2014

Here are 17 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention…

Young Adult. dystopias. middle grade fiction. beach reads.


01: PAUL ACAMPORA, “I Kill The Mockingbird”, 176 pages, May 2014. [Middle Grade]

I Kill the Mockingbird

02: E. LOCKHART, “We were Liars”, 240 pages, May 2014.

We Were Liars

03: MARIKO TAMAKI, “This one Summer”, 320 pages, May 2014. [YA Graphic Novel]

This One Summer

04: JASON REYNOLDS, “When I was the Greatest”, 240 pages, January 2014.

When I Was the Greatest

05: N.D. Wilson, “Boys of Blur”, 208 pages, January 2014. [Middle Grade Fantasy]

Boys of Blur

06: NON PRATT, “Trouble”, 384 pages, February 2014.


07: KATE RACCULIA, “Bellweather Rhapsody”, 340 pages, January 2014. [YA Mystery]

Bellweather Rhapsody

08: LAURA MARX FITZGERALD, “Under the Egg”, 247 pages, March 2014. [Middle Grade]

Under the Egg

09: MELISSA KANTOR, “Maybe One Day”, 384 pages, February 2014.

Maybe One Day

10: EMERY LORD, “Open Road Summer”, 342 pages, April 2014.

Open Road Summer

11: ANNIE CARDI, “The Chance you won’t return”, 352 pages, April 2014.

The Chance You Won't Return

12: ROBERT DINSDALE, “Gingerbread”, 421 pages, February 2014.


13: SARAH BETH DURST, “The Lost”, 352 pages, May 2014. [Dystopian YA, Book 1 of 3]

The Lost (The Lost, #1)

14: MATT HAIG, “Echo Boy”, 400 pages, February 2014. [Dystopian YA]

Echo Boy

15: MIKE CAREY, “The Girl with all the Gifts”, 416 pages, January 2014. [Dystopian YA]

The Girl with All the Gifts

16: CHARLES SWIFT, “The Newman Resident”, 337 pages, 2014. [Dystopian YA]

The Newman Resident

17: CLAIRE NORTH (Catherine Webb), “The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August”, 416 pages, January 2014.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August


More? Here are three new YA books that feature disabled main characters:

01: KIMBERLY ELKINS, “What is visible”, 320 pages, June 2014.

What Is Visible: A Novel

02: GAIL GILES, “Girls Like Us”, 224 pages, May 2014.

Girls Like Us

03: CAMMIE McGOVERN, “Say what you will”, 352 pages, March 2014.

Say What You Will


related Posts:


Best Nonfiction Books 2014: New Essays, Memoirs, Recommendations

underdog literature best nonfiction books 2014.

Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention…

memoirs. non-fiction. essays.


01: JOHN W. EWANS, “Young Widower”, 200 pages, January 2014. [Memoir]

Young Widower: A Memoir

02: MIMI POND, “Over Easy”, 272 pages, April 2014. [Graphic Novel “Semi-Memoir”]

Over Easy

03: DAVID GIFFELS, “The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches from the Rust Belt”, 272 pages, March 2014. [Essays / Journalism]

The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches from the Rust Belt

04: IVAN E. COYOTE & RAE SPOON, “Gender Failure”, 256 pages, April 2014. [personal Essays]

Gender Failure

05: CAROLINE CLARKE, “Postcards from Cookie”, 320 pages, April 2014. [Memoir]

Postcards from Cookie: A Memoir of Motherhood, Miracles, and a Whole Lot of Mail

06: SEAN STRUB, “Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS and Survival”, 432 pages, January 2014. [Memoir / Politics]

Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival

07: ANALD GOPAL, “No Good Men among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes”, 320 pages, April 2014. [Politics]

No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes

08: HISHAM D. AIDI, “Rebel Music: Race, Empire and the New Muslim Youth Culture”, 432 pages, March 2014. [Cultural Studies / Politics]

Rebel Music: Race, Empire and the New Muslim Youth Culture

09: ROBERT A. FERGUSON, “Inferno: An Anatomy of American Punishment”, 337 pages, March 2014 [Politics / Sociology / Cultural Studies]

Inferno: An Anatomy of American Punishment

10: ARIEL GORE, “The End of Eve. A Memoir”, 234 pages, February 2014. [Memoir]

The End of Eve: A Memoir

11: MARK GEVISSER, “Lost and Found in Johannesburg”, 352 pages, April 2014. [Memoir: South Africa]

Lost and Found in Johannesburg: A Memoir

12: TIM ANDERSON, “Sweet Tooth”, 333 pages, March 2014. [Mainstream Humor / Comedic Memoir]

Sweet Tooth

13: GREG GUTFELD, “Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and their War on You”, 272 pages, March 2014. [a right-wing “Fox News” employee tries to trash hipsters!:-) ]

Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on You

14: BRIGID SCHULTE, “Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play when no one has the Time”, 368 pages, March 2014. [Psychology]

Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time

15: PATRICIA WOODELL, “Are the Keys in the Freezer? An Advocate’s Guide for Alzheimer’s and other Dementias”, 243 pages, January 2014.

Are the Keys in the Freezer?--An Advocate's Guide for Alzheimer's and Other Dementias


Here are five books that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: LESLIE JAMISON, “The Empathy Exams”, 256 pages, April 2014. [personal Essays]

The Empathy Exams: Essays

02: PLUM JOHNSON, “They left us everything”, 288 pages, March 2014. [Memoir]

They Left Us Everything: A Memoir

03: ADAM BEGLEY, “Updike”, 576 pages, April 2014. [Biography]


04: EILEEN CRONIN, “Mermaid: A Memoir of Resilience”, 336 pages, January 2014.

Mermaid: A Memoir of Resilience

05: YASHA MOUNK, “Stranger in my own Country: A Jewish Family in modern Germany”, 272 pages, January 2014. [Memoir / Cultural Studies]

Stranger in My Own Country: A Jewish Family in Modern Germany

[German article here (Link)]
…and I’m excited about:

SERAH-MARIE McMAHON: “The WORN Reader: A Fashion Journal about the Art, Ideas & History of what we wear”, 416 pages, April 2014.

The WORN Archive: A Fashion Journal about the Art, Ideas, & History of What We Wear


related Posts:


Best New Books – Spring 2014: New Novels & Recommendations

Underdog Literature Best Novels 2014 Spring WordPress

Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention…

all published between January and June 2014.


01: MAXWELL NEELY-COHEN, “Echo of the Boom”, 456 pages, April 2014.

Echo of the Boom

02: PETER MATTHIESSEN, “In Paradise”, 256 pages, January 2014.

In Paradise

03: SIRI HUSTVEDT, “The Blazing World”, 368 pages, March 2014.

The Blazing World

04: AARON THIER, “The Ghost Apple”, 304 pages, March 2014. [Satire]

The Ghost Apple

05: TED THOMPSON, “The Land of Steady Habits”, 272 pages, March 2014.

The Land of Steady Habits: A Novel

06: KEVIN BROCKMEIER, “A few Seconds of radiant Filmstrip: A Memoir of Seventh Grade”, 208 pages, January 2014. [Memoir / Coming-of-Age / Cultural Studies]

A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip: A Memoir of Seventh Grade

07: SHANE KUHN, “The Intern’s Handbook”, 288 pages, April 2014. [Corporate Satire / Thriller / Dystopia]

The Intern's Handbook: A Thriller

08: NNEDI OKARAFOR, “Lagoon”, 320 pages, April 2014. [Science Fiction; Nigeria]


09: ROBERT GLANCY, “Terms & Conditions”, 272 pages, February 2014 [Satire]

Terms & Conditions

10: LESLIE JAMISON, “The Empathy Exams”, 256 pages, April 2014. [personal Essays]

The Empathy Exams: Essays

11: NATALIE HAYNES, “The Amber Fury”, 307 pages, February 2014. [Mainstream / Suspense]

The Amber Fury

12: COURTNEY C. STEVENS, “Faking Normal”, 321 pages, February 2014. [Young Adult]

Faking Normal

13: ROBIN HERRERA, “Hope is a Ferris Wheel”, 272 pages, March 2014. [Young Adult]

Hope Is a Ferris Wheel

14: JOHN COREY WHALEY, “Noggin”,  356 pages, April 2014. [Young Adult Sci-Fi]


15: STEWART FOSTER, “We used to be Kings”, 368 pages, January 2014. [Young Adult]

We Used to Be Kings


Here are five books that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: SUE MONK KIDD, “The Invention of Wings”, 373 pages, January 2014. [Mainstream / Historical Fiction]

The Invention of Wings

02: JENNIFER CLEMENT, “Prayers for the Stolen”, 224 pages, February 2014.

Prayers for the Stolen

03: WILLY VLAUTIN, “The Free”, 297 pages, January 2014.

The Free

04: GABRIELLE ZEVIN, “The Stories Life of A. J. Fikry”, 230 pages, March 2014. [Mainstream]

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

05: DANAH BOYD, “It’s complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens”, 296 pages, February 2014. [Sociology]

It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens


related Posts:


Underdog Literature: The Best Books from World War One – 1914 to 1918

Underdog Literature World War 1 WW1 February 2014 WordPress
Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

This month: Books that were published during – or shortly after  – World War One. Forgotten, classic or curious titles that might deserve more attention:


01: ROBERT TRESSEL, “The Ragged Trousered Philantropists”, 608 pages, 1914.

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

02: EDGAR LEE MASTERS, “Spoon River Anthology”, 144 pages, 1914.

Spoon River Anthology

03: ROMAIN ROLLAND, “Jean-Christophe”, 1579 pages, 1914.


04: EMMELINE PANKHURST, “My Own Story”, 176 pages, 1914.

My Own Story

05: ELIZABETH VON ARNIM, “The Pastor’s Wife”, 492 pages, 1914.

The Pastor's Wife

06: EARL DERR BIGGERS, “Love Insurance”, 432 pages, 1914.

Love Insurance

07: BOOTH TARKINGTON, “The Turmoil”, 268 pages, 1915.

The Turmoil (The Growth Trilogy, #1)

08: THEODORE DREISER, “The Genius”, 744 pages, 1915.

The Genius

09: ALEKSANDR KUPRIN, “Yama: The Pit”, 360 pages, 1915. [Russia]

Yama: The Pit

10: ABOUT WW1: HUGH WALPOLE, “The Dark Forest”, 252 pages, 1916.

The Dark Forest

11: RUPERT BROOKE, “Letters from America”, 124 pages, 1916.

Letters from America

12: HAROLD BEN WRIGHT, “When a Man’s a Man”, 212 pages, 1916.

When a Man's a Man

13: CLAUDE C. HOPKINS, “My Life in Advertising”, 48 pages, 1917. [Essay]

My Life in Advertising

14: ABOUT WW1: ANDREAS LATZKO, “Men in War” / “Menschen im Krieg”, 112 pages, 1917. [German]

Men in War (Dodo Press)

15: ABOUT WW1: KARL KRAUS, “The Last Days of Mankind” / “Die letzten Tage der Menschheit”, 263 pages, 1918. [Stage Play; German]

Last Days of Mankind


Here are seven books about World War One that were published a short time later:

01: ABOUT WW1: W.N.P. BARBELLION, “Journal of a disappointed Man”, 275 pages, 1919.

Journal of a Disappointed Man

02: ABOUT WW1: A.P. HERBERT, “The Secret Battle”, 208 pages, 1919.

The Secret Battle

03: ABOUT WW1: ISAAC BABEL, “Red Cavalry”, 352 pages, 1920. [Russia]

Red Cavalry

04: ABOUT WW1: ERNST JÜNGER, “Storm of Steel” / “In Stahlgewittern”, 320 pages, 1920. [German]

Storm of Steel

05: ABOUT WW1: ERNST FRIEDRICH, “War against War” / “Krieg dem Kriege”, 242 pages, 1920. [German?]

Krieg Dem Kriege

06: ABOUT WW1: STRATIS MYRIVILIS, “Life in the Tomb”, 353 pages, 1924. [Greece]

Life in the Tomb

07: ABOUT WW1: EMMANUEL BOVE, “My Friends”, 150 pages, 1924. [France]

My Friends


related Posts:


Best Books of the Year: My personal Top 20

best books 2013 stefan mesch wordpress.

(After a popular list last year [Link] and another in 2012 [Link]…)

…here are the 20 very best books I’ve read in 2013:


20: WALTER ABISH, “How German is it”, Novel, 1980:
How German is It (Wie Deutsch ist es)

19: SARI BOTTON (Editor): “Goodbye to all that. Writers on Loving and Leaving New York”, nonfiction anthology / personal essays, 2013:
Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York

18: BARBARA PYM, “Excellent Women”, Novel, 1952:
Excellent Women

17: ALEXANDER MAKSIK, “You deserve nothing”, Novel, 2011:
You Deserve Nothing

16: BRIAN WOOD, “DMZ”, 12-volume Graphic Novel series, 2005 to 2012:
DMZ Vol. 12: The Five Nations of New York

15: A.S. KING, “Reality Boy”, Young Adult Novel, 2013:
Reality Boy

14: KATE SOUTHWOOD, “Falling to Earth”, Novel, 2013:
Falling to Earth

13: ANNA FUNDER, “Stasiland” […alternatives / runner-ups: BARBARA DEMICK, “Nothing to Envy” and SEBASTIAN HAFFNER, “Defying Hitler”: Three great nonfiction / cultural studies reads that focus on ordinary people and mass mentality in totalitarian regimes.]
Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Walland Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea and Defying Hitler

12: ÉDOUARD LEVÉ, “Autoportrait”, postmodern novel / art / journalism, France 2005:

11: DEBBIE LEVY, “Imperfect Spiral”, Young Adult Novel, 2013:
Imperfect Spiral

10: J.H. WILLIAMS III, W. HADEN BLACKMAN, “Batwoman” 1 to 3, Graphic Novels, 2011 to 2013:
Batwoman, Vol. 1: Hydrology

09: JOHN BRANDON, “Citrus County”, Novel, 2010.
Citrus County

08: BRECHT EVENS, “The Making of”, Belgian Graphic Novel, 2011.
The Making Of

07: ALEXANDER RÜHLE, “Ohne Netz”, German Journalism, 2010.
Ohne Netz: Mein halbes Jahr offline

06: DAVID GATES, “Jernigan”, Novel, 1991.

05: DAVID LEVITHAN, “Two Boys Kissing”, Young Adult Novel, 2013.
Two Boys Kissing

04: MARIA SEMPLE, “Where’d you go, Bernadette”, Novel, 2012.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette

03: CARSON McCULLERS, “The Member of the Wedding”, Novel, 1946.
The Member of the Wedding

02: ROBERT SHERRIFF: “A Fortnight in September”, Novel, 1931.
The Fortnight in September

01: PETER HEDGES: “What’s eating Gilbert Grape”, Novel, 1991.
Gilbert Grape, Irgendwo In Iowa


For a complete list of books I’ve read in 2013, please go here [Link].


In comics, I’ve also enjoyed Glyn Dillon’s “The Nao of Brown” [Link], the excellent finale of Joe Hill’s “Locke & Key” series (all in all: the best comic series I have ever read, Link), Juan Diaz Canales’ “Blacksad” [Link] detective stories, the finale / later half of Brian Michael Bendis’ “Alias” series [Marvel, Link] and the “New 52” DC comic books featuring “Wonder Woman” [Link], “Green Lantern” [Link], the new “Green Arrow” [Link] and sometimes “Batgirl” [Link] as well as lots of good, older “Superman” titles [Link] and Marvel’s amazing “Hawkeye” series [Link]

…and, just like last year, “Honey & Clover” [Link] – a “Scott Pilgrim”-like, bittersweet / comedic coming-of-age manga series about five friends at an art school.

Here’s a big collage of the many, many good graphic novels I’ve discovered in 2013:

000 2013 best graphic novels wordpress collageHave a good 2014! More to come!


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and, every month:



Best Books of 2013 – popular new recommendations

Underdog Literature WordPress December 2013.

Every month, I select 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention.

This month – in time for Christmas:

15 of 2013’s best / most recent books!


01: JINCY WILLETT, “Amy Falls Down”, 336 pages, May 2013. [Realistic Fiction / Satire]

Amy Falls Down: A Novel

02: J.J. ABRAMS, DOUG DORST, “S.”, 472 pages, August 2013. [post-modern fiction / Fantasy]


03: TAMARA FAITH BERGER, “Little Cat”, 224 pages, June 2013. [Realistic Fiction / Memoir]

Little Cat

04: PAUL ROME, “We all sleep in the same Room”, 280 pages, October 2013. [Realistic Fiction]

We All Sleep in the Same Room

05: PETER GELFAN, “Found Objects”, 268 pages, April 2013. [Realistic Fiction]

Found Objects

06: MAC LETHAL, “Texts from Bennett”, 320 pages, September 2013. [Humour]

Texts from Bennett

07: CARI LUNA, “The Revolution of Every Day”, 392 pages, September 2013. [Realistic Fiction]

The Revolution of Every Day

08: TERRY McMILLAN, “Who asked you?”, 400 pages, September 2013. [Realistic Fiction / Chick Lit]

Who Asked You?

09: HELEN WAN, “The Partner Track”, 304 pages, September 2013. [Realistic Fiction]

The Partner Track: A Novel

10: MARTIN FLETCHER, “Jacob’s Oath”, 323 pages, October 2013. [Historical Fiction / WW2 – and set in Heidelberg, Germany]

Jacob's Oath

11: SEBASTIEN BREBEL, “Villa Bunker”, 106 pages, July 2013. [Realistic Fiction; French]

Villa Bunker

12: MARTIN VAN BOOY, “The Illusion of Seperateness”, 224 pages, July 2013. [Historical Fiction / Realistic Fiction]

The Illusion of Separateness

13: KAREN JOY FOWLER, “We are all completely besides ourselves”, 310 pages, May 2013. [Realistic Fiction]

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

14: STEPHEN DIXON, “His Wife leaves him”, 407 pages, September 2013. [Realistic Fiction: YA]

His Wife Leaves Him

15: CHINELO OKPARANTA, “Happiness, like Water”, 208 pages, August 2013. [Short Stories]

Happiness, Like Water


As a bonus, here are five 2013 nonfiction books that I’ve sampled and liked:

16: SCOTT NADELSON, “The Next Scott Nadelson: A Life in Progress”, 264 pages, February 2013.

The Next Scott Nadelson: A Life in Progress

17: SHERI FINK, “Five Days at Memorial”, 558 pages, September 2013.

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

18: J.L. WITTERICK, “My Mother’s Secret: A Novel based on a true Holocaust Story”, 208 pages, March 2013.

My Mother's Secret: A Novel Based on a True Holocaust Story

19: PAUL KWIATKOWSKI, “And every Day was overcast”, 280 pages, October 2013.

And Every Day Was Overcast

20: DAVID FINKEL, “Thank you for your Service”, 272 pages, October 2013.

Thank You For Your Service


Here are five books from 2013 that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: DAVID RHODES, “Jewelweed”, 448 pages, April 2013. [Realistic Fiction]


02: DONNA TARTT, “The Goldfinch”, 756 pages, October 2013. [Realistic Fiction]

The Goldfinch

03: ELIZABETH GILBERT, “The Signature of all Things”, 512 pages, October 2013. [Historical Fiction]

The Signature of All Things

04: ALISSA NUTTING, “Tampa”, 272 pages, July 2013. [Realistic Fiction]


05: PRISCILLE SIBLEY, “The Promise of Stardust”, 432 pages, February 2013. [Mainstream]

The Promise of Stardust


…and finally, here are nine recent books from 2013 that I read – and that were really good:

5 of 5 stars: DAVID LEVITHAN, “Two Boys kissing”, 208 pages, August 2013. [Realistic Fiction / YA]

Two Boys Kissing

4 of 5 stars: KATE SOUTHWOOD, “Falling to Earth”, 272 pages, March 2013. [Realistic Fiction / Historical Fiction]

Falling to Earth

4 of 5 stars: JANETTE JENKINS, “Firefly”, 156 pages, June 2013. [Realistic Fiction]


4 of 5 stars: DENNIS MAHONEY, “Fellow Mortals”, 288 pages, February 2013. [Realistic Fiction]

Fellow Mortals

4 of 5 stars: LEA CARPENTER, “Eleven Days”, 288 pages, June 2013. [Realistic Fiction]

Eleven Days

4 of 5 stars: SUSAN NUSSBAUM, “Good Kings Bad Kings”, 298 pages, March 2013. [Realistic Fiction: YA / literary fiction]

Good Kings Bad Kings

4 of 5 stars: SARI BOTTON, “Goodbye to all that. Writers on Loving and Leaving New York”, 288 pages, September 2013. [personal Essays]

Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York

4 of 5 stars: SONALI DERANYIAGALA, “Wave”, 274 pages, March 2013. [Memoir]


4 of 5 stars: NICKOLAS BUTLER, “Shotgun Lovesongs”, 432 pages, September 2013. [Mainstream; German edition]

Shotgun Lovesongs


…have a look at my “Young Adult Literature: Best of 2013” recommendations, too!


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Underdog Literature, October 2013: 15 fresh or suprising, off-the-wall titles

Underdog Literature WordPress October 2013.

Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention:


01: JHUMPA LAHIRI, “The Lowland”, 352 pages, September 2013.

02: JESMYN WARD, “Men we reaped. A Memoir”, 272 pages, September 2013.

03: LARRY WATSON, “Let him go”, 256 pages, September 2013. [Thriller]

04: GAVIN EXTENSE, “The Universe vs. Alex Woods”, 407 pages, June 2013. [Young Adult]

05: DONAL RYAN, “The Spinning Heart”, 160 pages, 2012. [Ireland]

06: KA HANCOCK, “Dancing on broken Glass”, 416 pages, 2012. [Chick Lit?]

07: MAX BLECHER, “Scarred Hearts”, 240 pages, 1937. [Romania]

08: IRENE RATHBONE, “We that were young”, 528 pages, 1932. [British]

09: MÁRIO DE SÁ-CARNEIRO, “Lucio’s Confession” / “A Confissao de Lucio”, 128 pages, 1914. [Portugese]

10: CHARLES JACKSON, “The Lost Weekend”, 244 pages, 1944. [Novel about Alcoholism]

11: IRA LEVIN, “This Perfect Day”, 368 pages, 1970. [Science Fiction]

12: MARY DOWNING HAHN, “The the Wind blows backward”, 272 pages, 1992. [Young Adult]

13: CAMERON CROWE, “Fast Times at Richmond High”, 253 pages, 1981. [Journalism! I had no idea!!]

14: JOHN ROBERT LEWIS, ANDREW AYDIN, “March”, 128 pages, August 2013. [Graphic Novel]

15: KEIICHI SIGSAWA, “Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World”, 205 pages, 2000. [Graphic Novel / Manga series]


Here are five books that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: SOURIS HONG-PORETTA, “Outside the Lines: An Artist’s Coloring Book for giant Imaginations”, 256 pages, September 2013. [Coloring Book / Art]

02: MICHELLE NEVIUS, “Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City”, 384 pages, 2009. [City Guide / History]

03: JOE DAVID BROWN, “Paper Moon”, 320 pages, 1971.

04: RUSSELL HOBAN, “Turtle Diary”, 182 pages, 1978.

05: ROBERT C. SHERRIFF, “A Fortnight in September”, 326 pages, 1931.


…and finally, here are three books that I read – and that were really good:

4 of 5 stars: JONATHAN CARROLL, “The Land of Laughs”, 256 pages, 1980. [literary Fantasy]

4 of 5 stars: BARBARA PYM, “Excellent Women”, 231 pages, 1952.

4 of 5 stars: ALEXANDER RAMATI, “And the Violins stopped playing. A Story of the Gypsy Holocaust”, 200 (?) pages, 1985.


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Underdog Literature, September 2013: 15 fresh or compelling, off-the-wall CRIME novels

Underdog Literature WordPress September 2013.

Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention:

For this month, my focus is on crime novels, domestic suspense, thrillers and noir classics.


01: HARLAN COBEN, “Tell No One”, 370 pages, 2000. [Thriller]

02: WILLIAM HJORTSBERG, “Falling Angel”, 302 pages, 1978. [Fantasy Noir]

03: TED ALLBEURY, “Lantern Network”, 200 pages, 1979. [Espionage]

04: RUTH RENDELL (as BARBARA VINE), “The Dark-Adapted Eye”, 278 pages, 1986. [Thriller]

05: CHARLOTTE ARMSTRONG, “A Dram of Poison”, 160 pages, 1956.

06: ROSS MACDONALD, “The Chill”, 288 pages, 1963. [Noir; book 11 of an 18-book series]

07: ED LACY, “Room to Swing”, 132 pages, 1957. [Noir]

08: KIN PLATT, “Sinbad and me”, 255 pages, 1967. [Children’s Mystery]

09: JACK D. FERRAIOLO, “The Big Splash”, 288 pages, 2008. [Middle-Grade Noir]

10: STUART GIBBS, “Spy School”, 291 pages, 2012. [Middle-Grade Spy Parody]

11: JOHN MORGAN WILSON, “Simple Justice”, 304 pages, 1996. [Mystery, first in an eight-book series]

12: JOHN FREEMANTLE, “Charlie M”, 207 pages, 1977. [Spy Thriller, first in a fourteen-book series]

13: ADAM HALL, “The Quiller Memorandum”, 254 pages, 1965. [Spy Thriller, first in a nineteen-book series]

14: ISSER HAREL, “The House on Garibaldi Street”, 290 pages, 1975. [Nonfiction]

15: JÜRGEN THORWALD, “Das Jahrhundert der Detektive” / “Century of the Detective”, 704 pages, 1965 pages [Nonfiction; German]

This month, I found most of these titles on a long list [Link] of winners and nominees for the Edgar Awards [Link].


Here are five books that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: DON CARPENTER, “Hard Rain Falling”, 308 pages, 1964. [Noir Classic]

02: CHESTER HIMES, “If he hollers, let him go”, 224 pages, 1945. [Noir Classic]

03: ERIC AMBLER, “A Coffin for Dimitrios”, 304 pages, 1934. [Espionage / Suspense]

04: TONINO BENACQUISTA, “Saga” / “Das Seifenopern-Quartett”, 439 pages, 1997. [Farce / Satire; France]

05: DANIEL GALERA, “Flut” [German title] / “Barba Ensopada de Sangue” [Portugese title], 424 pages, 2012. [Brazilian… literary thriller]

I started reading Dieter Wunderlich’s review here [Link, German; Spoilers], marked the book as to read – and later got a copy of the German edition, from Suhrkamp [Link]: Frank, the German editor, is a good publishing friend… and thought I’d like it.


…and finally, here are three books that I read – and that were really good:

5 of 5 stars: DAVID GATES, “Jernigan”, 256 pages, 1991.

5 of 5 stars: PETER HEDGES, “What’s eating Gilbert Grape”, 319 pages, 1991.

4 of 5 stars: CELIA FREMLIN, “The Hours before Dawn”, 192 pages, 1958. [Thriller / Domestic Suspense]


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Underdog Literature, June 2013: 15 fresh or notable, off-the-wall titles

Underdog Literature WordPress June 2013.

Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention:


01: SUSAN NUSSBAUM, “Good Kings Bad Kings”, 336 pages, March 2013.

02: MATTHEW SPECKTOR, “American Dream Machine”, 464 pages, March 2013.

03: LAUREN BEUKES, “The Shining Girls”, 368 pages, April 2013. [Mainstream time-travel thriller]

04: MA JIAN, “The Dark Road”, 384 pages, April 2013. [China]

05: COLUM McCANN, “TransAtlantic”, 259 pages, May 2013. [still haven’t read anything of him.]

06: TAO LIN, “Taipei”, 256 pages, June 2013.

07: MIGUEL ÁNGEL ASTURIAS, “The President”, 288 pages, 1946. [recommended by Clemens Setz]

08: JESUS CARRASCO, “Intemperie” / “Die Flucht”, 224 pages, January 2013. [Dystopia, Spanish]

09: GEORGE PACKER, “The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America”, 448 pages, May 2013.

10: JANET MALCOLM, “Forty-One False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers”, 320 pages, May 2013. [Essays]

11: NICK FLYNN, “The Reenactments”, 320 pages, January 2013. [Memoir]

12: DAVID BATCHELOR, “Chromophobia”, 128 pages, 2000. [Cultural Studies / Art Criticism]

13: RUTU MODAN, “The Property”, 232 pages, May 2013. [Graphic Novel]

14: MASON CURREY, “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work”, 304 pages, April 2013. [Trivia / Nonfiction]

15: MONIKA HELD, “Der Schrecken verliert sich vor Ort”, 272 pages, March 2013. [German: I liked Mara Giese’s review – here (Link, German)]


Here are five books that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: STEVE ERICKSON, “Zeroville”, 329 pages, 2007.

02: LIDIA YUKNAVITCH, “The Chronology of Water”, 268 pages, 2011. [Memoir]

03: KATE SOUTHWOOD, “Falling to Earth”, 264 pages, 2013.

04: JUDITH KUCKART, “Wünsche”, 301 pages, 2013. [German]

05: MARTIN KLUGER, “Abwesende Tiere”, 1040 pages, 2002. [German, recommended by Jo Lendle]


usually, I also promote three books that I read – and that were really good.

but I’ve spent the month finishing a long, nerdy (paid) Marvel Comics book translation for a German publisher…

…and spent all my reading-time with old Superman comics to prepare a slew of Tagesspiegel articles I will write this month – now that “Man of Steel” is finally in theatres.

I also watched “Iron Man 3” – and it was near-perfect superhero fun: 4 of 5 stars.


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Underdog Literature, May 2013: 15 fresh or remarkable, off-the-wall books

Underdog Literature WordPress May 2013.

Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention:


01: LAUREN KIRSHNER, “Where we have to go”, 336 pages, 2009. [Canada, Coming-of-Age]

02: MICHAEL DAHLIE, “The Best of Youth”, 288 pages, January 2013.

03: NOELLE REVAZ, “With the Animals”, 232 pages, 2002. [Switzerland]

04: PAUL RUSSELL, “The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov”, 375 pages, 2010.

05: PETER RUSHFORTH, “Kindergarten”, 224 pages, 1979.

06: ANDRÉ MAUROIS, “Climates”, 400 pages, 1928. [France]

07: CHARLES NEWMAN, “In Partial Disgrace”, 600 pages, March 2013.

08: ANDRÉ CARL VAN DER MERWE, “Moffie”, 314 pages, 2006. [South Africa]

09: FRANK NORRIS, “The Octopus. A Novel of California”, 688 pages, 1901.

10: DIANE ATHILL, “Stet. An Editor’s Life”, 256 pages, 2000. [Memoir]

11: ALEKSANDER WAT, “My Century”, 448 pages, 1977. [Memoir / Journalism; Poland]

12: KEVIN GUILFOILE, “Cast of Shadows”, 336 pages, 2005. [Sci-Fi / Thriller]

13: SALLY CLARK, “Waiting for the Revolution”, 362 pages, 2010. [Toronto]

14: CONSTANCE SQUIRES, “Along the Watchtower”, 320 pages, 2011. [Coming-of-Age]

15: ALICE ZENITER, “Take this Man”, 176 pages, 2011. [Nonfiction, France]


Here are five books that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: JOSEPH KESSEL, “Belle de jour”, 188 pages, 1928.

02: BARBARA STAFFORD, “The Mountain Lion”, 240 pages, 1972.

03: DANZY SENNA, “Caucasia”, 413 pages, 1998.

04: JOHN LANCHESTER, “The Debt to Pleasure”, 272 pages, 1996.

05: PATRICK McGUINNESS, “The Last Hundred Days”, 384 pages, 2011. [Romania]


…and finally, here are three books that I read – and that were really good:

5 of 5 stars: CARSON McCULLERS, “The Member of the Wedding”, 240 pages, 1946. [Coming-of-Age / Southern Fiction]

5 of 5 stars: MARIA SEMPLE, “Where’d you go, Bernadette”, 326 pages, 2012.

4 of 5 stars: 05: BARBARA DEMICK, “Nothing to envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea”, 314 pages, 2009. [non-fiction]


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Underdog Literature, April 2013: 15 fresh or urgent, off-the-wall titles

Underdog Literature Apr 2013 WordPress.

Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention:


01: RON CURRIE, jr.: “Flimsy little plastic Miracles”, 340 pages, February 2013.

02: HELEN GARNER, “Monkey Grip”, 245 pages, 1977. [Australia]

03: CHESTER HIMES, “If he hollers, let him go”, 224 pages, 1945. [Racism]

04: JULIE KIBLER, “Calling me Home”, 336 pages, 2012. [Romance / Mainstream]

05: DANA JOHNSON: “Elsewhere, California”, 304 pages, 2012.

06: KAREN BOYE, “Kallocain”, 224 pages, 1940. [Dystopia / SF]

07: JAKOV LIND, “Landscape in Concrete”, 190 pages, 1968.

08: LAWRENCE THORNTON, “Imagining Argentina”, 240 pages, 1987.

09: TYLER McMAHON, “How The Mistakes were made”, 352 pages, 2011. [Novel about a Courtney-Love-like punk / grunge singer.]

10: PETER NATHANIEL MALAE, “Our frail Blood”, 448 pages, February 2013.

11: MICHAEL KIMBALL, “Big Ray”, 192 pages, 2012.

12: STEVE ABEE, “Johnny Future”, 208 pages, 2009.

13: GOLDA FRIED, “Nellcott is my Darling”, 160 pages, 2001. [Young Adult; Toronto]

14: VIKKI WAKEFIELD, “Friday Brown”, 345 pages, 2012. [Young Adult]

15: FRANK DEFORD, “Alex. The Life of a Child”, 142 pages, 1983. [Biography / Death]


Here are five books that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: SHUSAKO ENDO, “When I whistle” / “Eine Klinik in Tokyo”,  273 pages, 1979. [Japanese psychological novel about the war generation]

02: NATACHA APPANAH, “The Last Brother”, 165 pages, 2007.

03: ERLEND LOE, “Naive. Super”, 208 pages, 1996. [Finnish Young Adult Bestseller]

04: DEZSő KOSTOLÁNYI, “Skylark”, 222 pages, 1924. [Hungary]

05: IRENE SABATINI, “The Boy Next Door”, 416 pages, 2009. [Zimbabwe]


…and finally, here are three books that I read – and that were really good:

5 of 5 stars: “Batwoman: Hydrology” (J.H. WILLIAMS III, W. HAYDEN BLACKMAN), 160 pages, 2012. The sequel, “To Drown the World”, is very good, too. If you want to start at the beginning – here’s a reading list I made for the character, from 2011.]

4 of 5 stars: TOBIAS WOLFF, “This Boy’s Life”, 304 pages, 1988. [Autobiography / Coming-of-Age]

4 of 5 stars: 05: SONALI DERANIYAGALA, “Wave”, 274 pages, March 2013. [Memoir about the 2004 tsunami]


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