Jul 25, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Day 7

Day 7: Most Underrated Book

Such a subjective prompt for today's challenge - underrated. What does it mean to be an underrated book? …to not have good sales, to have originally had good sales but no longer, to be only appreciated by a small region or celebrated by select groups, to be a favorite of 1 out of 10,000 people…? I'm being forced by this prompt to put my own definition on "underrated" …

Underrated - a book that while widely read is not one commonly thought of outside of specific genre or literary circles. To me these are books commonly taught in schools or similar instances where readers might never have picked up the book otherwise.

…and yet, I am stuck on two books.

My choices are The Awakening by Kate Chopin and Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story by LeAnne Howe. Both are widely read in college lit courses and within specific communities. For instance, Miko Kings would be something widely ready by baseball lovers or as part of Native American History. The Awakening, while being "widely admired" according to most critics, is probably not that common outside of college literature courses or elite literary groups. Sure, you've got the sporadic voracious readers who come across books like these, but to me, these are under appreciated, especially by today's 30 and under. I loved both books and would highly recommend them to anyone, but I would never have read them without my college courses. Both books are fiction, but are eye openers into history and our perception of each other, class, status, and race. They are interesting accounts of life choices and they leave you pensive. 


I tend to think that books generally garner the attention, whether negative or positive, that they deserve. To call a book over or underrated is, basically, to have an opinion of a general perception. Which is sort of all we do every day, anyway. Subjectivity will play a large role in this post and tomorrow's, so I am excited to see how everyone responds to our choices
My choice for most Underrated book is Julia Leigh's Disquiet.

I am going to call it underrated, because literally--and I use this word deliberately--no one I have spoken to has even heard of this unsettling novella. The story follows Olivia to her family chateau in France. Reunited with her brother and sister-in-law, Sophie, is anything but joyous, however, and it doesn't take long for the inner demons of Leigh's soft-spoken characters to bubble-up to the surface, popping and smoking until everyone has lost any sense of peace. Tumultuous and lingering, Disquiet is an aptly named hidden gem that deserves your attention. 

What's your underrated book of choice? This is a great day for suggestion, so take a moment to leave a comment, tweet @ScarlettaPress, or let us know your thoughts on our Facebook wall.


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