COLUMN: Bring books out of hibernation for the new year

Plenty of lesser-known works from famous authors available from the library

Caroline McKay

Caroline McKay

There are books in the library that tend to sleep through the winter. Literary siblings written by the same author but often overshadowed by their more famous or popular family member. These books are no less deserving of a chance to be read, so why not give them a try this year?

Here is a list of books that might not have the spotlight, but are worth giving a read.

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Out of the Silent Planet, by C.S Lewis (of Narnia fame). This is the first book in his acclaimed Space Trilogy that begins when Dr. Ransom is abducted via spaceship to a red planet. “A mysterious and suspenseful tour de force.”

Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger (of Time Traveler’s Wife fame). A haunting ghost story set in London, a novel about love and secrets, even after death.

Player Piano, by Kurt Vonnegut (of Slaughterhouse Five fame). “Set in a society where machine automation has eliminated the need for human labor, leaving many feeling robbed of a sense of purpose in their lives.” I haven’t heard of this title before now, but it sounds very intriguing.

Surfacing, by Margaret Atwood (too many bestselling titles to name). This story is set in Canada with an unnamed narrator whose father has disappeared. Complex and beautifully written. Give this one a try, but also leave room for Atwood’s The Edible Woman, a story centered around gender roles with some imaginative acts of cannibalism.

Island, by Aldous Huxley (of Brave New World fame.) This was the author’s last novel, set on a remote Pacific island with a thriving population that attracts attention from the outside world. Huxley considered Island his most important novel. This is a finale, so I would start by reading Brave New World first.

It would be impossible to list all of the books that should be mentioned here, but there is a certain satisfaction of reading a lesser known novel that your favourite author has written.

Sometimes it’s like reading an entirely new author all together! Being able to browse the stacks in the library and pick out a book, any book, when you recognize who it is written by, is deeply gratifying.

Visit the library soon, we are open for a quick browse and borrow. Tell the staff which less famous novel you have enjoyed reading.

We always like to give these books a try.

Caroline McKay is the community librarian at the Summerland branch of the Okanagan Regional Library.

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