As the major year-end literary retrospectives arrive and kick off occasionally heated debate, we thought we’d offer a different kind of list. Here are the books we think you should give a second look. Maybe they’re thundering stories that came from a small, independent press that lacked the resources for a big publicity push — or are even self-published. Maybe they’re big press books which tell a quiet story. Maybe they defy categorization — are they adult or YA? Queer or ethnic? Poetry or prose? Maybe we just missed them the first time around, or liked them so much we wanted to give them a boost in December amidst all the debate about Purity and A Little Life.
No matter the reason a book might get missed, it’s always best to double back, to search for the best books you passed over the first time through. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of great overlooked books, and we hope you give them a shot.