Sure we’ve all read about Freedom and Mockingjay but we likely have a book we wish would get more attention by book bloggers, whether it’s a forgotten classic or under marketed contemporary fiction.  This is your chance to tell the community why they should consider reading this book!

I was looking through my list of “5-star books” that I’ve read over the last few years, seeing what treasures I found there that I wish would get more attention. Here’s a few I found that I loved when I first read them. They each have quirky characters and outrageous plots, even the non-fiction choice.

Pipsqueak by Brian M. Wiprud

New York City taxidermy collector Garth Carson was seconds away from snagging the greatest find of his career-the original Pipsqueak the Nutty Nut, stuffed-squirrel puppet star of his favorite 1950s kiddie TV show-until a biker, a brawny redhead, and a murder derailed his dreams and stole his squirrel. Now Garth would do anything to get Pipsqueak back. Unfortunately, so would someone else.

When Garth and his gal, Angie, two of New York’s most unlikely sleuths, enter a wacky, rollicking underworld of club-goers, jive cult members, and at least one very violent Pipsqueak aficionado, Garth’s black-sheep crime-prone brother joins the fray, sure that there’s more to this squirrel than old fur and a pair of glass eyes. Suddenly Garth is starting to get a clue: The puppet star of one old-time TV show is leading him straight into the heart of a loopy cult, a retro rage, and a diabolical conspiracy to first control Pipsqueak-then the world.

Trash Sex Magic by Jennifer Stevenson

There are some pretty weird things going on in the backwoods along the Fox River, just beyond Chicago’s far-western suburbs. Twenty-four-year old Raedawn Somershoe and her mom Gelia are trailer trash, women of ill repute, who have worked their sexual wiles on many men in nearby Berne, Ill., not to mention any number of truckers and passing strangers. They live just outside of town with a variety of ill-sorted, half-feral family members and lovers and are mostly content with life. Then a corrupt developer decides that he wants their riverside property as the site for posh new townhouses and he won’t take no for an answer. This turns out to be a mistake because the Somershoes have a powerful sexual magic, magic rooted deeply in the trees and the river, and the earth itself. Alexander Caebeau, a homesick Bahamian who runs heavy machinery for the construction company building the townhouses, quickly falls under Raedawn’s spell. Then, after an enormous piece of construction machinery is found disassembled overnight, Caebeau is made night watchman and discovers that he has a marvelous and marvel-filled fate in store for him. Filled with oddly bent characters, lovingly detailed descriptions of the Illinois countryside, and just the right amount of magic, Stevenson’s first novel is at once sexy, beautifully written and passing strange.

A non-fiction selection:

Ballad of the Whiskey Robber by Julian Rubinstein

This story of a bank robber who captured a nation’s sympathy in post-Communist Hungary is a rollicking tale told with glee and flair. Attila Ambrus sneaked over the border from Romania into Hungary in the waning days of Communist rule. After talking his way onto a Hungarian hockey team, he turned to robbery to make some cash in the Wild West atmosphere of the early 1990s in Eastern Europe. As journalist Rubinstein shows, Ambrus was quite good at it. Taking advantage of poor police work, he took in millions in Hungarian currency and became a headline-grabber. He managed to stay at large for several years while continuing in his role as a back-up goalie on the ice. Rubinstein has a knack for telling a good story, and he captures well both Ambrus’s appeal and the atmosphere of the first few years of capitalism in Hungary. Along the way, he introduces readers to memorable characters in addition to the appealing, alcoholic protagonist: the women Ambrus attracts and a Budapest detective driven out of office by the crime spree.

And one author, whose books are not quirky, just truly wonderful animal books:

Sy Montgomery

Amber(10) and I love her middle school books, including Quest for the Tree Kangaroo, Encantado: Pink Dolphin of the Amazon, and The Snake Scientist, very informative, easy to read, and gorgeous photos, just excellent. Actually I think that good nonfiction science books are hard to find for her age-group in general.

So, what books or authors do you think should receive more attention? Join in the discussion at BBAW’s site.


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