This Twitter Thread Collects the Best Overlooked Books of the Last Ten Years
Author Rebecca Makkai kicked off a conversation about books that haven’t gotten their due, and it’s basically one big to-read list
Twitter is not always an easy place to find love. More often, it’s a playground for cynicism, deflationary thinking, sneering superiority, and downright ugliness. But every so often, someone starts a thread that is all about positivity and appreciation. Rebecca Makkai, author of The Great Believers, is using one such thread to pluck the unsung greats of contemporary literature out from obscurity and put them in the spotlight where they belong.
On Friday, Makkai tweeted: “I’ve been thinking about the inertia of literary buzz, the way it’s so often a self-fulfilling prophecy, and about great under-exposed books. Can we start a signal-boosting thread of books from the past 10 yrs that deserved way more attention?”
Makkai posted her own list of recommendations, each with a link to buy the book from Indie Bound.org.
As of Monday afternoon, there were 131 posts, and people continued to respond to the thread with book recommendations. Some of the comments read like micro-reviews, or the kinds of blurbs that would actually make me pick up a book and buy it.
It was also heartening to see the unsung writers respond to the fans of their books. Some, such as Maureen Gibbon, even responded to say that though her book THIEF didn’t get as many accolades as some of her other works, it was the one she was most proud of.
For others like Porochista Khakpour, who is starting to receive more attention for her book, Sick, it was heartening to see praise wrap back around to her earlier work.
Ultimately, the thread challenges the publicity echo-chamber we all find ourselves in, where one dominating opinion is inscribed on our brains over and over and over again. There’s something about the love and enthusiasm each person brings to their recommendation — they’re aghast at the quiet reception the book received, and they’re desperate for other people to talk to about it. This is not a thread filled with “names you probably never heard of” performing as some kind of cultural ribbon for intellectual authenticity. Instead, the thread is filled with readers who are eager to share the work that changed them — if only to shoutout to the author, or to have someone else to talk to, to chat with, to navigate through all this noise. Here are some more of the books they came up with.
Of course, you can go to the Twitter thread itself for more updates—and to add your own. Let’s keep this lovefest going.