Bring back the midlist!

There’s a great blog post on YARN (Young Adult Review Network) about the danger of the blockbuster mentality in the publishing world, and about the value of the fast-disappearing “midlist” – books that neither sold millions of copies nor flopped, by authors who had talent and the potential and promise to keep writing good quality books.

We can all identify the blockbusters – The Hunger Games, Twilight, Harry Potter are the obvious ones in YA, and all of those had crossover appeal, which helped them sell even more. There are adult blockbusters too – just look at The New York Times bestseller list. Again, nothing against reading popular books, but let’s brainstorm our favorite off-the-beaten path books – fiction or nonfiction, YA or adult. Here are a few of mine:

Overture by Yael Goldstein

All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman

The China Garden by Liz Berry

The Good People of New York by Thisbe Nissen

The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue

A Pigeon and a Boy by Meir Shalev

The Various and Celandine by Steve Augarde

Lucky Girls: Stories by Nell Freudenberger

Love Begins in Winter: Stories, Simon Van Booy

What about you? Books that maybe haven’t hit the bestseller list or been heaped with literary awards or prizes, books that haven’t received much publicity buzz from publishers or reviewers, but good books nevertheless. Share your favorites in the comments!

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