Social media and book websites are full of popular new releases. The books that are popular right now. The ones that everyone seems to be reading.
This is especially true when it comes to fiction. You see the latest most popular fiction books everywhere on social media and books websites.
We understand why that is the case. Publishers and authors want to get the word out about their books.
The reality is that many great books are released each week, but there are so many older books that are also worth reading. Books that were released last year, five years ago, or even ten or more years ago.
Great books are often called great books because they have stood the test of time. They are the books we recommend now and will still be recommending five years from now. They are books that get attention because they are well written books, not just because they are the hot new books that everyone is reading.
Grace and I decided that it is time for some of our favorite older books to get some attention.
We have over four hundred book reviews here on From Our Bookshelf. They are all books we have read and shared our thoughts on. We want to start highlighting those books.
We decided it would be fun to start sharing a couple of our favorite backlist books each week.
The books we share might be books you knew about, but that got buried in your TBR pile. They might be books that you have never heard of because you missed them when they were new and popular. Or they might be books that are great books, but never got the attention that they deserved.
The books we share each week will all be backlist books that we have read and recommend.
This week we are starting with a very popular fiction book and a not so popular but very good nonfiction book. If you love Jane Austen type of books or are a fan of Downton Abbey, I think you will love the first two books that we are featuring for backlist books.
I read Dear Mr. Knightly a few years ago and loved it. This is one of those books that I almost didn’t read because everyone was raving about it, and I wasn’t sure if I would like it. It wasn’t a book I would normally pick up, so I put off reading it. A few years after it had been out people were still taking about it, so I decided to give it a try. I am so glad that I finally picked this one up.
I read it in two days. It was a fun and easy book to read. It is a modern day version of Jane Austen. Without giving away too much, I will say that the book is about a modern day girl who has had a rough life. She receives a grant to go to college. As part of the grant, she has to write letters to the donor detailing how life and school are going. You learn about her life, her hardships, and how she overcomes them through the letters that she writes. By the end of the second chapter I was hooked and could not put it down.
If you love Jane Austen type of books and haven’t read this one, I think you will like Dear Mr. Knightly
From the Publisher: Sam is, to say the least, bookish. An English major of the highest order, her diet has always been Austen, Dickens, and Shakespeare. The problem is, both her prose and conversation tend to be more Elizabeth Bennet than Samantha Moore. But life for the twenty-three-year-old orphan is about to get stranger than fiction. An anonymous, Dickensian benefactor (calling himself Mr. Knightley) offers to put Sam through Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress. Read more about Dear Mr. Knightly
The book, Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey, shares the inspiration and setting for the show Downton Abbey. It tells the story behind Highclere Castle, and the life of one of people that have owned it.
I found this book fascinating. I love reading Jane Austen books, Elizabeth Gaskell’s book, North and South, and other books set in Britain, but I almost always love nonfiction books the best. Lady Almina is the best of both worlds.
This book shares the real life story of a famous castle during the same basic time period that Downton Abbey takes place. A real life story of a family that lives in a Castle in Britain makes for a great book for Downtown Abbey fans. If you are like me and love books set in Britain, but you also enjoy nonfiction, Lady Almina is a fun read.
From the Publisher: The real-life inspiration and setting for the Emmy Award-winning Downton Abbey, Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey tells the story behind Highclere Castle and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants, Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon. Read more about Lady Almina
Have you read either of these books? If you have please share your thoughts. I would love to hear what you thought of them.