'Bookends' in publishing are books that are comparable to yours. If you like any of these books, shiny bits in between may be the book for you!
These titles have all inspired me and influenced my writing in various ways.
Where The Crawdad's Sing is the most recent book on my bookends list. Delia Owens, as a scientist herself, shares her intimate understanding of the natural environment in the marshes of North Carolina. In my own novel, the raw, authentic beauty of Bolivar Peninsula on the Texas Gulf Coast plays an important role and serves as a reflection of the two main characters' journeys.
Shipping News also has a strong sense of place, as well as wonderfully quirky locals, something Bolivar has its fair share of! Annie Proulx is a master at character and language--there are times when a sentence will take my breath away. Language is something I value and paid close attention to in my own book.
The House on Mango Street is a beautifully written book about a Latino neighborhood in Chicago. Sandra Cisneros uses lyrical language in short vignette-style chapters that distills each one into a nugget of wisdom and observation. My Clementine chapters evoke a vignette style as well and are impressionistic in nature to reflect her mental state.
The Bone People was published a while back but is still an all time favorite of mine. Keri Hulme is a New Zealand Maori writer whose stunningly original voice makes you see the world differently. The subject matter is quite dark, but she tells it with such love and compassion, it's well worth it! My book deals with two women struggling with loss, but it is primarily a story of transformation and community.
Sing, Unburied, Sing is a more recent book that I absolutely fell in love with! Jesmyn Ward's writing style is lush, and again, even though she deals with some difficult subjects, they need to be heard and she tells them in a singularly beautiful way.