Alexander McCall Smith: Best Books on Inconspicuous Lives

From a Wall Street Journal story by Alexander McCall Smith on “Five Best Books on Inconspicuous Lives”:

Excellent Women
By Barbara Pym (1952)

1. Perhaps because we live in an era of self-advertisement, it’s such a pleasure to encounter characters like the unassuming, quiet sort created by Barbara Pym. Pym is regarded by some as the 20th-century reincarnation of Jane Austen. Her novels feature women who live on the margins, who spend their time admiring men who seem largely indifferent to them. They are full of yearning, but at the same time they accept their small lot in life.