A new book app is challenging the notion that reading “well” necessarily means falling back on the same old classics, from Trollope to Tolstoy. Each week, Alexi, a “digital book club”, turns to writers for inspiration, asking them to rout out hidden gems which are then offered to members to read on their phone or tablet. The result is an ever-changing library that features a selection of books you’ll have heard of – and many you are less likely to know. Here are 11 of the best from Alexi’s recent recommendations.

Tracy Chevalier

The White Bone by Barbara Gowdy (Flamingo)

I find I read the same kind of book over and over, usually a novel with a linear structure, a sympathetic protagonist, a problem that needs resolving, a definite ending. Occasionally, however, it’s good to shake things up. Barbara Gowdy’s 1999 novel puts you right inside a herd of elephants and keeps you there until you start feeling and thinking like one. It’s a rare feat to get us inside a reality so alien, and to sustain it. Available from Amazon