Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Top Ten Underrated Books

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Today's topic is the top underrated books that we like. I found these by going to my list of books I've read in Goodreads, adding a column for number of ratings, and ordering it from least to most ratings, and picking out the first ten that I gave at least 4 stars. (I didn't include children's picture books, but shoutout to Merry Christmas Squirrels by Nancy Rose anyway!) These all link to my reviews, and the number in parentheses are the number of Goodreads ratings.

1. Becoming a Life Change Artist: 7 Creative Skills to Reinvent Yourself at Any Stage of Life by Fred Mandell (45 ratings)
I actually bought a copy of this after I read it, and I've kept it handy though I haven't actually read it again yet. There are a ton of self-help books out there so I'm not surprised this hasn't gotten a ton of attention, especially considering the specific focus on art. It's a pretty unique way of looking at one's life, and I found it quite helpful and still want to go back to it again sometime.

2. In This Light: New and Selected Stories by Melanie Rae Thon (60 ratings)
This collection of emotionally wrenching and expertly written stories got a glowing review in The Boston Globe but I guess it never really took off, which is too bad. If you like short stories, I highly recommend it.

3. It Will End With Us (67), The Way of the Dog (88), and Glass (66) by Sam Savage
I'm grouping these together so that Sam Savage doesn't take over this list. He's one of my favorite authors and I'm always putting his books on my Staff Picks shelf, especially The Cry of the Sloth (538 ratings). Of these three underrated titles, I think my favorite is Glass, which also has the fewest ratings.

4. A Winter Marriage by Kerry Hardie (90)
Gosh, I read this one so long ago I barely remember it. Based on my review, I'd say if you like character-focused novels with lush, poetic language you should try this one.

5. Bleakly Hall by Elaine diRollo (91)
This surprises me because it was a pick on the monthly book group podcast - the name of which I've forgotten - but it was by Simon Savidge of The Readers. I really wanted to read this because I loved her previously novel, A Proper Education for Girls, but had to order this from Amazon UK because it wasn't published in the U.S. Perhaps I can blame this lack of availability for its low popularity.

6. Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon by Bronwen Dickey (132)
I suppose any book with a narrow focus will be less-read than more general titles, and this one was just published less than two months ago.

7. Beyond the Dark Veil: Post Mortem and Mourning Photography from the Thanatos Archive edited by Sue Henger (135)
Again, nonfiction with a very specific audience.

8. Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It by Dorie Clark (169)
This surprises me because our library copy goes out a LOT. But maybe business/entrepreneur types don't use Goodreads much? The subject matter isn't quite as specific as it seems. It appears quite entrepreneurial, but I think it would be useful for anyone who wants to harness their creativity.

9. When Nights Were Cold by Susanna Jones (228)
I don't recall where I heard of this one, possibly also from The Readers podcast, but it came in the same shipment with Bleakly Hall. I don't know why neither of these were published in the U.S.

10. Home is a Roof Over a Pig by Aminta Arrington (243)
I found this memoir of an American family living in China to be fascinating, and I've recommended it a lot on my Staff Picks shelf at the library.

Half are non-fiction, which is not a surprise since they are so specific. Someone might be tempted to read a novel that is different from their usual fare, but less likely to read nonfiction on a specific top they're not especially interested in. This was really interesting to look at it, and I was surprised at how unpopular some of these books are considering how much I liked them! It just goes to show you how easily a book can be lost in the shuffle - there's just so much to choose from out there!


Lauren Stoolfire said...

Bleakly Hall sounds good - I'm adding it to my tbr! :)

Check out my TTT and my current international giveaway.

Marie - Pages To Explore said...

Great list of books. :) I'll have to look into some of them.
My TTT: Marie @ Pages to Explore