Monday, January 16, 2017

TOP TEN TUESDAY | Underrated Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme for bloggers who like books and lists. It's awesome and is graciously hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  

I love this topic but we did just do a version of it in July of this past year (that topic was actually "Best books under 2000 ratings on Goodreads").  I used the Goodreads technique (looking at number of ratings) and produced a handful from the last year that weren't on the July list and then did a more subjective evaluation of "underrated" to fill out the list.  The official topic for this week is:
Ten Underrated/Hidden Gem Books I've Read In The Past Year Or So (up to you if you want it to be those published in the past year or so or just ANY underrated book you've read recently)
These are all books I read (though they weren't necessarily published) in 2016.


1) Sawbones by Melissa Lenhardt

I've only mentioned this book about 789 times on the blog.  If you like historical fiction, with a strong female protagonist, particularly set on the American frontier, you must read this.  It is not however for the faint of heart.

2) Appleseed Creek Series by Amanda Flower
# GOODREADS RATINGS: 2,408 total for the whole 4 book series | AVERAGE RATING: 4.15

This is not a series that will change your life but it's an interesting cozy mystery series featuring a young computer scientist who gets a job in Amish country.  These were such addictive comfort reads for me with a dash of romance and good characters.  The first book is very overtly religious/Christian but this is toned down in the final 3 books.  For cozy mystery/romance fans. Christian fiction fans.

3) Avatar: The Last Airbender  - Smoke and Shadow by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru

Were you fan of the awesome Avatar: The Last Airbender show on Nickelodeon?  If so you will absolutely enjoy the follow-up graphic novel series which continues Aang and the gang's adventure.  This most recent installment has Aang and Zuko teaming up and brings Mai back into the picture.  They are written by the award winning Gene Luen Yang (along with the TV series creators) and the art is very familiar. I need people to buy and read these so they keep being written until Aang retires.

4) Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James

If you enjoy mildly creepy, atmospheric, post World War I British Gothic romance mysteries, Simone St. James can't be beaten, lol.  She's definitely got herself a niche. This book takes place in a big old country house by the sea which has been converted into a psychiatric hospital, primarily for soldiers suffering from PTSD after World War I.

5) Duplicate Death by Georgette Heyer

Georgette Heyer is best known for her absolutely brilliant Regency romances but she also wrote a number of mysteries during the Golden Age of mysteries.  While she doesn't threaten to outdo Agatha Christie or Dorothy L. Sayers, her mysteries are pretty dang delightful, set during the 1920s-1950s and filled with witty repartee and just a smidge of romance.

6) The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes

This is such a fun fantasy heist novel with a diverse cast of characters and a really interesting world/setting.  Why isn't everyone reading it?!

7) A Corner of White (Colours of Madeleine) by Jaclyn Moriarty

Part of my affection for this book may be related to a good chunk of the action taking place in Cambridge, England, a town I have spent a good bit of time in but most of my love is for its originality and the very interesting characters.  I don't know why it isn't a bigger YA hit.

8) Rapunzel's Revenge and Calamity Jack by Shannon and Nathan Hale and Dean Hale (Illustrator)

So this series has a decent number of ratings, and maybe I am just out of touch with the middle-grade set (probably) but I had never heard of this two book graphic novel series before randomly stumbling upon it at the library. These books are intertwined and respectively re-tell the story of Rapunzel and Jack and the beanstalk but with a American wild west/steampunky twist.  Shannon Hale is no slouch in the fairy tale re-telling department and I thoroughly enjoyed both of them!

9) Enchanted, Inc. Series by Shanna Swendsen
# of GOODREADS RATINGS (collectively for 8 books): 31,366 | AVERAGE RATING: 3.9

This is Urban Fantasy at its lightest and most fluffy and it's delightful.  Kati Chandler is just your average down to Earth small town Texas girl trying to make a living in the Big Apple when she discovers she's a Magical Immune and gets recruited to work for a company which produces magical products and whose C.E.O. used to answer to the name of Merlin.  Definitely has a chick-lit flavor but Kati is a thoroughly likeable characters, her romantic lead is a thoroughly beta hero and the adventures they have are delightful.

10) The Lewis Trilogy by Peter May 
# GOODREADS RATINGS (collectively 3 books): 31,292 | AVERAGE RATING: 4.09

SO maybe it's a bit of a stretch to say this stellar mystery series is underrated but I don't feel like I hear much about it or the author.  It's a brilliant and beautifully written series of mysteries set in the Outer Hebrides.


That does it for me!  What book did you read this year that you wish more people were screaming joyfully about?  

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