Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme: best books with fewer than 2,000 ratings on Goodreads.
I think we've all had that experience when we've finished a really good book and we need to flail about it with someone...and there's NO ONE to flail with. Nobody else knows how great these books are because no one's read them! Maybe no one's even heard of them! You're a pioneer in an uncharted land, and you must make everyone come after you. (Okay. That was a bit dramatic. BUT.) You get my point.
Here are 10 books that I really like that need some more love, in order from fewest to most Goodreads ratings.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad by Dennis Hopeless - 43 ratings: I understand that the target audience for this comic series is pretty small. It's based on the backstory for Thunder Mountain at Disneyland. It's not like that's the story everyone automatically thinks of when they're in the mood for a Marvel comic, or any comic. But when I saw this described as Indiana Jones if it were a western with a female lead, I knew I had to read it. And I really liked it! It's fast-paced, fun, and a perfect quick read.
Going Out: The Rise and Fall of Public Amusements by David Nasaw - 55 ratings: I know that the people who see my blog mostly read YA, so maybe you won't be inspired to read this one. And that's fine. But I love American history, and this book fascinated me, so I had to include it. From theaters to amusement parks, this book analyzes public entertainment around the turn of the 20th century, which is one of my favorite topics in one of my favorite time periods. I learned so much!
The Puzzle of the Paper Daughter by Kathryn Reiss - 200 ratings: Again, most of the people on my blog probably don't read this kind of book (anymore). But I read this last summer, and it really blew me away. I love that American Girl books teach the basics of certain times in American history in a really accessible manner, and they always leave me wanting to learn more. And this one actually had a mystery that I didn't completely figure out before the ending! Which is impressive, considering I'm about 10 years older and probably more well-read than the target audience.
Love from Your Friend, Hannah by Mindy Warshaw Skolsky - 392 ratings: At this point maybe I should promise that not all of these will be children's books. But this is one of my favorite childhood books, so I had to give it a shoutout. It's set during the Great Depression, and when Hannah's best friend moves away and her new pen pal doesn't seem very talkative, she writes letters to President Roosevelt. And he writes back. The entire book is told in letters, and last year, I reread it in a day and still loved it.
The Steep & Thorny Way by Cat Winters - 520 ratings: One of the reasons this book doesn't have as many ratings is that it was published pretty recently, so I think this won't be in the under-2,000-ratings category for too much longer. It's so unique - a retelling of Hamlet set in 1920s Oregon with a biracial female protagonist - and it's so well-written. And even though it's a retelling, don't think you'll know how everything turns out. I wrote a full review on this one, and you can read it here.
Willful Machines by Tim Floreen - 626 ratings: The first of three books in this list that I owe to Avery @ The Pages are Bookining (who probably has their own great Top Ten Tuesday post up today - check it out!). It combines politics and diversity and robots and family and mystery in such an inventive way that I honestly can't think of another book that really reminds me of it. If the idea of whether extremely technologically advanced sentient robots can be counted as people, read this book.
The Chance You Won't Return by Annie Cardi - 804 ratings: This book has stayed with me so vividly for so long that I can't believe I read it two summers ago. It's a contemporary dealing with mental illness, specifically the fact that the main character's mother is convinced that she's Amelia Earhart. Annie Cardi was one of the authors on my list of 3 Authors I Need New Books from ASAP from a few months ago because the writing was so beautiful that I just wanted to soak in it for a few more days/weeks/months/years/large chunks of eternity.
Silhouette of a Sparrow by Molly Beth Griffin - 1,020 ratings: Another book that I owe to Avery. It's a wonderful little book about queer women in the 1920s, and I finished it in about a day. It kind of reminded me of Cat Winters's books, but less creepy. And for such a short book, a lot happens. I wrote a full review of this one, too, which you can read here.
A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier - 1,209 ratings: Another book by an author on my list of 3 Authors I Need New Books from ASAP! I didn't realize how much I liked this book until I was half-way done and absolutely flying through it! I'm actually surprised this book wasn't bigger - it has an amazing female protagonist learning to take hold of her life and be independent, the sweet romantic subplot, the high stakes, and all set against the pretty unique background of the 1918 Spanish flu.
Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby - 1,804 ratings: The third book that I owe to Avery, and this one gave me all KINDS of feelings. It's a beautiful story about deafness and friendship, and it definitely made me cry. It's been a few years since I read it, so I don't remember a lot of the details, but you should trust me on this one anyway.
What are your favorite underrated books? Have you read any of these? Are you going to? Tell me in the comments!