(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish. Want to make your own list? Clicking the image will take you to this week’s post. Happy listing!)
This week’s list is all about underrated books. It’s been a tough one for me, mainly because I read a lot of books that are read and loved by many. But this list also feels even more subjective than others — kind of like a “list of overrated books” would be really hard for me to write. I can’t wait to see what everyone else’s lists look like.
1. Something Missing (Matthew Dicks) – The story of a ridiculously OCD thief who bites off far more than he can chew when he decides to start helping the people he robs. Read this, read this, read this (or at least check out my review, linked above)!
2. The Phantom of the Opera (Gaston Leroux) – Hear me out. A lot of people have seen the musical, and even more have seen the 2004 film; but a lot of people I know haven’t read the original tale. And it’s amazing, and even more dark and scary. And Erik is even more evil and devious and brilliant. Totally underrated novel.
3. Cheaper by the Dozen (Frank Gilbreth, Jr., Ernestine Carey) – Before Erma Bombeck, before Prudence Mackintosh and Jean Kerr, there was the Gilbreth family. 12 kids, parents who specialized in motion study, and a host of hijinks. Funny, sad, and ultimately heartwarming.
4. The Last Unicorn (Peter S. Beagle) – The first really dark fantasy novel that I ever read. It makes me sad and scared, but it’s a beautiful book, and one that every fantasy fan should know backwards and forwards.
5. The Cookbook Collector (Allegra Goodman) – It took me awhile to warm up to this book, but once I got into it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. All the characters are lost in one way or another, and are brought together by food, books, religion, loss, and love.
6. The poetry of Hafiz – A 14th-century Persian poet who wrote about God as a companion, friend, advisor, and even a lover. I have copies of The Gift and Odes from the Divan of Hafiz, and it’s some of the best poetry I’ve ever read — and so few people I know have heard of it.
7. Tartuffe (Moliere) – Everyone always has to read Shakespeare in high school. I say replace that catastrophe that is Julius Caesar with this, Moliere’s hysterical romp through hypocrisy, lewdness, innuendo, swordfighting, and general insanity. It’s amazing, and I’m sad that I didn’t first read it until college.
8. Helter Skelter (Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry) – I don’t know many people (especially my age) who have read this book, even though the murders behind it were some of the most violent in American history. It’s something everyone should read.
So what are some underrated books that you love? Tell me about ‘em!
13 thoughts on “Top 10 Tuesday: Underrated Books”
Yes, I’ve heard that about The Phantom of The Opera. I didn’t like the movie so much but the book sounds really good.
It’s one of my favorites, actually — very gothic, if you’re participating in the Gothic Reading Challenge and are looking for your next book. 🙂
Great characters, spooky happenings, several genuinely scary moments, hidden passages, death’s heads, and a couple funny moments. You should check it out.
Ooo, I am intrigued by Phatom. Love me some Gothic stories.
I have heard of The Last Unicorn but haven’t gotten around to reading it. Great list of books here.
What great top ten this week, don’t you think?
Have a great rest of the week
You don’t get much more Gothic than Phantom, although I think The Castle of Otranto (which I’ve just started) might give it a run for its money. It’s a great genre, and I’m glad to be delving further into it.
Yes, it was a great list! Normally it only takes me a few minutes to come up with 10 items for my list, but this week I really had to think hard and go back through my books. It was fun. 🙂
Something Missing sounds like a wonderful premise for a book. I’ve got a few books ahead in the queue, but I just placed a hold at the library. Also I just finished The Phantom a week ago and completely agree that it deserves more attention.
Totally agree with you on the accents! Indiana accents aren’t all that interesting either…
Something Missing is fantastic! I think I found it in a Bas Bleu catalog, they always have such great, not-run-of-the-mill stuff. You can’t help but fall in love with Milo, and marvel at his attempts to solve other people’s problems.
I’m glad you liked Phantom. I love the show, and the movie was okay, but the book is always better. 🙂
I know two people from Indiana, one of whom has a very heavy accent, and the other who doesn’t have a trace of it. I myself only have a Texas accent when I say certain words, or when I’m really mad. :p Weird how those things work.
D’oh! Not Milo, that’s the author’s other book. Martin is the main character in Something Missing.
I thought the COOKBOOK COLLECTOR was a disappointment. It had so much potential and it seemed to fizzle for me.
My Head is Full of Books
It took me quite awhile to get into it. There was a lot of rambling and techie speak between Emily and her boyfriend — I didn’t care about their story so much as about Jess and George’s. It was a little clunky, and I agree was a bit disappointing, but there were some genuinely beautiful moments that I loved. I think it’s Goodman’s first novel, so maybe she’ll hit her stride with the next one.
I completely agree about Helter Skelter! Actually I haven’t read it since high school, which was 13 years ago now, so I think it might be time for a re-read.
I think I read it for the first time in high school as well, although it hasn’t been too many years since my last read. It absolutely terrified me, but it was fascinating to see into Manson’s mind, and learn more about a crime that really did shock the entire nation. I think the last time I skimmed through it was when Susan Atkins died a couple years back. Squeaky got out of prison a couple years ago, and Patricia Krenwinkel just got denied parole this past January (thanks, Wikipedia!).
Oh yes, I couldn’t agree more about The Last Unicorn and The Phantom of the Opera. Both beautiful, exciting, and uniquely wonderful books.
I’m glad to see that so many people feel the same about The Phantom of the Opera as I do. This shouldn’t really surprise me, given the well-readness (is that a real phrase?) of the bookish community.
Have you seen the film adaption of The Last Unicorn? Bizarre on lots of levels, but a great score, great casting, and some pretty cool animation.