Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Under-Rated Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme by The Broke and the Bookish.

Under-Rated Books

The theme for this week's Top Ten Tuesday is "under-rated books".  They define this as "books we enjoyed that have under 2000 ratings on Goodreads."  Here are my ten, not in any order.

1. The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady  by Elizabeth Stuckey-French 
This was a fantastic book, that I gave a 5 star rating.  (You can read my full review here.)  Overall, though it is touted as a "dark comedy" (and rightfully so), it is so much more than that. The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady is the tale of family triumph, and of how things never quite work out how we have them planned, and of how life is good--despite it all, life is good.

2. The Ordeal Of Gilbert Pinfold by Evelyn Waugh
Generally Waugh books have a large following, but strangely enough, this one doesn't.  The Ordeal Of Gilbert Pinfold is a darkly comic novel about a man suffering from break-down who takes a cruise in order to relax.  Instead, he begins hearing voices--all talking about him.

3.A Troubadour's Testament by James Cowan
This is a gentle love story of a 12th century troubadour.  It is nearly magical, written with a graceful style.  I just loved it.

4.  Sonny's House of Spies  by George Ella Lyon
Oh my gosh, you guys, this book!  I can not gush over it enough!  I gave it 5 stars when it read it (review here).  Lyon is a poet, and it shows all the way through this masterfully written book.  The synopsis doesn't make it sound appealing, so I'll skip it here and just say: READ IT!

"It was a sleepy kind of morning, the air like bathwater."

"Like some reversible cloth, Mama's laughter flipped over into sobs."

"We just stood by the shiny gray coffin with its handles like fancy toilet-paper holders and said "Yes" and "No" and "Thank you" and breathed whatever breaths came by: mint, onion, tobacco, whiskey, and bad."

"All the windows had been propped open, but it was one of those afternoons when the air lay on top of you like a big cat, and no waving of cardboard Jesus-at-the-door fans could make it get up and move."

5.  Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos
This is a hilarious novel--the movie of the same name is based on it--about a gold-digging showgirl searching for a millionaire.  If you can get a copy with the illustrations, all the better.  (my review here)

6. Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam  by Asra Q. Nomani
Why does this book not have more readers??  Nomani published this in 2006, but it is still timely.  It is her story of coming to terms with her faith as an American woman and single mom.  She explains Islam so well; I came away with an understanding of and sympathy for Muslims.  I highly recommend it!  (my review here)

7. Precious Bane by Mary Webb
This is set during the Napoleonic Wars in England.  Prue has a harelip, and life has not been easy for her.  One man sees her value, but she thinks she's not good enough.  This is a gentle romance, well written and atmospheric.  Now that I've talked about it, I'm going to have to reread it!

8-10. Vita Sackville-West
How is it that Vita doesn't get more love?  She is incredible!  A contemporary and friend of Virginia Woolf, her style is different but still compelling. Her stories are usually simple, with incredible writing.  I recommend all her works, but particularly these:

All Passion Spent
The story of a widowed gentlewoman who has become independent at 70, and finally able to choose her friendships.

The Easter Party
It revolves around a house party, and the one incident that changes lives.  It's not even in print anymore, but is certainly worth reading.

The Edwardians
This also revolves around a life-changing party.

I can't make them sound exciting, but I promise, Vita is fantastic!


  1. You make me want to read all of these!

  2. Thanks Deb! I really think you'd like the Radioactive Lady.

  3. That does look good. I just added it to my Amazon list so I won't forget about it.