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Most underrated books?

This morning I read Buzzfeed’s list of “27 Seriously Underrated Books Every Book Lover Should read.” The list was linked to from Book Riot.

BuzzFeed is not a source I trust to guide my reading but nevertheless I found myself thinking about how readers define underrated.

You can find the whole list here. I’ve read quite a few of these books and I’m not sure that I would describe too many of them as underrated. Several were best sellers and a majority are rated highly on various platforms. Take for example, Night Circus. Pretty much everyone I know has read this book and the majority have rated it highly. It has an average rating of 4 stars on goodreads with over 320,000 ratings. Is this what qualifies as underrated by buzzfeed readers?

As many of you know, I’m also pretty picky (a.k.a snobby) when it comes to books and there are several on this list that would not make my list as books that “every book lover should read.” And not to be overly negative, I do think some on the list were strong but certainly not underrated.

Which books make my list? I’d probably need to dedicate some time to this question and may post my own list with Book Worm’s help in the near future. Off the top of my head, I can think of two books that make my list: The Housekeeper and the Professor by Ogawa and Animal’s people by Sinha. Animal’s people was a nominee for Man Booker Prize in 2007 but very few people seem to have read it. It has less than 2,500 ratings on goodreads (compared with over 320k of night circus) and an average rating of 3.81

I read quite a lot of books that lack popular appeal so I will work on coming up with my list to be posted in the next month.

What do you think of the list? Which books do you think should make the list?

28 Comments Post a comment
  1. Off the top of my head I think of Nova Rem Suma’s The Walls Around Us. She kind of flies under the radar as a writer and I’m not sure why. Her novels are so well orchestrated yet no one I know has read any of her novels

    Liked by 2 people

    June 9, 2015
    • Did you review that one recently? It sounds familiar to me but I’ll have to check it out.

      Liked by 1 person

      June 9, 2015
      • I did! It was an incredible read. So far everything I’ve read from Suma has been fascinating, a bit dark, and completely un-put downable. I hope you do check it out. I’ve been checking out the books you’ve mentioned as well.

        Liked by 1 person

        June 9, 2015
      • Sounds good! I will add it to my TBR. Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

        June 9, 2015
      • You’re welcome! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

        Like

        June 9, 2015
    • Based on your description, I really need to check out this author. Sounds right up my alley.

      Liked by 2 people

      June 10, 2015
  2. Nicole D. #

    I thought that list was absurd. This is mostly Popular Fiction. Wasp Factory is on 1001 so not sure how that’s underrated, plus … it was too dark even for me. Isn’t Unbearable on 1001. Everyday? No. Might be underrated if you are 12 and it’s the first book you’ve ever read. Because of the the ones I have read, I’d never trust the rest of the list. We need to see what grownups feel.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 9, 2015
    • I complete agree. So many were number one on best seller lists and others were critically acclaimed. I could see a book being “underrated” if critics loved it but the average person either didn’t read them or didn’t like them but that’s a stretch and doesn’t apply to this list at all.

      Like

      June 9, 2015
  3. Call me Cordelia #

    I saw the list, too, in fact, was going to write about it, as well… but since I haven’t read any of the books on the list (how did that happen?!) I wasn’t sure how to contribute. However, I have heard of many of the books and was flabbergasted that some like Night Circus (which made it to another bestseller list I saw recently) made it on the list. I do think I need to make a list of books that I think are underrated, one of which would be “The Man-Eaters of Kumaon” by Jim Corbett.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 9, 2015
    • I think any serious reader would be stunned by this list representing underrated books. I hope you do put together a list. I’d look forward to reading it.

      Liked by 1 person

      June 9, 2015
      • Call me Cordelia #

        By the way, I LOVE the image you used for this post. Where did you find it?

        Liked by 1 person

        June 9, 2015
      • Google. I have to be better about citing the sources. I can send you the link when I get home tonight.

        Liked by 1 person

        June 9, 2015
      • I googled dusty books. I’m still not clear on how to cite and use images appropriately for something like a blog.

        Like

        June 9, 2015
      • Call me Cordelia #

        I don’t know either… but most of my images are from GoodReads (which I post a link back to) or I take the photo myself…

        Liked by 1 person

        June 9, 2015
      • Same with me but occasionally I’ll use an image I found online. I do check for copyrights first but it can be hard to tell.

        Like

        June 9, 2015
      • Call me Cordelia #

        What do you mean, check for copyrights? Do you mean, if there’s a (c) you make sure you copy it/caption it?

        Like

        June 9, 2015
      • Yes, I check the website to see if there’s a copyright mentioned or I will make sure that there’s no copyright listed on the photo or site. I won’t use anything that has a copyright unless the person states that we can use them with attribution.

        Liked by 1 person

        June 9, 2015
      • Call me Cordelia #

        I learn something new everyday!

        Liked by 1 person

        June 9, 2015
  4. Yup, that list is total BS. The fact that it started with Art of Racing in the Rain automatically disqualifies it as something to take seriously. I’m pretty sure every book club ever has read that book.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 9, 2015
    • Ha ha. So true. I never read that book but I tend to avoid very commercial reads and my face to face book club is on a hiatus 🙂

      Like

      June 9, 2015
      • I’m the same way. I usually let my coworkers read all the “hot” books while I go searching for hidden gems. Or I’ll buy them for my mother-in-law and get her to tell me about it after. 😛

        Liked by 2 people

        June 9, 2015
  5. Buzzfeed Books makes me sad…

    I would probably classify underrated books as the lesser known titles of popular authors- like Villette by Charlotte Bronte (at least I personally think it’s underrated). Otherwise it’s just a list of ‘books I read that none of my friends have’.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 9, 2015
  6. Charisma #

    “The Piano Teacher” by Elfriede Jelinek..? Urgh… Utterly disturbing book… If one can help it, one must rather avoid reading it all together! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    June 9, 2015
    • Charisma I so with you totally disgusting so of course it must be one of the 1001 Books to read before you die, maybe its a secret plan to make us all immortal if you cant die until you read them all rofl

      Like

      June 11, 2015
  7. Sounds like a challenge Jen 🙂 first challenge define underrated!!

    So I must confess while Jen is a book snob I am a book slut I will read anything and everything so I would guess 45% of my reading is 1001 books and 45% is popular fiction which leaves me a sad 10% that could possibly be underrate lol

    Like

    June 11, 2015

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