Haruki Murakami once wrote that if you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think of what everyone else is thinking.
I don’t completely agree – different people can read the same book and walk away with different messages. However, you have to remember that for every Harry Potter out there, there are at least a dozen books written at the same time about the same thing that for whatever twist of cultural fate and cumulative advantage did not make it as big.
So, I browsed Goodreads and randomly picked up eight interesting looking books with a low count of ratings. I have read only the first four, so those are the only ones I can personally recommend. But, the other four looked equally promising, and I shall definitely be reading them very soon.
Without further ado, here’s your listicle:
Genre: Urban Fantasy | Goodreads rating: 3.81
This is the first book in a series called Magic Ex Libris, involving a branch of magic called Libriomancy – the ability to reach into books and bring out objects. It’s a story involving vampires, werewolves, a butt-kicking dryad, a polyamorous relationship, and the war between the East and the West regarding the origin of books.
Genre: YA Drama | Goodreads rating: 3.84
A teen boy battles anxiety and depression by conjuring up an imaginary psychiatrist in the form of a pigeon, and uses poetry as a coping mechanism. It explores a side of adolescence that few YA novels with male protagonists do – the relationship between a brother and his rebellious sister who gets kicked out by his parents. This book is full of self-deprecating humour – my favourite kind of comic relief.
Genre: Poetry | Goodreads rating: 4.06
This one’s a collection of poetry divided into four parts. The first three parts – the princess, the damsel, and the queen sum up the poet’s life, and the last part serves as a note to the reader. This book is proof that, sometimes, honest emotions can be a lot more jarring than any piece of fiction.
Genre: Victorian Fantasy | Goodreads rating: 3.80
This is the first book in an on-going series called The Memoirs of Lady Trent, which outlines the adventures of a young Victorian woman who risks her life to make discoveries that would change the world. Beware, though: just because you like reading about slaying or riding dragons does not mean you’ll enjoy them being studied scientifically. Personally, I found it fascinating.
Genre: Crime Solving | Goodreads rating: 3.85
The first in the Charlotte Holmes trilogy, this book shows the descendants of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson crossing paths and solving a murder mystery together. I think it would be interesting to see how this book treads the line between paying homage to the ACD mysteries and bringing in something fresh and original.
Genre: Theology/Mystery | Goodreads rating: 4.05
This book is written like a detective story, walking the reader through the history of the Old Testament, trying to figure out who wrote specific portions, when, what their motivations were, and who compiled the book. The relationship between history and religion has always fascinated me, so this book certainly seems inviting.
Genre: Cultural Commentary | Goodreads rating: 3.09
A day in the life of two Indian men – a university student, and his bachelor uncle – living in 1985 London, each coping in his own way with solitariness. It is a narrative full of thoughtful rumination, exploring the spiky, needful, sometimes comical, yet ultimately loving connection between the two men. There is an explicit evocation of Joyce’s Ulysses and Holmer’s Odyssey.
Genre: Erotic Humour | Goodreads rating: 2.79
As the book cover claims, it is a Selection of Great Books Erotically Remastered. Basically, it eroticizes completely non-erotic stories, ranging from Lord of the Rings to Moby Dick, and Nineteen Eight-Four to Fight Club – there’s something in there for everybody.
Have you ever come across a book that’s so brilliant that you can’t really believe you’ve never heard of it before? Do add your own examples to this list in the comments below!
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