Top 10 Tuesday: 10 Underrated Books I’ve Read

toptentuesday

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. You can find the prompts here.

There are so many books that are published every week that is can be hard to keep up with all of the titles we mean to. May 2017 looks especially busy this year, much like October 2015 (at least 10 titles I want to read are being published in quick succession!). Since there are so many, it’s only a matter of time before some get overlooked.

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with the titles that get overlooked. Today I want to share with you ten titles that I’ve read that I thought were great reads that might have been overlooked.

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Edge of Wild by D.K. Stone

I was proud to be a part of the Edge of Wild Street Team for Danika Stone, author of this terrific novel. As hard as I and the other members worked, I still think there might be some people that overlooked it.

A mystery that takes place in Alberta, Canada, there’s murder, hostile new neighbors, and few allies for the main character Rich Evans. Can he do the job he was sent there to do, save a floundering hotel, or will he be chased out of town by the unsolved cases that keep popping up around him?

I don’t find many books that are set in Canada and that was one point in this book’s favor. I like mysteries and find it hard to be surprised by them because after reading so many, you tend to start guessing early at who did what. Danika managed to keep me not only interested but guessing up to the last few chapters and that made me very happy.

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Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald

Maybe it’s because these stories were originally published in 1947, but I feel like the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle stories get overlooked a lot. They’re about a woman named Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle that helps parents get rid of their children’s bad behavior in hilarious ways. Her unconventional methods were zany and I loved the image painted for the reader of her upside down house.

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Tomorrow Will Be Better by Betty Smith

Betty Smith only wrote four books in her lifetime, which is a shame, and I would put money on the fact that if anyone can name one of her books when asked, it would more often than not be A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

While that is one of my favorite books of all time, that doesn’t mean that Betty Smith’s other books don’t deserve just as much attention. Tomorrow Will Be Better hardly ever gets mentioned when it really ought to. It’s about Margie, a young woman in the 1920’s, who has dreams of a better life than that of her parents. She thinks that by marrying Frankie she’ll be able to have her own home, her own family, and live happily ever after. Life has a funny way of showing us what we’ll get rather than what we want sometimes and she learns several hard lessons before the end.

Even with all of her difficulties and the lack of clarity regarding her future at the end of the book, Margie manages to hold on tight to her mantra “tomorrow will be better”, though perhaps the twinkle in her eye isn’t what it once was. She’s a strong female lead that manages to soldier through what life hands her and she deserves to be talked about and explored just as much as Francie, the heroine of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

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So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane

I didn’t realize when I first read this series that it was slightly older than I was. I grew up thinking that this was written as I was growing up, before Harry Potter but not before I was even born!

This is the first book in a series about Nita and Kit, young people that find their manuals to becoming wizards in different ways and meet each other, become friends, and later partners in the fight against the Lone Power (the main antagonist).

This series is a bit more on the technical side than similar books, which I thought was a nice change of pace. There’s talk about the decay of the Universe and how to use magic to prevent the loss of energy in the world to prevent the end of the Universe for as long as possible. It is a grand theme that carries through each volume and picks up steam when we meet new characters, from wizards that happen to be dolphins and whales to Nita’s younger sister in a later book.

This series needs to be read more so that people can see where young adult wizard books really started before a British kid ever stepped on the scene.

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Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

This was the first book I ever read that had a female dragon and an anti-princess. Cimorene doesn’t want anything to do with the traditional princess arts: dancing, embroidering, etc. She’d much rather learn magic, fence, read…anything but learn how to faint when a giant kidnaps her.

Kazul is a dragon that just might be crazy enough to “adopt” this princess when she runs away and ask, asks, to be a dragon’s princess. Normally they just kidnap them, but this is a turn of events that will change the course of everyone’s lives. Kazul accepts Cimorene and takes her into her home to cook and organize her treasure. What happens when the wizards and princes start showing up and a dragon kingship is up for grabs will be fun for whoever is reading the first book in this quartet.

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The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

I have never heard anyone talk about this book which is crazy because it is awesome! Libraries are normally havens for bookworms, but what happens when it turns into a nightmare? That’s the question for the little boy that gets trapped in one in The Strange Library. The book is constructed a bit oddly with a weird flap cover rather than the usual cover/pages/cover and different constructions always pique my interest.

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Runaway Vol. One by Brian K. Vaughan

I think Saga is great and probably my favorite of Brian K. Vaughan’s graphic novels. However, he does have some other great titles, Runaways being one of them. It’s about a group of kids that find out their parents are villains: some are evil geniuses, others are aliens, some are super powered, and others prove you don’t need any of that to be evil. When they discover all this, they runaway and vow to use their own abilities to combat whatever schemes their parents come up with.

Finding out all of the details about their parents and themselves along with the kids was a lot of fun and the art was very sharp, the coloring vibrant, and the action wasn’t too messy, which is one of the problems I sometimes have with comics.

The story had lots of little mysteries along the way and I didn’t guess the most important one which shocked me because I was so sure I was right. What is next for these kids? Who knows, but what I do know is that Runaways needs to be read more because of all of the aforementioned reasons.

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In the Forests of the Night by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

I remember picking this up when it was published in 1999/2000 because I was around the same age as the author and I found it fascinating that someone my age (15 years old at the time) could write a book and get it published! I was also very into vampire fiction at the time, so that helped.

I don’t know why this book doesn’t get talked about as much as I think it should, but hopefully this post will get it onto more than a few TBRs. It’s the first book in the Den of Shadows series and while it isn’t the best, it certainly gives you a taste of the world you’re about to step into. There are just vampires in this world and the ones that there are, are not like the legends.

With a series that combines vampires, witches, shapeshifters and more, I was excited to read it and glad that it wasn’t a brick of a book which can be good when I’m in the mood, but every once in awhile I need a speedier read to clear my mood. In the Forests of the Night is the a good  treat for that kind of occasion.

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The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

I’m a sucker for any book that is about books, libraries, authors, etc. Basically if it has something to do with books or people involved with books, I’m in. I picked this book up originally while I was on vacation in St. Martin and it was a terrific mystery that had a lot of elements that twisted my head around and had my wondering until the very end.

The Thirteenth Tale is equal parts mystery and thriller. It was made into a movie apparently and I need to see that while everyone else needs to read this book about a young biographer who is invited to complete the true story of a reclusive author, learning both the author’s secrets and recalling the darkness in her own past as well.

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Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimo

This book definitely suffered from coming out during the years of Harry Potter’s popularity. The first volume was published in 2002 and while I agree that there are similarities between the series, I still believe that Charlie Bone has his own heart and soul on the page. His series deserves just as much of a chance to be read and loved as other magical schoolboys do.

There are scheming aunts, loving parents, wickedly smart friends, talented enemies, and, of course, plots afoot that make you wonder how Charlie is going to survive from one book to the next.

 

 

 

All pictures, quotes, and videos belong to their respective owners. I use them here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.
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2 thoughts on “Top 10 Tuesday: 10 Underrated Books I’ve Read

  1. I just added Dealing with Dragons thanks to you. IT LOOKS SO GOOD THOUGH. I’m crying my library doesn’t have it, but I’ll find someway to read it eventually. 😉 And omg I grew up reading Mrs Piggle Wiggle!! They were always so funny and clever.🎉

    Liked by 1 person

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