8 Aug 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated books - must reads!

The topic of this week's Top Ten Tuesday is Underrated Books as in books you can't believe aren't more popular, books that are more obscure and so on. I love this topic. There are so many books that I can't believe aren't getting more hype or that I love but that have not received the acclaim that I think they deserve. So here we go - don't forget to pop by The Broke and The Bookish to join in!

10) The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
Many of you know the musical and have probably seen either that one or the film - but have you read the book? Otherwise, I can highly recommend it. It is a short but great story about Christine Daaé with the amazing voice, her childhood sweetheart and the opera phantom who is in love with her. It is not your typical love story but it is a really sweet and sometimes scary story.

9) Ronja, the Robber's Daughter by Astrid Lindgren
One of the best children's book ever about the strong, independent girl Ronja who lives in the forest. If you haven't read it yet, you have to get it now. It is a classic.

8) Havana Real by Yoani Sanchez
This is a non-fiction book, a collection of blog posts from the Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez, giving us a glimpse into the life of a family in Cuba who are struggling to make ends meet even though they are among the well-off. Yoani is a really cool woman with a strong voice and lots of opinions. Amazing book, was completely unable to put it down once I had started it.

7) The Exception by Christian Jungersen
A deeply disturbing book about adult bullying the work place. The point-of-view keeps changing between the characters which makes it really difficult to be black and white about who are the evil ones and who are the good ones. It is a bit of a thriller, a suspenseful read that deserves many readers!

6) Namedropper by Emma Forrest
This was one of my favourite YA books when I was a teenager. It is a coming-of-age story about a Viva whose world seems to be populated with characters - from the gorgeous best friend Treena to her gay uncle Manny with the Liz Taylor obsession this book takes us from North London to California and back as we follow Viva learning a thing or two about life. It is full of pop culture references and my 15 year-old self loved it.

5) Dewitt, Helen: The Last Samurai
Ludo is a gifted child, a child prodigy, a kid for whom learning is the best way of entertaining himself. So while his mother struggles to keep up with the five-year-olds wish to learn Japanese and make enough money to get them through the day, Ludo wonders who his father is. A really beautiful book with great characters that you cannot help but love.

4) Stolen Spring by Hans Scherfig
This on is a Danish classic, a must-read on the Danish high school curriculum and for a very good reason: it is a real treasure! A literary feast of amazingness! It is the story of a group of school boys in a very disciplined school where the teachers use their powers to degrade the students - especially the latin teacher Blomme is a real nasty piece of work and the book centers on the mystery of his death. If you are a fan of classic school novels from early 1900s, then this one is for you.

3) The Darkangel by Meredith Ann Pierce
Forget about Twilight and House of Night and all those paranormal romance vampire books that are flooding the market at the moment. This is as much of a vampire classic as Bram Stoker's Dracula, if you ask me, except they aren't vampires - they are vampyres, darkangels that feed on souls. When Ariel's mistress, the beautiful Eoduin is taken by a darkangel, she follows her to try to free her from the vampyre's clutches.

2) Nordkraft by Jacob Ejersbo
If you liked the film "Trainspotting", you will love this book. Ejersbo's novel is a masterpiece about living a hard life full of drugs, alcohol and abuse on the bottom of society. This is a book about the people we see on the street and that makes us thankful for our lives. It is so gripping and thought-provoking that it moved me to tears.

1) The Sopranos by Alan Warner
One of my favourite books (it has been for years) is this fantastic tour de force about a group of Catholic school girls on an outing from their small village to a larger town for a choir competition. The amount of mischief (doesn't cover it at all!) they get into is disturbing - getting drunk, getting their uniforms stolen... it is all just the beginning of the adventure.


  1. Ronja Ryövärintytär, as we know it in Finland, was my favourite book as a kid. It's such an amazing story! I love everything by Astrid Lindgren, but Ronja rises above all.

  2. I never liked the Phantom movie, so I'm glad to see the book here on your list. I'll definitely give it a try!

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  4. Goodness, I've only heard of Leroux's Phantom of the Opera. The Darkangel sounds like my kind of vampyre novel, and I would love to read Ronja and The Last Samurai. Thank you for sharing! :)


  5. The Exception sounds interesting and one I hadn't heard of before so yay for this topic. I can't think of another book that's about bullying for anyone outside of school

  6. Great list! I've only heard of Phantom of the Opera and all the others sound great. I'm so glad I've found your blog! :)

  7. I read The Phantom of the Opera when I was in high school. It took me a while to get into it, but once I was I couldn't put it down.

  8. I love this topic because I'm hearing about all sorts of books and authors I've never heard of before!

    Please check out mine if you have the chance:


  9. Most of those are new to me! I do need to make time for The Sopranos. I've checked it out from the library an embarrassing number of times to have never read it!

  10. thanks for following my blog! [:
    I'm following you too now.

    All of these are new to me! [: Great list though, they all sound really good! I'll definitely have to add some to my to read pile.

    Erin @ Let's Evaluate

  11. I have added The Exception to my Wishlist, sounds though provoking.

  12. I didn't know the Phantom of the Opera was a book (I know, duh right?) I've never seen the musical, but I'm thinking now that the book could be a good place to start with the story!

  13. Wow, I had no idea there was a book for Phantom of the Opera! The Exception sounds really interesting as well- I always love the occasional non-fiction read. Great picks! :)

  14. I just finished The Phantom of the Opera last month and I definitely agree it deserves more attention!!!

  15. Excellent list! I've heard of very few of these, but now a bunch are on my wish list. I love Phantom of the Opera the musical, but now I must try the book!

  16. I need to make a copy of this list - I've barely heard of some of these! The Nordkraft in particular sounds very intense. I wonder if there's an English translation.

  17. Yes!! Ronja is my favorite book ever and my childhood heroine (still is :) )!

  18. Thanks for all your comments. Phantom of the Opera is really good - I actually read the book before I saw the musical and the film and then I re-read the book.
    The Exception is really great and should be available on Amazon.
    @Iliana: I think I saw an English version of Nordkraft on amazon.com

  19. I like the sound of the cuban book willa ,all the best stu