Ten Favorite Underrated Books


Underrated booksWhat are some great books that haven’t been rated all that often? A couple of weeks ago, the Top Ten Tuesday prompt focused on underrated books. I didn’t get a chance to whip up a post in time, but I love this theme and decided I’d participate when I could. So, here we are!

The suggested definition of “underrated” was “under 2,000 reviews on Goodreads,” but the books on my list fall far below that. Many of these are either small press or self-published, and they all have fewer than 150 reviews on Goodreads.


1. Two Lovely Berries by A. M. Blair
A. M. Blair from The Misfortune of Knowing self-published this New Adult novel about two twin sisters and their struggle for individuality. Character-driven, compelling, beautifully written– this book brought me out of a huge reading slump!

2. A Brief Moment of Weightlessness by Victoria Fish
This collection of short stories “explores the human desire for connectedness and grace.” This book is dazzling: I loved every single one of these captivating stories. [my review]

3. Life After Sleep by Mark R. Brand
What would society be like if humans only needed two hours of sleep each night? This novella explores the societal implications of such a world, and includes just enough technical details to make for a satisfying speculative fiction / sci-fi read.

4. Adé by Rebecca Walker
I usually steer clear of love stories, but this one is so rich, complex, and moving. I was reminded of my “first world problems” and surreptitiously drawn into a profound realization about my own attitudes.

5. solo/down by Lauryn Allison Lewis
This novella, described as a “dark and surreal body-horror tale,” completely creeped me out. Sci-fi meets magical realism meets horror. It was terrifying!

6. The Thing About Great White Sharks by Rebecca Adams Wright
These fifteen speculative short stories blew me away! The title story alone is a dystopia unlike any other I’ve read. A creative, offbeat and really delightful collection.

7. The Clock of Life by Nancy Klann-Moren
This profound coming of age story full of rich characters takes place in small town Mississippi in the 1980’s and tackles some of the complex reasons why racist attitudes in the South continue to persist.

8. Lungs Full of Noise by Tessa Mellas
Although I was instantly reminded of the quirky, outlandish fables of Aimee Bender’s The Color Master, Tessa Mellas has a unique and distinct voice that is all her own. I was delighted by this creative and peculiar set of short stories.

9. Sad Robot Stories by Mason Johnson
Through the eyes of a lovable robotic main character who is grieving the loss of humanity, this piece of post-apocalyptic sci-fi opens up a lot questions on a variety of topics…all while leaving plenty of room for individual interpretation. And in a short (novella) format.

10. Safe As Houses by Marie Helene-Bertino
I know, I know, another collection of short stories. I can’t help it, I love ’em! This eclectic collection borders on the wildly strange and fantastical, with just a hint of the dream-like nature of surrealism. Yet—somehow—these stories also feel down-to-earth. Quirky without feeling too “out there.”

  • Debbie Rodgers

    I also included Adé in my list of underrated books. I loved it (and I don’t ever read “romance”).

    I agree with your assessment of The Things About Great White Sharks. I’ve jotted down a couple of the other short story collections you’ve noted. They sounds promising!

  • Thank you for including Two Lovely Berries on this list! I loved writing it, and it gives me such a thrill to know that you enjoyed it.

  • I see a few familiar titles and authors. The Things About Great White Sharks is pretty amazing — people need to go read it!!!! I’m bookmarking this, you and your amazing reading taste!