The obscure: Best books most haven't read (or even heard of)

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4.12 avg rating — 64,558 ratings
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3.90 avg rating — 60,484 ratings
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4.12 avg rating — 8,518 ratings
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4.18 avg rating — 20,933 ratings
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4.07 avg rating — 31,654 ratings
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3.94 avg rating — 21,344 ratings
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4.20 avg rating — 1,861 ratings
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17

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3.95 avg rating — 60,498 ratings
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18

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3.82 avg rating — 2,152 ratings
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3.92 avg rating — 14,418 ratings
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20

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4.16 avg rating — 12,754 ratings
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21

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3.98 avg rating — 1,442 ratings
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22

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4.06 avg rating — 6,871 ratings
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23

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3.99 avg rating — 43,725 ratings
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24

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4.01 avg rating — 3,109 ratings
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25

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4.14 avg rating — 9,425 ratings
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26

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3.79 avg rating — 3,899 ratings
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27

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4.12 avg rating — 426 ratings
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28

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4.22 avg rating — 5,533 ratings
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29

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4.16 avg rating — 872 ratings
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29

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4.22 avg rating — 10,206 ratings
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29

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3.97 avg rating — 8,489 ratings
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29

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4.04 avg rating — 86,599 ratings
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33

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4.28 avg rating — 56,077 ratings
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34

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4.11 avg rating — 63,326 ratings
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35

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3.88 avg rating — 6,653 ratings
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36

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37

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38

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3.47 avg rating — 2,029 ratings
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39

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4.12 avg rating — 21,600 ratings
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40

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41

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3.92 avg rating — 1,477 ratings
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42

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3.73 avg rating — 3,891 ratings
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43

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3.96 avg rating — 1,226 ratings
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44

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4.08 avg rating — 24,663 ratings
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45

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46

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4.03 avg rating — 8,396 ratings
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47

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3.93 avg rating — 8,170 ratings
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47

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49

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49

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3.94 avg rating — 1,722 ratings
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51

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52

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53

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54

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55

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56

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56

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58

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59

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4.18 avg rating — 39,558 ratings
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59

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 4 ratings
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61

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62

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62

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62

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66

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67

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67

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69

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70

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71

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72

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73

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74

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3.67 avg rating — 19,745 ratings
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78

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3.74 avg rating — 41,697 ratings
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79

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80

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 3,841 ratings
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81

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82

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4.21 avg rating — 255 ratings
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82

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82

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82

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82

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3.64 avg rating — 2,816 ratings
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82

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3.74 avg rating — 15,486 ratings
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82

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3.80 avg rating — 1,673 ratings
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82

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3.57 avg rating — 17,717 ratings
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91

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3.61 avg rating — 11,368 ratings
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91

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3.81 avg rating — 1,455 ratings
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91

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3.73 avg rating — 246 ratings
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95

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3.77 avg rating — 475 ratings
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95

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95

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3.71 avg rating — 707 ratings
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95

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4.30 avg rating — 23 ratings
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4.33 avg rating — 18 ratings
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498 books · 444 voters · list created October 30th, 2008 by Sarah (votes) .
Tags: obscure
125 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Sarah 3140 books
97 friends
Toni 2776 books
25 friends
Lynne 6293 books
64 friends
Craig 3681 books
249 friends
George 628 books
10 friends
Marcus 173 books
1025 friends
Lance 369 books
4972 friends
Bert 36 books
60 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-21 of 21 (21 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Xenophon (last edited Dec 15, 2010 06:24PM) (new)

Xenophon Hendrix Some of these books have thousands of ratings, so they definitely have been heard of.


message 2: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn So.......the MORE votes a book gets, the LESS it belongs on this list ?...........!


message 3: by Xenophon (last edited Dec 15, 2010 07:38PM) (new)

Xenophon Hendrix Thom wrote: "So.......the MORE votes a book gets, the LESS it belongs on this list ?...........!"

This is true--not votes, though, ratings.


message 4: by Kevin (new)

Kevin O'Keeffe I think its hilarious that "Watership Down" is considered obscure these days. Uh, by whom?


message 5: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Kevin wrote: "I think its hilarious that "Watership Down" is considered obscure these days. Uh, by whom?"

Kevin, I seldom read books about submarines.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I haven't read ones about rabbits since the 1970s. But it's certainly not obscure! (Nearly 50,000 ratings here at GR suggest it really isn't obscure.)


message 7: by Lindsey (new)

Lindsey Thom wrote: "Kevin wrote: "I think its hilarious that "Watership Down" is considered obscure these days. Uh, by whom?"

Kevin, I seldom read books about submarines."


Thom, Watership Down is the greatest rabbit epoch of all time (by default, I suppose--it's still a good book). No submarines.
I wouldn't put this on the list, because I wasn't that crazy about it, but if you want an obscure animal epoch, try theDuncton Wood series. You can read about the secret lives of British moles pretty much for the rest of your life.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I'm really amused that a book with 55,000 ratings is in third place on this list, and one with 77,000 is in sixth place.


message 9: by Empress (last edited Sep 22, 2013 10:18AM) (new)

Empress Susanna wrote: "I'm really amused that a book with 55,000 ratings is in third place on this list, and one with 77,000 is in sixth place."

First place is 165,000 now


message 10: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Watership Down was an out-of-the-box smash, one British reviewer crowing, "I announce with trembling pleasure the emergence of a great novel"....IMO, he was right.


message 11: by Empress (new)

Empress Thom wrote: "So.......the MORE votes a book gets, the LESS it belongs on this list ?...........!"

The top book has 30 votes. BUT there should be a limit to the votes on the book itself. Currently the top book has above 180 000 votes. That is not un-popular book.

If the voters (list creator) agree to a maximum of votes per book, I or another librarian can edit the description and remove the books.


message 12: by MELISSIA (last edited Jun 07, 2015 03:55PM) (new)

MELISSIA LENOX The statistics are of less import when a book is listed and voted for on goodreads because we listmakers and listvoters are all avid ardent diverse readers however i assure you most of these books ARE obscure to the masses on goodreads or in the average reader world. Also, please consider that a vote on a goodreads list can have a plethora of meanings, only one of which is familiarity and another prior awareness.
Chill people chill.


message 13: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Running with scissors has 268,000 ratings and it is obscure??


message 14: by Booklovinglady (last edited Aug 14, 2016 07:40AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Xenophon wrote: "Thom wrote: "So.......the MORE votes a book gets, the LESS it belongs on this list ?...........!"

This is true--not votes, though, ratings."


Agreed ... Although I have to add that it is all relative, of course. With 46,566 ratings I personally wouldn't call Hardy's Jude the Obscure (#3) 'obscure'. But when one compares it to Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles with 167,751 ratings, I can see why one might add Jude the Obscure to this list (although personally I wouldn't have, I'd rather have gone for Hardy's A Laodicean, which has only 447 ratings. I haven't added it though, because although I own a copy, I haven't read it yet).

All of the books I added/voted for have far less than 1,000 ratings. Some even as little as 2 or 3 ratings, and yet they are marvellous books... And almost all of the books I voted for are available in English, either as their original language or as a translation.

@Sarah
A maximum number of ratings mentioned in the description should easily solve these problems...


message 15: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Team of Rivals? Really?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I guess some of us have differing views of what "obscure" means.


message 17: by Booklovinglady (last edited Nov 14, 2016 08:08AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Pity about the spam at the top of the list (a title with lots of votes by people who voted just for one single book is called circle voting, in my book)


message 18: by Heidi (new)

Heidi The person who made this list really should have made some definite standard like under 10,000 votes or something like that.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads This list was created in 2008, when that wasn't an issue.


message 20: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Sarah, creator of this list, are you still out there? Will you please designate the number of ratings a book needs below a certain amount to be obscure?


message 21: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Even though "Jude the Obscure" has over 58,00 ratings I think it should be left on here. Hahaha


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