REALLY Underrated Books (Fewer than 1,000 Ratings)

This is an alternative to the popular "Best Books Ever" list, focusing on the most obscure books. Here's the rule: add any book--in any genre--so long as it has fewer than 1,000 ratings on Goodreads.

Before you add a book, please take a moment to look it up to ensure it meets the parameters for this list.

You can find the number of every book's Goodreads ratings under "book data" in the first line of the box containing the book's editorial data.

There is another list for Moderately Underrated Books (1,000 - 10,000 GRs ratings).

And for those who are feeling crowded even on this list, here are a few lists designed to give a home to even more undeservedly obscure books:
REALLY Seriously Underrated Books (100 to 500 GR ratings).
REALLY Really Underrated Books (fewer than 100 GR ratings)
Super Underrated Books (fewer than 50 GR ratings)
Ridiculously Underrated Books (fewer than 20 GR ratings)
Really Underrated Children's Books (children's books with fewer than 100 GR ratings).
Just One Rating

Alternatively, see lists of books with the most ratings.
1

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4.35 avg rating — 919 ratings
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2

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4.21 avg rating — 783 ratings
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3

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3.78 avg rating — 340 ratings
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4

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3.69 avg rating — 615 ratings
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5

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4.01 avg rating — 940 ratings
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6

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4.24 avg rating — 724 ratings
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7

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3.97 avg rating — 962 ratings
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8

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 679 ratings
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9

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4.16 avg rating — 872 ratings
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10

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3.61 avg rating — 394 ratings
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11

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3.78 avg rating — 419 ratings
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12

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4.12 avg rating — 426 ratings
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13

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4.06 avg rating — 703 ratings
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14

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3.57 avg rating — 195 ratings
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14

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3.55 avg rating — 425 ratings
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16

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3.36 avg rating — 376 ratings
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17

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3.83 avg rating — 1,034 ratings
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18

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4.20 avg rating — 20 ratings
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19

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4.10 avg rating — 708 ratings
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20

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3.85 avg rating — 84 ratings
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21

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3.68 avg rating — 409 ratings
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22

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4.12 avg rating — 693 ratings
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23

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3.82 avg rating — 857 ratings
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24

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3.74 avg rating — 303 ratings
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25

by
4.02 avg rating — 529 ratings
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26

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4.05 avg rating — 525 ratings
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27

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4.31 avg rating — 946 ratings
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28

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3.89 avg rating — 922 ratings
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29

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3.84 avg rating — 1,117 ratings
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30

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3.95 avg rating — 944 ratings
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31

by
3.91 avg rating — 916 ratings
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32

by
3.70 avg rating — 858 ratings
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33

by
3.67 avg rating — 488 ratings
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33

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4.18 avg rating — 946 ratings
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33

by
4.02 avg rating — 614 ratings
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36

by
3.98 avg rating — 765 ratings
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36

by
4.18 avg rating — 11 ratings
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38

by
4.34 avg rating — 631 ratings
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39

by
3.92 avg rating — 426 ratings
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40

by
3.71 avg rating — 825 ratings
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41

by
4.03 avg rating — 630 ratings
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42

by
4.18 avg rating — 963 ratings
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43

by
3.86 avg rating — 903 ratings
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44

by
3.75 avg rating — 790 ratings
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45

by
3.51 avg rating — 206 ratings
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46

by
4.06 avg rating — 408 ratings
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47

by
4.18 avg rating — 993 ratings
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48

by
3.95 avg rating — 809 ratings
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49

by
4.33 avg rating — 27 ratings
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49

by
3.84 avg rating — 189 ratings
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49

by
3.77 avg rating — 202 ratings
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52

by
3.97 avg rating — 388 ratings
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53

by
3.71 avg rating — 289 ratings
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54

by
4.18 avg rating — 171 ratings
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55

by
4.57 avg rating — 221 ratings
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56

by
4.16 avg rating — 577 ratings
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57

by
3.66 avg rating — 211 ratings
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58

by
3.83 avg rating — 601 ratings
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59

by
3.85 avg rating — 411 ratings
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60

by
3.87 avg rating — 555 ratings
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61

by
4.18 avg rating — 153 ratings
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62

by
3.79 avg rating — 1,038 ratings
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63

by
3.94 avg rating — 827 ratings
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64

by
3.55 avg rating — 637 ratings
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65

by
4.32 avg rating — 845 ratings
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66

by
3.96 avg rating — 347 ratings
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67

by
3.88 avg rating — 917 ratings
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68

by
4.23 avg rating — 123 ratings
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69

by
3.73 avg rating — 847 ratings
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70

by
4.16 avg rating — 343 ratings
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71

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1,013 ratings
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72

by
3.89 avg rating — 779 ratings
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73

by
3.69 avg rating — 32 ratings
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73

by
4.26 avg rating — 312 ratings
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75

by
4.11 avg rating — 373 ratings
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76

by
3.79 avg rating — 689 ratings
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77

by
4.06 avg rating — 375 ratings
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78

by
4.06 avg rating — 264 ratings
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78

by
3.94 avg rating — 837 ratings
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78

by
4.33 avg rating — 15 ratings
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78

by
3.95 avg rating — 277 ratings
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78

by
3.98 avg rating — 64 ratings
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83

by
4.01 avg rating — 70 ratings
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84

by
3.74 avg rating — 689 ratings
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85

by
3.91 avg rating — 359 ratings
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85

by
4.16 avg rating — 895 ratings
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87

by
3.64 avg rating — 196 ratings
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88

by
3.84 avg rating — 165 ratings
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88

by
4.35 avg rating — 658 ratings
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88

by
3.50 avg rating — 642 ratings
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91

by
4.02 avg rating — 574 ratings
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92

by
3.77 avg rating — 770 ratings
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92

by
3.97 avg rating — 425 ratings
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94

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3.53 avg rating — 958 ratings
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94

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3.93 avg rating — 1,030 ratings
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96

by
4.01 avg rating — 373 ratings
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97

by
3.87 avg rating — 200 ratings
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98

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 11 ratings
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99

by
3.90 avg rating — 363 ratings
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99

by
3.92 avg rating — 474 ratings
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flag this list (?)
3,218 books · 1,440 voters · list created July 8th, 2009 by John Burns (votes) .
244 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


John 693 books
44 friends
Manday 745 books
117 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 3233 books
860 friends
Greyweather 2660 books
71 friends
Bettie 15590 books
123 friends
Ronan Noane 1771 books
120 friends
Phillip 4741 books
134 friends
Beth 1681 books
640 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-50 of 449 (449 new)


message 2: by John (new)

John Burns Stuart wrote: "Added The Road to Wigan Pier, I, Claudius From the Autobiography of Tiberius Claudius, Born 10 B.C., Murdered & Deified A.D. 54, A Fortunate Life and [book..."

I claudius has too many ratings. It belongs (and already is) in the other list. http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/24...
All quiet on the western front has WAAAAY too many ratings. Its too popular for either list. Sorry if this method seems a bit strict and uptight but its the only way to determine which are the genuinely obscure books out there and a book like AQOTWF has way too much of an advantage over all these obscure books.


message 3: by Stuart (new)

Stuart Sorry, I was looking at the reviews value rather than the ratings value.


message 4: by John (last edited Jul 10, 2009 05:26AM) (new)

John Burns Thanks you guys who voted for shadow of the wind. Way to completely ignore the one premise of this list.

DELETED!


message 6: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Sorry but this is bugging me: "Before you add a book, look up it's profile...."

Can you take out the apostrophe?

Also it should be "fewer than 1,000 ratings" not less than.


message 7: by Stuart (new)

Stuart Lobstergirl wrote: "Sorry but this is bugging me: "Before you add a book, look up it's profile...."

Can you take out the apostrophe?

Also it should be "fewer than 1,000 ratings" not less than."


Did you add any books, or did you just drop by to complain?


message 8: by John (last edited Aug 03, 2009 04:01AM) (new)

John Burns Lobstergirl wrote: "Sorry but this is bugging me: "Before you add a book, look up it's profile...."

Can you take out the apostrophe?

Also it should be "fewer than 1,000 ratings" not less than."


Apostrophe & "less than" duly deleted.

Happy now?


message 9: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Stuart wrote: "Lobstergirl wrote: "Sorry but this is bugging me: "Before you add a book, look up it's profile...."

Can you take out the apostrophe?

Also it should be "fewer than 1,000 ratings" not less tha..."


I did add books, although if I wanted drop by just to complain I'd feel free to. Punctuation is that important!


message 10: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Killthepopular wrote: "Lobstergirl wrote: "Sorry but this is bugging me: "Before you add a book, look up it's profile...."

Can you take out the apostrophe?

Also it should be "fewer than 1,000 ratings" not less tha..."


Very happy.


message 11: by Stuart (last edited Aug 04, 2009 04:22AM) (new)

Stuart Lobstergirl wrote: I did add books, although if I wanted drop by just to complain I'd feel free to. Punctuation is that important!

I'm all for correct use of grammar, but isn't clarity the whole point of the endeavour? There is no doubt what someone means by 'Less than 1000 ratings'.



message 12: by John (new)

John Burns True. Surely being THAT bothered by things like the incorrect usage of apostrophes is just another form of OCD?


message 13: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy wow. bitchy comments section here. oh, the drama


message 14: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand "The Girls" by Lori Lansens is on this list and has waaay more than 1,000 ratings. Just thought I'd mention this! Otherwise, really interesting list to read through.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed for too many ratings:

The Girls, by Lori Lansens


message 16: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Removed for too many ratings: "A Distant Mirror" by Tuchman.


message 17: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Killthepopular wrote: "True. Surely being THAT bothered by things like the incorrect usage of apostrophes is just another form of OCD?"

In the eye of the beholder, etc.


message 18: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Removed: The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White.


message 19: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Removed: Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard.


message 20: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Removed: Moon and Sixpence.


message 21: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Removed: A Bear Called Paddington.


message 22: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Removed: The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax.


message 23: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Removed: Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde.


message 24: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Removed: The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.


message 25: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Removed: Homicide by David Simon.


message 26: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Removed: Her Fearful Symmetry.


message 27: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Removed: Keep the Aspidistra Flying.


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Hmmm. Could it be that this list is achieving its goal and IS actually creating more of a readership for some of these books? If so, all the better!

Then again, given the criteria stated -- "fewer than 1,000 ratings -- I'm afraid there are a few more candidates for deletion ... which is not to say that they DON'T still rightly deserve a place on the "(moderately) underrated books" list ( http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/24... ) ... or indeed, on any of this site's "must read" lists.

In that spirit, could someone with librarian status please delete (from this PRESENT list only, and ONLY on the grounds of exceeding the 1,000-ratings-threshold):

Stephen Greenblatt, "Will in the World"
Jerome Lawrence, "Inherit the Wind"
Colleen McCullough, "The First Man in Rome"
Evelyn Waugh, "Scoop"

Thanks in advance!


message 29: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Lobstergirl wrote: "Stuart wrote: "Lobstergirl wrote: "Sorry but this is bugging me: "Before you add a book, look up it's profile...."

Can you take out the apostrophe?

Also it should be "fewer than 1,000 rating..."


Well, the English-speaking world needs more people like you, but I object to your assertion that "It should be 'fewer than' not 'less than'." What you say is simply not the case---I mean the "should" part. Language is not logic, not carved in stone--except when it is, of course--and not owned by anyone. I find "different THAN" utterly galling, but (PACE, William Safire) we have no "academy" to oversee language change and growth. YOU MIGHT COULD SAY DIFFERENT THAN. I hate it, you hate it, but we simply cannot say it is "wrong" with any authority, IMO (Yes, I hate abbreviations, too). Peace/Love, Thom


message 30: by M (new)

M Themis-Athena wrote: "Hmmm. Could it be that this list is achieving its goal and IS actually creating more of a readership for some of these books? If so, all the better!

Then again, given the criteria stated -- "few..."


Deleted !




message 31: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Thom wrote: "Lobstergirl wrote: "Stuart wrote: "Lobstergirl wrote: "Sorry but this is bugging me: "Before you add a book, look up it's profile...."

Can you take out the apostrophe?

Also it should be "fewer t..."


I agree that language is mutable and ever changing and not owned by anyone. Yet we must have some standards, or at least we ought to. At the very least, I personally demand that we do. Perhaps that makes me batshit crazy, but there you have it. The 'fewer than/less than' thing doesn't bother me much, but apostrophes in the wrong place make me homicidal. And I will never give up the struggle. FIGHT ON, proper apostrophization.


message 32: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Lobstergirl wrote: "Thom wrote: "Lobstergirl wrote: "Stuart wrote: "Lobstergirl wrote: "Sorry but this is bugging me: "Before you add a book, look up it's profile...."

Can you take out the apostrophe?

Also it s..."


Well, I suspect if we had time we would find ourselves in substantial agreement. Certainly my students were held to strict standards, such as those regarding dangling modifiers, faulty parallelism, subject-verb agreement, and such like.
One way to settle the standards questions is by appeal to a particular style sheet, The New York Times will do.


message 33: by Reese (new)

Reese Oh, dear -- why did I allow myself to read the comments attached to this list? The O-C part of me refused to click a back or forward arrow. Having read messages 1-30, I now feel compelled to compose #31.

Must we have a body with absolute authority to declare what constitutes standard usage in order for us to use the word "should" when we are discussing diction, syntax, and punctuation? "Should" does not carry the force of "must." Hosts don't HAVE to set the knife and spoon to the right of the plate; men don't HAVE to wear tuxedos or tails to black-tie affairs, and writers don't HAVE to write "fewer than one thousand ratings" or "its" when they don't mean "it is." BUT all of us should be open to learning and respecting standard practices. And I believe that we don't have to avoid being prescriptive as long as we don't insist that "standard" means "right."

This is a Goodreads network, isn't it? Shouldn't members respond respectfully to information and recommendations? They don't HAVE to, but they should. And they don't HAVE to acknowledge that nonstandard usage can become an obstacle to understanding a writer's intentions. But the day may come when personal experiences teach some people that other people don't need to see "shrinks" just because they wear tuxedos to formal events and use apostrophes only when most readers expect to see them.
Peace or piece or peas or pea's, Rdbot


message 34: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Rdbot (Reese) wrote: "Oh, dear -- why did I allow myself to read the comments attached to this list? The O-C part of me refused to click a back or forward arrow. Having read messages 1-30, I now feel compelled to compo..."

Rdbot (Reese) wrote: "Oh, dear -- why did I allow myself to read the comments attached to this list? The O-C part of me refused to click a back or forward arrow. Having read messages 1-30, I now feel compelled to compo..."

The Dirty Little Secret (And you musn't let this get out) we men have been keeping all these years is that tuxedos are comfortable. The tremendous power of Yiddish and Ebonics and such-like non-standard lingos lies in the glosses, extensions and send-ups they provide of the standard languages they spring from. Eventually we lexicon prigs just can't stand the appeal anymore and start chanting, "Schlemiel, schlemazel, Hassenpfeffer Incorporataed" or muttering in tune, "Ain' got no home,....ain' got no woman....caint
spell no words...." and so on. Gets ME through the night. Keeps my O C from becoming OCD....That's my plan, anyway. Love you people. --T.


message 35: by Reese (new)

Reese Thom wrote: "Rdbot (Reese) wrote: "Oh, dear -- why did I allow myself to read the comments attached to this list? The O-C part of me refused to click a back or forward arrow. Having read messages 1-30, I now f..."

Do you remember the television show (late fifties or early sixties) TOM TERRIFIC (cartoon about a cat)? I don't remember much about it, but when I read your comments, "Tom Terrific" usually flies through my brain. You are "Thom Terrific," generously sharing your abundant knowledge, sensible choices, and "dirty little secrets" that aren't dirty. BTW, I imagine that tuxedos are more comfortable than ladies' gowns & heels, but I don't think that my husband considers his tux comfortable. And my son would probably say, "If you have to iron or dry clean it, it can't be comfortable." Enough on clothing.

I am an enemy of apathy, of carelessness. I'm no enemy of change. One of the few personal benefits of the march of time has been a decrease in the number of Yiddish expressions that I have to explain.

I value broadmindedness, so I expect "the keepers of standard usage" to accept changes that use brings; AND I expect people who want to "hang out" with readers and writers (in a classroom or in cyberspace) not to verbally abuse those who appreciate the use of standard English. I will not give up my belief that more knowledge generally (not always) equips us to make better choices. And life is about choosing. Here's to choosing wisely.
Love, Rdbot


message 36: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Removed for excessive ratings: Lady Susan by Austen.


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Thanks for keeping tabs on these!

(I added "Lady Susan" to the other list instead -- books with between 1,000 and 10,000 ratings.)


message 38: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Removed: Little, Big. Adding to other list.


message 39: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Removed for excessive ratings: The Gormenghast Novels.


message 40: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Removed for excessive ratings: The True Story of Hansel and Gretel.


message 41: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Removed for excessive ratings: Gateway.


message 42: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Removed for excessive ratings: Three Bags Full.


message 43: by Jan C (new)

Jan C Rdbot (Reese) wrote: "Thom wrote: "Rdbot (Reese) wrote: "Oh, dear -- why did I allow myself to read the comments attached to this list? The O-C part of me refused to click a back or forward arrow. Having read messages ..."

Not to be picky but Tom Terrific was not about a cat. It was about a kid with a thinking cap and a lazy dog named Manfred. It started on Captain Kangaroo.

I admit I had to look it up on Wikipedia - I remembered the bit about the kid with the hat but not the dog.


message 44: by Reese (new)

Reese Jan,
I'm glad that you corrected my error. At some point during the many years since I was ten, Tom Terrific and Top Cat traded places in my brain. I doubt that Thom is like the character Top Cat, but I do look up to Thom. It's a bit "funny," though, that the note in which I referred to the cartoon character was a reply to Thom's comment about a "dirty little secret" (i.e., men don't find tuxedos uncomfortable). Top Cat was a trash-can kitty.


message 45: by Jan C (new)

Jan C Ahhhhhhhh, but TC was a classy trash-can kitty. He was one cool cat.


message 46: by Reese (new)

Reese I loved that program, and he WAS a really cool cat. But I think (my memory may be off again) that his status as top cat allowed him to get the "undercats" to do the nasty stuff. Thom Dunn has just the "coolness" of Top Cat.


message 47: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Removed: 101 Dalmatians.


message 49: by Esperanza (new)

Esperanza Vargas ive never heard of ANY of these books...


message 50: by Amy L. (new)

Amy L. Campbell This one needs to be removed from the Fewer than 1000 list: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/89...


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