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Books that Exceeded your Expectations

These are books that pleasantly surprised you. They could be classics that you really loved or more recent fiction that just caught you off guard by its greatness.
1

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4.33 avg rating — 7,817,869 ratings
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2

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4.39 avg rating — 2,318,851 ratings
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3

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4.33 avg rating — 2,908,448 ratings
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4

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4.47 avg rating — 9,107,393 ratings
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5

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4.10 avg rating — 1,542,379 ratings
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6

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4.27 avg rating — 5,594,314 ratings
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7

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4.47 avg rating — 2,564,731 ratings
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8

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4.16 avg rating — 3,001,831 ratings
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9

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3.99 avg rating — 1,723,606 ratings
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10

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4.28 avg rating — 3,862,855 ratings
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11

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4.14 avg rating — 1,912,480 ratings
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12

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3.89 avg rating — 1,395,071 ratings
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13

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4.31 avg rating — 3,162,684 ratings
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14

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4.62 avg rating — 3,412,730 ratings
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15

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4.42 avg rating — 1,402,209 ratings
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16

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3.64 avg rating — 6,067,317 ratings
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17

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3.84 avg rating — 2,248,019 ratings
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18

by
3.85 avg rating — 971,305 ratings
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19

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4.14 avg rating — 1,944,594 ratings
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20

by
4.19 avg rating — 4,105,816 ratings
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21

by
4.30 avg rating — 1,097,728 ratings
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22

by
4.58 avg rating — 3,720,881 ratings
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23

by
3.93 avg rating — 1,534,394 ratings
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24

by
4.09 avg rating — 1,165,583 ratings
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25

by
4.56 avg rating — 3,330,332 ratings
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26

by
3.97 avg rating — 302,398 ratings
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27

by
4.30 avg rating — 1,171,400 ratings
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28

by
4.44 avg rating — 2,325,257 ratings
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29

by
4.18 avg rating — 710,076 ratings
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30

by
4.29 avg rating — 578,300 ratings
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31

by
4.08 avg rating — 711,128 ratings
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32

by
4.02 avg rating — 621,357 ratings
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33

by
4.28 avg rating — 3,590,896 ratings
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34

by
3.93 avg rating — 4,747,154 ratings
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35

by
3.90 avg rating — 2,729,328 ratings
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36

by
4.08 avg rating — 1,236,799 ratings
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37

by
4.13 avg rating — 1,854,585 ratings
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38

by
4.25 avg rating — 976,766 ratings
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39

by
4.19 avg rating — 573,198 ratings
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40

by
4.31 avg rating — 1,293,777 ratings
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41

by
4.07 avg rating — 2,885,859 ratings
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42

by
3.98 avg rating — 827,461 ratings
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43

by
4.59 avg rating — 10,313 ratings
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44

by
3.88 avg rating — 1,654,266 ratings
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45

by
3.61 avg rating — 1,663,088 ratings
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46

by
3.97 avg rating — 2,167,023 ratings
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47

by
4.25 avg rating — 885,390 ratings
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48

by
3.69 avg rating — 2,696,503 ratings
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49

by
4.25 avg rating — 623,211 ratings
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50

by
4.29 avg rating — 2,636,229 ratings
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51

by
4.19 avg rating — 760,044 ratings
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52

by
4.15 avg rating — 3,645,499 ratings
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53

by
4.04 avg rating — 801,356 ratings
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54

by
3.88 avg rating — 780,702 ratings
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55

by
3.69 avg rating — 26,611 ratings
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56

by
4.52 avg rating — 875,564 ratings
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57

by
3.79 avg rating — 257,695 ratings
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58

by
4.11 avg rating — 896,631 ratings
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59

by
3.97 avg rating — 408,541 ratings
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60

by
4.28 avg rating — 856,544 ratings
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61

by
4.13 avg rating — 2,242,442 ratings
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62

by
4.22 avg rating — 495,357 ratings
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63

by
3.88 avg rating — 2,354,940 ratings
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64

by
3.98 avg rating — 3,498,552 ratings
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65

by
3.93 avg rating — 492,628 ratings
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66

by
4.08 avg rating — 1,893,180 ratings
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67

by
4.15 avg rating — 4,671,449 ratings
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68

by
4.07 avg rating — 438,296 ratings
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69

by
4.11 avg rating — 622,429 ratings
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70

by
3.99 avg rating — 1,714,591 ratings
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71

by
4.28 avg rating — 156,024 ratings
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72

by
3.81 avg rating — 3,267,044 ratings
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73

by
3.74 avg rating — 27,832 ratings
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74

by
4.26 avg rating — 862,398 ratings
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75

by
4.14 avg rating — 212,211 ratings
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76

by
4.28 avg rating — 1,175,960 ratings
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77

by
3.81 avg rating — 612,422 ratings
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78

by
3.93 avg rating — 267,387 ratings
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79

by
4.08 avg rating — 1,114,597 ratings
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80

by
3.83 avg rating — 1,229,687 ratings
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81

by
4.26 avg rating — 331,652 ratings
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82

by
4.01 avg rating — 929,720 ratings
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83

by
4.04 avg rating — 414,780 ratings
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84

by
4.02 avg rating — 295,037 ratings
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85

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 674,180 ratings
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86

by
4.20 avg rating — 698,368 ratings
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87

by
4.12 avg rating — 2,825,726 ratings
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88

by
3.69 avg rating — 378,131 ratings
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89

by
4.06 avg rating — 707,754 ratings
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90

by
3.54 avg rating — 587,480 ratings
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91

by
3.88 avg rating — 314,190 ratings
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92

by
3.93 avg rating — 474,096 ratings
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93

by
3.84 avg rating — 611,508 ratings
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94

by
4.20 avg rating — 304,840 ratings
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95

by
3.66 avg rating — 340,855 ratings
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96

by
4.25 avg rating — 203,608 ratings
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97

by
3.79 avg rating — 218,872 ratings
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98

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 630,640 ratings
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99

by
4.33 avg rating — 723,783 ratings
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100

by
4.14 avg rating — 603,179 ratings
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9,299 books · 10,859 voters · list created July 29th, 2008 by Rob (votes) .
642 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Rob 232 books
24 friends
Robert 416 books
12 friends
Lauren 1679 books
320 friends
Corina 3762 books
210 friends
ExistenGuy 123 books
0 friends
Aaron 2766 books
284 friends
Rae-Nani 2560 books
149 friends
Matt 416 books
223 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-39 of 39 (39 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Ale and Vicki (new)

Ale and Vicki Why Twilight? That was a let down..


message 2: by X (new)

X The Hunger Games. I thought it looked dumb when I read the description, but once I started the book I couldn't put it down...


message 3: by Alenka (new)

Alenka Unk Aurora wrote: "The Hunger Games. I thought it looked dumb when I read the description, but once I started the book I couldn't put it down..."

Same here.


message 4: by Breanne (new)

Breanne The Tiger series definitely fit in this list :)


message 5: by Danna (new)

Danna I have to admit, not many books exceeded my expectations. In fact, I was very dissapointed of a great amount of the books considered to be "amazing", such as The Time Traveler's Wife, The Shadow of the Wind, Pride and Prejudice, Twilight and Eat, Pray, Love - all of them really really bad, in my opinion ><


message 6: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Bempong Ale and Vicki wrote: "Why Twilight? That was a let down.."

Despair not! That simply means expectations were piss poor to begin with. :)


message 7: by Jen (new)

Jen Ale and Vicki wrote: "Why Twilight? That was a let down.."

This was the first book I read since high school, and it just drew me in and reminded me how much I love and miss reading. For that reason it will always be one of my favorites.


message 8: by Grace (new)

Grace Hamilton I must admit I do love a good romance and Twilight is certainly one, the thing I do like however is not the vampire or werewolf aspect but the differences I discover on each reading. The movies tie in very well with the written word and I personally have never been disappointed by either. The supernatural just makes the story different but the ability to make a FF of the characters shows how the general writing public adores the presentation of those personalities.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Great list! Awesome books!


message 10: by BookLovingLady (last edited Mar 30, 2013 05:59AM) (new)

BookLovingLady Several titles in this list made me wonder whether some voters also voted on books that lived up to their expectations, instead of just voting for books that exceeded their expectations...

And yes, I only voted for books that exceeded my expectations, not the ones that lived up to it :-) Some authors I expect exceptional books from, like Jane Austen, George Eliot, Margarat Atwood, Thomas Hardy, and so on, and I've have never been disappointed so far. But their books do not exceed my expectations, as I already expected a lot of them before I started.

@Hercina
You are not the only one with doubts about this list :-)


message 11: by Grace (new)

Grace Alenka wrote: "Aurora wrote: "The Hunger Games. I thought it looked dumb when I read the description, but once I started the book I couldn't put it down..."

Same here."


I'd have to say I was the opposite. I heard so many great things about the Hunger Games and then I was really disappointed by the development of the plot and the characters. I feel like the story had a great concept but that the characters ruined it for me.


message 12: by Ashley (new)

Ashley hi everybody


message 13: by Cherryl (new)

Cherryl Chow I don't understand why this page shows that I've read 0 books on this list when I've read quite a few. I've voted on the books I've read.


message 14: by BookLovingLady (last edited Jun 08, 2015 09:56AM) (new)

BookLovingLady Cherryl wrote: "I don't understand why this page shows that I've read 0 books on this list when I've read quite a few. I've voted on the books I've read."

Did all the books you voted for show up as 'read' in this Listopia?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Were the ones you read in the top 100 of the list? I don't think it reports numbers for lower down.


message 16: by BookLovingLady (last edited Aug 15, 2015 06:15AM) (new)

BookLovingLady With some modern authors, like Tim Winton or Richard Flanagan, I've come to expect an excellent read, based upon previous experiences :-) I truly hope I won't be let down (haven't been so far) :-)


message 17: by Selina (new)

Selina Maruura Ale and Vicki wrote: "Why Twilight? That was a let down.."

SHUCKING YES


message 18: by Donna (last edited May 11, 2018 03:59PM) (new)

Donna Davis It works! It works! The system found and removed 1 duplicate.

This is an interesting concept for a list. I found myself trying to decide how to order my votes--by how much I liked the book, or by how surprised I was? (I went with the surprise factor.) Then I began looking for common threads. I noticed that a relatively small number of my choices were books I'd purchased for myself. I guess I am a conservative shopper. I was more likely to be surprised and delighted by books I was required to read when I was in school, and by review copies I received for free. Fiction surprised me more often than nonfiction.

Great idea, Rob.


message 20: by ~☆~Autumn♥♥☔ (last edited Jun 01, 2018 06:19PM) (new)

~☆~Autumn♥♥☔ Grace wrote: "I must admit I do love a good romance and Twilight is certainly one, the thing I do like however is not the vampire or werewolf aspect but the differences I discover on each reading. The movies tie..."

Thanks Grace as it made me happy to read what you wrote. I read so many bad reviews of Twilight on goodreads that I almost didn't read it. I was amazed how much I liked so I don't trust goodreads reviews anymore.


message 21: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis *sound of plane engine dying; crash, explosion, flames*

The duplicate link is broken.

The list is broken; long live the list.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Well, with creeping on 5000 books, I'm kind of not surprised. Alas.


message 23: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis Susanna - Censored by GoodReads wrote: "Well, with creeping on 5000 books, I'm kind of not surprised. Alas."

Yeah, I guess it's a category that is doomed to outgrow itself, since it can never be edited down. Hadn't thought of it.


message 24: by Greg (new)

Greg I read Hunger Games #1 cause it's been, or still is, at the top of a number of lists, including best novel ever. So I read it. It wasn't absolutely awful, like goodreads Best of the Year "Go Set a Watchman" a few years ago, or last year's weird (and for me, completely confusing and pointless) 'Lincoln in the Bardo." But it was better than I expected and I gave it two stars: it was okay. But if I hadn't already seen the exact same story on film (Battle Royale, Japan, same story, same end with two victors) I would have liked it better. I've been studying some Egyptian Heiroglyphics and even some ancient Sumerian texts, and oddly, this very same story shows up in about every civilization and is at least 6,000 years old.


~☆~Autumn♥♥☔ Greg wrote: "I read Hunger Games #1 cause it's been, or still is, at the top of a number of lists, including best novel ever. So I read it. It wasn't absolutely awful, like goodreads Best of the Year "Go Set a ..."

I agree with you. I don't understand its popularity. I read it so I could do all the quiz questions.


message 26: by BookLovingLady (new)

BookLovingLady vijay govind wrote: "Maze of Deceit"

Don't use this section to promote your own book!


message 27: by Vijay (new)

Vijay Narayan My sincere apologies - I'm a new user on Goodreads and was not aware that I should not talk about my own work. Will try to participate more creatively in general discussions hereafter.

Apologies & regards


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads There are places for it; but this isn't one of them. It may be OK in groups; check if they have an author's section.


message 29: by BookLovingLady (new)

BookLovingLady vijay govind wrote: "My sincere apologies - I'm a new user on Goodreads and was not aware that I should not talk about my own work. Will try to participate more creatively in general discussions hereafter.

Apologies ..."


Delete your previous comment if you're sincerely sorry...


message 30: by Vijay (new)

Vijay Narayan Not sure how a previous comment is to be deleted - may I request the admin to kindly do it if possible on my behalf. Else - request that it may be kindly ignored as my inadvertence.

Thanks and best regards


message 31: by BookLovingLady (new)

BookLovingLady Vijay Narayan Govind wrote: "Not sure how a previous comment is to be deleted - may I request the admin to kindly do it if possible on my behalf. Else - request that it may be kindly ignored as my inadvertence.

Thanks and be..."


The person who placed a comment is also able to delete it by clicking 'delete' at the bottom of the comment...


~☆~Autumn♥♥☔ Breanne wrote: "The Tiger series definitely fit in this list :)"

Definitely NOT!


message 33: by AshleyS (last edited May 01, 2019 09:14AM) (new)

AshleyS Every list on this site gets taken over by the Hunger Games, Harry Potter and Twilight. I wish there were lists created by experts that other people couldn't add to and screw up (he said, adding The Lord of the Rings)


message 34: by BookLovingLady (new)

BookLovingLady AshleyS wrote: "Every list on this site gets taken over by the Hunger Games, Harry Potter and Twilight. I wish there were lists created by experts that other people couldn't add to and screw up (he said, adding Th..."

Try lists of most horrible books, books one doesn't like, and so on. They won't appear as the first few there 😃


message 35: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl 55 duplicates removed.


message 36: by Pat (new)

Pat Stockey Ðɑηηɑ wrote: "I have to admit, not many books exceeded my expectations. In fact, I was very dissapointed of a great amount of the books considered to be "amazing", such as The Time Traveler's Wife, ..."

Eat Pray Love was a real disappointment. They made a movie of it. Why?


message 37: by Vincent (new)

Vincent Ale and Vicki wrote: "Why Twilight? That was a let down.."

The Twilight exceeds any expectations of Meyer's writing.


message 38: by Tim (last edited Jul 02, 2021 07:38AM) (new)

Tim Butcher Apologies to the 100 or so members who voted on this list for my Congo book `Blood River' and to the 80 or so who voted for my WWI book `The Trigger' but they have both recently been removed. And a particular apology to whoever it was that put the books on the list. We authors are rightly not allowed to put our own work on lists nor vote for our books. But we are also powerless when setbacks like this happen. Seeking clarity from GoodReads and sympathy from all book-lovers on the site.


message 39: by Aracelis (new)

Aracelis Salce Jen wrote: "Ale and Vicki wrote: "Why Twilight? That was a let down.."

This was the first book I read since high school, and it just drew me in and reminded me how much I love and miss reading. For that reaso..."


I for sure have to agree with you on this one! It was a page turner for me - the whole series honestly


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