Best Books You've Never Heard Of

Goodreads from self-published authors, obscure authors, and small press publishers.
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3.98 avg rating — 128,798 ratings
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4.09 avg rating — 56,666 ratings
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4.13 avg rating — 62,937 ratings
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17

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3.92 avg rating — 18,896 ratings
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18

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3.82 avg rating — 244,486 ratings
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19

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3.88 avg rating — 121,533 ratings
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20

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3.73 avg rating — 4,603 ratings
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21

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3.82 avg rating — 61,661 ratings
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22

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4.14 avg rating — 84,153 ratings
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23

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3.87 avg rating — 31,717 ratings
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24

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3.78 avg rating — 9,831 ratings
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25

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3.91 avg rating — 108,700 ratings
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26

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3.65 avg rating — 3,330 ratings
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27

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3.80 avg rating — 29,876 ratings
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28

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4.03 avg rating — 26,481 ratings
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29

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3.62 avg rating — 9,148 ratings
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30

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4.27 avg rating — 4,799 ratings
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31

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4.15 avg rating — 32,492 ratings
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32

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3.66 avg rating — 13,364 ratings
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33

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4.15 avg rating — 98,549 ratings
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34

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3.95 avg rating — 128 ratings
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35

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3.93 avg rating — 584,185 ratings
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36

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3.89 avg rating — 15,325 ratings
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37

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3.39 avg rating — 6,186 ratings
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38

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4.23 avg rating — 8,652 ratings
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39

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3.78 avg rating — 15,215 ratings
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40

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4.12 avg rating — 554,015 ratings
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41

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4.16 avg rating — 63 ratings
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42

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3.78 avg rating — 340 ratings
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43

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3.94 avg rating — 30,706 ratings
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44

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45

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3.77 avg rating — 246 ratings
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46

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4.12 avg rating — 100 ratings
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47

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3.90 avg rating — 1,345 ratings
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48

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3.49 avg rating — 2,158 ratings
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49

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3.81 avg rating — 2,756,023 ratings
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50

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3.13 avg rating — 1,910 ratings
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50

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4.65 avg rating — 17 ratings
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52

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4.29 avg rating — 4,987 ratings
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53

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54

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55

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56

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57

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58

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3.86 avg rating — 248,725 ratings
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59

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4.14 avg rating — 48,955 ratings
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60

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3.37 avg rating — 820 ratings
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61

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3.96 avg rating — 241,179 ratings
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62

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4.10 avg rating — 36,788 ratings
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63

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64

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65

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66

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4.11 avg rating — 49,324 ratings
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67

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3.38 avg rating — 47,643 ratings
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68

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4.52 avg rating — 29 ratings
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69

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4.43 avg rating — 196 ratings
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69

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4.29 avg rating — 103 ratings
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71

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3.94 avg rating — 113 ratings
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72

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3.97 avg rating — 32,257 ratings
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72

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4.23 avg rating — 286,975 ratings
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74

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4.49 avg rating — 224 ratings
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75

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76

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4.11 avg rating — 150,400 ratings
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77

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4.27 avg rating — 2,921,810 ratings
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78

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4.45 avg rating — 71 ratings
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79

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80

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3.84 avg rating — 221 ratings
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81

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4.43 avg rating — 154 ratings
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82

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4.09 avg rating — 136,453 ratings
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83

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3.73 avg rating — 499,235 ratings
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84

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4.34 avg rating — 7,996 ratings
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85

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3.67 avg rating — 372 ratings
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86

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3.99 avg rating — 1,452,976 ratings
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87

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4.27 avg rating — 902 ratings
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88

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3.69 avg rating — 40,720 ratings
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89

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3.47 avg rating — 32 ratings
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90

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3.60 avg rating — 5,002,679 ratings
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91

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4.27 avg rating — 313,028 ratings
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92

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3.86 avg rating — 21 ratings
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93

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4.14 avg rating — 691,828 ratings
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94

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4.37 avg rating — 1,851,653 ratings
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94

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4.47 avg rating — 7,122,560 ratings
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94

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3.32 avg rating — 6,859 ratings
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97

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3.62 avg rating — 128,690 ratings
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98

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3.98 avg rating — 6,293 ratings
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99

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4.33 avg rating — 633,216 ratings
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99

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4.13 avg rating — 94,109 ratings
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flag this list (?)
1,655 books · 1,189 voters · list created September 6th, 2010 by Nicklaus Louis (votes) .
262 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Nicklaus 182 books
105 friends
Ross 817 books
346 friends
Rosa 165 books
317 friends
Cliff 281 books
806 friends
Will 60 books
1166 friends
Shannon 1017 books
37 friends
Dave 31 books
2 friends
Dan 136 books
171 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-23 of 23 (23 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Bradley (new)

Bradley I've heard of maybe 50% of these books (and read a decent portion of them), so I guess I can't vote on those. But what criteria should I use to vote on whether or not a book that I haven't heard of is the best?


message 2: by Bradley (last edited May 09, 2011 01:14PM) (new)

Bradley Legal copy? Try your library. If you can't get the books through them, buy through Amazon. (Oh wait, you live in the Philippines. I guess it all depends on where you usually get your books.)


message 3: by Bradley (new)

Bradley Would you have trouble getting the books through customs if you ordered them internationally? Although I guess you probably want to avoid the high international shipping costs.


message 4: by Gwen (new)

Gwen what about ebook versions?


message 5: by Bradley (new)

Bradley I think Kindle books won't download onto the viewer in many foreign countries, but she could probably read them on her computer.


message 6: by William (new)

William Hage Maureen Monlore wrote: "5 of the books mentioned in this list are also on my "to-read" list. (Geek Love, Kiss Me Judas, The Contortionist's Handbook, Dermaphoria, Bride of the Reaper)

The frustrating thing about it is th..."


I'm not sure how much shipping is to where you are, but most of those books are pretty cheap used. Alibris has Kiss Me, Judas for like $5 US so again not sure, what shipping would cost, but could still be cheaper than buying it in a store. Not sure if they ship to where you are, but they have some pretty good prices for rare stuff. I got both Kiss Me, Judas and Penny Dreadful (second book in the series) first editions signed for under $50.
I read three of the books on your list and they are all great so I hope you get the chance to read them. The three were Kiss Me, Judas and the 2 Craig Clevenger books.
Bradley brings up a point I'm pretty sure you can't download Kindle books on the viewer in foreign countries, but you might be able to buy them and use the Kindle program for the computer. I have read that if you have a US credit card you can get around Amazon's restrictions. I have also heard about people having success with gift cards. So you might be able to get a gift card, create an account, and then use the free Kindle PC app. If you are using a gift card you might be able to get through since I don't think you would have to put in where you are located. Another option would be if you find any friends online that live in the US who own the book on kindle (maybe someone here on Goodreads) they could use the Kindle's loan feature which sends an email link to download the book for a limited time and you could use the PC app to read it. It sounds like a lot of trouble, but they really are worth it in my opinion.

I know some of those books are getting pretty rare I have found Borders and B&N not even having them in stock in the US because they are not big sellers.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Boy In Striped Pajamas? Like Water For Elephants? Do you people live under a rock in the deep South with no motion pictures and that fancy "Interweb?"


message 8: by Sarrah (new)

Sarrah Jeremy wrote: "Boy In Striped Pajamas? Like Water For Elephants? Do you people live under a rock in the deep South with no motion pictures and that fancy "Interweb?""
I agree--some of those are pretty prevalent in our pop culture ... but maybe not when they were added?


message 9: by Josh (new)

Josh M wrote: "5 of the books mentioned in this list are also on my "to-read" list. (Geek Love, Kiss Me Judas, The Contortionist's Handbook, Dermaphoria, Bride of the Reaper)

The frustrating thing about it is th..."


If you can't find a copy of Geek Love, I have one at home that you can have. I will send it to you. You have to read it. This is one of the most interesting books I have ever read. Very unique only one book beats it in uniqueness. Sharp Teeth.


message 10: by Sam (last edited Aug 12, 2012 11:24AM) (new)

Sam Clark J wrote: "If you can't find a copy of Geek Love, I have one at home that you can have. I will send it to you. You have to read it. This is one of the most interesting books I have ever read. Very unique only one book beats it in uniqueness. Sharp Teeth. "


Just started reading it and it's definitely unique. Purchased in Denver the girl working said "the strangest book I've fell in love with." Which of course made me want to read it even more.


message 11: by Joel (new)

Joel M wrote: "5 of the books mentioned in this list are also on my "to-read" list. (Geek Love, Kiss Me Judas, The Contortionist's Handbook, Dermaphoria, Bride of the Reaper)

The frustrating thing about it is th..."


You can get some of them through PowerBooks/FullyBooked where Geek Love can be had. The others you mentioned, I got through Booksale.


message 12: by Richard (last edited Aug 18, 2014 07:31AM) (new)

Richard Robertson Davies is not someone I would call obscure. His only blunder is being Canadian, but he is a very prolific writer who is very well known in his own country. And many literature students read Fifth Business in college or university.


message 13: by Paul (new)

Paul Bagshawe When Peter Mayle wrote A YEAR IN PROVENCE, he set in motion what has become one of the biggest genres in non-fiction: settlement non-fiction. Books like UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN soon followed. Settlement non-fiction has become part of our reading culture.

But which of these books is the best one ever written? And which is the best one most readers of this genre have never heard of?

In 2007, London-based, blue-chip publisher Weidenfeld & Nicolson published A PLACE IN MY COUNTRY by Ian Walthew. Without a doubt, this book about the Cotswolds (an iconic region for many American visitors to Britain) was one of most critically acclaimed works of settlement non-fiction ever published. Walthew blew the conventions of the genre out of the water, writing what many critics believe to the most important book about the English countryside written in decades. But for reasons we've never fully understood, commercially it was only a very modest success and Ian Walthew is an author very few have heard of.

We've decided to republish A PLACE IN MY COUNTRY as an e-book in the hope we can bring a book that is nothing short of a classic to the attention of American readers. We would be thrilled if you would become a part of the re-discovery of a book that we believe should and could be a best-seller and a bench mark book for anyone writing or looking for a great work of settlement non-fiction. If ever there was a book which is a hidden gem, and which deserves to better known, this is it.


message 14: by Bert (new)

Bert Bradley wrote: "Legal copy? Try your library. If you can't get the books through them, buy through Amazon. (Oh wait, you live in the Philippines. I guess it all depends on where you usually get your books.)"

Or the company. Amazon is trying to 'get a lock' on books and not allow anyone else to sell them. It is sad to see authors and publishers allow themselves to be limited or censured in this way.


message 15: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead at 388,263 votes
should certainly not be on this list.

Best books you've never heard of.


message 16: by Booklovinglady (last edited Aug 14, 2016 06:47AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Bradley wrote: "But what criteria should I use to vote on whether or not a book that I haven't heard of is the best?..."

How can I vote for a book I've never even heard of....? Yet heaps of other voters don't seem to have this problem....


message 17: by Booklovinglady (last edited Jan 17, 2017 06:39AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Does If on a Winter's Night a Traveler (#289) even qualify? Because it's on this list.... Same goes for The Shadow of the Wind (#301). I have Dutch translations of those books, so they hardly qualify as "... from self-published authors, obscure authors, and small press publishers". Robertson Davies's The Lyre of Orpheus (#787) doesn't fit the description either, in my opinion. Also on this list is Doctor Zhivago (#1060), which can hardly be called obsure...


message 18: by Booklovinglady (last edited Jan 17, 2017 06:50AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Booklovinglady wrote: "How can I vote for a book I've never even heard of....?."

Well, I managed to find some freebees on Amazon I'd never heard of, and as three of them are on this list, I'll vote for these three, even though I have no idea whether or not they will be 'best books', as they might turn out to be complete and utter rubbish :-0


message 19: by Claudia (last edited Jun 13, 2017 01:07PM) (new)

Claudia I sorted my books read by number of reviews, and every one of the 15 books I voted for had less than 1,000 reviews on Goodreads altogether. That's a pretty solid indicator of a book's popularity, at least on this site.


message 20: by Rachel Adiyah (new)

Rachel Adiyah The majority of this list are books that are tremendously famous and well-known. I refuse to post on it for that reason.


message 21: by Brian (new)

Brian Tamason No one's heard of Twilight?


message 22: by Heidi (new)

Heidi One Flew over the cuckoo's nest by Ken Kesey
with 617,000 votes has never been heard of.

This list should set a criteria of less than
10,000 ratings or something.


message 23: by Heidi (new)

Heidi There are several other books I could
mention.


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