Best Books You've Never Heard Of

Goodreads from self-published authors, obscure authors, and small press publishers.
1

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3.98 avg rating — 48,240 ratings
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2

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4.26 avg rating — 135,933 ratings
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3

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4.08 avg rating — 92,273 ratings
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4

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3.98 avg rating — 9,269 ratings
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5

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 106,949 ratings
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6

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3.82 avg rating — 3,851 ratings
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7

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3.91 avg rating — 101,779 ratings
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8

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3.82 avg rating — 55,810 ratings
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9

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3.86 avg rating — 29,325 ratings
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10

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3.83 avg rating — 8,660 ratings
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11

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4.16 avg rating — 68,899 ratings
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12

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3.78 avg rating — 2,594 ratings
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13

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3.79 avg rating — 27,824 ratings
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14

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3.93 avg rating — 93,739 ratings
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15

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4.02 avg rating — 24,787 ratings
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16

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3.61 avg rating — 8,023 ratings
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17

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4.14 avg rating — 29,160 ratings
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18

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3.65 avg rating — 12,292 ratings
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19

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3.94 avg rating — 122 ratings
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20

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3.89 avg rating — 13,912 ratings
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21

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4.22 avg rating — 6,194 ratings
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22

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3.78 avg rating — 14,110 ratings
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23

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4.18 avg rating — 86,055 ratings
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23

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4.02 avg rating — 161 ratings
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25

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3.79 avg rating — 243 ratings
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26

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4.06 avg rating — 54 ratings
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27

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3.76 avg rating — 327 ratings
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28

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3.48 avg rating — 4,528 ratings
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29

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4.13 avg rating — 95 ratings
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30

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3.93 avg rating — 28,531 ratings
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31

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3.90 avg rating — 1,255 ratings
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32

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3.13 avg rating — 1,861 ratings
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33

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3.38 avg rating — 799 ratings
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34

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4.14 avg rating — 5,482 ratings
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35

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3.49 avg rating — 1,996 ratings
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36

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4.75 avg rating — 20 ratings
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37

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3.88 avg rating — 5,046 ratings
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38

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4.15 avg rating — 29,388 ratings
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39

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4.14 avg rating — 45,120 ratings
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40

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4.09 avg rating — 33,928 ratings
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41

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4.30 avg rating — 101 ratings
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42

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4.28 avg rating — 4,382 ratings
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43

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4.12 avg rating — 38,477 ratings
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44

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3.38 avg rating — 41,906 ratings
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45

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4.53 avg rating — 30 ratings
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46

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4.48 avg rating — 182 ratings
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47

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3.97 avg rating — 112 ratings
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48

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3.94 avg rating — 22,857 ratings
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49

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4.06 avg rating — 54 ratings
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50

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3.86 avg rating — 214 ratings
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51

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4.01 avg rating — 22,269 ratings
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52

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3.67 avg rating — 367 ratings
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53

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4.23 avg rating — 262,813 ratings
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54

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4.48 avg rating — 66 ratings
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55

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4.42 avg rating — 50 ratings
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56

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3.78 avg rating — 27,779 ratings
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57

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4.13 avg rating — 489,861 ratings
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58

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4.34 avg rating — 6,976 ratings
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59

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4.40 avg rating — 50 ratings
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60

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3.93 avg rating — 455,187 ratings
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61

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3.59 avg rating — 29 ratings
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62

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4.29 avg rating — 282,399 ratings
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63

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4.10 avg rating — 112 ratings
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64

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4.03 avg rating — 128,770 ratings
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65

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4.27 avg rating — 739 ratings
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65

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4.47 avg rating — 45 ratings
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67

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3.98 avg rating — 79,359 ratings
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68

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4.62 avg rating — 13 ratings
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69

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4.20 avg rating — 15 ratings
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70

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3.88 avg rating — 155 ratings
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71

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3.95 avg rating — 19 ratings
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72

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4.01 avg rating — 2,689 ratings
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72

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4.26 avg rating — 54 ratings
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74

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4.33 avg rating — 43 ratings
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75

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3.89 avg rating — 28 ratings
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76

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3.89 avg rating — 514 ratings
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77

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4.70 avg rating — 23 ratings
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78

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3.41 avg rating — 22,689 ratings
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79

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4.07 avg rating — 19,754 ratings
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80

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3.98 avg rating — 3,342 ratings
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81

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4.04 avg rating — 14,758 ratings
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82

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3.99 avg rating — 3,293 ratings
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82

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3.92 avg rating — 183 ratings
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84

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4.35 avg rating — 255,706 ratings
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84

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4.37 avg rating — 301,862 ratings
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84

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4.61 avg rating — 23 ratings
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87

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3.77 avg rating — 386 ratings
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88

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4.21 avg rating — 257,084 ratings
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89

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4.65 avg rating — 57 ratings
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90

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3.48 avg rating — 445 ratings
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90

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4.53 avg rating — 62 ratings
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92

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4.18 avg rating — 122,040 ratings
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93

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3.57 avg rating — 4,133 ratings
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94

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4.21 avg rating — 43 ratings
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95

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3.94 avg rating — 5,236 ratings
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96

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4.11 avg rating — 9,326 ratings
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97

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4.08 avg rating — 235 ratings
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98

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4.38 avg rating — 108 ratings
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99

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4.71 avg rating — 161 ratings
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100

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3.90 avg rating — 60 ratings
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flag this list (?)
1,236 books · 950 voters · list created September 6th, 2010 by Nicklaus Louis (votes) .
232 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Nicklaus 182 books
105 friends
Ross 788 books
342 friends
Rosa 165 books
307 friends
Cliff 277 books
816 friends
Will 59 books
1172 friends
Shannon 1016 books
31 friends
Dave 31 books
2 friends
Dan 136 books
173 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-22 of 22 (22 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 M (new)

M 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 that these are also the books that I am practically dying to read but I couldn't because I could not find a legal copy of any of them.

Great list by the way. I will surely check out the other books mentioned.


message 3: 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 4: by M (new)

M I think the books available at our local bookstores are being screened first... that's why only few of the books listed are available here.


message 5: 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 6: by M (new)

M I don't think there would be problem with the customs but I am avoiding the high shipping prices.

I guess I'll just have to wait until the books are available here... if they would ever be available.


message 7: by Gwen (new)

Gwen what about ebook versions?


message 8: 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 9: 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 10: 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 11: 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 12: 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 13: 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 14: 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 15: 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 16: 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 17: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca 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 18: 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 19: 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 20: 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 21: 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 22: 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.


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