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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Today's Top Ten features books we can't believe aren't more popular, or are perhaps more obscure.
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen: Jane Austen's first completed novel (though last published), it doesn't have the nuance of her other works but it does have all the biting wit and satire. Northanger Abbey is hilarious, a definite must for any true Austenite. I'm amazed how few people seem to have read this one -- it's one of my favorites.
2. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen: This one is the oddball among Austen's novels, and the most questionable happy ending, but it has deep themes that can be interpreted as either radical or conservative -- which is a pretty bizarre feat.
All-American Girl by Meg Cabot: As far as I know, this is not one of Meg Cabot's most well-known novels, but I adore it. The heroine is simultaneously fierce and uncertain, a girl you feel like you know. She does something incredibly heroic without ever wanting to be a hero -- it's just a great, wish fulfillment fantasy.
4. Shadow of the Sun by Laura Kreitzer: I believe this series started out as self-published, but soon got picked up by a press. Shadow of the Sun is such an original mythology, unlike anything I've read before, and with a terrific, brilliant heroine -- what's not to love? I would love to see this one get more widespread attention.
5. Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel: This one is pretty popular, but not nearly as popular as I would expect. I know we're tired of vampires, but this is hardly a vampire story. It's really a tale of humanity and sacrifice -- a truly original take on the vampire mythology.
Bumped by Megan McCafferty: I can see why a lot of people don't like this one -- it's definitely controversial.The absolutely outrageous satire serves its purpose though -- it makes you think, and isn't that the best thing a book can do?
7. House of Mirth by Edith Wharton: Everyone talks about The Age of Innocence, but I just love this one because it defies expectations. Life doesn't always have a happy ending, and this novel embraces its inevitable conclusion.
8. Bleak House by Charles Dickens: Most people think Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations -- and I honestly don't blame them for being put off by this 1000 page tome. I probably wouldn't have read it outside of school, but I'm really glad I did. The way Dickens weaves together things that don't even seem to be in the same ballpark -- no matter how irrelevant something may seem, it always comes back in the end. And to do that in a novel this huge? Genius.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer: I think this one is actually the most underrated AND the most overrated book of the decade. On the one hand, the spectacle it has created is absurd. On the other hand, I don't get what the haters are so worked up about. Stephenie Meyer doesn't claim to have written the Great American Novel. She wrote a love story, with characters that stick with you even if you don't know why. Clearly she was doing something right, and I don't think it's fair to fault her OR her fans for not writing/reading "Literature with a Capital L".
10. Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton: I haven't seen a lot of mention of this one, but what I have seen has been overwhelmingly positive. I personally loved this story, and the Irish mythology I hadn't encountered before. I'd love for more people to read this unusual, mystical book.
What about you? Do you find any of these books underrated? Or perhaps the opposite -- overrated? With classic lit especially, people often seem to fall into both camps.