Today I just wanted to take a little time to highlight some of my favorite books that aren’t super popular in the bookish community. I feel like we all tend to focus, myself included, on the really popular books and forget to spread the word about the lesser known titles that we love as well. Am I the only one who feels this way? Possibly. Which is why I decided to share some of own little “underrated” favorites with all of you… Sharing is caring after all! 😉
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal
Yes, this book was picked for Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club but I still never see anyone talking about it! You all know that I’m not much of a contemporary reader, but I listened to the audiobook of this one and immediately fell in love. It was funny, heartwarming, and really engaging. I also loved getting to learn a little more about the Indian community in London. I cannot recommend this book enough.
Nikki lives in cosmopolitan West London, where she tends bar at the local pub. The daughter of Indian immigrants, she’s spent most of her twenty-odd years distancing herself from the traditional Sikh community of her childhood, preferring a more independent (that is, Western) life. When her father’s death leaves the family financially strapped, Nikki, a law school dropout, impulsively takes a job teaching a “creative writing” course at the community center in the beating heart of London’s close-knit Punjabi community.
Because of a miscommunication, the proper Sikh widows who show up are expecting to learn basic English literacy, not the art of short-story writing. When one of the widows finds a book of sexy stories in English and shares it with the class, Nikki realizes that beneath their white dupattas, her students have a wealth of fantasies and memories. Eager to liberate these modest women, she teaches them how to express their untold stories, unleashing creativity of the most unexpected—and exciting—kind.
As more women are drawn to the class, Nikki warns her students to keep their work secret from the Brotherhood, a group of highly conservative young men who have appointed themselves the community’s “moral police.” But when the widows’ gossip offers shocking insights into the death of a young wife—a modern woman like Nikki—and some of the class erotica is shared among friends, it sparks a scandal that threatens them all.
Sanctuary by V.V. James
I had no idea what to expect when I first picked up this book, but oh man, it was a wild ride! This book little bit of everything – diverse characters, a murder mystery, deals with grief and hysteria. I mean, it REALLY has it all. Just note, that this is an adult book and does get dark in places.
The small Connecticut town of Sanctuary is rocked by the death of its star quarterback.
Daniel’s death looked like an accident, but everyone knows his ex-girlfriend Harper is the daughter of a witch – and she was there when he died.
Then the rumours start. When Harper insists Dan was guilty of a terrible act, the town turns on her. So was his death an accident, revenge – or something even darker?
As accusations fly and secrets are revealed, paranoia grips the town, culminating in a trial that the whole world is watching . . .
Honor Among Thieves (The Honors, #1) by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre
This series has really blown me away so far. The concept of a person basically connecting to an alien (that is also a living ship) is such an interesting and unique idea. I think the sequel kicked the action up even more than the first book.
Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in New Detroit instead of moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell.
Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan—a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.
Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time. But nothing could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.
A Million Junes by Emily Henry
Honestly, Emily Henry is the only author that writes magical realism that I love. Her stories are always so poignant and full of emotion. And man, this book… it will wreck you in the best ways possible.
For as long as Jack “June” O’Donnell has been alive, her parents have had only one rule: stay away from the Angert family. But when June collides—quite literally—with Saul Angert, sparks fly, and everything June has known is thrown into chaos.
Who exactly is this gruff, sarcastic, but seemingly harmless boy who has returned to their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, after three mysterious years away? And why has June—an O’Donnell to her core—never questioned her late father’s deep hatred of the Angert family? After all, the O’Donnells and the Angerts may have mythic legacies, but for all the tall tales they weave, both founding families are tight-lipped about what caused the century-old rift between them.
As Saul and June’s connection grows deeper, they find that the magic, ghosts, and coywolves of Five Fingers seem to be conspiring to reveal the truth about the harrowing curse that has plagued their bloodlines for generations. Now June must question everything she knows about her family and the father she adored, and she must decide whether it’s finally time for her—and all the O’Donnells before her—to let go.
Ink and Bone (The Great Library, #1) by Rachel Caine
I just want everyone to read this amazing series set in an alternate history where the Great Library of Alexandria never burned down, but instead now controls the world and all writing. Do you love books? Action? A quirky cast of characters? If you said yes to any of those, then you’ll love this fun series.
Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.
Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.
When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…
The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen, #1) by Alison Goodman
I could go on and on about meticulously researched the author did on Regency England because she truly transports you into that era. You feel as if you could be reading a fantastical Jane Austen novel at times but with a little added spice. Stubborn heroine, check. Hate-to-love trope, check. Paranormal activity, check.
London, April 1812.
On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?
What are some of your favorite novels that you think are underrated? Have you read any of the ones on my list? If so, what did you think about it?