This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is an interesting one: 10 books you love that have fewer than 2,000 ratings on Goodreads. I tend to read a lot of backlist and otherwise unpopular books, and it was still hard for me to come up with 10 titles! But I’m glad to have the opportunity to praise some lesser-known books that I really enjoyed. So without further ado, my list is below; the number of Goodreads ratings (as of February 13) is in parentheses after each title.
1. Aline, Countess of Romanones, The Spy Wore Red (1,666) — A delightful memoir that reads like a spy thriller! My review is here.
2. Walker Percy, The Thanatos Syndrome (1,599) — Probably my favorite novel by this author. It’s about a contaminated water supply, a modern-day hermit, and an extremely nasty conspiracy. Fans of Southern literature should definitely check this one out.
3. Loretta Chase, Knaves’ Wager (1,508) — If you’re looking for the next Georgette Heyer…well, nothing is going to quite measure up, but Loretta Chase’s traditional Regencies come pretty close! This is my favorite so far, about a rake who tries to seduce a prim and proper bluestocking, only to find himself (of course) falling in love.
4. Jacques Philippe, Interior Freedom (1,136) — A very short book that explores how people can obtain interior freedom, from the perspective of a Catholic priest. This book made a huge impact on me; my review is here.
5. McKelle George, Speak Easy, Speak Love (773) — Does the idea of a Much Ado about Nothing retelling set in the 1920s appeal to you? If so, you need to pick this one up! I enjoyed it SO much more than I thought I would. My review is here.
6. Emily Gee, The Laurentine Spy (771) — Fans of fantasy and political intrigue will enjoy this book about courtiers (who hate each other) with double lives as spies (who…don’t hate each other). My review is here.
7. Caryl Brahms and S.J. Simon, No Bed for Bacon (180) — The movie Shakespeare in Love is actually based on this hilarious sendup of the Elizabethan era. My review is here.
8. Stephanie Burgis, Congress of Secrets (172) — Historical fiction plus fantasy plus con artists plus romance is totally my catnip. If it’s yours too, check out this book (and author) immediately! My review is here.
9. Leo Bruce, Case for Three Detectives (151) — This ingenious detective novel parodies three of the most famous fictional detectives: Lord Peter Wimsey, Hercule Poirot, and Father Brown. The book really only works if you’re familiar with these three characters, but if you are, the spoof is absolutely spot-on! My review is here.
10. Patricia Wynn, The Birth of Blue Satan (82) — I really enjoyed this historical mystery set in an unusual time period: the Jacobite rebellions of the early 18th century. It’s the first in a series, and I’m eager to read the rest! My review is here.