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Underrated Books


Another opinion post :) Today I am going to highlight 5 books that in my opinion are highly underrated. These books are either books that I hadn't heard of until someone told me or they were books that I found by accident. Two of these are book series and while they are both well known I think that they are underrated in the way that not a lot of people that I know have actually read them and they aren't as popular as I think they should be.

 

1) Boleyn Inheritance- Philippa Gregory


While lots of people know of the book that directly ties into this book. The Other Boleyn Girl, I think that people often forget that Philippa Gregory actually wrote a whole series that goes along with the Tudor family in these books. I love Philippa Gregory's writing style and the historical aspect of them.


Summary-published 2006

After the death of his third wife, Jane Seymour, King Henry VIII of England decides to take a new wife, but this time, not for love. The Boleyn Inheritance follows three women whose lives are forever changed because of the king’s decision, as they must balance precariously in an already shaky Tudor Court. Anne of Cleves is to be married to Henry to form a political alliance, though the rocky relationship she has to the king does not bode well for her or for England. Katherine Howard is the young, beautiful woman who captures Henry’s eye, even though he is set to marry Anne. Her spirit runs free and her passions run hot—though her affections may not be returned upon the King. Jane Rochford was married to George Boleyn, and it was her testimony that sent her husband and infamous sister-in-law Anne to their deaths. Throughout the country, her name is known for malice, jealousy, and twisted lust. The Boleyn Inheritance is a novel drawn tight as a lute string about three women whose positions brought them wealth, admirations, and power, as well as deceit, betrayal, and terror.

 

2) Little House Series- Laura Ingalls Wilder


I love this series, even to this day. I know that this book is aimed toward younger people, I found this book when I was in elementary school and fell in love. I have the full series now and always recommend this to someone who doesn't read as a way to get into reading because it is an easy to read book series. As well as being very enjoyable. It really makes you think about how life would have been back then and how different your life would have been had you lived during that time.


Summary- 1st book published 1932

The nine books in the timeless Little House series tell the story of Laura’s real childhood as an American pioneer, and are cherished by readers of all generations. They offer a unique glimpse into life on the American frontier, and tell the heartwarming, unforgettable story of a loving family.

Little House in the Big Woods

Meet the Ingalls family—Laura, Ma, Pa, Mary, and baby Carrie, who all live in a cozy log cabin in the big woods of Wisconsin in the 1870s. Though many of their neighbors are wolves and panthers and bears, the woods feel like home, thanks to Ma’s homemade cheese and butter and the joyful sounds of Pa’s fiddle.

Farmer Boy

As Laura Ingalls is growing up in a little house in Kansas, Almanzo Wilder lives on a big farm in New York. He and his brothers and sisters work hard from dawn to supper to help keep their family farm running. Almanzo wishes for just one thing—his very own horse—but he must prove that he is ready for such a big responsibility.

Little House on the Prairie

When Pa decides to sell the log house in the woods, the family packs up and moves from Wisconsin to Kansas, where Pa builds them their little house on the prairie!  Living on the farm is different from living in the woods, but Laura and her family are kept busy and are happy with the promise of their new life on the prairie.

On the Banks of Plum Creek

The Ingalls family lives in a sod house beside Plum Creek in Minnesota until Pa builds them a new house made of sawed lumber. The money for the lumber will come from their first wheat crop. But then, just before the wheat is ready to harvest, a strange glittering cloud fills the sky, blocking out the sun. Millions of grasshoppers cover the field and everything on the farm, and by the end of a week, there is no wheat crop left.

By the Shores of Silver Lake

Pa Ingalls heads west to the unsettled wilderness of the Dakota Territory. When Ma, Mary, Laura, Carrie, and baby Grace join him, they become the first settlers in the town of De Smet. Pa starts work on the first building of the brand new town, located on the shores of Silver Lake. 

The Long Winter

The first terrible storm comes to the barren prairie in October. Then it snows almost without stopping until April. With snow piled as high as the rooftops, it’s impossible for trains to deliver supplies, and the townspeople, including Laura and her family, are starving. Young Almanzo Wilder, who has settled in the town, risks his life to save the town.

Little Town on the Prairie

De Smet is rejuvenated with the beginning of spring. But in addition to the parties, socials, and “literaries,” work must continue. Laura spends many hours sewing shirts to help Ma and Pa get enough money to send Mary to a college for the blind. But in the evenings, Laura makes time for a new caller, Almanzo Wilder.

These Happy Golden Years

Laura must continue to earn money to keep Mary in her college for the blind, so she gets a job as a teacher. It’s not easy, and for the first time she’s living away from home. But it gets a little better every Friday, when Almanzo picks Laura up to take her back home for the weekend. Though Laura is still young, she and Almanzo are officially courting, and she knows that this is a time for new beginnings.

The First Four Years

Laura Ingalls and Almanzo Wilder have just been married! They move to a small prairie homestead to start their lives together. But each year brings new challenges—storms, sickness, fire, and unpaid debts. These first four years call for courage, strength, and a great deal of determination. And through it all, Laura and Almanzo still have their love, which only grows when baby Rose arrives.

 

3) Anne of Green Gables Series- Lucy Maud Montgomery


I love this series so much. While this is common knowledge in Canada, (I think at least everyone has read the 1st book) outside of Canada I don't think it's got the recognition that it deserves. I actually mentioned this book to one of my overseas friends and they didn't know what I was talking about so I had to explain it.


Summary- 1st book published 1908

For more than a century, these classic novels have been enchanting readers young and old. Now, all eight books in the Anne of Green Gables series are brought together in this special collector’s edition box set. Here we can follow all the adventures of the feisty redhead with the boundless imagination—from her arrival at Green Gables through her days as the teacher at Avonlea school to her marriage to Gilbert Blythe and motherhood to six inquisitive, high-spirited children of her own. Travel back to a simpler, more tranquil time and remind yourself why Mark Twain dubbed Anne “the dearest and most moving and delightful child since the immortal Alice.”

 

4) Secret Garden- Frances Hodgson Burnett



I love this book. Even though it was first published in August 1911, this book has really withstood the test of time. Everyone is now talking about it because of the movie coming out this year. But before that I think that it was kind of pushed back even though it is truly a classic. While a younger audience is the main demographic I think people of any age can read this book and still be immersed into the world.


Summary- published in 1911

When orphaned Mary Lennox comes to live at her uncle's great house on the Yorkshire Moors, she finds it full of secrets. The mansion has nearly one hundred rooms, and her uncle keeps himself locked up. And at night, she hears the sound of crying down one of the long corridors.

The gardens surrounding the large property are Mary's only escape. Then, Mary discovers a secret garden, surrounded by walls and locked with a missing key. One day, with the help of two unexpected companions, she discovers a way in. Is everything in the garden dead, or can Mary bring it back to life?

 

5) The Mists of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley


I found this book in grade 11 when a teacher suggested it to me. I was really craving a book that would challenge me and my teacher came through with this suggestion. I would never have read this book if it wasn't suggested to me. I recently bought myself a copy because I haven't read it since grade 11 and really wanted to see if it held up since then and I have to say that it is still truly a great book.


Summary- published in 1983

In Marion Zimmer Bradley's masterpiece, we see the tumult and adventures of Camelot's court through the eyes of the women who bolstered the king's rise and schemed for his fall. From their childhoods through the ultimate fulfillment of their destinies, we follow these women and the diverse cast of characters that surrounds them as the great Arthurian epic unfolds stunningly before us. As Morgaine and Gwenhwyfar struggle for control over the fate of Arthur's kingdom, as the Knights of the Round Table take on their infamous quest, as Merlin and Viviane wield their magics for the future of Old Britain, the Isle of Avalon slips further into the impenetrable mists of memory, until the fissure between old and new worlds' and old and new religions' claims its most famous victim.

 

I hope you enjoyed today's post. Have you read any of these books? Do you have any suggestions for me as to books that I should read?



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