Just quietly, this is a great bunch of books


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday focuses on books that have received fewer than 2000 ratings on Goodreads. Hmmm… Clearly I’m hanging out with the unpopular kids because LOTS of the books I’ve read in the last few years fit into this category. Here are some favourites –

01. Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma by Kerry Hudson (497 ratings – 3.81)

02. Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth (913 ratings – 3.51)

03. What Nora Knew by Linda Yellin (571 ratings – 3.61)

04. 99 Reasons Why by Caroline Smailes (119 ratings – 3.52)

05. Animal People by Charlotte Wood (452 ratings – 3.63)

06. The Heart Broke In by James Meek (999 ratings – 3.31)

07. Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett (737 ratings – 3.80)

08. When the Night Comes by Favel Parrett (722 ratings – 3.75)

09. The Last Banquet by Jonathan Grimwood (581 ratings – 3.62)

10. Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett (563 ratings – 3.63)

43 responses

    • Funny thing was that knowing I’d already written this post and after reading your latest post yesterday, I looked up Elizabeth Taylor on Goodreads – her books have around 400 ratings… Obviously this is largely a reflection of the rise of Goodreads vs when books have been published but nonetheless…. So yes, might have to rename my Goodreads shelves as ‘cool niche’.

  1. I’ve only read three of these – so I don’t get why the ratings for Animals and The Heart Broke In aren’t higher- and as for Tony Hogan I absolutely loved that book even though I’m admittedly a very biased Scot!!!

    • I don’t get it either Col. Meek is an established writer but maybe his fans aren’t on Goodreads?? As for Animals and Tony Hogan – both are brilliant and were among my favourite books the year I read them. Did you know that Animals is being made into a movie? Have you read Hudson’s second book, Thirst?

    • Start with Favel Parrett if you want beautiful words; Sonya Hartnett for a book group pick that will get everyone talking; or the Charlotte Wood to see what she was writing before The Natural Way of Things (and why TNWOT was such a big departure from what she’d done).

      • Fab, thank you. I have the Favel Parrett so I’ll start there. I haven’t read The Natural Way of Things Yet – it’s on my shelf – so maybe I’ll read that after and then go back to the earlier one.

      • Parrett has a distinct style (and sometimes authors with a distinct style get bypassed because people think there’s not enough broad appeal – their loss I say, I count Partett as one of my favourite Australian authors).

        Regarding TNWOT – I CAN’T WAIT for your review.

    • That’s the only one I’ve read by Meek but will check out People’s Act – I liked his style, his wonderfully flawed characters and interesting angles.

    • The combination of biology and music and relationships as the main themes stays in my mind. There was a bit an analogy about guitar chords and life that I keep meaning to go back and find… Not sure why I didn’t mark it at the time but maybe because I was reading on the beach and didn’t have a pencil!

  2. Don’t want to read Animals because of what you said about it being so graphic, and yet really, really do! And Animal People sounds absolutely up my street! Great, great post and a brilliant way of steering people onto gems they may have missed.

    • Agree. Only wish there was more quality in the ‘funny, sweet, light’ category – I find it predominantly follows a formula that is all too predictable.

  3. I listened to ‘Animals’ by Emma Jane Unsworth for about two hours, hoping she was related to the great English novelist Barry Unsworth. However I gave up on ‘Animals’ about one-third of the way through finding it even too trivial for me. I see it at the lower end of Chick Lit.
    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to write about ‘Animals’ as I don’t write about books I don’t finish on my site.

    • Glad to be of service πŸ˜€
      I can certainly appreciate that Animals is not for everyone (although there is a message that’s very not-your-usual-chick-lit-schmaltz toward the end). I thought that it followed less of a formula than chick-lit normally does and that the characters were well-developed, both reasons why I enjoyed it.

  4. Ha, I just saw What Nora Knew on a list of “books to read if you love Nora Ephron” the other day and put it on my wishlist. Looks like I need to add a few more. πŸ™‚

    • It was fantastic – I’m not into chick-lit that follows the formula so when something comes along that’s really different (but still light and funny), I’m promoting it!

  5. The Last Banquet sounds compelling and disgusting at the same time! That and What Nora Knew are the two from this list I’m adding to my TBR. I’m always up for good chick-lit.

    p.s. I love the food photos next to the book covers- what a great idea!

    • If you like chick-lit, you’ll enjoy What Nora Knew. I also recently read another in that category that was very good – Addition by Toni Jordan.

      The Last Banquet is the perfect holiday read – fast-paced, crazy and not at all what I expected when I picked it up. Enjoy!

  6. I have read Sonya Hartnett and really enjoyed that book. I want to read Shirley Barrett and Favel Parrett. Like another commenter here I’ve read Meek’s The people’s act of love. I enjoyed it at the time but I’ve forgotten a lot of it. That probably means I wouldn’t be rushing to read more by him though if one came my way – e.g. my reading group wanted to do it – I’d give it a go.

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