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6 Underrated Books That Deserve More Attention

Isn’t it time to try out all the under-hyped books out there, and discover your next best read?

So, how do I decide which books are underrated?

I will be following their ratings, rather the number of ratings on Goodreads. Anywhere between 1-10,000 it is underrated, given the sheer amount of ratings overhyped books get. Also I have personally rated these books 4 stars and above.

1. Cobalt blue by Sachin Kundalkar, translated by Jerry Pinto ( 4.03, 1927 ratings)

Sachin Kundalkar started on his first novel at 20 and finished it when he was 22. The novel was Cobalt Blue, the story of a brother and sister who fall in love with the same man, and how a traditional Marathi family is shattered by the ensuing events – a work that both shocked and spoke to Marathi readers – From Goodreads

Why I Think You Should Read This:

  • At 244 pages, the description put up on Goodreads does not do justice to what this book entails
  • It has LGBTQ+ representation and is a perfect read for Pride Month
  • It was first written in Marathi and then translated to English. so you can kill two birds with one stone by picking this up : Translated Indian Literature and A book from India.

Check out my full review of the book.

2. Earth and Ashes by Atiq Rahimi ( 3.60, 1515 ratings)

When the Soviet army arrives in Afghanistan, the elderly Dastaguir witnesses the destruction of his village and the death of his clan. His young grandson Yassin, deaf from the sounds of the bombing, is one of the few survivors. The two set out through an unforgiving landscape, searching for the coal mine where Murad, the old man’s son and the boy’s father, works. They reach their destination only to learn that they must wait and rely for help on all that remains to them: a box of chewing tobacco, some unripe apples, and the kindness of strangers.
Haunting in its spareness, Earth and Ashes is a tale of devastating loss, but also of human perseverance in the face of madness and war. – From Goodreads

Why I Think You Should Read This:

  • At 81 pages, it is a short read, but it will leave behind a mark.
  • This is one of those books which transports you to the land, among it’s people and make you feel what they are going through.
  • Warning, tears were shed.

I read this book for my read from Afghanistan. You can find my full review here.

3. The Liberation of Sita by Volga (4.19, 1362 ratings)

Valmiki’s Ramayana is the story of Rama’s exile and return to Ayodhya, a triumphant king who will always do right by his subjects.

In Volga’s retelling, it is Sita who, after being abandoned by Purushottam Rama, embarks on an arduous journey to self-realization. Along the way, she meets extraordinary women who have broken free from all that held them back: Husbands, sons and their notions of desire, beauty and chastity. The minor women characters of the epic as we know it – Surpanakha, Renuka, Urmila and Ahalya – steer Sita towards an unexpected resolution. Meanwhile, Rama too must reconsider and weigh out his roles as the king of Ayodhya and as a man deeply in love with his wife.

A powerful subversion of India’s most popular tale of morality, choice and sacrifice, The Liberation of Sita opens up new spaces within the old discourse, enabling women to review their lives and experiences afresh. This is Volga at her feminist best.

Why I Think You Should Read This:

  • Have you tried an Indian mythology retelling? Or are interested in knowing more about them, but from the woman’s point of view; which to be honest, our sages missed out upon. This won’t disappoint.
  • You can definitely add this book if you are a part of a feminist book club, or a feminist yourself. Even if you are not, Volga’s writing deserves attention.
  • Again, like the majority titles in this list, this is from an Indian author and has been translated from The Telegu.

Check out my full review here.

4. A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid ( 3.99, 9997 ratings)

Lyrical, sardonic, and forthright, A Small Place magnifies our vision of one small place with Swiftian wit and precision. Jamaica Kincaid’s expansive essay candidly appraises the ten-by-twelve-mile island in the British West Indies where she grew up, and makes palpable the impact of European colonization and tourism. The book is a missive to the traveler, whether American or European, who wants to escape the banality and corruption of some large place. Kincaid, eloquent and resolute, reminds us that the Antiguan people, formerly British subjects, are unable to escape the same drawbacks of their own tiny realm—that behind the benevolent Caribbean scenery are human lives, always complex and often fraught with injustice. – From Goodreads

Why I Think You Should Read This:

  • How many books have you read that are set in Antigua? Well, here’s your chance to read one
  • I have never read a narrative that is as fierce as this
  • Being from a developing country which was colonized, this book hits hard. So fellow people with history of colonization, as well as those who are privileged enough to come from a land which prospered at the expense of another, GIVE THIS A READ.

Check out my full review here.

5. Hellfire by Leesa Gazi, translated by Shabnam Nadiya (4.13, 107 ratings)

The holy Prophet received his revelations from the Creator at forty. Which meant that even in the eyes of Allah, ‘forty’ held some special meaning. Something special happened at forty, something special was going to happen.

For the sisters Lovely and Beauty, home is a cage. Their mother Farida Khanam never lets them out of her hawk-eyed gaze.

Leesa Gazi’s Hellfire opens with Lovely’s first ever solo expedition to Gausia Market on her fortieth birthday. There will be many firsts for her today, but she mustn’t forget the curfew Farida Khanam has ordained. As Lovely roams the streets of Dhaka, her mother’s carefully constructed world begins to unravel. The twisted but working arrangements of a fragile household begin to assume a macabre quality as the day progresses.

Told in stark, taut prose, this grisly tale of a family born of a dark secret is one of the most scintillating debuts in contemporary Bengali literature. – From Goodreads

Why I Think You Should Read This:

  • Again, it’s translated literature, which in itself deserves more attention.
  • I am a through and through Bengali, and when another Bong ( be it from India or Bangladesh ) writes such beautiful stories, I’ll make sure to shout them out every chance I get.
  • This story is unique, it breaks all boundaries that are deemed normal in the society it writes about.

You can find my full review here.

6. The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis (3.90, 2542 ratings)

First Sister has no name and no voice. As a priestess of the Sisterhood, she travels the stars alongside the soldiers of Earth and Mars—the same ones who own the rights to her body and soul. When her former captain abandons her, First Sister’s hopes for freedom are dashed when she is forced to stay on her ship with no friends, no power, and a new captain—Saito Ren—whom she knows nothing about. She is commanded to spy on Captain Ren by the Sisterhood, but soon discovers that working for the war effort is so much harder to do when you’re falling in love.

Lito val Lucius climbed his way out of the slums to become an elite soldier of Venus, but was defeated in combat by none other than Saito Ren, resulting in the disappearance of his partner, Hiro. When Lito learns that Hiro is both alive and a traitor to the cause, he now has a shot at redemption: track down and kill his former partner. But when he discovers recordings that Hiro secretly made, Lito’s own allegiances are put to the test. Ultimately, he must decide between following orders and following his heart. – From Goodreads

Why I Think You Should Read This:

  • LGBTQ+ rep in a dystopian science fiction. Do you need more?
  • If you loved the concept of Handmaid’s tale and Never Let Me Go but want a dash of sci-fic and outer space in it, this is your cake.
  • It is part of a series!!!!!!

Check out my full review here.

That’s it friends. I hope you get to pick up at least one of these books and enjoy them.


LINKS:

By averyorignalusername

Check out my first post on WordPress to know about ME.
In short I read, review, write, do not apologize for my opinions (no, they are not offensive), journal, and occasionally paint.

4 replies on “6 Underrated Books That Deserve More Attention”

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