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Top Ten Tuesday: Little Known Books That I Love

So turns out, I read pretty popular books. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday – a feature over at The Broke and The Bookish – topic had me going through my whole read shelf to find novels that have less than 2,000 ratings on Goodreads. It was not an easy task. In fact, I couldn’t even find ten books I liked that fit the criteria, so you guys are getting seven that I have read, and three that I’m really looking forward to.

[ in no particular order ]

Before The Fact, by Francis Iles
263 Ratings on Goodreads

Before the Fact has inspired Alfred Hitchcock to shoot Suspicion. It tells the story of Linda, a woman who believes her own husband, Johnnie, is plotting to murder her. Unrestrained by censorship, Iles fully embraces the evil of Johnnie Aysgarth, one of crime literature’s best manipulators.

I’ve written more about this daring and chilling thriller here.

Poems That Make Grown Men Cry, by Anthony Holden (Editor) and Ben Holden
640 Ratings on Goodreads

A collection of poems picked by one hundred men, from Kenneth Branagh to Nick Cave. Each entry includes the poem itself, a brief testament from the man that chose it, and bit on his life.

Besides featuring beautiful poems, this is also a great project that invites men from our time to be an example and share what moves them.

Nine and a Half Weeks, by Elizabeth McNeil
1,849 Ratings on Goodreads

Another book adapted to film (80’s sensation with Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger) this time, the memoir of a love affair between two strangers, with elements of BDSM that the movie tones down but the novel fully embraces.

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you want to give the genre a try, this is the place to start. Well-written, sometimes sweet, very sensual, and quite shocking. There’s no holding back here – if you appreciate that, you’ll love it.

As Máscaras do Destino, by Florbela Espanca
83 Ratings on Goodreads

It is extremely rare for me to share portuguese literature for the simple fact that, shamefully, I’m not really in touch with it. But this particular novel I have written about, for it is truly one of those books that stayed with me.

The Masks of Destiny is a collection of short stories written by one of our most beloved poets. Some of my favourites are infused with a deep sadness, mystery, and even supernatural elements.

The Corpse Exhibition: And Other Stories From Iraq, by Hassan Blassim
621 Ratings on Goodreads

I admit I picked this up for its title alone, and it did not disappoint. Another collection of short stories, Blassim’s book blends the macabre with humour and fantasy, against the backdrop of the Iraq War. It is both blunt and poetic, and absolutely hypnotising.

Mad Men, Mad World: Sex, Politics, Style, and the 1960s, by Lauren M. E. Goodlad (Editor), Lilya Kaganovsky (Editor) and Robert A. Rushing (Editor)
45 Ratings on Goodreads

Obviously, once Mad Men ended I needed to fill a big Don void in my life. There’s no shortage of books on the series, but from what I’ve read, this is so far the most comprehensive and interesting one. From Civil Rights to Women’s History, to fashion and manhood (etc etc etc!) Mad Men, Mad World leaves no stone unturned. It’s awesome.

See Also

Hollywood Gothic, by David J. Skal
201 Ratings on Goodreads

Ah, Dracula. Skal is a horror researcher, a Bram Stoker specialist – which sounds like the coolest thing you can be. I just started this book, and it lives up the (mainly mine) hype. It’s an extensive look at fiction’s most alluring Count, from the original novel to its various adaptations and the character itself.

Lust, Caution, by Eileen Chang
170 Ratings on Goodreads

I looked for this book (it should be mine within the week!) right after I saw Ang Lee’s film by the same name.

Lust, Caution is about a group of students from Hong Kong in the 1940s, who plot to kill a Japanese spy, Mr. Yee. The plan involves Chia Chi seducing Yee and, as you might expect, they end up being truly attracted to one another. Doomed love affairs in an espionage setting? It’s all I’ve ever wanted.

Gothic Talesby Elizabeth Gaskell
1,323 Ratings on Goodreads

My next buy (Book Depository will bankrupt me) will be this literary treasure, another collection of short stories, again with a dark streak to it, but this time by a woman and in true gothic style. Eerie, chilling, compelling, unsettling – these are all adjectives used to describe Gothic Tales and, as you may have noticed by now, all music to my ears.

Morgue: A Life in Death, by Vincent DiMaio and Ron Franscell
332 Ratings on Goodreads

Published in May, this one has been on my iBooks just long enough for me to take a peak inside. It goes through various cases of a renowned pathologist often involved in high-profile cases such as *gasp* Harvey Lee Oswald’s exhumation. Beware that there are also some pretty disturbing cases. Anyway, I’m sure fans of true crime and forensics will keep an eye on this one.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog event created by The Broke and the Bookish

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