I don’t normally join in in these Tuesday tags, but I felt today’s topic was too interesting to miss.
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature that was created by The Broke and the Bookish and hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Born from a love of lists and a love of books each week there’s a new topic for bloggers to list their ‘top ten’.
The topic is Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads. It got me curious and I had a look. Turns out there are quite a few good books on there so I’m here to share those 🙂
So let have a look! These books are not in any specific order.
Top 10 Books I loved That Have Less Than 2000 ratings on GoodReads
1. Den Som Skriver by Odd W Surén
Synopsis: Det er bare en av gangen som kan ha tittelen “den som skriver”. Slik har det vært siden den første Boken ble skrevet i Blokk, der Byggerne bor, mellom Mørket og de uutgrunnelige Bringernes steder.
Nå er det Corr som er den som skriver, og alt han vet har han lært fra Bøkene. Men hvordan ser Byggerne på ham? Hvordan kan han være den som skriver? Han, som har en skikkelse som gjør ord tvilsomme?
Fra Mørket kommer mange slags skapninger. Slik har det alltid vært. Men en dag kommer det en mann fra Mørket, og alt blir forandret.
English: In a place called Blokk (‘Cube’), Corr has been nominated to become the One Who Writes. There is only one person who can hold the title ‘The One Who Writes’, and that’s the way its been since the first Book was written in Blokk where the Builders live, in between the Dark and wilderness were the Bringers live. Corr has learnt everything he knows from the Books. But how can the Builders view him now? He who has a body that makes his words less valuable. From the Dark crawls many creatures, and its always been like that, but one day a man comes from the dark and everything changes.
Opinion; This was so wonderfully quirky and great! The book only exists in Norwegian, I believe, which is a shame. I loved the story and the characters. It’s clear the author is playing with how physical imperfection affects the perception of someone in charge especially in a small town community that is also underground and secluded. The twist, in the end, was totally unexpected and really threw me. It was great!
2. The Colour Of Madness; Exploring BAME mental health in the UK edt by Samara Linton
Synopsis: The Colour Of Madness is a seminal BAME led & curated anthology, comprised of poetry, fiction, essays, memoirs, and art submitted by BAME writers, academics, mental health workers, artists and those still navigating life with mental health problems. Exploring the BAME mental health experience in the UK
Opinion: This was a very fascinating selection of written word of experience, thoughts, racism and madness all wrapped into one. It was an interesting insight into the systematic racism in the UK which is a lot less than in the US (thankfully) but still present. The anthology contains several different illnesses from eating disorders and depression to schizophrenia. Highly recommended!
3. The Paragrim Trilogy by Ceri A Lowe
(yes I cheated, I’ve put on the entire trilogy, but all three books have less than 2000 ratings so it kind of goes)
Synopsis: 15-year-old Alice Davenport was a loner and an outcast before the Storms swept away everything she knew. Saved from the ravaged remains of London by the mysterious and all-powerful Paradigm Industries, her fierce independence and unique skills soon gain her recognition from the highest levels of command. But their plans to rebuild civilisation from scratch mean destroying all remnants of the past – no matter what, or who, gets left behind.
Alice must decide if she will fight for the old world, or the new…
Decades later, 15-year-old Carter Warren is woken from the Catacombs after years of cryonic sleep. He’s determined to do whatever it takes to climb the ranks to Controller General – until he realises the Industry’s control methods have become harsher than ever. The Barricades make sure nothing from the Deadlands can get into the Community – and no one can get out. And a shocking discovery about his own family causes Carter to question everything he’s ever known…
As Alice becomes entangled in the Industry’s plan for the future, and Carter delves into the secrets of his past, they must make sacrifices which threaten to tear them apart. And both of them are forced to confront an impossible question…
Would you dare to risk it all for the perfect world?
An addictive and gripping dystopian series, perfect for fans of The Girl Who Dared to Think, The Hunger Games and The Gender Game.
This book was previously titled Paradigm.
Opinion: I read this entire trilogy in autumn 2018 and really enjoyed it. It’s a fascinating dystopian YA set in a fallen London. Paradigm Industries saved a lot of people during the fall and has since tried to create a walled-in society which focuses on progress. While outside the wall other societies try to live in the shadow of the wall. It’s a dual perspective narrative from the fall of London and from 90 years into the future. I really enjoyed it! I revied all the three books and here is a link to the review of the first book
4. Bones and Bourbon by Dorian Graves
Synopsis: Half-huldra Retz Gallows is having an awful day. First, he wakes up in the middle of driving to who-knows-where with an angry unicorn head in his passenger seat. This is almost normal, thanks to a lifetime of sharing a body with Nalem, a bone-controlling spirit with a penchant for wicked schemes and body-stealing joyrides. It’s probably a bad idea to ask what else could go wrong.
Jarrod Gallows left home with plans to rescue his little brother from possession. Instead, he got saddled with a dead-end job as a paranormal investigator, a Faerie curse, and a daredevil boyfriend who might be from another world. At least he’s got a new job—except why is his brother Retz here and why does this sudden reunion feel more like a bane than a blessing?
This day’s going to get worse for the Gallows brothers before it gets better. To survive, they’ll have to escape the forces controlling them, as well as the wrath of carnivorous unicorns, otherworldly realms, and even their own parents. Only time will tell if they’ll make it out alive…or sober.
Opinion: This was full on and funny! There is a lot going on in this book and there is a lot of creatures, but it was filled with action and plot lines, and it was wonderful! I really hope the author will write a sequel, it was that amount of fun! I did a full review here.
5. Love Beyond Body Space and Time edt by Hope Nicholson
Synopsis: “Love Beyond, Body, Space, and Time” is a collection of indigenous science fiction and urban fantasy focusing on LGBT and two-spirit characters. These stories range from a transgender woman trying an experimental transition medication to young lovers separated through decades and meeting far in their own future. These are stories of machines and magic, love, and self-love.
This collection features prose stories by:
Cherie Dimaline “The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy,” “Red Rooms”
Gwen Benaway “Ceremonies for the Dead”
David Robertson “Betty: The Helen Betty Osborne Story,” Tales From Big Spirit series
Richard Van Camp “The Lesser Blessed,” “Three Feathers”
Mari Kurisato “Celia’s Song,” “Bent Box”
Nathan Adler “Wrist”
Daniel Heath Justice “The Way of Thorn and Thunder: The Kynship Chronicles”
Darcie Little Badger “Nkásht íí, The Sea Under Texas”
And an introduction by Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair “Manitowapow,” with a foreword by Grace Dillon “Walking the Clouds”.
Edited by Hope Nicholson “Moonshot,” “The Secret Loves of Geek Girls”
Opinion: As the trend is with these books, I really loved this one too! It’s totally queer! It starts off with some facts and history about two-spirited people and goes into speculative stories from there. My favourite story was ‘Perfectly You’ which made me cry in only a few pages, it was so good! Such an unexpected twist, and then another twist, and that ending! I did a full review here.
6. Snake Ropes by Jess Richards
Synopsis: Set on an isolated island off the Scottish coast, in a community run by women who are in awe of a mysterious structure called the Thrashing House, the novel is narrated by two teenage girls in very different circumstances. Mary is doing her best to protect her younger brother, Barney, as the island’ s sons are mysteriously disappearing. Morgan is scheming to escape the prison her parents have made of their home. The two girls unite, each on a desperate mission in which secrets will be revealed and lives changed forever.
Opinion: This was a weird and twisted dystopian novel set on a Scottish island where the population live off trading with the tall men who come from the mainland. There was a lot going on between the lines in this book. The title, the snake ropes, is actually snake ropes along the beach, but the actual meaning is something I’m still thinking of. I loved the characters and the setting which comes through as quite moody. I did a full review here.
7. Empress of All Season by Emiko Jean
Synopsis: Each generation, a competition is held to find the next Empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy.
Mari has spent a lifetime training to become Empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren’t hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yōkai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yōkai outcast.
Torn between duty and love, loyalty and betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness, the choices of Mari, Taro, and Akira will decide the fate of Honoku in this beautifully written, edge-of-your-seat YA fantasy
Opinion: I’m not sure why it’s less than 2000 ratings as I’ve seen it all over the net for a while. Also, it’s quite good. I loved the ending! It was just such an unexpected ending. The story in itself was a rich and imaginative based in East Asian mythology. I did a full review here.
8. Prey of Gods by Nicky Draydon
Synopsis: From a new voice in the tradition of Lauren Beukes, Ian McDonald, and Nnedi Okorafor comes The Prey of Gods, a fantastic, boundary-challenging tale, set in a South African locale both familiar and yet utterly new, which braids elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and dark humour.
In South Africa, the future looks promising. Personal robots are making life easier for the working class. The government is harnessing renewable energy to provide infrastructure for the poor. And in the bustling coastal town of Port Elizabeth, the economy is booming thanks to the genetic engineering industry which has found a welcome home there. Yes–the days to come are looking very good for South Africans. That is, if they can survive the present challenges:
A new hallucinogenic drug sweeping the country . . .
An emerging AI uprising . . .
And an ancient demigoddess hellbent on regaining her former status by preying on the blood and sweat (but mostly blood) of every human she encounters.
It’s up to a young Zulu girl powerful enough to destroy her entire township, a queer teen plagued with the ability to control minds, a pop diva with serious daddy issues, and a politician with even more serious mommy issues to band together to ensure there’s a future left to worry about.
Fun and fantastic, Nicky Drayden takes her brilliance as a short story writer and weaves together an elaborate tale that will capture your heart . . . even as one particular demigoddess threatens to rip it out.
Opinion: This was a very interesting book that incorporated a lot of fantasy but also sci-fi and it blended very well. The author also included a trans character and a gay couple who I totally ship! I read this during the 24in48 readathon and you can find my wrapup post here. The author has just come out with another book and I really want to pick that up soon.
9. The Chimes by Anna Smail
(yes another cheat, its got 2446 ratings, but it’s close enough and I love this book)
Synopsis: The Chimes is set in a reimagined London, in a world where people cannot form new memories, and the written word has been forbidden and destroyed.
In the absence of both memory and writing is music.
In a world where the past is a mystery, each new day feels the same as the last, and before is blasphemy, all appears lost. But Simon Wythern, a young man who arrives in London seeking the truth about what really happened to his parents, discovers he has a gift that could change all of this forever.
A stunning literary debut by poet and violinist Anna Smaill, The Chimes is a startlingly original work that combines beautiful, inventive prose with an incredible imagination.
Opinion: I love this book!! It the first book I ever read where two boys fall in love and it was the cutest, and I didn’t see it coming. I was totally surprised! Also, it’s situated in an alternative London and Oxford. The author is a musician and did a very good job of creating a religion based on music. I was amazed and totally loved it! Highly recommended to everyone!
10. Falling In Love with hominids by Nalo Hopkinson
Synopsis: Nalo Hopkinson (Brown Girl in the Ring, Skin Folk) has been widely hailed as a highly significant voice in the Caribbean and American fiction. She has been dubbed “one of our most important writers,” (Junot Diaz), with “an imagination that most of us would kill for” (Los Angeles Times), and her work has been called “stunning,” (New York Times) “rich in voice, humour, and dazzling imagery” (Kirkus), and “simply triumphant” (Dorothy Allison).
Falling in Love with Hominids presents over a dozen years of Hopkinson’s new, uncollected fiction, much of which has been unavailable in print. Her singular, vivid tales, which mix the modern with Afro-Caribbean folklore, are occupied by creatures unpredictable and strange: chickens that breathe fire, adults who eat children, and spirits that haunt shopping malls.
Opinion: I really enjoyed this collection of short stories. They were all weird to some extent but also fun and sad. I believe I did cry at one or two of these stories, which just goes to show the impact the author is capable of giving within only a few pages. I did a short review here (it’s a readathon wrapup post and contains more than just that review) in which I rated all the different stories.
Have you loved any of these?
Did one catch your interest?
Let me know 🙂