March 3, 2024

There are just some books that literally everybody has heard of and most likely read. Commonly known as best sellers, books such as the “Harry Potter” series, “A Tale of Two Cities,” the “Twilight” series and “The Diary of Anne Frank” are well known throughout the world.

They plague commercial bookstores, claim multiple movie adaptations and even have their own promotional merchandise. These novels have captured the world’s attention, whether for a moment or forever, and leave readers wanting more.

Then there are those books that one loves not because it is popular but because it is a gem that has been overlooked. For some it is a geeky science-fiction thriller, an old classic or maybe sappy romance novel.

Whatever it may be, it is special because you are the one that chose it as a favorite. Not the New York Times, your best friend or a professor, but you alone. You can rest assure that Hollywood will not tamper with it or sell action figures of the main characters. It is, for now at least, simply a wonderful story.

If you are looking for a currently “unpopular” but amazing read, look no further. Whether you want to revive an old classic or uncover a contemporary favorite, here are five books you might not have enjoyed yet.

“Agnes Grey” by Anne Bronte
The least known of the famous Bronte sisters, Anne Bronte wrote this novel almost as an autobiography. She draws on much of her own experiences to create the story of Agnes, a young governess who must find work due to financial ruin. She is assigned to teach some spoiled, wealthy children while finding her own way in the world. Anne Bronte’s sisters wrote more well know works- Charlotte wrote “Jane Eyre” and Emily wrote “Wuthering Heights”- and can attribute to the caliber, style and wit of this book. Often compared to the works of Jane Austen, this piece of Victorian literature deserves to be just as treasured as that of its peers.

“The Morland Dynasty” Series by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
This historical fiction series currently has 32 books and is the largest family saga in literature. Starting with “The Founding,” which follows the Morland family in the War of the Roses, Harrod-Eagles guides this fictional dynasty through every major historical happening up to her latest book that takes place after World War II. Whether a reader enjoys Napoleon, the Titanic or the women’s rights movement, this series has something for everyone. A detailed and entertaining look into the life of those at that moment in history, it is worth a whole shelf in your bookcase.

“The Phantom of the Opera” by Gaston Leroux
Most popular as the recent Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, this story actually dates back to 1910. Unknown to viewers of the play or movie, Leroux actually insisted that an actual phantom existed in the Paris Opera House, and in a journalistic approach, reports the facts and interviews he has gained. The plot follows the famous Christine Daae and Chagny brothers’ disappearance and supposed death. Whether or not the reader believes the author’s findings, this work of Gothic literature excites the imagination and leaves them with the question of “What if?”

“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer
This contemporary novel follows the narrator, a nine-year-old boy named Oscar, through an exciting yet heart-wrenching adventure following his father’s death in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This precocious and confused young boy ventures through New York City looking for supposed clues that his father left behind. As a recent tragedy, almost all readers can relate their own stories of that horrific day and learn about healing from a torn child’s perspective.

“The Mind of the Maker” by Dorothy Sayers
This Christian non-fiction book is one that every believer should read. Better known for her British detective thriller stories, Sayers was an intimate friend with literary giants such as C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and some of the other Inklings. This work explores the analogy that by examining the mind of man as a creator and the things he creates, people can better grasp the concept of the Holy Trinity. Describing people as the created, one should in turn create. Somewhat a mixture of Lewis’ “Mere Christianity” and William Young’s “The Shack,” this book is sure to enlighten and motivate any reader closer to the Lord.