10. Advise and Consent by Allen Drury
I HAVE YELLED ABOUT THIS BOOK ALL YEAR AND WILL CONTINUE TO YELL ABOUT IT UNTIL I DIE.
A total must for lovers of political thrillers or shows like The West Wing, Advise and Consent takes places in the 1950s and chronicles the battle to confirm a certain Robert Leffingwell as Secretary of State. The characters are all so likable and quirky (especially Seab Cooley, oh my lord), anD IT RIPPED MY HEART OUT AND STOMPED ON IT.
Have a tissue box ready. You wouldn't think this is the sort of book that would make you cry, but trust me, it is.
9. Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya
If you love historical fiction but are tired of stories centered on Western history, or if you love magical realism like that found in Life of Pi, this is definitely one for you. I read this for Academic Decathlon last year, but I soon fell in love with it and enjoyed it so much more than most required reads.
8. The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby
This stunning debut remains one of my favorite books of all time years after I read it. It follows the adventures of three teens - Hannah, the personal servant of a mysterious heiress; Frederick, a clockmaker's apprentice; and Giuseppe, an immigrant boy with a magical green violin. They come together by chance and realize each holds the key to the others' puzzles, and they team up to stop the evil clockwork man that unexpectedly comes to life and starts rampaging all through the city.
7. The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
This is a very poetic and abstract book, so it may not be for you if you prefer straightforward writing. However, if you are, like me, a huge fan of surreal and haunting writing, this is definitely one you'd enjoy!
6. Bunker Hill by Nathaniel Philbrick
"I am not a nerd," I say, standing here before you recommending a killer nonfiction on the buildup to the American Revolutionary War.
5. The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
THIS. FREAKING. BOOK. This was my second-favorite book of 2016, and it's incredibly underrated. It's about a string of mysterious murders in 1500s England, all targeting apothecaries, and one apprentice's quest to uncover the cult behind it. There's magic, mystery, explosions, and high-speed chases galore! This novel definitely doesn't get the attention it deserves.
4. Mrs. Pollifax and the Second Thief by Dorothy Gilman
If you like Agatha Christie stories, the Mrs. Pollifax series is definitely for you. It's about a sixty-year-old woman who raises prizewinning flowers and has flyaway white hair.....and is also a CIA agent. All of the stories take place around the world, so this is a great series for those with wanderlust who love reading beautifully-described foreign locations, such as the temples of the Middle East and mountains of Albania. This book - concerning the mystery of an art theft in Sicily - is by far my favorite.
(ALSO. BISHOP AND CARSTAIRS. I SHIP.)
3. The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
E.L. Konigsburg is one of my favorite authors, and this book is definitely a hidden gem. It's about the lives of four middle schoolers selected to compete in an elite academic contest, and it features plenty of sea turtles, magic tricks, and tea.
2. Return to Harmony by Janette Oke and Davis Bunn
THIS. BOOK. MADE. ME. BAWL. If you like Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, or books similar to those, I definitely recommend this one.
1. Transit by Anna Seghers
THIS. BOOK. This was another one of my top ten books of 2016, and I so wish more people knew about it. If you're a fan of poetic writing and historical fiction, this is definitely for you.
Let's chat! What are your favorite underrated books? Comment below, and remember that you are all very beautiful pickles. <3