That Was A Book?!?! The Best of the Underrated and Obscure

Top 10 That Was A Book?!?! The Best of the Underrated and Obscure : Daddy-Long-Legs & Dear Enemy, To Sir, With Love, Quo Vadis, The Princess Bride, Mama's Bank Account, Washington Square, The Maltese Falcon, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, Planet of the Apes, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

Daddy-Long-Legs & Dear Enemy
AuthorJean Webster
ISBN0143039067
One of the great novels of American girlhood, Jean Webster's Daddy-Long- Legs (1912) follows the adventures of an orphan named Judy Abbott, whose letters to her anonymous male benefactor trace her development as an independent thinker and writer. Its sequel, Dear Enemy (1915), also told in letters,...
To Sir, With Love
AuthorE.R. Braithwaite
ISBN0515105198
The all-time Classic schoolroom drama - as relevant as today's headlines ...

He shamed them, wrestled with them, enlightened them, and - ultimately - learned to love them. Mr. Braithwaite, the new teacher, had first to fight the class bully. Then he taught defiant, hard-bitten delinquents...
Quo Vadis
AuthorHenryk Sienkiewicz
ISBN0781805503
Rome during the reign of Nero was a glorious place for the emperor and his court; there were grand feasts, tournaments for poets, and exciting games and circuses filling the days and nights. The pageantry and pretentious displays of excess were sufficient to cloy the senses of participants as well as...
The Princess Bride
AuthorWilliam Goldman
ISBN0345418263
What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be...well...a lot less than the man of her dreams?

As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up...
Mama's Bank Account
AuthorKathryn Forbes
ISBN0156563770

This is the "novel" which forms the basis for the play and movie "I Remember Mama" written by John Van Druten. It is little more than a series of vignettes, but they are realistic as well as heart-warming and not unduly sentimental.

It tells the story of the hardscrabble existence of a Norwegian...
Washington Square
AuthorHenry James
ISBN0451528719
The plot of Washington Square has the simplicity of old-fashioned melodrama: a plain-looking, good-hearted young woman, the only child of a rich widower, is pursued by a charming but unscrupulous man who seeks the wealth she will presumably inherit. On this premise, Henry James constructed one of...
The Maltese Falcon
AuthorDashiell Hammett
ISBN0752865331
Sam Spade is hired by the fragrant Miss Wonderley to track down her sister, who has eloped with a louse called Floyd Thursby. But Miss Wonderley is in fact the beautiful and treacherous Brigid O'Shaughnessy, and when Spade's partner Miles Archer is shot while on Thursby's trail, Spade finds himself...
AuthorEric Hodgins
ISBN0743262328
The classic tale of leaving the city and building a house in the country, only to find country life isn't so simple. But it is hilarious. Mr. Blandings, a successful New York advertising executive, and his wife want to escape the confines of their tiny midtown apartment. They design the perfect home in...
Planet of the Apes
AuthorPierre Boulle
ISBN0345447980
"I am confiding this manuscript to space, not with the intention of saving myself, but to help, perhaps, to avert the appalling scourge that is menacing the human race. Lord have pity on us!"

With these words, Pierre Boulle hurtles the reader onto the Planet of the Apes. In this simian world,...
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
AuthorHenry Farrell
ISBN0881847259
Book jacket: Baby Jane, a child star of early vaudeville, resented having to grow up in the shadow of her prettier sister Blanche Hudson, who became Hollywood's reigning love goddess. Now, some fifty years later, they are together and alone. And reality has toppled crazily into eerie fantasy. Blanche...
The Last of the Mohicans
AuthorJames Fenimore Cooper
ISBN0553213296
The wild rush of action in this classic frontier adventure story has made The Last of the Mohicans the most popular of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales. Deep in the forests of upper New York State, the brave woodsman Hawkeye (Natty Bumppo) and his loyal Mohican friends Chingachgook...
The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
AuthorHenry Fielding
ISBN0140436227
A foundling of mysterious parentage brought up by Mr. Allworthy on his country estate, Tom Jones is deeply in love with the seemingly unattainable Sophia Western, the beautiful daughter of the neighboring squire—though he sometimes succumbs to the charms of the local girls. When Tom is banished...
Cry, the Beloved Country
AuthorAlan Paton
Cry, the Beloved Country, the most famous and important novel in South Africa’s history, was an immediate worldwide bestseller in 1948. Alan Paton’s impassioned novel about a black man’s country under white man’s law is a work of searing beauty.

Cry, the beloved country, for the...
La Dame aux Camélias
AuthorAlexandre Dumas fils
ISBN0192836382
La Dame aux camélias = The Lady of the Camellias, Alexandre Dumas fils
The Lady with the Camellias, is a novel by Alexandre Dumas (Son), first published in 1848, and subsequently adapted by Dumas for the stage. Written by Alexandre Dumas (Son) (1824–1895) when he was 23 years old, and first published...
The Night of the Hunter
AuthorDavis Grubb
ISBN1596542292
Inspired by serial killer Harry Powers, "The Bluebeard of Quiet Dell," who was hung in 1932 for his murders of two widows and three children. This best-selling novel, first published in 1953 to wide acclaim by author Grubb, (who like Powers lived in Clarksburg, West Virginia), served as the basis for...
BUtterfield 8
AuthorJohn O'Hara
ISBN0812966988
A bestseller upon its publication in 1935, BUtterfield 8 was inspired by a news account of the discovery of the body of a beautiful young woman washed up on a Long Island beach. Was it an accident, a murder, a suicide? The circumstances of her death were never resolved, but O’Hara seized upon the tragedy...
AuthorBooth Tarkington
ISBN1434100243
Alice Adams, the daughter of middle-class parents, wants desperately to belong with the people of "high society" who live in her town. Ultimately, her ambitions are tempered by the realities of her situation, which she learns to accept with grace and style. Alice's resiliency of spirit makes her one...
Return to Peyton Place
AuthorGrace Metalious
ISBN1555536697
In 1956 Grace Metalious published Peyton Place, the novel that unbuttoned the straitlaced New England of the popular imagination, transformed the publishing industry, topped the bestseller lists for more than a year, and made its young author one of the most talked-about people in America. In 1959...
The Bonfire of the Vanities
AuthorTom Wolfe
ISBN0553381342
Sherman McCoy, the central figure of Tom Wolfe's first novel, is a young investment banker with a fourteen-room apartment in Manhattan. When he is involved in a freak accident in the Bronx, prosecutors, politicians, the press, the police, the clergy, and assorted hustlers high and low close in on him,...
The Egg and I
AuthorBetty MacDonald
ISBN0704102471
When Betty MacDonald married a marine and moved to a small chicken farm on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, she was largely unprepared for the rigors of life in the wild. With no running water, no electricity, a house in need of constant repair, and days that ran from four in the morning to nine...
No Highway
AuthorNevil Shute
ISBN1842322737
 Theodore Honey is a shy, inconspicuous engineer whose eccentric interests are frowned upon in aviation circles. When a passenger plane crashes in Newfoundland under unexplained circumstances, Honey is determined to prove his unorthodox theory about what went wrong to his superiors, before...
The Day of the Jackal
AuthorFrederick Forsyth
ISBN0553266306
Librarian note: an alternate cover for this edition can be found here.

The Jackal. A tall, blond Englishman with opaque, gray eyes. A killer at the top of his profession. A man unknown to any secret service in the  world. An assassin with a contract to kill the world's most heavily guarded man.

One ...
Twelve Angry Men
AuthorReginald Rose
ISBN0143104403
A landmark American drama that inspired a classic film and a Broadway revival—featuring an introduction by David Mamet

A blistering character study and an examination of the American melting pot and the judicial system that keeps it in check, Twelve Angry Men holds at its core a deeply...
Howl's Moving Castle
AuthorDiana Wynne Jones
An alternative cover for this ISBN can be found here

Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a...
AuthorHubert Selby Jr.
ISBN1560252480
In Coney Island, Brooklyn, Sarah Goldfarb, a lonely widow, wants nothing more than to lose weight and appear on a television game show. She becomes addicted to diet pills in her obsessive quest, while her junkie son, Harry, along with his girlfriend, Marion, and his best friend, Tyrone, have devised...
AuthorSally Benson
ISBN1891442260
There are times when a film does a more enjoyable job with a book than the book does for itself. "Meet Me in Saint Louis" is one of the great old movie musicals, and probably provided the best performance ever given by Judy Garland. The book, on the other hand, is nothing extraordinary in the genre of happy-old-time-family...
Eaters of the Dead
AuthorMichael Crichton
ISBN0060891564
It is 922 A.D. The refined Arab courtier Ibn Fadlan is accompanying a party of Viking warriors back to their home. He is appalled by their customs—the gratuitous sexuality of their women, their disregard for cleanliness, and their cold-blooded sacrifices. As they enter the frozen, forbidden landscape...
AuthorTerence Rattigan
ISBN1854594672
In 1908, a British boy of about 14, George Archer Shee [a double last name, and pronounced "Shay"], from a respectable but not rich family, was expelled from the Osborne Naval College after being falsely accused of stealing a five-shilling postal money order from a fellow cadet. (The administrators...
The Big Clock
AuthorKenneth Fearing
ISBN1590171810
George Stroud is a hard-drinking, tough-talking, none-too-scrupulous writer for a New York media conglomerate that bears a striking resemblance to Time, Inc. in the heyday of Henry Luce. One day, before heading home to his wife in the suburbs, Stroud has a drink with Pauline, the beautiful girlfriend...
AuthorJohn O'Hara
ISBN0394448146
Ten North Frederick by John O’Hara

There is here, in the biography of Joe Chapin, nothing that could not have been seen or heard by the people whose lives were touched by Joe Chapin’s life. Whatever he thought, whatever he felt has always been expressed to or through someone else, and the...
AuthorJessamyn West
A quintessential American heroine, Eliza Birdwell is a wonderful blend of would-be austerity, practicality, and gentle humor when it comes to keeping her faith and caring for her family and community. Her husband, Jess, shares Eliza's love of people and peaceful ways but, unlike Eliza, also displays...
The Painted Veil
AuthorW. Somerset Maugham
ISBN0307277771
Set in England and Hong Kong in the 1920s, The Painted Veil is the story of the beautiful, but love-starved Kitty Fane.

When her husband discovers her adulterous affair, he forces her to accompany him to the heart of a cholera epidemic. Stripped of the British society of her youth and the small...
AuthorVera Caspary
ISBN1558615059
Laura Hunt was the ideal modern woman: beautiful, elegant, highly ambitious, and utterly mysterious. No man could resist her charms—not even the hardboiled NYPD detective sent to find out who turned her into a faceless corpse. As this tough cop probes the mystery of Laura’s death, he becomes obsessed...
All This, and Heaven Too
AuthorRachel Field
ISBN1556524919
This number-one bestselling novel is based on the true story of one of the most notorious murder cases in French history. The heroine, Henriette Deluzy-Desportes, governess to the children of the Duc de Praslin, found herself strangely drawn to her employer; when the Duc murdered his wife in the most...
Cass Timberlane
AuthorSinclair Lewis
ISBN0848814118
This book was written late in the career of Sinclair lewis.He had fun with it ,but it was not without serious undertones or piercing social commentary. That said much of it highlights how what from a distance seems like banal self absorption is in fact the workings of a heart or mind searching for meaning.The...
AuthorErnest K. Gann
ISBN0671827634
I had a hard time deciding whether to give this book 5 stars or no stars.

Reasons for 1 star:

Unbelievable plot --
-Very sexist -- Women are "girls", stewardess, mistresses or hysterical.
-Politically incorrect ("slant-eyed", "Orientals")
-Unsympathetic characters...
Little Big Man
AuthorThomas Berger
ISBN1860466419
"I am a white man and never forget it, but I was brought up by the Cheyenne Indians from the age of ten."

So starts the story of Jack Crabb, the 111-year old narrator of Thomas Berger's masterpiece of American fiction. As a "human being", as the Cheyenne called their own, he won the name Little Big...
Raintree County
AuthorRoss Lockridge Jr.
Throughout a single day in 1892, John Shawnessy recalls the great moments of his life—from the love affairs of his youth in Indiana, to the battles of the Civil War, to the politics of the Gilded Age, to his homecoming as schoolteacher, husband, and father. Shawnessy is the epitome of the place and period...
Peyton Place
AuthorGrace Metalious
ISBN1555534007
First published in 1956, Peyton Place uncovers the passions, lies and cruelties that simmer beneath the surface of a postcard-perfect town. At the centre of the novel are three women, each with a secret to hide: Constance MacKenzie, the original desperate housewife; her daughter Allison, whose dreams...
AuthorWalter Van Tilburg Clark
ISBN0812972589
Set in 1885, The Ox-Bow Incident is a searing and realistic portrait of frontier life and mob violence in the American West. First published in 1940, it focuses on the lynching of three innocent men and the tragedy that ensues when law and order are abandoned. The result is an emotionally powerful, vivid,...
AuthorColin Higgins
ISBN0380003856
Nineteen-year-old Harold Chasen is obsessed with death. He fakes suicides to shock his self-obsessed mother, drives a customized Jaguar hearse, and attends funerals of complete strangers. Seventy-nine-year-old Maude Chardin, on the other hand, adores life. She liberates trees from city sidewalks...
Logan's Run
AuthorWilliam F. Nolan
ISBN0553025171
It's the 23rd Century and at age 21... your life is over! Logan-6 has been trained to kill; born and bred from conception to be the best of the best. But his time is short and before his life ends he's got one final mission: Find and destroy Sanctuary, a fabled haven for those that chose to defy the system. But...
The Children of Men
AuthorP.D. James
ISBN0307279901
Told with P. D. James's trademark suspense, insightful characterization, and riveting storytelling, The Children of Men is a story of a world with no children and no future. The human race has become infertile, and the last generation to be born is now adult. Civilization itself is crumbling as suicide...
AuthorIrvine Welsh
ISBN0099465892
The bestselling novel by Irvine Welsh that provided the inspiration for Danny Boyle’s hit film Choose us. Choose life. Choose mortgage payments; choose washing machines; choose cars; choose sitting oan a couch watching mind-numbing and spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fuckin junk food...
AuthorDorothy B. Hughes
ISBN1558614559
Postwar Los Angeles is a lonely place where the American Dream is showing its seamy underside—and a stranger is preying on young women. The suggestively named Dix Steele, a cynical vet with a chip on his shoulder about the opposite sex, is the LAPD's top suspect. Dix knows enough to watch his step, especially...
The Searchers
AuthorAlan LeMay
ISBN0515092290
”A man has to learn to forgive himself,” Amos said, his voice unnaturally gentle….”Or he can’t stand to live. It so happens we be Texans. We took a reachin’ holt, way far out, past where any man has right or reason to hold on. Or it we didn’t, our folks did, so we can’t leave off, without giving...
McTeague
AuthorFrank Norris
ISBN0451528913
"I never truckled. I never took off the hat to Fashion and held it out for pennies. I told them the truth. They liked it or they didn't like it. What had that to do with me? I told them the truth," declared Frank Norris, shortly before his death at the age of thirty-two. Of his novels, none have shocked the reading...
AuthorRobert Crichton
ISBN0881842672
After visiting some of the hilltowns in Tuscany, I wondered what it would have been like to live through WWII there. Based on a true story and the author 's personal experience, the book clearly told the story of one small village and their ordeal. It was light and humorous, insightful and introspective,...
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
AuthorRobert C. O'Brien
ISBN0689862202
Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly...
The Great Train Robbery
AuthorMichael Crichton
ISBN0553129198
Lavish wealth and appalling poverty live side by side in Victorian London -- and Edward Pierce easily navigates both worlds. Rich, handsome, and ingenious, he charms the city's most prominent citizens even as he plots the crime of his century, the daring theft of a fortune in gold. But even Pierce could...
About
Feedback
© BooksList.Best 2023