As a self-proclaimed lover of books, I'm hard-pressed to find a popular new book that I haven't laid eyes on, which can be frustrating for my husband when it comes times to shop for me. Thanks to the Goodreads "under the radar" books list, I can scope out amazing reads that Goodreads users are head-over-heels about that don't appear on bestseller lists, and send him cute reminder texts as Christmastime rolls around. Plus I can get all excited about starting a new story. There are literally few things more thrilling than opening the first page of a book. (OK, maybe add in a cozy blanket and a hot drink this winter, and that's even more thrilling.)
This list includes the top 10 most popular books on Goodreads that aren't featured in roundups of popular reads like the New York Times' bestseller list, but garner top ratings and rave reviews among Goodreads users. Basically, you'll likely fall just as hard for these books as Goodreads' 90+ million users have. There's a good mix on here, so if you're wanting to check out something new, but aren't sure what kind of story you want, take a peek. If you're shopping for a bookworm, just pick one and give a great surprise.
1. 'Miracle Creek' by Angie Kim
Looking for a good mystery book that Liane Moriarty didn't write? Enter Miracle Creek by Angie Kim. Set in small town Virginia, secrets and betrayals unfold within a group of characters after an explosion of a hyperbaric chamber at a treatment center where two people die. Reviewers on Goodreads gush about the harrowing turns this novel takes and the aftershocks that it leaves readers with long after they turn the final page.
2. 'My Lovely Wife' by Samantha Downing
If you love reading about the tangled inner-workings of a marriage, but are also a fan of suspenseful murder mysteries, My Lovely Wife is definitely the book for you. The decidedly dark and twisty novel is Samantha Downing's debut, and based on the reviews alone, readers are already clamoring for more.
3. 'The Book Woman Of Troublesome Creek' by Kim Michele Richardson
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a historical fiction novel by Kim Michele Richardson inspired by the Kentucky Pack Horse library service of the 1930s. The story transports readers to the hills of Kentucky, following a traveling librarian as she bravely confronts prejudice in order to share the joy of books with the people of Appalachia.
4. 'Once Upon A River' by Diane Setterfield
The folkloric tale Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield promises readers a journey of mythical proportions. When a young girl's lifeless body washes up on the river Thames, she is mysteriously brought back to life hours after her discovery, leading to a battle over who may lay claim to this miracle-laden child. When several families fight to have her returned to their care, secrets are exposed and mysteries unraveled before the girl's true identity can come to light.
5. 'Where The Forest Meets The Stars' by Glendy Vanderah
When a mysterious child shows up on her doorstep soon after the death of her mother and in the midst of her own battle with breast cancer, Joanna Teale's life takes a drastic turn as the child informs her that she was sent from the stars to witness five miracles. In Where the Forest Meets the Stars, readers are transported into the world of paranormal magic that helps uncover the true meaning of friendship, forgiveness, and love.
6. 'When All Is Said' by Anne Griffin
Irish novelist Anne Griffin's debut, When All Is Said, chronicles the evening of an 84-year-old woman on a Saturday night at a hotel bar as she orders five different drinks. With each drink, she toasts someone influential in her life, celebrating their impact, remembering heartbreaks, and reminiscing in such a way that reviewers say will give readers all the feels.
7. 'The Ten Thousand Doors Of January' by Alix E. Harrow
Lovers of the fantasy genre will be enthralled by Alix E. Harrow's debut, The Ten Thousand Doors Of January. Set in the early 1900s, the novel's young protagonist discovers a strange book that transports her to other worlds on a mysterious journey filled with danger, scenic adventure, and spellbinding love.
8. 'Notes From A Young Black Chef' by Kwame Onwuachi
I am an absolute sucker for a good memoir and can't wait to get my hands on Notes From a Young Black Chef. Hailed by one Goodreads reviewer as "tantalizing," this memoir chronicles the journey of chef Kwame Onwuachi's rise through the restaurant ranks, his upbringing in both the Bronx and Nigeria, as well as his star-studded career, all driven by his life-long pursuit of his dreams.
9. 'Finding Dorothy' by Elizabeth Letts
This acclaimed non-fiction work recounts the untold story of The Wizard of Oz author, L. Frank Baum's wife, Maud. Finding Dorothy explores the connection between Maud and actress Judy Garland, who is best known for playing the role of Dorothy in the iconic 1939 film version of Baum's book, and the lengths Maude went to took to protect the actress from harsh critics, the likes of which will both captivate and enthrall readers.
10. 'The Deep' by Rivers Solomon
A sci-fi lover's delight, The Deep transports readers into the mind of Yetu, who holds the memories of the water-dwelling descendants of pregnant, enslaved, African women who were thrown overboard into the sea. Filled with poetic language that will enchant readers, this fantasy novel is rich with underwater mythology and historical relevance.