5 Underrated Books That I Absolutely Loved

A lot of books have impacted me throughout my life – some famous, some infamous and some lost in the folds of time. These are books from across genres that moved me or thrilled me beyond my imagination. These aren’t unknown books (since the authors are known ones) but in my opinion they deserved a lot more recognition than they got.

Paths of Glory by Jeffery Archer

Paths of Glory by [Jeffrey Archer]

This book is bound to give you goosebumps especially the end! I have been a HUGE Jeffery Archer fan since school. He spins a tale that swallows you and you are left feeling spellbound. Paths of Glory tells the compelling tale of George Mallory, a tale that I believe everyone needs to know. George Mallory could potentially have been the first mountaineer to scale Mt. Everest, almost 20 years before Edmund Hillary and Tenzin Norgay did. The book takes you along on his journey from youth till his last climb – enthralling you with his love for mountaineering. I promise his tale will move you and maybe even motivate you!

Find it on Amazon here.

The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The genre-defining thriller that introduced the world to Lisbeth Salander (Millennium Series Book 1) by [Stieg Larsson]

I still can’t believe this series did not get all the hype and applaud that it deserves. A major movie was made on this book but this series deserves the craze that Dan Brown’s books got in the 2000s. It is one of THE best book series I’ve read. It’s storyline is so thrilling and fast paced – it is bound to fascinate you! Lisbeth Salander, a kickass researcher, is hired by Mikael Blomkvist to look into the mysterious disappearance of a billionaire’s grandniece 40 year back. The plot line will keep you enthralled and at the edge of your seat till the very end. The series has three books and each has a brilliant storyline. I definitely recommend this series to anyone who loves a good mystery/crime novel.

Find it on Amazon here.

The Forest of Enchantments by Chitra Banerjee

The Forest of Enchantments by [Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni]

This isn’t an underrated book but just not as widely applauded as it’s sister book – ‘The Palace of Illusions’ or Chitra’s other major book ‘The Mistress of Spices’. The Forest of Enchantments is definitely one of my favourite books. It retells the popular Indian mythology Ramayana from the leading lady, Sita’s perspective. I’ve heard the Ramayana since I was a little child and watched its many versions on TV but none focuses on the story of the leading ladies as is the case with most Indian mythologies. Reading Sita’s story moved me to tears and shook me – it reminded me of how deep rooted patriarchy is in the Indian society. It is a beautiful tale and one that is bound to leave you teared up.

Find it on Amazon here.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

My best friend gifted me this book a few years back but I only got to reading this during the lockdown. It is such a beautiful and interesting read about life in Iran as the revolution took over. It is the moving tale of a young girl growing up in an ever changing political environment having to constantly change her ways of life because of the fragile political situation in her country. Marjane has written this beautiful memoir of her life that gives an insight into how changing political/religious ideologies can impact a commoner’s life. Additionally, its a graphic novel making it an even more interesting read. Read my full review here.

Find it on Amazon here.

Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho is well known for his books but I feel like ‘Veronika decides to die’ is one of his books that didn’t get enough attention. The book revolves around well, Veronika who lives in Slovenia. She leads a normal life but decides to end her life by taking sleeping pills. The pills don’t work and she wakes up in a hospital a few days later with a heart condition and only a few days to live. Spending time with other patients in the hospital and the realization that she only has a few days to live – give her a new appreciation for life. This book is a beautiful, light read that will definitely give you a new perspective to life.

Find it on Amazon here.

What are some books that you’ve read that left you wishing you could stop everyone on the street and ask them to read it? 😛 How are your reading goals for 2021 going so far?

If you haven’t read my recent posts, check them out here –

56 Comments Add yours

  1. Very surprised you chose Jeffrey Archer. But of cousre we are all different.

    Like

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I’m not sure if you’ve read a lot of his books but I love the stories he spins. This one especially more since it’s based on a true and incredibly motivating story.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nehal Jain says:

    Aaaaah, my sister has read sooooo many books by Jeffrey archer…I need to try him out tooo.
    Amazing post!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      ❤️ He is such a good story teller. I love his books! He knows how to keep the reader hooked till the end. I hope you like his books. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nehal Jain says:

        Yeah, me too!

        Like

  3. imifarm says:

    I’m reading Persepolis at the moment and it’s amazing!!! Definitely one I will be shouting about for years to come. Veronica decides to die sounds really good too. thank you xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Veronica Decides to Die is about learning to live knowing you have limited time and it’s so motivating! Definitely recommend reading it once. Persepolis is ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. the girl with the dragon tattoo is one of my all time fav!!! Its soo amazing that I cudnt stop gushing about it for a long LONG time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Sameee! It bugs me that it didn’t get as popular as Dan Brown’s book did at the same time. But so happy to hear that you loved the series too! 😬

      Like

  5. ascott4321 says:

    I need to read more books so I currently don’t have any suggestions, BUT, I do read bits of self help books because peoole here drive me crazy in CT. lol… ai love how you gave suggestions from all types of books, I am definitely interested in the cultural books, and the girl with the dragon tattoo. They all seem like great reads!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I’m currently listening to Atomic Habits by James Clear on Audibles. It’s a self help book on improving our habits. I’d definitely recommend that and recommend checking out audibles/audi books too. It’s so easy to listen to the book during a break or while commuting. Hope you get time (from what I’m assuming must be a crazy schedule) to read this year. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ascott4321 says:

        Thank you 😃 That book is definitely on my wishlist, I will make sure I read or listen 😄

        Like

  6. I’ve bought like 3 of Jeffrey Archer’s books but I’ve never actually gotten around to reading them. I think you just convinced me to pick them back up again!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I love Jeffrey Archer – he is an author to the masses. He doesn’t write books to win awards but his books have amazing story lines. Definitely read them and let me know what you think about his work. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  7. https://tamarakulish.com/ says:

    I really like your suggestions! I’ve been so busy writing and creating that I haven’t taken the time to read, and I used to be a bookworm! I think I’d like to read the books you suggested!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Definitely. I hope you’re able to take out time to read this year. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. https://tamarakulish.com/ says:

        Me too! 🥰🌸🌸🌸🌸

        Like

  8. bach says:

    Forest of Enchantments is the only one among them I read. It was okay ish book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. bach says:

      For some reason I am not able to develop liking towards Fictions .. every time when I attempted and could not finish even 20 pages . I decided to stick to non fictions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Happy Panda says:

        I’m quite the opposite. I’m now trying to read/listen to non-fiction books on audibles.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Happy Panda says:

      It might be hard to accept the story from Sita’s perspective since we’ve always been told the story from Ram’s perspective. 🙈

      Like

      1. bach says:

        That wasnt the reason. I don’t have problems with perspectives. For example this is one of my favourite books. It was quite revolutionary perspective on Mahabharata.

        Parva: A tale of war, Peace, Love, Death, God, and Man https://www.amazon.in/dp/817201659X/ref=cm_sw_r_wa_apa_i_dS1-FbW9M8B1Y

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Happy Panda says:

        I read up about this book – it sounds like a really interesting read. Did you read it in Kannada or the English version?

        Like

      3. bach says:

        Kannada. I have advantage to having read it in its original language ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

  9. PoojaG says:

    I really enjoyed the first two books you mentioned as well! I think they’re both super interesting. I haven’t read the other three but I will definitely add them to my TBR list!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My goal is to read atleast one or two books a month this year. I know it’s not much, but when I read I really like to dig deep into the words. I like to be in a quiet space so I can completely focus on what’s going on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I hope you’re able to achieve that goal. I’ve started listening to audibles recently – and I’m quite enjoying the experience of it and the convenience.. definitely recommend giving it a try! (Fringe benefit: It’s free for three months!!!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m definitely going to try it!! 🤗 it sounds way better than taking a hard copy of a book everywhere

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Great list of books!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. tanmaypawar22 says:

    Nice list of books.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh, I adore the concept of Ramayana from Sita’s perspective. That is so cool!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I recently read ‘The Liberation of Sita’ by Volga – and I recommend that too! It’s about Sita’s interaction with different women through the Ramayana that help her grow into the independent woman she becomes after Ram leaves her. It’s beautiful and extremely short – written as 4 short stories.

      Like

  14. Great list – Pathway to Glory and Veronika Decides to Die have just gone straight onto my ‘books to read’ list. One of my favourites ever is ‘Into the Wild’ by John Krakauer. It was made into a good film, but the book explores so much more about modern day rites of passage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I’ve been meaning to read ‘Into The Wild’ since I watched a short documentary about Chris McCandless. Definitely going to pick that book up soon. Thanks for the recommendation!!

      Like

  15. Lani says:

    Cool. Thanks, I’ll keep these in mind. Always on the lookout for a good book. Loved Jeffrey Archer in high school and will have to check out a familiar face again. Cheers ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Jeffery Archer is amazing! This book moved me even more since it was based on a true story. But if I have to recommend one out of these five it would be The Forest of Enchantments! 😊

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Lani says:

        OK! I need to start a list – seriously! 😛

        Liked by 2 people

  16. Caroline says:

    The Forest Of Enchantments sounds great – I’ve added it to my to-read list xx Great post, I really enjoyed reading it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      It’s a beautiful novel – one I’d recommend to all women. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Shruba says:

    Ah Persepolis is one of my favorites. If you enjoyed it, you might want to try out Delhi Calm. These graphic novels study crucial and heavy themes so eloquently. It’s amazing. I don’t think Persepolis is underrated either. It’s pretty much a classic now. 🤩

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Going to checkout Delhi Calm. Thanks for the recommendation. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Shruba says:

        Yess. Happy reading! Let me know what you think of it later on! 😍🤩

        Like

  18. S says:

    I’ve always wanted to read Persepolis! I’ll have to check it out this year

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Yes, definitely do. It’s an amazing book and so relatable!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. tanmaypawar22 says:

    I wanted to ask that why have you named yourself happy panda? It’s a great nick name no doubt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Hi Tanmay – haha I actually started this blog a few years back in college (but hardly wrote). At that time I felt like a panda & looked like one too. 😀 I was also on a quest to find happiness so hence – happy panda! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Shahrin says:

    The Millennium series was one of the best series I have read and I have read a LOT of crime novels.

    “Veronica decides to die” sounds like a great book —might give it a try. This year my goal is to read 50 books (wish me luck😐) xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      IKR? I don’t why the series wasn’t hyped more!!!

      Paulo Coelho had a way of making you introspect – this book is the same.

      Good luck with your reading goals. Mine is 36 books and 12 audiobooks. Here’s hoping. 🤞

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Suls says:

    Lovely choice !

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Thank you 😊 have you read any of them?

      Like

  22. The Deleted Story says:

    Since you are talking about underrated books then try reading Shattered Icon by Bill Napier…

    It’s a cool book about chase scenes, thrill, old maps, history, and whatnot. And you are right about Persepolis, it’s indeed a wonderful book. Try reading other books by Iranian authors like these ones.

    https://thedeletedstory.wordpress.com/2021/01/17/iran-iraq-war-5-best-books/

    Like

  23. Interesting books. Greetings from Austria.

    Like

  24. Maria says:

    ‘Veronika decides to die’ was such a good book, totally took a turn I didn’t expect! Defo needs more attention!

    Liked by 1 person

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