When I was originally planning this post the idea was to talk about books with under 2,000 ratings on Goodreads. But then as I was going through, I realised I already had five books and they were all still under 200. So here we are.
Ada Lovelace: The Fantastically Feminist (and Totally True) Story of the Mathematician Extraordinaire by Anna Doherty
I couldn’t believe that this book only has 6 ratings, especially in comparison to the ever popular Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls books. This is a beautifully illustrated picture book, and of course, it helps that Ada Lovelace is someone who inspires me greatly even though I’m not mathematically inclined. I think books like this little series Anna Doherty does are so important because they don’t gloss over the hardships these different women faced. Sometimes I find books similar to this one give a very rose-coloured glasses look into history. I’m not saying that this isn’t appropriate for kids, if anything it just makes it more authentic and real.
This Is What a Feminist Looks Like by Emily Maguire
Now we get into a section I like to call, ‘the international book industry doesn’t give a shit about Australian books’. First up is this wonderful non-fiction one from Emily Maguire. I understand why this one hasn’t really made it anywhere other than Australia—it is about Australian feminism, so it’s kind of a niche audience. But it has 57 ratings. I know there are more than 57 Australian feminists out there, so why is this book being slept on? I thought this would be more in the 1,000s range, as Emily Maguire has released a few books before and was even nominated for the Stella Prize, but alas. So it’s my new personal mission to get this into the hands of some of my friends this Christmas.
The Saturday Portraits by Maxine Beneba Clarke
Maxine Beneba Clarke is honestly one of Australian’s best contemporary authors and she is sorely underappreciated. For one, she is straight-up hilarious. She’s also just an incredibly talented writer—she writes in so many different genres, from non-fiction to poetry, to short stories, to children’s picture books. She has got you covered! Again, she’s been nominated for the Stella Prize twice, and yet people are still missing out on her books. I’ve successfully pushed her books onto a few people in the past, but she deserves all the love she can get.
Lucky Ticket by Joey Bui
Sticking with the Stella nominations, I raise you Lucky Ticket. This is the debut, short story collection from Joey Bui. This collection focuses mostly on the experiences of Vietnamese, both of those who immigrant to Australia and those who didn’t. It’s a diverse bunch of story with no two the same. Bui actually crafted these stories from interviews and conversations with people, mixing their stories together to get the finished product in here. I’m not always a fan of short story collections, but this one is so beautifully written and expertly crafted that I couldn’t help but fall in love with it.
Ottilie Colter and the Narroway Hunt by Rhiannon Williams
I fangirl about this series so often that I’m sure most of you are sick of it by now, but I just can’t help myself. This is one of the best middle-grade fantasy books I’ve ever read, right up there with the likes of Nevermoor, Percy Jackson and His Dark Materials. It’s filled with incredible and interesting characters and creatures all within an amazing world. I love MG books that don’t dumb down the story just because it’s target audience are kids. This one deals with real-world issues like sexism and discrimination without it feeling too oversimplified or going the other way either. All those elements together just make it a wonderful series.