Hey! It’s Tuesday! Granted, it’s a gif-less Tuesday (sorry!), but it’s still Tuesday (or Monday Two as we call it around here.) So that means it’s time for Top Ten Tuesday brought to you by the lovely The Broke and The Bookish. Click here to learn more!
This week’s topic is “Ten Underrated/Hidden Gem Books I’ve Read In The Past Year Or So”. I’ve decided to drop “the past year or so” or maybe I’m just expanding the “or so” part. I’m sort of nostalgic these days, so I want to remember and share some older books that have left an impression that still sits with me today. So without further ado, I bring you…
Top Ten Hidden Literary Gems
10. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. I don’t know if this is under the radar, but I don’t hear about Dave Eggers too much. He’s written more recent things, but this is my favorite. I read it so long ago, I don’t recall what it is about at all. However, I can still vividly recall how my hands grasped the sides of the hardcover book, not wanting to put it down and how emotion worked its way up inside me like a wave and crashed through my entire body. I think maybe that makes it a good book.
9. The Book of Qualities. This isn’t really a book. It’s more a collection of anecdotes about the feelings. Feelings are personalized and have family trees. I’m not doing it nearly the justice it deserves. But this is another book that all these years later, I still remember and even emulate when I want to practice my creativity.
8. Out of the Dust. This is the first book in verse I ever read. I read it on the treadmill at the gym. And I cried. At the gym. It might have been one of the first books I read that made me cry. It is so beautifully written.
7. When It Happens. I don’t hear much chatter about Susane Colasanti. She’s one of the first YA contemp writers I read (after I discovered the magic of YA contemp from Sarah Dessen). She just released a book last year. I read this particular book on a trip from Indiana to California. I had the flu. It saved me.
6. The Taming of the Tights. Louise Rennison is a literary-comedic genius. I didn’t think I”d find love again after Georgia Nicolson was done. But this next series is just as good.
5. Letters From a Nut. Again, this isn’t really a book as much as it is something to read when you need a good laugh. Ted Nancy is Jerry Seinfeld. If you ever watched Seinfeld, you’ll appreciate this.
4. Nancy Drew. So old, I know. But I think Ned Nickerson was my first crush. lol. And I’m not much of a mystery fan, but these books always kept me reading and wanting to solve the crime. They are tremendous and I need to read them again. The Bungalow Mystery is my favorite.
3. Successful Harvard Application Essays. Who knew application essays could read like stories? These do. And it’s obvious why these people got into Harvard. These are short (for when you don’t really have time to read but you want to!) and so creative.
2. My Dream of You. If you want to read about strong women (not superhero strong, but struggling, real strong), pick up a book from Nuala O’Faolain. After finishing this book, I wanted to raise my arm in the air Breakfast Club style. It’s another beautiful book with beautiful words. If you’re into that sort of thing.
1. Parrot in the Oven. This is a book I probably wouldn’t know about if I didn’t teach English. I left it for the end because it is by far the absolute most beautiful piece of writing I’ve experienced. The chapters weave a story and yet they are like mini short stories on their own. And the description is phenomenal. It’s a shame Victor Martinez never wrote another book. I’m mad at him. 🙂