Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Hidden Gems

This week, Jana of That Artsy Reader Girl, is asking us to share some hidden gems, books that haven't been talked about as much as we think they deserve to be. As soon as I began thinking about this list, I knew I needed to go back to my early days of blogging when I wasn't as aware of the "big" books and I certainly wasn't being given them by publishers. I read some great books in those years.

1. The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish by Elise Blackwell - my review of this book was mostly quotes, there were so many lovely passages. Blackwell's writing was just beautiful but the story was incredible as well.

2. Only Milo by Barry Smith - this one was unique to me in 2009 and it still stands as a solid piece of dark comedy. It was a book I never would have picked up if I hadn't been so early into blogging and more willing to accept books that were out of my comfort zone.

3.  The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter - more dark humor, which was, apparently, a thing I was into in 2009. I even reported that I had giggled while I read this story of a man who fell into such financial straits that he turned to drug dealing.

4. The Housekeeper And The Professor by Yoko Ogawa - sweet and charming and utterly original. I adored the relationship between the characters and Ogawa found a way to make math interesting to me, something no teacher has ever managed.

5. The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli - Soli puts so much into this book, the beauty of Vietnam, the relationships between all of the players during the Vietnam War, love stories, and she does it beautifully.

6. Safe From The Sea by Peter Geye - when I wrote my review of this book, the one word that kept popping into my head was "brilliant." It's a book about the relationship between a man and his father that I would recommend to men and women alike.

7. Cocktail Hour Under The Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller - Fuller's mother lived a live worth writing a biography about so that's just what Fuller did. Nicola Fuller had a chimpanzee for a best friend growing up, for goodness sake. But Africa is the real star of this book that made me both laugh and cry.

8. The Birth House by Ami McKay - the book I always recommend for book clubs. McKay created marvelous characters in a book that centered around childbirth that pits the old ways against the new and shows women finding their voices.

9. The Absolutist by John Boyne - Boyne's writing is often brilliant and the story unlike anything I've read before as it looks at courage versus cowardice on the battlefield and off. I listened to this one and it's one of those books I can't help but feel was enhanced by the narrator.

10. Last Night At The Blue Angel by Rebecca Rotert - a beautifully written story about the relationship between a mother and daughter, chasing dreams, and family.

Every one of these books is a book I'd happily read again. All of them, except those that were checked out from the library, are still on my bookshelves waiting for that day. I'd let you borrow them but, even though the chance of me actually getting around to rereading a book is slim, I'm afraid I couldn't trust you to return them. Just in case.


  1. I'm loving this topic as I'm reading around the blogging world today. Making note of several of these. A couple I knew about, but I haven't read any of them. And no, I'd not borrow one, but I will say that I don't usually keep books. I have to make space for more. ;-)

  2. Thank you for sharing! I'm having a hard time coming up with mine. I suppose that means that I need to do a better job at trying new authors!

  3. Some of these are still sitting in my TBR pile, sadly. One of my favorites though is The Lotus Eaters. If I had made a list of hidden gems, that one would sure be on it.