Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and this week’s topic is Hidden Gems – books we think didn’t get enough publicity or aren’t as well known as they should be. Since I read whatever catches my interest, I’m not always reading the latest and greatest. Sometimes I’m learning more about a topic, or reading an old classic that someone recommended to me, or reading a book to fit a challenge topic. So I feel like I’ve come across a fair number of books that I thought were excellent but hadn’t really seen talked about – some of them probably because they’re older.
Little Bee, for example, came out in 2010, but is still an excellent example of a refugee’s experience. Her experiences in London might not be typical, but her reasons for wanting to escape her home country? Heart breaking.
Period came out this year, but is a wonderful, diverse collection of essays on menstruation or the lack thereof.
Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything remains one of my favorite books. It came out in 2004 and was a bestseller then, but it seems like not too many people know about it now. It’s a gorgeous, fascinating book on the history of science, discoveries, and the planet.
Invisible is a nonfiction book on invisible illnesses and how they affect young women. It gets into the social and physical aspects of it as well as how it affects work and relationships and mental health. The book also talks about doctors’ reluctance to LISTEN to women, which other books have gone into more detail about. The topic is near and dear to my heart, as I have at least two autoimmune diseases (and possibly a third) that dictate a lot of what I can do day-to-day.
Tolstoy and the Purple Chair is a book I read for the PopSugar prompt “book with your favorite color in the title” and I am so glad I did! The author made a decision to read a book every day for a year to heal from losing her sister to cancer. She talks about what she read and how it affected her life. It’s a lovely, sweet book that appeals to my desire to escape into books when life is hard.
Cinnamon & Gunpowder is a book I just read, about a chef kidnapped by a pirate. It’s a bit of a twist on the pirate adventure story, and I really enjoyed it. My full review will be up on Monday!
I don’t remember hearing much publicity for Into the Drowning Deep – it’s a very Cthulu-esque mermaid story. I had read the novella that precedes it – Rolling in the Deep – some time ago and was very excited to see a sequel. It’s by Mira Grant, which is a pen name for Seanan McGuire. (She’s a riot to follow on Twitter, by the way!)
Next up are two graphic novels – As The Crow Flies, which is a collection of a webcomic. It’s gorgeous and a wonderful story about a queer black girl at summer camp trying to fit in, but it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and I’ve heard nothing about a sequel despite much Googling. All’s Faire in Middle School is the second graphic novel; I just picked it up from the Maryland Renaissance Festival at Page after Page, our book shop. It’s fantastic and really gets the atmosphere of a Ren Faire onto the page.
The last book I’m not sure qualifies as a Hidden Gem or not (it just came out), but I haven’t heard much buzz about it, and I really loved it. The Book of M is a dystopia about losing memories, and it’s an interesting look into what makes a person themselves.