Monday, September 10, 2018

Top Ten Hidden Gems

I'm linking up with That Artsy Reader Girl for another Top Ten Tuesday.

This week's topic is hidden gems; I did similar lists in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Here are another ten books I haven't yet mentioned — these ones all have fewer than 5,000 ratings on Goodreads.

1. 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam
I've referenced this book many times, and I was surprised to realize that it's not that widely known. Vanderkam uses a wealth of data to help readers determine how they're spending their time, how they'd like to be spending their time, and how to close the gap.

2. American Hookup by Lisa Wade
One of my favorite books of 2017, this book hasn't gotten the press it probably should have. It's an honest and insightful read about hookup culture on college campuses, incorporating historical and sociological context while keep students' voices front and center.

3. Ask a Manager by Alison Green
This book just came out this year, so it's not surprising that it hasn't garnered many ratings yet, but it is a must-read for anyone in the workforce. It's a compilation of useful scripts for the most common and most difficult conversations you're likely to have at work.

4. Fortunately by Remy Charlip
This was one of my favorite picture books as a child, and I'm happy that my son now enjoys it as well! Our protagonist, Ned, encounters alternating good luck and bad luck in his quest to make it to a party in another state. Will he ultimately be fortunate or unfortunate?

5. How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen by Joanna Faber and Julie King
The original book co-authored by Faber's mother, Liberated Parents, Liberated Children, is also a hidden gem, but I'll recommend this modern version instead. The authors provide valuable advice for problem-solving with young children and making everyday tasks less of a battle.

6. Mink River by Brian Doyle
We sadly lost Doyle to a brain tumor last year, and I was glad to have read at least one of his books before he died. In this book, Doyle doesn't just tell a single story; he immerses you in the life of a coastal Oregon town, where the different inhabitants' stories are interwoven with the stories of the ocean, the animals, the trees, and the eponymous river. It's a slow but rewarding experience.

7. Radical by Michelle Rhee
I'm not surprised this has few (and mixed) ratings given Rhee's controversial career, but I still think it's worth the read. It's both a memoir of Rhee's career in education reform and a battle cry for parents, teachers, students, and politicians to use their voices to fight for every student to have a quality education.

8. Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat by Hal Herzog
This book, which I picked up on a whim, is not necessarily the best written but has fascinating insights about our relationship with animals that I still think about five years later.

9. Winter of Fire by Sherryl Jordan
I believe this book is now out of print, but I got a library copy after a friend said it was one of her favorites. It's a bit of a predictable "chosen one" story, but it subverts some typical fantasy tropes and provides a good way for kids to be introduced to the idea of racism and how people's hearts and minds aren't changed overnight just because the laws change.

10. The World According to Mister Rogers by Fred Rogers
The compilation of Mister Rogers quotations inspired me to get a daily desk calendar so that I could reflect more slowly on each one individually. We could all benefit from these reminders about how to be the best kind of human, especially coming from someone who modeled everything he taught.

What hidden gems do you recommend?

Looking back:
One year ago I was reading: Leviathan Wakes and Bleak House
Five years ago I was reading: Things Fall Apart and How to Be a Woman
Ten years ago I was reading: Generation Rx

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