Monday, February 18, 2019

Ten 5-Star Reads with Under 2,000 Ratings

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

This week's topic is books we've loved that have under 2,000 ratings on Goodreads. I've done some past posts on this topic: great books with under 1,000 ratings, under 2,000 ratings, under 5,000 ratings, and underrated books read in 2016. However, it's been long enough that I think I can include some I've mentioned before. Interestingly enough, these are all nonfiction books.

1. 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.

2. Ask a Manager by Alison Green
This book 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.

3. Ask For It by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever
Women tend to be socialized not to ask for things, while men are much more likely to ask — about a higher salary, an open position, or better service at a hotel. This not only explains a large part of the wage gap but also leads to women missing out on all kinds of things they could get if they just learned to ask. Through real-life stories and exercises, the authors illustrate how to make "asking" a part of your life.

4. Fed Up by Gemma Hartley
It's not an exaggeration to say that this book has transformed my marriage. Hartley articulated my personal experience (and that of many, many women in different-gender relationships) so perfectly that I told my husband, "I'd do almost anything to get you to read this book." He listened to the first 15 minutes, said everything suddenly clicked for him, and before I knew it I had an equal partner in the running of our daily lives. Women will appreciate it, but men need to read it.

5. Parent Effectiveness Training by Thomas Gordon
Gordon's writing is clear, straightforward, and presents a logical framework for identifying which communication methods are most appropriate for different situations with children. At the core of P.E.T.'s ideas is the notion that a child is a person, which does not sound that revolutionary until Gordon illustrates how we treat children different from every other person in our lives. Highly recommended.

6. 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.

7. Shameless by Nadia Bolz-Weber
I have loved all of Nadia Bolz-Weber's books to date, and this one is no exception. What I love most about this "sexual reformation" is that, while she illustrates how many destructive ideas about sex originate in the church, she advocates for a sexual ethic that is not separate from the Christian faith but rather deeply informed by it.

8. Small Animals by Kim Brooks
Brooks captures perfectly what it is like to be a parent in modern-day America, how the majority of your decisions are spurred by fear — fear of what will happen to your child if you don't do everything correctly and/or fear of what others parents will say or do if they believe you aren't parenting correctly.

9. Urban Injustice by David Hilfiker
This book, assigned reading in college, was my wake-up call about all of the beliefs I never realized I had about poverty, welfare, and the "inner city." The author cuts through any politics to provide facts and figures about the history of public assistance programs and what has worked in other parts of the world to lift people out of poverty. At 158 pages, there's no excuse not to read it.

10. With Burning Hearts by Henri Nouwen
This is a beautiful reflection on the different parts of the Mass and how we are invited to participate at each stage, using as a scaffolding the story of the travelers on the road to Emmaus.

Have you heard of any of these? What underrated books do you recommend?

Looking back:
One year ago I was reading: The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and The Stand
Five years ago I was reading: And the Mountains Echoed and War and Peace
Ten years ago I was reading: Copyediting

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