Top Ten Tuesday: Singing the Praises of Hidden Gems

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme, hosted by The Broke and Bookish, is “Top Ten Books We Love But Don’t Feel Like We Talk About Enough.”  We all have those books that are four or five-star reads that we read 15 or 20 years ago and you kind of forget about them.  Or maybe you don’t talk about some of your favorite books because you love them so much that you just can’t bear to subject them to anyone else’s opinion.  In any case, there are hidden gems in everyone’s bookcase or Goodreads shelves.  Let’s see what we can dig up, shall we?

  1. 512y3IA3oHL._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_The novels of Elinor Lipman.  Of the eight novels of hers that I’ve read, I’ve given seven of them four stars.  She writes charming, funny comedies of manners, light reading without being cloying or stupid.  That’s so hard to do!  If you’ve never read her before, I’d try The Inn at Lake Divine, The Pursuit of Alice Thrift, or Isabel’s Bed a try.
  2. Morningside Heights by Cheryl Mendelson.  Brainy, neurotic New Yorkers.  Family saga.  Loved it.
  3. The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud.  SO MANY PEOPLE HATE THIS BOOK, at least if you read the Goodreads reviews.  But I love it.  Another NYC family saga.
  4. Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris.  This book has its funny moments, but it’s also very sad and weightier than it seems at first.
  5. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston.  Breathtaking writing, full of life in all it’s sadness and joy and love and vibrancy.  Just floored me.
  6. An American Childhood by Annie Dillard.   A FANTASTIC memoir.  It was so much better than I’d anticipated.
  7. yes, chefYes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson.  Another better-than-expected memoir.  What a fascinating look at what it takes to become a high-powered chef, plus his unique childhood and cultural heritage, being Ethiopian by birth and being raised in Sweden.  Incredibly well-written.
  8. Incidents in the Rue Laugier by Anita Brookner.  I don’t talk about Anita Brookner enough.  She’s just brilliant.  Her books are so exquisite.  Lots of interior “action” – characters’ thoughts, desires, motivations.  And the novels are usually slim too.  Sadly, she just passed away recently.But I still have quite a few of her novels to read.  She’s written so many!
  9. Travels With My Aunt by Graham Greene.  Very odd, and very British.  I really liked it.
  10. 51LCJdzcSNL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama.  Well-written, insightful, enjoyable, and page-turning.  Yet another damn thing President Obama doesn’t get enough credit for.

So what have you read that you don’t talk about enough?  I’d love to read about the hidden gems on your shelves!


17 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Singing the Praises of Hidden Gems

  1. I just brought back Yes, Chef from storage at my parents’ home. Can’t wait to dive into that one. I’ve also been meaning to read Dillard’s Tinker at Pilgrim Creek and An American Childhood. Better get on that soon! They’re literally collecting dust. 😦

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  2. I really shouldn’t click on these types of posts, but I just can’t resist. There are a couple of writers on your list I haven’t heard of that I’ll definitely be looking into!

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  3. That’s a great list, so many I’ll have to look up! I only read the Hurston, but I really love the cover for Yes Chef and the story sounds intriguing! I thought from the cover it might be the British chef who swears a lot, forgot his name 😀

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  4. Great list! I’m halfway through The Emperor’s Children and I was about to give up on it and stick in the Little Library in my neighborhood. Maybe I’ll finish it. I like it because I was in NYC at the same time as the characters, so I’m finding a lot of familiarity in the novel. It’s a little bit like a time machine. 🙂 (And we can chat about it if I ever finish it.)

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  5. I loved And Then We Came to the End and The Emperor’s Children! Both terrific books. I’ve had The Inn at Lake Devine on my TBR for so long…I need to read that sooner rather than later, because I’ve heard so many good things about her writing.

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  6. Such a great idea for a top-10! Too often I get stuck in the “best seller” or “most anticipated” zone and I forget all about the joy of hidden gems. And thanks for reminding me about the last two, I have been meaning to get to them! Great blog & post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a good topic – thanks to the Broke and Bookish for that one. I understand the lure of the newly published books! It’s fun to be able to talk about the books other people are talking about. But at heart I’m mostly a backlist reader. Thanks for visiting and following! I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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