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Series: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Underrated Books

The Broke and the Bookish, a brilliant book blog, 
hosts a weekly top ten list meme.

I like this meme because I like lists. I like this meme because it reminds me of the Top 5 lists from High Fidelity (by Nick Hornby as a book, starring John Cusak as a movie). And I like this meme because it causes me to think long and hard about book-related topics. So here goes:

Top Ten Underrated Books 
1. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson
Not only a charming movie starring Frances McDormand, Ciaran Hinds, Amy Adams, and Lee Pace, this was originally a book published in 1938. It is one day in the life of a woman who pretends to be a social secretary. A fabulous slice-of-life look into the lives of women of many social standings in the late 1930s.

Sadly Nora Hague’s only published novel, this is an epistolary novel taking place in the 1860s that spans two continents, and discusses race relations, slavery, socio-economic standing, early feminism, Europe’s fashionable obsession with the spirit world, and interracial love among many other topics in this incredibly researched, well-written, dual-narrated epic.
3. Daughter of the Flames by Zoe Marriott

I think this YA novel got lost somehow among all the other more paranormal books coming out in 2008, but this fantasy novel features a very strong female protagonist who not only kicks butt, finds love, saves her man rather than the other way around, but matures to lead the people she was born to lead.

4. Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M.M. Blume

This stand-alone middle grade reader is perfect for all audiences charmed by the National Book Award winning series The Penderwicks. A little quieter, yet equally engrossing, this book tells the story of lonely Cornelia who befriends Ms. Somerset across the hall and hears all about her amazing adventures with her sisters. In retelling these stories, soon Cornelia makes friends of her own age. Encourages travel, independent young women, imagination, and friendship.
5. M.A.S.H.: A Novel About Three Army Doctors by Richard Hooker

Though the movie version starring Donald Sutherland is a scream, the short story chapters contained in this novel are equally hilarious and worth the read.
6. Alexandra Ripley as an author
You knew I was going to sneak this in here. Yes, she’s the author of my favorite book, Scarlett, and though that was originally a New York Times bestseller when first published, no one remembers it now. They don’t remember it almost as much as they don’t remember Alexandra Ripley wrote several other books, too, and they were just as good. 

7. Nicola Griffith as an author
I don’t read much “lesbian fiction” and in fact, picked up my first book from this author without knowing the main character or the author was gay. What draws me to the series Nicola Griffith writes about Aud Torvingen are the complexities of her characters, the noir feel of her writing, and the setting descriptions that enable me to see the place without having her give me a drop-by-drop description of the weather conditions. I absolutely recommend her for gay and non-gay readers alike.
8. You by Charles Benoit
I firmly believe every person who has a teenager in their life in any way should read this book. Especially those who have teenagers who “showed so much potential” but seem to have lost it along the way somewhere. Read this. Understand what might be happening. Work to change it.
9. Darling Jim by Christian Moerk
Despite what you may think, working in a bookstore does not mean you get to sit there and read all day. I picked up this book intending to only read enough to know what it was about to recommend it, and 100 pages later got a scolding because I was still standing in the same place at the cash register completely enthralled. Spine-tingling but not nightmare-inducing, this is Christian Moerk’s only novel published in the States, and in fact, may be his only novel published in English, which means I now need to go learn Dutch so I can read everything else he’s written.
10. Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett

Last but not least, this is a heart-wrenching and heart-warming memoir about the lifelong friendship between Ann Patchett and her BFF. It really reveres female friendships and discusses how they change as people grow up and move away and yet still are connected to those we love.
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Discussion

7 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Underrated Books

  1. Amen to Nicola Griffith!

    Posted by nomadreader | August 9, 2011, 7:58 pm
  2. I haven't heard of quite a few of your picks, but I love the cover on Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.Come visit be at The Scarlet Letter.

    Posted by LBC | August 9, 2011, 8:48 pm
  3. I've wanted to read YOU for some time now. Guess I'd better to it soon! Thanks for the recommendation.AnneMy Head is Full of Books

    Posted by Anne Bennett | August 9, 2011, 9:00 pm
  4. That's interesting about MASH – I loved the TV show, but never thought to look for the original book. I'll be adding it to my wish list 🙂

    Posted by Trish | August 9, 2011, 9:04 pm
  5. Yes, yes, yes for Miss Pettigrew. Great choice.Here's my Top Ten post for this week: Top Ten Underappreciated Books And don't forget to stop in and sign up to win in the Readerbuzz August Giveaway!

    Posted by Deb Nance at Readerbuzz | August 9, 2011, 10:48 pm
  6. ANother great list — love your explanations for each one. (vague memory here: was I the one who scolded you for reading at the counter?)

    Posted by As the Crowe Flies and Reads | August 10, 2011, 3:13 pm
  7. You know, my memory is also vague in this situation – again, that's how engrossed I was in the story – but I think it might have been! :^)

    Posted by Broche Fabian | August 10, 2011, 4:54 pm

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Book review time! 
The Story of Diva and Flea
By Mo Willems + Tony DiTerlizzi
Loved this as a read-aloud for little ones that can sit still for longer picture books, or, as it's a beginning chapter book, great for ages 6-8 who are learning how to read more confidently by themselves.
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#indiesfirst @quailridgebooks #bookstagram #book #bookrecommendation #bookrec #bookrecs #bookworm #bookreview #books #booknerd #earlychapterbook #beginningreader #mowillems #tonyditerlizzi A love poem for my love. Happy National Poetry Month!
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#poemaday #love #lovepoem #nationalpoetrymonth #pabloneruda #wildlyread #poem #poetry Happy National Poetry Month!
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#poemaday #nationalpoetrymonth #haiku #kerouac #wildlyread #poem #poetry First day of full-time hours in my new job as a bookseller for an independent bookstore, and it's staff pick time! I fell in love with this book years ago, before the movie was even a dream. Though I'm not a fan of the movie tie-in cover, I'll gladly place this book in readers' hands. . . .
#indiesfirst #thelostcityofz @quailridgebooks @lostcityofz #bookstagram #book #bookrecommendation #bookrec #bookrecs #bookworm #bookreview #books #booknerd

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