Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Hidden Gems

This week's prompt from The Broke and the Bookish is "Top Ten Underrated/Hidden Gem Books We've Read In The Past Year Or So."  I've decided to follow their lead and narrow this down by only including books I've read in the past year that have fewer than 500 ratings on Goodreads.  


I'm listing them alphabetically by title, and all but one of the titles is linked to my review of that book, if you want to know more about them.  And I've included my movie-style rating in parentheses for those who are interested.


Ain't We Got Fun by Emily Chapman and Emily Ann Putzke -- a fun, light-hearted collection of letters between two sisters during the Great Depression.  (G)


Greenwillow by B. J. Chute -- a quiet, gentle story of people living in the idyllic English countryside about a hundred years ago.  (PG-13)


I, Claudia by Charity Bishop -- a fictionalized account of how Pontious Pilate and his wife Claudia married, went to Jerusalem, and were involved in Jesus Christ's trial and death.  (PG-13)


Letters on an Elk Hunt by a Woman Homesteader by Eleanor Pruitt Stewart -- an enthralling collection of real-life letters from an intrepid woman in the last days of the Old West.  (PG)



And Now Tomorrow by Rachel Field -- a rich, engrossing story about a deaf woman and the doctor who brings her hope of hearing once again.  (PG)


Once by Elisabeth Grace Foley, Rachel Heffington, J. Grace Pennington, Emily Ann Putzke, Suzannah Rowntree, and Hayden Wand -- six fairy tale retellings with settings ranging from the Old West to steampunk to WWII to fairy tale kingdoms.  (PG-13)


A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay -- a beautiful look at how love can both repair and damage people.  (PG-13)


Sixguns and Society:  A Structural Study of the Western by Will Wright -- an in-depth look at how western films changed as America's society changed during the 20th century.  (PG-13)


Song of the √čan by Emily Nordberg -- a high-fantasy story about a pampered young noble who becomes mixed up with guerrilla fighters and sets about righting some grievous wrongs.  I'm not done reading this yet, but so far I'd rate it PG.


The World of Raymond Chandler (In His Own Words) edited by Barry Day -- Chandler is my favorite author, and this collection of his letters gave me lots of insight into his life and writing.  (PG-13)

That's all for this week, friends!  Have you read any of these?  Did you participate in TTT this week too?  Do you have some "hidden gems" you'd like to recommend to me?  Please share!

27 comments:

  1. If Claudia keeps winding up on all your lists, I'm going to start feeling really spoiled. ;)

    Still, it's nice to know you enjoyed it so much, helps me keep writing!

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    1. Well, if I keep doing Top Ten lists about books I read in 2016, it will probably keep cropping up :-) Or lists of books set in Biblical times, etc...

      Gotta feed the writers!

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    2. It is nice to receive validation once in awhile; I'm 3/4ths done with my latest novel's first draft, and that's usually the point where I have my panic attack -- an irrational bout of "WHAT WAS I THINKING? HOW AM I GOING TO WRAP UP THESE PLOT THREADS? CAN I EVEN DO THIS???" Hahaha.

      Oh, the life of a writer. ;)

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    3. Charity, I'm heading into the big climax scene of my WIP's first draft, the thing I have been writing toward for months now, and I'm so stinking excited I can hardly sit still. I can't wait to put my kids to bed so I can write!

      However, about a month ago, I was in those same doldrums of "Oh, this isn't working. I don't know what I was thinking -- this is the dumbest idea I've ever had. Who would ever read this junk?" So, yeah, been there.

      You can do this!

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    4. How did it go? ;)

      I have to give myself little "beats" to work toward as I write, otherwise I lose momentum after hitting that BIG SCENE. (Okay, I wrote that, and it was epic... now we move toward THIS, and it's GONNA be epic!)

      So, did it turn out epic? ;)

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    5. Well, so far I've written about 4,500 words and I have another probably 3,000 to go, I think. Really hoping to be done with it by the end of the week.

      I write from Scene to Scene -- a Scene being something I'm super duper delooper excited about writing, intense and emotional and pivotal. And yes, I have to have a bunch, or else I write the one thing I love and then I'm bored.

      So far, it's pretty epic.

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  2. Hello Hamlette, Yes, I too read A Portrait of Emily Price and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is also on my TTT list today.
    I like how you give the books movie-style ratings.
    You can see my TTT at: https://kellyfbarr.com/2017/01/17/top-ten-tuesday-45/

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    1. Kelly, how cool we have a book in common on our TTT lists!

      I always like knowing ahead of time what kinds of content to expect from a book, so I try to include a rating and some info on whether the book had violence, swearing, adult content, etc. Everyone's pretty familiar with the MPAA ratings, so I've borrowed them :-)

      I will go check out your list!

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  3. These are all new books to me and many of them look good to me!!

    Here's my TTT post for this week: http://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2017/01/top-ten-tuesday-ten-underratedhidden.html

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    1. Thanks, Captivated Reader! I hope you try some of these out and enjoy them :-)

      I'm off to check out your list!

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  4. OhMyGoodness! How did I forget Charity's books!? I haven't read one of hers in entirety (*hangs head in shame*) yet, but did start one, and knowing her, I know they're expertly written, so I'd have not qualms about adding them. Next time! :)

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    1. Rissi, you're in for a treat when you do read one of her books! I'm planning to read more of them myself :-) Soon!

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  5. Now how'd I miss out on this topic? Oh, well. Anyway, I'm thrilled to have something of mine appear on your list!

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  6. I just ordered a copy of Greenwillow. Your review makes it sounds so appealing.

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    1. Oh, Jennifer, you are in for such a treat! I think Greenwillow will charm you.

      I think, given your taste for deep character exploration and stories of people coming to understand themselves better, that you would very much enjoy And Now Tomorrow too.

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  7. Ah, love your LOTR banner! I own "Letters on an Elk Hunt by a Woman Homesteader" but I need to read it. Thanks for reminding me. ;)

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    1. Thanks, Vonze! I'm re-reading LOTR right now and just had to have a banner to match, especially since last month was the 15th anniversary of the release of the movie version of FOTR.

      Have you read Eleanor Pruitt Stewart's first book? I liked it a little better, but Letters on an Elk Hunt was delightful too.

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  8. Cool list this week! I am always surprised to find some of my favorite books have under 500 ratings on Goodreads. I need to promote them more! Haha. Thanks for stopping by my TTT earlier :)

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    1. Also I didn't even know Reay had a 4th book! Thanks for highlighting it!

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    2. Thanks, Jane! I know -- I couldn't believe some of these weren't better-known. I'm sure that A Portrait of Emily Price will eventually have thousands of ratings/reviews like Reay's other three, but it just came out a couple months ago, so I'm kind of guessing people haven't had a chance to read it over the holidays or something. I hope you like it!

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  9. I loved A Portrait of Emily Price! Katherine's books are some of my favorites.
    I need to read I Claudia....

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    1. Amanda, I agree! Reay is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. I've been giving her books away to friends for birthdays and such because more people must read her!

      I, Claudia was a quick, engrossing read -- I highly recommend it.

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    2. Quick to read = thousands of hours to write. ;)

      I'm always slightly annoyed when I load one of my novels into Kindle, look back on months of hard work, and go, "IT ONLY TAKES SIX HOURS TO READ???"

      Doesn't seem fair. ;)

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    3. Charity, argh, I know! I wrote 1500 words in an hour last night and was so proud of myself! And then read it all back in like 3 minutes. Heh. It's really not fair.

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  10. Once looks great! I'll have to add it to my list.

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    1. Allison, I thought it was fun! I liked the variety in settings especially.

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