Top “10” Underrated Books I’ve Read Recently-ish

Hi Friends –

Another week, another Top Ten Tuesday. This bookish meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish every Tuesday. This week focuses on books that I believe are underrated and/or hidden gems. I think that I talk about these types of books a decent amount, but since I haven’t consistently blogged on here. I’m going to reference from the ones I read in late 2016.

  • Ten Little Indians by Sherman Alexie
    1. Sherman Alexie isn’t underrated, but I haven’t seen a lot about his books other than The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian. I enjoyed this collection of short stories, and recommend it to anyone who is looking to read some #ownvoices about indigenous people of the US.
  • Modern Lovers by Emma Straub
    • This book got a little traction from BoTM and some NPR type lists. However, I do see it mentioned a lot in the blogging/booktube world. I think that the writing ended up being better than expected, and the story of family drama was interesting. It would have been a little bit better if socio-economic status was explored more, but overall this was solid 4 star read.
  • Puddn’head Wilson by Mark Twain
    • I read this book in college, and re-read it for a readathon sometime in the past couple of months. It’s amazing the complexity that Twain puts into this little story about an attorney. I believe I had to write a paper about this at one time, but if I had to now I would explore what Twain’s commentary on slavery/black Americans meant within the context of the children’s role switch.
  • A Murder In Time by Julie McElwain
    • I randomly picked up this book, but it ended up being a very interesting tale of a modern day officer stuck in the middle ages. It’s enjoyable and has fantastical aspects if you like things like that.
  • If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
    • I really, really liked this book. I don’t understand why I don’t see it on more blogs/book reviews. I think people should really pick up this #ownvoices work about a teenage trans girl trying to survive high school. It’s hopeful, albeit not perfect, but we need to support literature like this. It’s so important for people to see themselves in books.


What doing this list has shown me, is that I read A LOT of popular books toward the end of 2016. I also read a lot of books that were just okay. The books I listed here, don’t get enough blog/media  traction, and really should.

Until Next Time World…


January Reading List

As my hiatus from blogging was very large, I also took a hiatus from making a to be read reading list for the month. In some ways, I think it made me less accountable for what I needed to be reading at any time. I blame this on why I failed to meet my reading goal. **still bitter**

Since I’m pre-writing some of my blog posts I can already tell you that it’s a couple of days into January and I’ve barely read anything. Hopefully putting this list to writing will actually allow me to complete a good amount of reading. I’m also going on vacation at the end of the month, which should provide the opportunity to read more than if I were working.

I’m also trying to focus on reading the books on my bookshelf. This month’s theme is also “read all the books that Katie has lent you.” 4 of the books on this list belong to her, and since I’m seeing her in the beginning of February, I want to be able to return some of these to her. Technically, I should read 13 books this month, but I also want to give myself some room in case something new and exciting comes along. Heck, I haven’t gotten by Book of the Month subscription yet.

Top Ten Books of 2016

Time for my top reads of 2016. I’m disappointed, because I didn’t reach my reading goal of 156 books, but I did read 155.5 books… so not too bad.

10.) To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – a cute YA novel that made me feel like I was in HS again…in a good way.

9.) Yes Please by Amy Poehler – I had no idea who she was before reading this book. This stuck with me all year, and almost made me want to watch Parks & Rec.

8.) Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jayne Robin Brown – A book set in Rome, GA about a pastor’s lesbian daughter. Amazing funny and deals with Christianity and queerness.

7.) Giant Days Vols. 1 & 2 by John Allison – a funny graphic novel about 3 friends meeting each other in college

6.) The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin – Amazing and revolutionary. This is the work that inspired “Between the World and Me.”

5.) Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertelli – A gay teenage boy trying (sort of) to avoid being blackmailed about his sexuality. Hilarious and set in Georgia. The discussion of Chickfil-A at the beginning of the book was too real.

4.) All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer – I don’t love WW2 stories, but this is a good one about two kids growing up in the war, one in France and one in Germany.

3.) Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – This book got a lot of dings because of its representation of disability. However, I loved the representation of the conception around suicide/self interest. For what Moyes did, this will be in my favorites a long time. I have a couple of blog posts up about this if you want to check them out.

2.) Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – a book about the effects of the slave trade on those sold into slavery (over 7 generations) and the ones who remained in Africa

1.) The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner – Amazing YA book about HS seniors in Tennessee growing up and preparing to go to college. Such amazing character development. Zentner has the ability to suck the reader in without them knowing exactly when it happens.

Honorable Mentions: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah; The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett; The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness

July TBR

July! It’s my last official month before students start to come back to campus and my life gets hectic again. I’m hoping to be able to spend some quality time reading and writing blog posts and overall having some fun. I’ll be going to my first bloggers conference this upcoming weekend, and I’m really excited. If you’re going to Blogbound in NYC this upcoming weekend, let me know and maybe we can meet up! Anyway, I have another ambitious month planned for July, so let’s see if I can stay on track with my reading goals.

This are the books I want to finish reading in the month of July.

So clearly with this list, someone is going to need to keep me away from the library. I clearly can’t follow a list when I keep adding random other interesting books. I also want to get some sort of re-read in for this month, but I’m not sure if that can happen. Wish me luck readers!


Until Next Time World…

June Wrap Up 

June certainly flew by, faster than I expected anyway. I had a pretty ambitious TBR this month, and while I didn’t do terribly, I also got sidetracked by shiny books a lot. This basically means that I read a lot of books, but not all the books I said I was going to read. I also read a lot of comics/graphic novels this month. Don’t tell me I never try anything new!


  1. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  2. Ladivine by Marie NDiaye
  3. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  4. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
  5. The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
  6. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
  7. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
  8. The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
  9. Illumine by Amie Kaufman
  10. My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
  11. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
  12. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
  13. The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle
  14. The Royal We by Heather Cocks

I’m still reading A Little Life…but can you even call it reading when you’ve barely read a page all month? Also, since moving I realize how ridiculous my TBR shelf has become. In July I’m going to try to focus on getting down some of those books…so I can at least get more?


  1. Lumberjanes, vol. 2: Friendship to the Max by Noelle Stevenson
  2. Dreamless by Bobby Crosby
  3. Giant Days, vol. 1 by John Allison
  4. Giant Days, vol. 2 by John Allison
  5. Lumberjanes, vol. 3: A Terrible Plan by Noelle Stevenson
  6. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
  7. Y: The Last Man, vol. 1: Unmanned by Brian K. Vaughan
  8. Ms. Marvel, vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson
  9. Ms. Marvel, vol 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson

Since I’m apparently reading comics now, the red is just going to be the 5 things I enjoyed most this month.

Until Next Time World…

June TBR & #tometopple

I don’t normally plan out what I’m going to read in the course of a month, but this June is a little different. I’m moving toward the end of the month, and all of my books are already packed away in little boxes, as you can see below.


So I had to be selective and actually choose which books I was going to attempt to read during this month, because I probably won’t unpack my books again until July. The other reason that I’m planning a specific TBR this month is because I’m participating in #tometopple hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Here’s the link to the video introducing the readathon, the link to the video where she talks about specific challenges and her list, and her blog to sign up for the readathon! Sam is really great. If you’re interested in sci-fi/fantasy books, she reviews a lot of them.

Now that I’ve talked about all of that – let’s get into what I’m going to read this June.

I’m still #manbookering, because there were a lot of books on that long list. Currently reading Ladivine by Marie NDiaye, which is a family drama about a mother with a secret that her daughter must discover after her mother is brutally murdered. It didn’t make the shortlist (which I can see why being half way through the book), but has been enjoyable so far. I’m also reading The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater because everyone and their moms are talking about this series. I’m only 20% through the book, but I’m not in love. We’ll see how I feel about it by the end of the book. The other books I plan on starting shortly are listed below; the ones in red I plan on reading as a part of #tometopple / the Uncovered Book Club June pick.

So if this list holds true, I’ll read at least 9 books in June. Hopefully I’ll get through some of these pretty quickly and be able to read more like 12-15. I also don’t know if I’ll love the Raven Boys series…so I might have to finish all of those this month. It’s also pride month(!!!) so I have to read some sort of queer literature this month as well. I have my work cut out for me!

Until Next Time World…

May Wrap Up

MAY! I had a goal for May to read more books than I had the past two months, and I think I reach my goal. I read some long, hard books. I crossed off more categories on my Read Harder Challenge list. I listened to more audiobooks than I have in any other month this year. Overall, I’m pleased with how I started out my first summer reading month. As always, my top 5 books are in red. I actually DNF’d the book with the star, needless to say, not my favorite.

  1. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
  2. Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila
  3. H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
  4. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
  5. Bossypants by Tina Fey
  6. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
  7. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  8. The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
  9. The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson
  10. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
  11. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  12. A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk
  13. If I Were Your Girl by Meredith Russo
  14. Lumberjanes. vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson
  15. Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes*


Until Next Time World…

On Buying Books

Since becoming more familiar with the online book community, I’ve known that I’ve wanted to write a post about the importance of libraries for communities. While doing some research, I came across this article that is focused on community-centered reasons libraries are important. This article was better researched and written than anything I would have produced, so I hope that you’ll take some time and read it. I wanted to focus this post on something more specific, the privilege behind buying books and receiving publisher arcs/copies of books.

I was browsing booktube and came across this video, which I originally thought was a spoof of booktuber book hauls. Well, I guess it is in a way, but the person who created the video is also a booktuber who posts book haul videos… I’m not sure if that makes it more or less funny? Something I’ve been noticing about the community is that it’s really young. The main responsibility of my job is to work with college students on expanding their perspectives and (hopefully) educating them to become more conscious global citizens. So when I look at these first year college students, high school students, and recent college grads posting videos about the importance of reading diversely and queer literature – my heart swells just a tiny bit. Someone is doing something right in these young adults’ lives.

However, I’ve also noticed something a bit problematic surrounding how we talk about our access to books. I own A LOT of books (or at least I think so). Having moved to 4 different states over the past several years, I’m acutely aware of how difficult it is to transport your library. When I first started watching these individuals on YouTube, it was clear that they had double the amount of books I currently owned, and I thought it was so awesome to see young people who were so read well. Seriously, what was I doing with my life?!? Then I realized that TBR didn’t just mean books you thought were cool and might pick up some day, but rather books you owned but hadn’t read yet.  I discovered this through the abundance of 0 TBR by *insert X year* challenges. I was shocked to see so many people who had upwards of a hundred books in their possession that they had yet to read. Right now, I have a lot of books that I recently received from my mother, which ups my total unread a lot (to 28).

So here’s the problem…

Not everyone can afford to buy books. This seems like a simple fact, but I don’t think it’s acknowledged enough. I often time video book hauls and other things ignore those individuals who don’t have access to pre-released materials (maybe because they’re not a reviewer, but also maybe because they don’t have access to the time and equipment needed to be a reviewer) and those who cannot afford to purchase 15-30 dollar books. Some reviewers talk about libraries, but they’re not mentioned nearly enough. The vast majority of the books that I read come from the library, and frankly always have come from the library. Libraries are such a great place for books, but also for the general education of the community. I hope that there can be a movement within our community to find different ways to support authorship, while also advancing the purpose of literature as an educational tool. As a person who possesses a lot of privilege, and who has the ability and access to publish reviews, I want to make sure that my content and posts are also helping advance this purpose.


Until Next Time World…or until Obama takes me to a bookstore…


UPDATE: I found this YouTube video that offers a different perspective.

January Wrap Up

It’s been a little while since I last updated. Things have been kind of intense the past two weeks in my life, and I need to be more disciplined about writing (and pre-scheduling) my post updates. However, I have still been reading! I read a total of 21* books in January; which makes me feel pretty darn proud considering it’s a training month. I’ll have more reviews to post about some of these books, but I wanted to give a general update. The ones in red were my top 5 for the month.

  1. First & Then by Emma Mills
  2. 19Q4 by Haruki Murakami
  3. Reality Boy by A.S. King
  4. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  5. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  6. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  7. Sisters in Sanity by Gayle Forman
  8. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  9. Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  10. Paper Towns by John Green
  11. A Working Theory of Love by Scott Hutchins
  12. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  13. You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney
  14. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
  15. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  16. The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
  17. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  18. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  19. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
  20. Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom
  21. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn* (Technically I finished this the morning of the 1st, but I DID read the vast majority in January.)

I really liked a lot of these books. Be on the lookout for reviews for some of them in the upcoming weeks, but there are still some that I need to finish from December!


Until Next Time World…