Top 10 Books I Enjoyed but Rarely Talk About

I feel like I’ve been needing a post like this for ages! In a lot of my Top 10 Tuesdays, I tend to mention the same books over and over again (*cough* Edge of Night *cough*) so this’ll give me the change for a shout-out to some good ones, thanks to That Artsy Reader Girl.

1. Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich

I do talk a lot about Louise Erdrich’s books, but I tend to talk more about La Rose or Future Sign of the Living God, probably because those two tend to have a wider appeal. Shadow Tag, however, has a special place in my life because it specifically depicts how “stable” a dysfunctional relationship can be. So many relationships in the media tend to be shown at the breaking point, instead of showing what things can look like in the years beforehand. I loved Shadow Tag for that reason – the characters just felt so deeply real to me.

2. White Heat by M.J. McGrath

I don’t talk much about White Heat because it’s a hard book to recommend to people. It’s very much a mystery, but so many mystery lovers tend to prefer a more standard setting and characters – a.k.a. the United States or UK, and mostly white characters. White Heat, however, features a native woman who is not actually in law enforcement – she just has a strong determination to take care of her family. I love Edie and read all of her books because she is so fun to read about.

3. #Notyourprincess: Voices of Native American Women

This is another book that I have a hard time recommending because I’m never quite sure who to recommend it to (hint: the correct answer is EVERYONE). #Notyourprincess is a mixed media collection of art, poems, and essays about the experience of being a native woman in modern day, and it provides such a powerful perspective that isn’t articulated enough.

4. The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth

Ok this one is a hard recommendation because it’s incredibly long and pretty dark. But I love it anyway! The main character is a young woman who grows up near the Grimm brothers and ends up marrying one of them. All of the heavy material is based on the violence that happened during the Napoleon Wars, so its’ fairly realistic in that way, and I loved it for its historical relevance.

5. The Book of M by Peng Shepherd

This is a crazy, interesting, engaging apocalyptic novel that unfortunately came out the same year as Station Eleven, so I think it tends to get overshadowed. I loved the characters in this one, and the diversity added a lot to the narrative, rather than any characters ever just feeling like tokens for their social group.

6. Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones

I really don’t do this one justice because it is a fantastic horror novel, and it’s a quick read too. It starts with a young native boy who thinks he may be seeing the ghost of his father around their home. I don’t want to say more than that, but it absolutely held me in its grip start to finish.

7. The Witch Elm by Tana French

This is one of those books that I tend to just remember suddenly out of nowhere, but it was a great thriller with a similar feel to The Girl on the Train. The main character suffers a traumatic brain injury at the beginning of the novel, and when he returns to his uncle’s house to recover, they discover a 20-year-old body in the backyard. He cannot help but feel like he should know what happened to put the body there, but if he had anything to do with it, those memories are long gone.

8. Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot

I know plenty of others talk this book up, but it’s another one that I’m never quite sure how to talk about. This is a memoir about the author’s struggles with poverty, institutionalized racism, and mental health. It was a difficult read for me because it resonated a little too much sometimes, but it’s fantastic and definitely a good one for anyone that likes or is interested in starting to tackle memoirs.

9. City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

This is another book that gets outshined by other books of the same author. I loved the main character in this, and the way that ghosts are depicted, and the interactions with them and the main character… just all of the worldbuilding, basically. It’s written for young adults but I think most adults would still love it.

10. The Nest by Cynthia D/Aprix Sweeney

I think I don’t talk about this one much because it’s a little hard to define – but this book at its heart is about adult sibling relationships, and it’s heartwarming and realistic and I love it so much.

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