Ten Books I Loved that I Didn’t Review

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is ten books I loved that I haven’t reviewed. I don’t review nearly as many books as I read, and often the more I love a book, the harder it is to review it well. Some books almost demand to speak for themselves. So here are ten books I highly recommend even though I didn’t review them. These are mostly books I’ve read in the last two years, and a surprising number of them were listened to as audiobooks rather than in print.

Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss: This book was completely unexpected, as I didn’t really know what it was about –I read it mainly because it was nominated for the Women’s Prize.  I loved everything about this book, which is about a group of anthropology students studying the Iron Age in Britain at a site where human sacrifices have been found in the bog. The professor has brought his wife and daughter to learn from the experience of living as those in the Iron Age did. This is much more a book about the dynamics of a troubled family, but the setting and research make for a fascinating backdrop.

Dear America: Notes from an Undocumented Immigrant by Jose Antonio Vargas: This is a book about a young man’s experiences as an undocumented immigrant in the U.S. He doesn’t know he’s undocumented until he’s a teenager.  It’s a really thoughtful look at U.S. policies regarding immigration and the challenges faced by many immigrants.

Asking for It by Louise O’Neill: I’ve read a lot of books, probably far too many, that deal with sexual assault, but this book punched me in the gut.  If you were moved by Chanel Miller’s Know My Name (and I’d worry if you weren’t), I highly recommend this one.  The audio version is particularly haunting.

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin: This was my first read by Baldwin and I plan to read more.  It’s beautifully written and particularly relevant given today’s discussions about race, law enforcement, and incarceration.  

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Annapara: one of the Women’s Prize longlist nominees this year, this is a book about families in a low-income India neighborhood whose children begin disappearing one by one. It’s told from the perspective of a young boy who is trying to find out what happened to his friend. Despite its title, this book is more about the harsh realities of life, rather than the paranormal.  

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune: I rarely like books I’d call “heartwarming” but I liked everything about this one.  It begins with office humor but as you gradually get to know the characters, this story about an orphanage full of monsters just gets better and better. 

Atlas Alone by Emma Newman: The entire Planetfall series is fantastic, and each book feels very different from the others. I loved this one and I’m hoping Newman isn’t done with this series. 

Shrill by Lindy West: I loved West’s insights into gender and weight issues, comedy, and online trolls, among the many relevant issues she touches on.  Particularly good as an audiobook, read by the author.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert: somehow this romance managed to be funny and sexy while not falling into the usual romance tropes.  

The Lost Man by Jane Harper: I like a good slow-burn mystery and this had great character development, an interesting plot, a fascinating setting, and a really thoughtful story-line involving domestic abuse. 

Those are some of my favorite books that I never got a chance to review.  Have you read any of them?  Any other recommendations? 

  16 comments for “Ten Books I Loved that I Didn’t Review

  1. lydiaschoch
    August 11, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    I’m on a super long library waitlist for The House in the Cerulean Sea. Glad you loved it so much. I can’t wait to read it.

    My TTT .

    • August 12, 2020 at 9:16 am

      Do you listen to audiobooks? The audiobook version was fantastic. What I do at the library is put both book and audiobook on hold, then I see what comes in first. I hope you enjoy it when you read it!

  2. August 11, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    “Some books almost demand to speak for themselves.” So true! I’ve read others by James Baldwin, Sarah Moss, and Jane Harper. Good list.

    • August 12, 2020 at 9:15 am

      Thanks! Those are all authors I need to read more of.

  3. August 11, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    I’ve really enjoyed all of Jane Harper’s books. She writes great slow-burning mysteries. Glad I’m not the only fan!

    Happy TTT!


    • August 12, 2020 at 9:14 am

      I’m glad to hear you’ve liked her other books. I liked The Dry but got more into Lost Man, maybe because the audiobook was so good.

  4. August 11, 2020 at 8:27 pm

    I really want to read The Lost Man — I enjoyed the Dry, and want to read more of her books. I’ve really enjoyed Shrill and The House in the Cerulean Sea too. Great list!

    • August 12, 2020 at 9:11 am

      I liked The Dry but loved Lost Man. It might be that the audiobook made a difference. I love reading about Australia, it’s one of my favorite places I’ve traveled to so far.

  5. August 12, 2020 at 3:10 am

    I’ve just read Sarah Moss’s new book, Summerwater and been really impressed. It’s the first of her novels I’ve read but I shall definitely be going back to her earlier output.

    • August 12, 2020 at 9:08 am

      I’m glad to hear you liked her new book! I hope to read that soon. This is the only book I’ve read by her so far.

  6. notesbyj
    August 12, 2020 at 9:03 am

    There are some here that I really want to read! In particular, Get a Life Chloe Brown sounds really good and I’ve heard so many positive reviews of it

    • August 12, 2020 at 9:07 am

      Thanks for stopping by! If you do read it, I hope you like it. It’s cute and quirky but also romantic, and I like that romances are so much more diverse these days.

  7. August 15, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    I need to read Asking For It, so I’m happy you enjoyed it. I’ll probably add the TJ Klune book to my list too. I listened to the author talking about it on Facebook, and it sounds really interesting.

  8. August 16, 2020 at 5:50 am

    Have you seen the TV series based on Shrill? It is with Aidy Bryant from Saturday Night Live and it is really good! We are just about to start watching the second season.

    • August 17, 2020 at 2:53 pm

      Yes, I really enjoyed the first season. I think Bryant is very talented.

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