Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Top 10 Underrated Books

It's been awhile since I've done a top 10 list. I was gone for a few of them and then I just couldn't get back into the swing of things. As past top 10 posts have shown, I clearly don't feel the need to actually hit 10 examples for these lists yet the last few I couldn't even come up with enough to satisfy my low standards. Well this week I'm coming back. I make no promises that I'll hit 10, but I'm here dammit. So here we go! Top 10 Underrated books hosted by The Broke and The Bookish:

1. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde - Oh, I'm sorry. Did you think this list was going to suddenly be original and not contain a book I mentioned for nearly every list? Thanks, that was sweet of you. While I mention this ad nauseum, I do think it's underrated and I want more people to pick it up. At least enough so that the Brookline Booksmith starts to regularly carry Fforde's stuff instead of me finding a book on their remainders table.

2. Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language for Fun and Spite by June Casagrande - I found this book on one of those remainder tables, so clearly it's not getting the love it deserves. I recently wrote about another grammar book, so the topic is fresh in my mind and if you want a witty way to learn about language, go with this one. And seriously, grammar for spite? Yes, please.

3. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) by The Reduced Shakespeare Company - One of my favorite plays that I have read again and again (and again). It's Shakespeare but cut down to just get to the good parts. My short attention span loves this. It's fun, it's silly and I watched it in a high school Shakespeare class, so it also counts as educational. I have a copy of this being performed on tape but both my VHS and VCR are kaput so I should really consider upgrading to a DVD.

4. The Umbrella Man and Other Stories by Roald Dahl - Lots of people know Dahl's children's stories. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG. But Dahl wrote stories for adults as well, and they're wonderful. They have the feel of Dahl's children's stories without the childishness. They're quirky, they're sinister, they're sly, and they're worth checking out.

5. Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters by Jessica Valenti - This is an excellent book that really deserves more attention. Consider it an intro to modern feminism that deals with where feminism has come from and where it's heading.  It's a good book to learn more about a topic that is so stupidly stigmatized.

I made it to 5, so I'm pretty happy. What are your top underrated books?