Nowadays, searching for a new book can be an exciting, yet daunting task. The numerous choices available and the detailed best-seller lists alone can make buying your next book an overwhelming adventure. Oftentimes, because of the wide array of literary works that are released each month, and the numerous lists of best-selling authors, certain exceptional works can go unnoticed. Because of this, I compiled a list of ten great books that you’ve probably never heard of to add to your reading list.
Alex Kershaw, who has written multiple books on World War II, returns with The Liberator, a true story that follows the exceptional journey of one World War II soldier (Felix Sparks) and his fellow combatants. Kershaw’s writing places the reader on the battlefield while Felix Sparks marches 500 days from Sicily to the gates of Dachau.
This story follows the life of a young boy, Edgar Sawtelle, who was born mute. His mother and father run a dog kennel, where they perfect the breeding lines of Sawtelle dogs; a fictional dog species that was breed by the Sawtelles’ ancestors. Edgar is a magnificently crafted character who is both smart and cunning as he faces multiple challenges over the course of the story.
I know Vonnegut is anything but unheard of, but most of his works, including Galapagos, are overshadowed by his success with Slaughterhouse Five. Galapagos follows the journey of several passengers on the first ever “Nature Cruise of the Century.” While on the cruise, the rest of the world is destroyed by an apocalypse, and the passengers are now the last humans on earth. The fate of humanity rests in the lives of these passengers and their actions.
Lori Lansens has written a story that rivals the likes of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild. The Mountain Story places the reader into the mind of Wolf Truly, a teenager who loves the outdoors. During a routine hiking trip, Wolf is forced to stray from his plans to help a group of three women find their way to a hidden hiking treasure. However, conditions start to change, and Wolf and the three women find themselves lost in the wilderness.
Encompassing the whole first year of college for one student, Vincent, Still Standing Still provides insight into the trials and joys of higher education. Along the way, Vincent learns more about himself and the world around him. Michael Verderber brings the fictional south Texas University to life as he meticulously crafts each and every character.
American Catch is the first nonfiction book to make my list. Paul Greenberg uses the book to ask an important question: Why are Americans not eating American-caught seafood? Throughout the book Greenberg provides information and insight into the seafood industry, and provides support for a change in American consumption patterns.
Peter Heller takes his readers on a fascinating journey that follows the late years of a painter named Jim Stegner. In this thrilling novel, Jim Stegner is a character readers can love, hate, and see themselves in; all in the span of a little more than 350 pages. The Painter not only provides constant enjoyment for its readers, but also allows each reader to dive introspectively deeper as they question several decisions Jim Stegner makes in the novel.
Wild Ones is another nonfiction book. Inside this observational masterpiece, Jon Mollaem observes an endangered species amongst three groups of animals: bears, birds, and butterflies. Inside the covers of this book, Mollaem provides personal testimonies of the remarkable nature of these animals, and also his and his young daughter’s reactions to these animals. Wild Ones provides a history of the wild world and also thought provoking ideas that promote a sense of empowerment to save the world we live in.
Mountains Beyond Mountains follows Tracy Kidder’s personal journey to find Paul Farmer, a man who started a hospital in the countryside of Haiti. Along the way, the book provides insight into the mind of Paul Farmer who believed that, “the only real nation is humanity.”
When self-claimed lowlife Ricky Rice gets a mysterious letter asking him to visit an unknown destination in Maine, things get interesting as he finds out exactly why the letter was sent. Once at his new destination, Ricky figures out what he is supposed to do and also begins a whole new adventure.