Tuesday, August 29, 2017

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Hidden Gem Nonfiction Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish each week. The topic this week is Top Ten Hidden Gems in your chosen genre. 2017 is my year of nonfiction books, so I'm looking for hidden gems in nonfiction. Hidden gems are tricky, because it could just be I didn't happen to hear of it before - maybe it is well known by other people! I'm going to pick books that I had very little expectation or notice of and then was completely impressed once I read it. 

 The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
Akin to Anne Frank, ten Boom tells the story of hiding Jews in their home in Holland during WW2. A story of quiet courage, I was surprised to never have heard of it before listening to it last year.

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan
Crazy story of a reporter whose brain turned on her and her amazing recovery. The fact that the infection was discovered and she wasn't left to languish in a mental hospital is due to her parents diligence. Even how she reconstructed her month after the fact is impressive.

Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled off the Most Audacious Rescue in History by Antonio Mendez
Intelligence gathering and counter intelligence is so much in the news today so this story of the freeing of the Iranian hostages in 1980 is a timely read. It is also an inside look into the CIA and how they operate in crazy times. I'm pretty sure the movie took liberties, so the book would be great background.

A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel
The cover of the book attracts most people but they stay for the writing and the story. I also went back for the sequel, She Got Up Off the Couch

The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor by Mark Schatzker
I just read this one and reviewed it last week. If you only read one book about food, this is the one. 

Survivor: The Ultimate Game by Mark Burnett
I'm a huge Survivor fan and can remember watching the very first episode. This book is a behind the scene look at the very first season. It's not long but will take you back to all that went on the first time.

Dispatches From the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters and Survival by Anderson Cooper
It's been ten years since I read this but I still remember enjoying it. Cooper (I've been a fan since The Mole!) combines his own personal memoir with three or four big events he's covered. Wars in Iraq and Sarajevo, tsunami of 2006, and finally, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina are the backdrop to his own life. This is just reminding me I haven't listened to his latest book with his mother, The Rainbow Comes and Goes.

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
Not sure if this is considered a hidden gem, but the life lessons Hadfield imparts in his memoir are inspiring. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, I highly recommend it. He is a Canadian treasure.

I'd Like to Apologize To Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High by Tony Danza
Maybe it is because I am a teacher and I always liked Tony Danza, but this is really every teacher's dream. Have someone come into the classroom for an extended time and see what it is really like. There was a TV series that went with this and I'm not sure which came first. We've had student teachers who have come back to the school who do apologize to their former teachers - it's very funny!

 Gretzky's Tears: Hockey, Canada and the Day Everything by Stephen Brunt
This is a little more niche as every Canadian remembers where they were when they heard that Gretzky got traded from Edmonton to LA. (I was in the car with my parents, driving home from work.) I am mostly including this book to be able to mention what a good writer Stephen Brunt is. I've also read his Searching for Bobby Orr and I have a Blue Jays book to read as well. So if you want to read a sports book, he's your guy.