Top Ten Tuesday: Books I love but don’t talk about enough

Top Ten Tuesdays

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme from The Broke and the Bookish is 10 Books I really love, but feel like I haven’t talked about enough.

There are a few books that have found their way onto multiple top ten lists that I’ve written (ahem, Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes, step aside for the moment). Today’s challenge is to put those books out of my mind and focus on the ones that I love and don’t talk about much. I’ve purposefully picked books that I’ve not featured on previous lists (as far as I remember!)

1. Book: To The Ends of the Earth: 100 maps that Changed the World 
Author: Neil Safier and Sarah Bendall
Why I love it: The history of cartography is fascinating. Drawing from a wide range of cultures and time periods, this book explores not only how maps have looked but what’s important to the people who have made them.

2. Book: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
Author: Betty Edwards
Why I love it: This is a scientific examination of drawing that offers new techniques to help improve one’s ability. Only draw stick figures? This can help hone your craft. The trick is in forgetting that an arm is an arm and really concentrating on only the shape. One of my favorite exercises was drawing a complex image upside down. It’s remarkably effective!

3.Book: The Women Who Wrote the War
Author: Nancy Caldwell Sorel
Why I love it: Women in combat. This is an underwritten area of history, especially when it’s beyond the most recent decades. This book explores the women who were in combat, not as nurses, but as carriers of the truth.

4. Book: Understanding Global Cultures
Author: Martin J. Gannon
Why I love it: Each country has a metaphor to explain why it’s people and customs exist as they do.

5. Book: Rose Under Fire
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Why I love it: This book is heart-wrenching. I’m not a fan of sad- especially in fiction, mostly because there’s enough sad in non-fiction. But- Elizabeth Wein captures this story brilliantly. Rose is full of life, even in the midst of the concentration camp. She also teaches the other girls Girl Scout songs. I’m a lifelong Girl Scout and Gold Award recipient. When Rose muses that they should have had the chance to just be friends, it hits hard.

6. Book: Case for a Creator and Case for Christ
Author: Lee Strobel
Why I love it/them: Using the style of an investigator (he was a criminal investigator in Chicago, Strobel interviews experts to provide concrete historical, archaeological, psychological, philosophical and scientific proof to Biblical claims. In fact, he was an atheist at the time when he set out on his journey of discovery. I am very much of an understanding that faith and science are not enemies and can coexist. These seem especially appropriate to mention in this week before Easter.

7. Book: An Officer and a Spy
Author: Robert Harris
Why I love it: This work of historical fiction follows the Dreyfus affair. As well as learning more about this very interesting part of history, I found Harris to be an engaging writer with poignant characters.

8. Book: Washington: A Life
Author: Ron Chernow
Why I love it: I’ve been to Mount Vernon, Valley Forge, and Yorktown- all places that were important to Washington. This book was an in-depth, detailed account of Washington’s entire life. There were so many interesting pieces of information that were new to me in this book that painted a full portrait of the man and the times.

9. Book: Reason and Persuasion: 3 Dialogues by Plato
Author: John Holbo
Why I love it: This was the companion book to a Coursera class that I took. It explores three of Plato’s dialogues rewritten in contemporary language.

10. Book: July 1914: Countdown to War
Author: Sean McMeekin
Why I love it: WWI continues to inspire scores of scholarship and fiction. This book delves into the history immediately before it began- from the time that Franz Ferdinand was assassinated until the eve of the “guns of August”. I thought it was so interesting that I bought it for my dad for his birthday this year.

Have you read any of these? What are some of your beloved, but under spoken about books?
My best to you all,

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