Posted in Readathons-Challenges-Memes

Top 10 Tuesday ~ Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

I don’t usually do Top Ten Tuesday because…I’m really bad with lists. But I saw this topic around the blog-o-sphere and wanted to chime in.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

The topic for Tuesday, February 19th was: Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads. It’s a built-in list! It turns out that half of my “Favorites” shelf have less than 2000 ratings. Here is a sublist of ten (all summaries via Goodreads):

 The Devil: A Biography cover The Devil: A Biography by Peter Stanford

Nonfiction

“The Devil’s deepest wile is to persuade us that he does not exist.” —Charles Baudelaire. But now, Peter Stanford’s highly readable survey brings the Devil to the forefront as he focuses on the Church, literature, folklore, psychology and history. The result is a lively account of our age-old response to the challenge of why evil and human suffering exist.

The Magician and the Cardsharp cover The Magician and the Cardsharp: The Search for America’s Greatest Sleight-of-Hand Artist by Karl Johnson

Nonfiction

Following the Crash of ’29, Dai Vernon, known by magicians as “the man who fooled Houdini,” is tramping down Midwestern backroads, barely making ends meet. While swapping secrets with a Mexican gambler, he hears of a guy he doesn’t quite believe is real—a legendary mystery man who deals perfectly from the center of the deck and who locals call the greatest cardsharp of all time. Determined to find the reclusive genius, Vernon sets out on a journey through America’s shady, slick, and sinful side-from mob-run Kansas City through railroad towns that looked sleepy only in the daytime. Does he find the sharp?

The Two Sams cover The Two Sams: Ghost Stories by Glen Hirshberg

Short Stories

With this unique collection, acclaimed author Glen Hirshberg breathes new life into an age-old literary tradition. In the title story a husband struggles with the grief and confusion of losing two children, and forms an odd bond with the infant spectrals that visit him in the night. “Struwwelpeter” introduces us to a brilliant, treacherous adolescent whose violent tendencies and reckless mischief reach a sinister pinnacle as Halloween descends on a rundown Pacific Northwest fishing village. In “Mr. Dark’s Carnival,” a college professor confronts his own dark places in the form of a mysterious haunted house steeped in the folklore of grisly badlands justice.

Sleight of Hand cover Sleight of Hand by Peter S. Beagle

Short Stories

Abundant with tales of quiet heroism, life-changing decisions, and determined searches for deep answers, this extraordinary collection of contemporary fantasy explores the realms between this world and the next. From the top of the Berlin Wall to the depths of the darkest seas, gods and monsters battle their enemies and innermost fears, yet mere mortals make the truly difficult choices. A slightly regretful author and a vengeful-but-dilapidated dragon square off over an abandoned narrative; the children of the Shark God demand painful truths from their chronically absent father; and a bereaved women sacrifices herself to change one terrible moment, effortlessly reversed by a shuffle of the deck.

White Plume Mountain cover  White Plume Mountain by Paul Kidd

Novel

A remorseless ranger.
A sentient hell hound pelt with a penchant for pyromania.
An irksome pixie who sells intrigue and information.
Three companions who find themselves trapped in a city filled with warring priestly factions, devious machinations, and an angry fiend. To save the city, they must find three weapons of power, which lie in the most trap-laden, monster-infested place this side of Acererak’s tomb: White Plume Mountain.

Tesla cover Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age by W. Bernard Carlson

Nonfiction

Plenty of biographies glamorize Tesla and his eccentricities, but until now none has carefully examined what, how, and why he invented. In this groundbreaking book, W. Bernard Carlson demystifies the legendary inventor, placing him within the cultural and technological context of his time, and focusing on his inventions themselves as well as the creation and maintenance of his celebrity. Drawing on original documents from Tesla’s private and public life, Carlson shows how he was an “idealist” inventor who sought the perfect experimental realization of a great idea or principle, and who skillfully sold his inventions to the public through mythmaking and illusion.

Angry Candy cover Angry Candy by Harlan Ellison

Short Stories

The sixteen stories collected here are spread over the farthest stretches of time and space, but even the bleakest of them is warmed by a passionate faith in the endurance of life and its ultimate possibilities.

(Includes “The Paladin of the Lost Hour,” my favorite short story ever.)

The House Next Door cover The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons

Novel

Colquitt and Walter Kennedy enjoyed a life of lazy weekends, gathering with the neighbors on their quiet, manicured street and sipping drinks on their patios. But when construction of a beautiful new home begins in the empty lot next door, their easy friendship and relaxed get-togethers are marred by strange accidents and inexplicable happenings.

How to Lie with Statistic cover How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff

Nonfiction

Darrell Huff runs the gamut of every popularly used type of statistic, probes such things as the sample study, the tabulation method, the interview technique, or the way the results are derived from the figures, and points up the countless number of dodges which are used to fool rather than to inform.

War for the Oaks cover War for the Oaks by Emma Bull

Novel

Eddi McCandry sings rock and roll. But she’s breaking up with her boyfriend, her band just broke up, and life could hardly be worse. Then, walking home through downtown Minneapolis on a dark night, she finds herself drafted into an invisible war between the faerie folk. Now, more than her own survival is at risk—and her own preferences, musical and personal, are very much beside the point. By turns tough and lyrical, fabulous and down-to-earth, War for the Oaks is a fantasy novel that’s as much about this world as about the other one.

A few of these are out-of-the-way nonfiction books that I’m not surprised have very few ratings. Others, like War for the Oaks, I’m really surprised haven’t gotten much Goodreads love.