For my first Top Five Friday, I decided to do books I wish would get more readers. I'm always so happy when my recommendation encourages someone else to pick up a book I loved.
1 (and 1.5!): Dominance by Will Lavender, Obedience by Will Lavender
So yes, I'm sort of cheating by squeezing two books into my first selection, but they are both by the same author, and it seems like almost no one else has read these brilliant novels. They've got incredible mysteries, tons of twists, and entire novels created within these two novels that hold clues the characters and readers use to solve disappearances and murders. I cannot recommend these enough. I'm hopeful if more people pick them up, maybe his third book will finally come out.
2. Visiting Hours: A Memoir of Friendship and Murder by Amy Butcher
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this at a recent ALA convention, and I could not be happier that I did. I'm honestly not sure I would have known about this book otherwise. When the author was in college, a friend of hers committed a murder, killing someone they both knew and had been close to. Visiting Hours explores friendship, growing up, mental illness, and how well we can ever really know someone else.
3. Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
In the interest of full disclosure, this book was written by a friend of my mom's. But in total honesty, I would recommend this book wholeheartedly regardless. The protagonist is an incredibly nuanced and emotionally resonant character who is male-assigned, but emerging as her true self, a girl, trying to find herself during the already-complicated junior high years.
4. My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind by Scott Stossel
As someone with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, I just really appreciate this book. It's well-written, insightful, comforting, and informational. It's a book that I think is really helpful and powerful for people who have any form of anxiety, and people who know and love people with anxiety.
5. Quirkyalone by Sasha Cagen
The subheading describes the book as a manifesto for uncompromising romantics, but that is not why I love this book. I love this book because it celebrates those of us who love and value our time alone, who are not only fine but happy being single, who take happiness from our relationships with family and friends, and who take happiness from just being ourselves. This book made me feel more understood, and validated.