I like to think that I'm a diverse reader, but, after looking through my shelves and Goodreads lists, I realized I do read a variety however many of them are well-known books. There are millions upon millions of pieces of literature out there and it saddens me how much I will never be able to read it all, but it's always the best feeling in the world when you find a diamond in the rough. And, more times than not, these diamonds surprise me because they're usually books I have never heard about before, out of my genre preference, or were originally required for me to read.

I'm no expert, but I know a good book when I read one. Each of these books has impacted me in some way that they have remained memorable whether it changed my perspective or taught me something new or shared a creative, unique story that easily stood out.

Personally, I love receiving new book recommendations, but they can quickly start to overlap with the same old 'mainstream' options that everyone has been talking about or that are well-reviewed. Thankfully there has been a lot more focus in the book community on reading diversely by featuring different authors, genres or even the stories themselves.

From reflecting on my "reading-past" and reevaluating what books I gravitate toward, I am making a promise to myself to start reading out of my comfort zone and out of the constant 'mainstream' books that dominate shelves. There is a lot more out there to read with a lot more to offer in return.

Hopefully, this inspires you to switch up your reading adventures. It's so easy to get stuck in the quicksand of what's new and what's being promoted the most. Yes, no doubt those books are incredible as well, but there are so many hidden treasures waiting to be discovered and that deserve the time of day to be read and to be admired and to be talked about and to be shared.

Here's a short list of the diamonds in the rough I have discovered to get you started:

(I have linked each book to its Goodreads page for their summaries.)

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (The Wayward Children Series)

True Letters from a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

Boys Without Names by Kashmira Sheth

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, & Brodi Ashton (The Lady Janies Series)

Defending Jacob by William Landay

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl by Esther Earl, Lori Earl, & Wayne Earl

Not only are some of these books some of my all time favorites, but they all were books I had to do some digging to find out about. None of these were widely talked about like most "popular" and well-reviewed books are. I hope you can enjoy these hidden treasures, share them with someone else, and keep finding something unique to read! Happy reading!