18 Great Books You Probably Haven’t Read


Good morning Hank, it’s Tuesday. So this week, my book The Fault in Our Stars
is at number one on USA Today and New York Times best seller list, which is bananas,
and it’s made me think about all the books I’ve loved that aren’t best sellers. So Hank
today I want to introduce you to 18 books I’ve loved that you haven’t read and probably
very few people watching this video have read. And then Nerdfighters, in comments, if you
could leave names of books that you love that I probably haven’t read, I’ll read 18 of them
and review them in a future video. Okay, let’s get to it! Okay, let’s start with sports! This Bloody
Mary is the Last Thing I Own by Jonathan Rendall. Best book title ever! Also my favorite boxing
book ever. Speaking of unusual areas of my expertise,
One of Us by Alice Domurat Dreger, which is by far the best non-fiction book ever written
about conjoined twins. It’s also just an amazing book about disability and unusual anatomies
and how people in power tend to essentialize and marginalize the other. Okay, couple of funny books: Round Ireland
with a Fridge by Tony Hawks, not Tony Hawk. It’s about a guy who hitchhikes around the
circumference of Ireland with a refrigerator; it is one of the funniest things I’ve ever
read. Also excellent, Tony Hawks’ follow-up book, Playing the Moldovans at Tennis, in
which he plays tennis with every member of the Moldovan National Soccer team. The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green by,
yes, that is Zach Braff’s brother, Joshua. Great coming-of-age novel, worth the price
of admission just for Jacob Green’s Bar Mitzvah thank-you notes. Now you may have read MT Anderson’s The Astonishing
Life of Octavian Nothing, one of the best novels of the past decade, but you probably
haven’t read MT Anderson’s surprisingly brilliant vampire novel, Thirsty. And speaking of great YA novels, Cecil Castellucci’s
book, Boy Proof came out in 2005, and the haunting and beautiful story of this outcast
girl named Egg, has stuck with me ever since. Also E Lockhart’s Fly on the Wall, a brilliant
feminist reworking of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, ugh, it’s so hard to say metamorphosis, [to
himself]: they’re gonna know about your lisp now; they already know about your lisp now,
no, just…moving on! Tayari Jones is most famous for her book Leaving
Atlanta, which is great, but this book, The Untelling, captures the precariousness of
working-class life just beautifully. Speaking of beautiful, The Golden Rule by
my mentor, Ilene Cooper. If you have a child you may have noticed that they don’t, like,
inherently excel at empathy. This book has been huge for us in talking to Henry about
imagining how other people are feeling. One more picture book: Show Way by Jacque
Woodson, one of my all-time favorite picture books and also one of Henry’s favorites. E.E. Cummings’ first book, The Enormous Room.
I don’t know why this isn’t famous. It’s Cummings’ memoir of being imprisoned and falsely accused
of treason during WWI, it’s also a brilliant examination of, like, the relationship between
the individual and the collective. Hugely influential book: Susan Sontag’s Regarding
the Pain of Others which made me think a lot about the difference between representing
and exploiting pain in art. Also in an image saturated age, this is absolutely required
reading about the unreliability of the image. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
may be the most important novel about American religion. Why doesn’t every American high
school student have to read this? I don’t know. A book I’m almost sure you haven’t read, This
Blinding Absence of Light by Tahar Ben Jelloun, I’m probably saying his name wrong, I apologize.
It’s that, that, that name! This book fictionalizes the story of real political prisoners who
lived for decades in complete darkness in 6′ x 3′ rooms. It’s a little intense but it’s
really, really good. Speaking of which, Kendra by Coe Booth. Her
first book Tyrell is more famous, I like this one just as much. The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty. Out
of fashion these days, but I think the best book by one of the best 20th century writers. Speaking of the South, Will You Miss Me When
I’m Gone: The Carter Family and their Legacy in American Music. This book inspired an early
VlogBrothers video, link in the dooblydoo, but it’s also just excellent! And finally The Last Summer of Reason, a novel
about a bookstore owner who lives in a country overtaken by extremists who believe that art
is evil. So there you have it, 18 books I loved that
aren’t bestsellers but should be; I look forward to your suggestions, Nerdfighters – I will
see you in comments. Hank – I’ll see you on Friday.

100 thoughts on “18 Great Books You Probably Haven’t Read

  1. Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

    (I am also currently reading The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater and it’s good so far but I’m not through with it yet)

  2. The French Connection (1969) by Robin Moore
    The Blue Max (1964) by Jack D. Hunter.

  3. Isn't the process of self discovery, that leads to the acquisition of pro-empathatic traits, inherent?

  4. I would share a book suggestion, but I don't feel you'd do it anything close to justice with a two second sound byte. Sorry. Maybe try a different format? Shame. I really wanted to share this, too.

  5. Not gonna lie, this is a bad way to pitch these stories. Seems kind of disrespectful to give so many titles so little time. You should have done proper reviews. This is just annoying to watch, and does not make me want to read any of these. Format and content should compliment each other. This is just you doing a Micro Machines commercial with books. Uhg. No thanks. Sincerely disliked.

  6. I wish more people would adapt this pace when going through a list of books.
    It drives me nuts when people take five minutes per book. I usually start to forward to the next book mentioned.

  7. The average person speaks at somewhere between 125 and 150 words per minute. Yeah, but am talking about average people.. not John Green!

  8. I really liked Travis McBee's book named bridgeworld it's very good. His Triton trilogy are also very good

  9. I have no idea if it's well known or not but I love the Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

  10. I've read Death Comes for the Archbishop. It was part of the materials for Academic Decathlon 2003-2004. But I assume that's how you know it.

  11. Still Life with Crows!
    By Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

  12. Please slow down a little. Your speed takes away from your content. Just saying….

  13. I loooove The Mists of Avalon. I happened upon it when I first stumbled on paganism and while I understand it is wholly fictional and the author took liberties with it, the book still resonates with me.

    I also really like Jane Eyre but that one’s pretty well known.

  14. So writing a book. Did you self publish? If you did how long did it take to do it? I know there are many factors that go into it but im just interested.

  15. 1) ease off the meth just a bit.
    2) a feminist re-spin of the Metamorphosis by Kafka ? Clearly the meth has damaged him beyond repair.

  16. Mr G – A Novel About Creation (Lightman)
    The Liar's Gospel (Alderman)

  17. I read all the time, and I never got what I wanted. I cried so much as a kid that I had to put Harry Potter away.

  18. My book is underrated ♥️ College debt is serious business and everyone needs to read my book.

  19. amazing video! I would request you to check out our services of Textbook
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  20. Did I just realize Rn that THE John from crash course history is the author of the fault in our stars……? Yes yes I did 😂🤦‍♀️

  21. This is super old on Internet term, but read "The Rug Merchant" from Meg Mullins. Amazing.

  22. It seems like I’m one of the few who DOESN’T think he’s speaking too fast.

  23. Can you please suggest something humorous, but not stupid humorous if possible, something on reality but not romance, perhaps about corporate life, life in general?

  24. English is my third language and it is also considered as our country's official language 🇵🇭 but I'm not good at speaking it. What's good is I'm good at writing and listening to it even though he seem to rap lmao. Agust D is shaking.

  25. For the last four years I have been reading Marcel Proust's "Remembrance of Things Past." , the entire series of novels. It will never become popular because it requires a high level of reading proficiency. But if you endeavor to read this hallowed tome you will find it immensely rewarding.

  26. I love LOOKING FOR ALASKA, by John Green, is my favorite book.

  27. NY Times…..USA Today….as arbiters of books…literatura de consumo…..what is literature?

  28. Not sure if it's your style, but for fantasy series, The Crown of Stars Series by Kate Elliott is really good.

  29. John green
    Talk a less faster!!!!!!!!!!!!

    BEST BOOK EVER IS
    The Shadow line by Amitav Ghosh

  30. Quem aqui já leu matéria escura? Mano que livro top. Melhor ainda é escrever em português pra ninguém entender. Quem quiser aí me doar o tartarugas até lá embaixo tô aceitando.

  31. Mano comecei o cursinho de inglês agora alguém manda ele falar mais devagar?

  32. A Goat’s Song by Dermot Healy. A magnificent Irish novel.

  33. Boy ….. it’s the hank and green brooooooos …. from crash course

  34. Pleasantly surprised to see Thirsty, thought that had been a feverish nightmare

  35. Well done. You set the hook with at least two. Do more please, maybe try your favs in specific genres.

  36. btw, you can slow his speech is you click on the cogwheel button. Then click on playback speed, and decide how much faster/slower you want to watch this at.

  37. The Killer Angels is amazing. It's about the battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil war

  38. Italianità: The Essence of Being Italian and Italian-American — https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1911121561/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

  39. I think that not enough people have read "An ember in the ashes" by Sabaa Tahir. It is amaziiing

  40. the fact that he recommended 18 books and gave an intro to them in under 4 minutes. all the other booktubers can't relate this could have been 20 minutes

  41. idk but id recommend ryu murakami (not haruki murakami the bestseller boy, ryu) ryu writes some kind of punk-psychothriller i dont even know what genre this is booms who are just an insane mixture out of madness, even more madness (and you always think he cant beat his own madness, he can tho) and dark humor

  42. I would stay with the classics! How about War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy? I am doing it right now! Most certainly a long but worthy novel!!

  43. So Much to Tell You
    Letters From the Inside- both by John Marsden. I read them when I was a teenager and loved them, could never understand why people didn’t talk about them.

  44. The Circle of Ceridwen. I haven't been so engrossed in a novel in years–I loved the characters, the story, and the historical details. It's the first book of a series but stands on its own.

  45. This clip reminds me of the old zefrank videos except zefrank was hilarious.

  46. this is lovely and I’ve found so many good books through this video but to me the title reads like a 1st year film/writing major who wears too many scarves and only refers to movies as films has just (passive aggressively) offered me book suggestions

  47. I recommend you "Navidad y Matanza" is an amazing book like if the Paul Auster's NY trilogy and the Roberto Bolaño's "Wild Detectives" had a child.
    https://www.amazon.es/Navidad-Matanza-Carlos-Labbe/dp/1934824925

  48. props for saying Ireland like a normal person not the americanisation of it 🙂

  49. Oh God. I am studying English and I am pretty good at it but man John talks really fast and I need to concentrate quite a bit to keep up with him.

  50. John, shame on you. Why don't you do a book review channel. Everyone of those books needed more coverage. How hard would it be to review those books.

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