Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Ten Books I Read Based on Recommendations

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Today's topic is all about recommendations: from other book bloggers, from podcasts, whatever we choose. I decided to highlight books I've read specifically because they were recommended by friends, family, or coworkers. As a librarian, I am constantly consuming reviews, trends, podcasts, and various media about books. But I've stopped falling for official reviews once I realized that literary merit has nothing to do with my enjoyment of a book. What means a lot more to me is when a person I know tells me that I'll love a book, or buys one for me because they think I will like it. Here are some of those!

1. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
Last winter I dropped in at a publisher's event at ALA Midwinter and there were galleys of this book everywhere! Even though I really like this author, I was skeptical of a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. But then one of my coworkers raved about it, and then one of my friends raved about it, so I was powerless to resist. They were right. This book is amazingly fun and wonderful!

2. The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
Despite being a local author, I hadn't heard of this book until a friend recommended it for our book group. I can't believe it's not more popular, but ever since I read it I've been doing my part to recommended it to anyone who will listen.

3. The Likeness by Tana French
My coworker Jenny loves Tana French and says this one is her favorite. It took me a couple of years of her telling me about Tana French before I finally picked this up, and it was everything she had promised.

4. Dreamland by Sam Quinones
I had heard of this book and am sorta interested in learning about the opiate crisis, but I'm pretty sure I would never have picked this book up had my friend Kevin not told me how infuriating it is.

5. Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban
My husband, who is not even much of a reader, recommended this book to me after coming across a copy at a used bookstore. (In fact, every time he mentions books or reading, I joke "But you don't know how to read!") When he does read, it's almost exclusively science fiction written in the 50s and 60s. This book, however, was first published in 1980 and it turns out to be one of the best dystopias I've ever read.

6. The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin
I hadn't even heard of this book until a friend bought it for me a few years ago for either my birthday or Christmas. It's one of the most original teen books I've read, both in story and format (it includes lots of art and photos) and it has really stuck with me.

7. Sunshine by Robin McKinley
This is what a vampire novel should be. I only wish I could remember who told me about it. I think it may have been a former coworker.

8. The Tea Rose series by Jennifer Donnelly
This is an odd one to include because I actually bought this series for my mother and several other people in my family ended up reading it. I can't remember how I heard about it but I wasn't planning to read it myself until my mother, niece, sister's boyfriend, my coworker Jenny, and the bookseller where I bought it all raved about it. I still haven't read the third one in the trilogy but I have definite plans to do so.

9. City of Thieves by David Benioff
Another book group pick that I wouldn't have heard about otherwise. I've been recommending this to everyone I know since I've read it.

10. The Wise Heart by Jack Kornfield
 I would not have ever picked up a book about Buddhist psychology, but my aunt recommended it. She doesn't strike me as the audience for a book on this topic (she has actually been Catholic all her life) so I suspected it might not be as woo-woo as I would assume, and we tend to read a lot of the same things, so I decided to try it. It is definitely the sort of book to go back and reread.

I don't think of myself reading a lot based on other people's recommendations, but that is clearly not the case. This list could have easily been 20 books long!

Do you read based on the recommendations of other people? What's the best book that you read because someone you know suggested it to you?

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

I read "The Kind Worth Killing" on a recommendation too -- I totally forgot about that when making my list. And I added "City of Thieves" to my to-read list after seeing it on your blog! ;)