Books I Recommended to Someone who Asked for a sad Read

The actual request was for a book that may make them cry.

Lone Survivor

Night

To Kill a Mockingbird

The Martian

All of the books have completely different storylines. Two are based in fact. Two are not. The common thing from all of them is that I believe there are lessons to be learned from each. Just like there’s a lesson to be learned from nearly every book ever published. The messaging may be off and the writing poor, but find a book in which you take nothing away from it and I’ll gladly hand you hundreds in which you’ll find something hidden beneath the printed words.

What was the last book that made you cry?

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Five Books I Recommended to a Non-Reader

This was my video topic for this week, but I decided that I’d better express myself through a written post.

I typically don’t recommend books. It doesn’t matter who is asking or why, but I’ve made exceptions to my rule over the last couple of years. The following is the most recent example.

Earlier this week a friend of mine told me he wanted to start reading in an effort to adopt more healthy habits. With all the things one can do with free time, I think reading would definitely qualify as a healthy habit. What did I do when he told me this? I took him to Half Price Books, of course! Not kidding.

The first thing I did when we reached the store was ask him what he enjoys reading. His response was anything that keeps his attention, he’s open to any topic. So I did the only thing I could do in that situation, I referred back to my own reading history. Kind of like your Google history in books. I came up with five books to tell him about.

Lone Survivor – Marcus Luttrell

No matter your position on war or the military, I’m well aware that nonfiction war books are not for everyone. But to say this book is only about war would be a disservice to Marcus Luttrell and every other man who died during the operation to save him and his fellow Navy SEALs. This book is about faith, family, survival, life and death, and yes, war. Most people living today will never know what it means to trust another person with your life and have them entrust you with theirs. The men described in this book are the best the United States has to offer, and their story is one to remember.

Unstoppable – Bill Nye

I’ve read a few hundred books during my lifetime, and this one (like I said here) is easily the best book I’ve read. It’s science. Another type of book that simply isn’t for everyone. But this book isn’t written for scientists. That would defeat the entire purpose. The book takes on climate change, one of those topics that people seem to want to give up on or kick down the road. But not Bill Nye, nope. The reason this book holds so much weight with me is because of the optimism. Bill Nye is part of the generation currently in power. It’s his generation that has moved technology further than ever before, but it’s this same generation that has gotten us to this point in the climate change debate. This isn’t about blame, it’s about what’s happened. The beauty of this book is that Bill Nye recognizes who will ultimately enact the necessary changes to really combat climate change and begin the the process of preserving our planet for generations to come. Millennials. That group of young adults who gets blamed for things completely out of their control. It’s that same group of young people who are more aware of current issues than just about any generation of people who have come before them. Some would say the issues aren’t as important as the ones previous generations have had to tackle, but to say this is to once again belittle the issues Millennials face today. Humans are imperfect, but we have the ability to preserve this beautiful world we have. I believe history will hold Millennials in particularly high regard when humans look back at who decided enough was enough and that the issue of climate change is not something to leave for others to deal with.

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Atticus Finch. I can go on and on about Atticus Finch. I’ll be short and simple. I recommended this book because even when everyone around you is guilty of buying into society’s backward and wrong beliefs, one person can stand up for what’s right and what’s true to the human spirit. That’s what I believe Atticus did in this book, and it’s an idea still relevant after nearly 60 years in print.

The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank

With social media today we’re able to get a glimpse into the lives of persecuted individuals. Anne Frank’s diary is more than just a glimpse. It’s her life. Now that I’m sitting here writing this I realize that her diary is her version of a blog or Facebook account. Through her words we know what a young girl and her family endured during humanity’s darkest hour. She gives us an idea of what it means to be unwanted, untouchable, and hated. She shows us that we always have the ability to be kind, even when facing the worst of circumstances. Another book that has never lost its relevance.

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

Society has expectations for just about everyone. It’s up to the individual person and the people they’re surrounded by to stick to what they’re supposed to be doing or to exceed every expectation imaginable. That’s what this book is about. And that’s why I recommended it. In this world the districts are expected to contribute to the welfare of the Capitol by maintaining the status quo and doing as previous generations have done. There’s really no avenue for any individuality. Katniss turns the whole thing upside down. She proved that no matter what society expects of you, you can use your voice to accomplish and change just about anything.

An honorable mention was Elie Wiesel’s Night.

I won’t tell you which book he ultimately decided to buy, but he did buy one.

So those are the books I recommended to an admitted non-reader. I took several minutes to describe the message I took away from each one. This wasn’t a planned thing and I did the whole thing in real time, but I think the books I mentioned shed light on the topics and issues important to me. Every one of these is a notch above their counterparts in my eyes.

Sorry for the LONG post! Have you ever had to suddenly recommend books and felt it was more important than a typical recommendation? What do you think of the books I came up with?

On Books on War

I’ve said on here multiple times that Lone Survivor is easily the best book I’ve ever read. At this point it’s actually the only war book I’ve read, although I’ve acquired several over the last few months. The thing is that I don’t expect any of them to read like a novel, which might be a turn off for some and obvious to others.

But these books are important. Not because of the cliche that if we don’t learn from history we’re bound to repeat it. As true as that statement might be, I can’t foresee a future on earth in which wars are not taking place. To me, it’s a part of the human condition. It’s an unfortunate truth.

But these books are important because they show us a side of what it means to be human that we just don’t get to see firsthand. Most people will only see pictures and reports of war. They’ll never be on the front lines with a rifle. But books on war put a face and a story to it. We see more than the news reports and the images and the aftereffects of war. We get a glimpse into the minds of the men and women who volunteer (mostly) to partake in the ugliest of human interaction. We get to learn about them, and about what happens to them between the time they first deploy to the time they return home.

To me, books on war are not for the oblivious or close-minded. They’re not written for those who go days, weeks, or months at a time without at least thinking of the men and women at war in the world and why they’re usually far from home. Books on war are important to people who may never experience it firsthand, but who truly appreciate and support those who do. Not because they have to or because there’s some feeling of guilt for what militaries have to do, but because supporting one’s military members is right. Even if they disagree with things they have to do.

Books on war are important to me because I know fellow Americans are putting their lives at risk every single day, and I think there’s a lot I can learn from them.

What’s your opinion on these books?

Deciding on a Staff Pick

Throughout the year those of us at Half Price Books review any book, movie, or CD we want to.

And this month I volunteered. But then I realized I needed something to review. At first I wanted to read something and then review it, but then I started thinking of books I’ve read recently. Then I thought of one book in particular. Lone Survivor. I’ve said on here that it’s easily the best book I’ve read and one of two books I’d recommend to anyone asking. So what better book to review for the company?

Sure it may not be a new release, but it’s one of those rare stories you read and simply don’t forget.

If you could review and recommend just one book like I have to, what would it be? I know I’ve asked about the best books you’ve read and about favorites, but this would be for people who enjoy reading. It wouldn’t be geared toward any other specific group. So, what would you review?

If you Could Only Recommend one Book…

What would it be? Think of a world in which you could only recommend a single book to others for the rest of your life. Then tell me what it is.

I’m not doing this because I’m looking for new books. I’m really wanting to see which ones are repeated. I can probably think of 50 that I’d expect to see here. But I know mine without having to think about it.

Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell.

There are so many things to be learned from this book, and it’s one of two I’ve read that I believe appeal to any person with a conscience. Recommended it today to a coworker, actually.

So tell me the one book you’d recommend to anyone regardless of their reading tastes or preferences.

If you Could | Book Tag

Hey look, after three videos during my first month on YouTube I’ve finally gotten started on my second month! I told y’all I’d meant to make a video a few weeks ago when I finished Lone Survivor, but I just wouldn’t have been able to speak if I’d done it then. And even with all my new book purchases recently I still haven’t finished a new book from the Amazon list. So it was really something of a blessing to be tagged to do this, even though I know absolutely nothing about any BookTube tags floating around. But I figured I might as well do it so I could get SOMETHING on my channel while I work my way through a few more books.

Now go ahead and watch so you can see me answer random question about books!

So what did you think of my answers?

PS: I know you haven’t made a video in a little while, but you’re the only other person I know who might do this. So I tagged you, JOSIE, to do this! It’s okay if you don’t have time or something.

On Lending Books

I’ve written pretty extensively on here about all things books. I know I’ve mentioned in numerous posts that I do NOT lend out books. At all. I believe I’ve let someone borrow one of my books just once. It was my senior year of high school and the book borrowed is still the fourth best book I’ve read according to my personal list. It now appears there will be a second time that I lend out a book.

A couple of days ago I wrote about Lone Survivor being the best book I’ve read. Well yesterday afternoon I did something I don’t normally do. I recommended a book to someone. *gasp* That’s right. And she’s not a big reader. But for whatever reason, I’m sitting there in the break room at work and decide that I need to recommend this book. I know why it happened (it’s the best book I’ve ever read), but I don’t know why it happened the way it did. We weren’t talking about books. As a matter of fact, she was telling me how horrible I look just a few minutes before. (Still sick) But when I told her about it she asked if she could borrow my copy so she wouldn’t have to buy it. Let me sum up my initial reaction for you. “MY copy?!” *insert crazy stare* I even said something about people damaging books.

BUT I ultimately let her talk me into lending her my book. I sound like such a guy, letting a girl talk me into something I don’t want to do. HA! Guys, that’s sarcasm there. Don’t get upset.

Tell me what your policy is on lending books. I’m normally 100 percent against it, but I guess exceptions are made when the person asking is a girl I’ve known a few years. Eh.


On this day in 2014 I published Am I a Book Blogger?.