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?

Why My Stance on Recommending Books Has Shifted Dramatically 

Any longtime reader of this blog knows one thing has remained constant throughout my years on WordPress. My stance on recommending books. For those who may not know, I’ve always said I’d never recommend books because I really have no idea what another person will enjoy. I still believe that to be true. But any time someone asks me to recommend a book going forward, I always will. Why? I’ll tell you.

I’m 25. I don’t claim to have a pot of knowledge unavailable to others. Heck, I don’t even claim to have answers to some of the most pressing questions we face. But I know the lessons I’ve learned from books. I know firsthand the power the written word can possess. I still haven’t answered my own question.

I’m most often asked to recommend books in a general category. A book that’s sad. A book that’ll cause a laugh. A book with a strong message. Those sorts of requests. I feel like I’m able to meet those requests much more than trying to guess what someone will like.

For instance, if someone asked me to recommend a book with a strong message I could come up with dozens. Different messages. Different authors. Different topics. I’m not telling anyone what they should or shouldn’t believe in. I’m telling them what I was able to take from an individual story.

What’s changed isn’t the ability to learn from books. What’s changed is my increased desire to spread messages of positivity, inclusion, and the consequences of decisions made by generations before us.

I told someone new into my life recently that I want to help as many people as I can during my brief time on earth. And I believe books are my greatest asset in achieving that constant, lifelong goal. If I can open just one person’s eyes to an event or topic, then I’m content to do so.

The Power of Social Media

So there’s this site called Twitter, right? You may have heard of it. Well Bill Gates recommended a book during a thread he posted to the site. Today the book was the top selling title on Amazon. Welp.

I won’t even tell you which book it is. Just go look for yourself. 

On Reading Recommendations…Again

Any regular reader of mine knows my position on recommending books. I don’t do it. For a number of reasons. But I work in a bookstore. You wouldn’t believe how many people make the trip without knowing what they’re looking for.

I’ve recommended some of my favorite series. I’ve recommended authors I’m only slightly familiar with. And I’ve recommended books I’ve never read before. It’s a little funny when I think about it. But I’ve done it. And now I’ve realized that I embrace the opportunity to directly influence the reading of another person. It’s always interesting to have someone tell you what they like and be able to at least give them a recommendation. They may hate it. They may not buy the book. Or they may end up loving it and returning to your store for more.

I’ll still never recommend books on here. But whenever someone asks for a recommendation at my store, well I may jump at the chance.

The Penguin Hotline is Back

Remember how last year Penguin started their hotline during the holiday season? Well they’re back at it again this year.

I don’t remember what I said last year, but y’all know I don’t like the idea of someone telling me what to read. And I hate that these so-called experts think they know what other people should and need to be reading. It’s a little ridiculous.

“Oh, you like this young adult series? Well you’ll like this one too. I just know it.” Ugh. Oh well.

You can find the hotline here.

Authors Recommending Books

I know y’all know by now that I hate those ridiculous book lists that are always so easy to find on the internet. For summer. For fall. For men. For writers. They’re everywhere.

Well I’m not pulling any punches. I also hate when authors do it. Like why does it seem like every prominent author releases their “books for___” at some point during each year? Am I the only one who doesn’t think they’re even reading what they recommend? Cause it just so happens that the books are ALWAYS new releases. How interesting.

Are you interested when authors recommend a list of books for whatever reason? I’m not. Ever. Let me find my books on my own.

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.