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.

Stick With it

During the course of my time on WordPress I’ve discovered that my opinions about many things are often in the minority. Let me just list off a few things that I’m talking about.

I could probably go on and on, but the point that I’m making is that at least I’m honest. It’d be easy for me to just say and do what everyone else does, but why should I? And why does my opinion matter so much? I’m asking because just yesterday I discovered multiple bloggers write posts specifically to talk about my post on book hangovers. They weren’t happy about what I had to say. I didn’t read either of them, but I noticed that they basically went line by line down my post to dispute or disagree with something I said. That’s fine. Go, them. But it really got me thinking about why my opinion is such a big deal, because it shouldn’t be. Imagine going into a grocery store and asking for a stranger’s opinion on something and then immediately disputing what they had to say. It sounds ridiculous.

My opinion is my opinion. Sure I’m more direct than most bloggers on WordPress, but so what? If you don’t like what I have to say, then don’t comment or Like or unfollow if you must (I think someone did yesterday). But don’t sit there and act like I’m attacking you personally. Think of ALL the worse things I could do, but I’m blogging about books.

The point of this is to say that my opinions are my own and yours are yours. I can guarantee that you won’t be changing mine, no matter what you say. And I don’t set out to change yours. We’re strangers over a blogging platform, or did you forget?


On this day in 2014 I published Reading Multiple Books at Once.

 

Suggested Reads for Spring Break

For some people down here it’s already Spring Break. Which is funny because it’s rained the last 72 hours. Anyway, I thought I’d compile a list of books for you all to read even though most of you are well past the age of being out of school this week. Might as well get to the list since I’m already a day late.

Just kidding.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, then you know that I don’t recommend books. Ever. I could refer you to this post from last week. Or I could refer you to this one from last year. No matter what’s going on, I won’t be suggesting any books. BUT this is one of those rare times during the year that I’ll make an exception to my rule of not taking any suggestions. Although I have no idea what would qualify as a good book to read for Spring Break. I’m sure some of y’all know. Maybe.

So, which books should I be reading this week?


On this day in 2014 I published Spring Break for the Book Lover.

 

I Won’t Recommend Books…But I Know who Will!

penguin_hotline_banner

Photo Credit: Penguin

First off, thanks to everyone who voted in my first ever poll yesterday. I’m going to write a companion post once the poll is no longer visible next week to discuss the results. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then click here to read the post and get your vote in before it’s all gone!

Okay. So y’all know that I don’t recommend books. Ever. Even when I’m asked by someone who knows that I still hesitate to do so. Well it turns out that there are some people who are eager to recommend some books for the reader in your family. Even though I’d just say get an Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card, but that’s just me.

The wonderful folks over at Penguin have set up the Penguin Hotline this holiday season to help you get that special someone the perfect book. Now there’s no doubt in my mind that they will be recommending books they’ve published, so obviously they aren’t recommending the “perfect” book to anyone. More like the “perfect book we published.” But Penguin Random House is huge and I’m sure they’ll really try finding the best matches for every person.

And it’s super easy. All you have to do is fill out a simple form about the person’s reading habits and you’ll receive an email within a couple of days with some recommendations. Simple.

So if someone in your family or circle of friends is big on reading and you’re not going to take my advice by getting them an Amazon gift card, then maybe the Penguin Hotline is for you.

Click here to visit the website and get your form filled out.