Thursday, January 5, 2012

Recommended Reading

A couple months ago a woman asked for reading suggestions. "I love to read," she said, "especially classics." Immediately I asked if she had read "Prodigal Summer," by Barbara Kingsolver.

"I can't stand Barbara Kingsolver," she said.

I was momentarily flummoxed. She loves to read, I thought, but she doesn't love what I love. If she couldn't stand one of my favorite authors, then I feared she would hate anything I recommended. I asked more questions, like what has she read more recently that she enjoyed, and who were some of her favorite authors. I eventually connected her with some titles and authors that, hopefully, she would appreciate.

The other day I received the biggest complement from a friend: she told me she reads books that I suggest on this blog almost exclusively. From the "Hunger Games" trilogy and "Divergent" to "Cutting for Stone" and "Rules of Civility" she's taken my suggestions and, often, has passed the books onto others.

For me, it's always slightly scary recommending a book. What if they don't like it? What if they judge me for liking it? But it's so rewarding when they like it as much as I do.

At the end of December I highlighted some of my favorites from 2011 for the library blog. I think I mentioned most of books here, but feel free to check them out.

1 comment:

george rede said...

It IS awkward, isn't it, when you recommend something and the person doesn't like it. Equally awkward, if not more so, is when someone recommends a book to me and I'm lukewarm about it.

Lately, I've become such a fan of Daniel Woodrell and his country noir style but it seems I'm in a pretty small club out here.