A friend recently said to me “I am looking for a book to read, any suggestions?”
My initial reaction: my mind goes blank, I can’t seem to remember any actual book titles I’ve read and I break out into a cold sweat. (Ok, not really.)
Here is the thing, books are so subjective. Just because I think a book is awesome, does not guarantee that you are going to love it. Or even like it for that matter.
I am assuming if you are reading this you are a book nerd too, and you come up against this question lots of times. I don’t think I am the only one who struggles with this. Maybe struggles is a strong word, but you get what I mean. I feel like when I make a book suggestion my book nerd cred is on the line.
Obviously, the fist question is what other books do you like? I mean, there are a vast number of books, genres, topics….just because I loved the Night Circus, doesn’t mean that you will. And just because you loved The Goldfinch doesn’t mean I am going to lose your phone number and never speak to you again.
I am sure we all have books in our ‘always recommend’ list that we can pull out at any time. The thing is, if your favourite book is The Biography of Rutherford B. Hayes, I am probably not going to suggest that you read 50 Shades of Grey. I mean, who knows, I don’t know anything about Rutherford Hayes and who knows if there is a common thread between the two…but I digress…
My husband would argue that a good story is a good story no matter what the subject. I don’t disagree. However, when I do tell people that The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power by Robert Caro is an awesome book, I usually get a deer in the headlight look. So I might not go out first with that recommendation. (Trust me, it is an awesome book! I know, I was surprised too!)
Maybe the answer is that I need to lower my expectations of myself by being the book whisperer. So I am just going to go on to Goodreads and sort by my highest rated books and pick a few of my faves….
Here is what I have for you:
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
- Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
There you go! My official book-nerd picks (at least for today).
Let me know if you have any other books that you have on your always recommend list, I would love to hear about them.