Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Navigating the Sea of Books

by Stephanie Black

I enjoy getting book recommendations. It’s good to have some direction, as opposed to aimlessly sailing in a sea of books, not having any idea what to choose, which books I might like, or which books I'd rather avoid due to icky content. If I don’t know what to choose, it’s easy to just stick with familiar authors rather than branching out, and while familiar authors are fun, branching out can add some great variety (wow, awesome mixed metaphor. Seas and trees). When someone recommends a book to me, and especially if more than one person buzzes about that book, that’s a good clue that I might want to give it a try. That’s how I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. My sister suggested it, and I loved it. How likely would I have been to pick up the book otherwise? Not very. Don’t you love it when you give a book a try and it ends up being awesome? Yesterday I was at lunch with some ladies from my ward and they were buzzing about a book called The Help. You bet I want to read that one now.

When you get excited about a book, it’s fun to share it with others. My second daughter, who is an avid reader, read To Say Nothing of the Dog on my recommendation, adored it, and is now a Connie Willis fan. I love it when that happens. And I love that she read Willis’s new book, Blackout, before I did. I’d pre-ordered it from Amazon, but when it got here, I was already busy with other reading, so she read it first. I’m grateful for this, because that way, she’s the one who got smacked with the shock of a cliffhanger ending. Now that I’m forewarned, thanks to her reading the book first—way to take one for the team, Shauna—I’ll be prepared when I read it. I can handle cliffhangers much better if I know they’re coming, because then I don’t expect the book to wrap up and that lack of closure doesn't come as a "Whaaaat??? You're kidding me!" Volume 2 comes out in August. So now I have the option of just waiting until August before I read this one. But I don’t think I’ll make it that long. Connie Willis is amazing.

Reading Whitney books has been a fun expanding of horizons. It's like getting thirty recommendations for books to read, some of which I probably never would have opened on my own. I've read 20 1/2 of them now, and they've all been worthwhile reads. It's fun to try new books, and even a new genre--I can't recall if I've ever read a western before I read Liz Adair’s Counting the Cost. (Was it a western? I don't know exactly how that genre is defined, and Liz's book is in the romance category, but it was about a cowboy, so is that a western? Somebody help me out here). Anyway, Liz really made the setting come alive, and it was fun to learn more about the life of a cowboy in the context of an interesting, thought-provoking story. I’ve only finished reading in one category (General). Currently reading: Fablehaven IV. Next on the list: My Fair Godmother.

You know, I'm really grateful for books. I can't imagine life without books.

What book recommendations have you received recently that led you to discover a worthwhile book that you might not otherwise have read?


7 Comments:

At 3/10/2010 2:17 PM, Blogger Melanie Goldmund said...

I also read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society because of recommendations, and it was excellent. And I've heard good things about The Help, too, but I haven't had a chance to get my hands on that yet.

Let's see about other recommendations that I ended up enjoying ... the Samaria books by Sharon Shinn, anything by Connie Willis, Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Servant of a Dark God by John Brown, oh, there are so many!

 
At 3/10/2010 4:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spending a lot of time in the children's section of the library while my four-year-old attends story time has given me the opportunity to read a book I would never have thought to pick up. It's called "The Blue Shoe" by Roderick Townley.

I love this author's style of writing. This book I would categorize as the level of Harry Potter, etc. It is a very fast read (always a plus) and a lot of fun.!

 
At 3/10/2010 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spending a lot of time in the children's section of the library while my four-year-old attends story time has given me the opportunity to read a book I would never have thought to pick up. It's called "The Blue Shoe" by Roderick Townley.

I love this author's style of writing. This book I would categorize as the level of Harry Potter, etc. It is a very fast read (always a plus) and a lot of fun!

 
At 3/10/2010 6:27 PM, Blogger L.T. Elliot said...

Someone recommended me to The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley and after cracking open that book, I remember what it was like to fall in love with your genre. I've been reading outside of my genre for about a year now and falling back in love...it was just...surreal.

 
At 3/10/2010 11:45 PM, Anonymous reed russell said...

I recently finished The Shack strictly because of word-of-mouth recommendation. I'm curious if anyone else has read it. Without giving anything away, it's the conversations between a distraught father, who has lost his young daughter to a horrible murder, and the members of the godhood/trinity. (Not an LDS book.)

Jana Riess has written about it here - and has even published a study guide.

http://janariess.typepad.com/reviews/2009/05/what-does-the-shack-teach-us-about-god.html

 
At 3/11/2010 8:54 AM, Blogger marry said...

Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!
_____________________________

MSC Dissertation

 
At 3/11/2010 11:39 AM, Blogger Taffy said...

You're so lucky to get to read so many books!
I can't stop reading 'Speaker For the Dead'.
I just picked up 'Charles and Emma'. It's about the Darwin's. Should be interesting, Emma is very religious and helped balance her husband :)

 

Post a Comment

<< Home