Last summer we had a Ten On Tuesday topic for 10 books you wanted to read over the summer. That was fun but we had no way of knowing if any of those books were actually good reads. Therefore, with a little prodding from Ruth, this week’s topic is 10 Books You Would Recommend to a Friend.
Before I start my list, though, I want to tell you about why I usually like a book. I went to a library conference a few years ago and attended a lecture by Nancy Pearl. She is a well known reader’s advisory expert and she said that people read for 4 major things: character, language, story or setting. As she explained the concept behind this I quickly realized that I am someone who reads for the setting. I want descriptions. I want to feel like I’m actually in the book. If someone in the book I’m reading is in the desert I am going to feel thirsty. If someone in the book is cold, I’ll grab a blanket. Hungry, I’m going to want a snack. You get the idea, right? I also enjoy good character development, interesting language, and an intriguing plot but my overriding attraction to a book is going to be based on a great setting. I truly believe that the books that become blockbusters are the ones that include all 4 attractions because they will then have universal appeal. Okay, enough explaining, let’s get on with list.
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Pass the peanuts.
- The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. Sad but sweet and not at all what you’d expect from the title.
- The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Dale and Hannah and I have all read this and we all loved it.
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Has anyone not read this yet? If you haven’t then read it now before the movie comes out in August.
- The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Vampires. Need I say more?
- The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. A great Gothic novel with a shocking plot twist.
- The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. I probably wouldn’t recommend this to a man but it’s a wonderful story.
- Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. I swear I could hear and smell the fire in Smyrna.
- The Little Friend by Donna Tartt. Break out the sweet tea while you read this one.
- The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. I don’t care for Science Fiction at all but this is a fabulous books.
As a librarian, I recommend books to people every day. As an avid reader, I would highly recommend any one of these books to a friend.