Please, I’m Begging You: An Unabashed Request for Book Recommendations

Hopefully if you’re reading my blog, it means you like books. Which is great. I like books, too.

But what I don’t like is having to pick out my next book to read when unaided by, say, a University book list or the New York Times bestseller list because I’m really rather bad at it (see the Moriarty disaster from earlier this year as proof). I’ve spent so long reading books I’ve been told to read — and then sneaking not-so-great (but fun) YA lit on the side — that I think I’ve lost a certain amount of confidence in my own taste. That, and I get horribly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of books I should probably read in the course of my lifetime.

So please, I beg of you: give me your book recommendations. Because so long as that awful trilogy remains at number one, I will try to plow through as many suggested reads as I can.

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24 thoughts on “Please, I’m Begging You: An Unabashed Request for Book Recommendations

  1. Pingback: 50 Shades of Real Literature: The Man-Booker Project « Tea Leaves and Dog Ears

  2. Alright, here’s a list of the best I’ve read so far this year:

    YA: The Mortal Instrument series. I just finished the second one and I am seriously impressed. Young adult without being a real “paranormal romance” (since that section doesn’t exist in my mind.)
    Fantasy: The Magicians/The Magician King, Lev Grossman. Amazing.
    The Night Circus, The House on Mango Street, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Never Let Me Go, The Shining, Veronika Decides to Die, and my favorite Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions.

    🙂

  3. Mystery: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    Heavier reads: Blindness by Jose Saramago, Memoirs Of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Sisters Mortland by Sally Beauman
    Fantasy: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

  4. Wow…where to start? It depends on what you like, I guess. Let me recommend books from varied genres so you’ll have lots to choose from. Btw..this is just going with books I’ve read recently, just off the top of my head, really:

    Historical Fiction – Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel (Booker Prize winner in 2009)
    Historical fiction / love story – The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet – David Mitchell (I highly recommend this book!)
    Fantasy – A Song of Ice and Fire series (Game of Thrones) – George R.R. Martin

    Bolano’s 2666 is also excellent, though very long…..

    • I’m wondering if 2666 is the best introduction to Bolaño. It was for me, but I suspect that Amulet or The Savage Detectives might be better since they have more traditional plot structures (with a Bolaño twist, that is). Have you read any of his other books?

      At any rate, glad to find another fan of Bolaño, or at least 2666.

      • I haven’t read any of his other works, but I want to read The Savage Detectives. Amulet might not be a good intro to Bolano…it’s much, much shorter, true, but from what I know about it (I haven’t read it yet), I think it uses stream of consciousness, which could be a turn off for some people.

        The good thing about 2666 is that though it’s not a “traditional” type of novel, the writing style is straightforward, and easy to follow. And, for a huge book, it really is a very addicting read.

    • Awesome — thanks for this. I’ve read the full Song of Ice and fire series already (took me about half a year, but I did it). I’ll spare you the usual, “I hope I’m not retired by the time The Winds of Winter comes out” jokes. But seriously.

      • I know what you mean….lol. It also took me about a year to get through the series. Some of the books I read really fast, some I read very slowly….

        What I really want to read these days is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, which is also a fantasy.

        Well, I hope you find some good books to read soon. I hate the feeling of not knowing what to read next.

      • As far as Joyce, it’s best to read his major works in chronological order. That worked out for me, anyway. Faulkner’s best books are probably Absalom, Absalom!, The Sound and the Fury, and Go Down, Moses, but if you want a shorter and easier read The Unvanquished is excellent, too. For Bolaño you would probably do best to start with The Savage Detectives or 2666, but Amulet is excellent and much shorter too, so it’s whatever.

        Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is great, but my favorite Hunter Thompson book is The Rum Diary. Vonnegut’s best are Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions. I actually haven’t read Bradbury in ages but Fahrenheit 451 is one of my favorite books of all time. You could probably recommend some of his stuff to me.

        Yeah, I read a lot.

  5. I recently read and loved the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfield. Light and fluffy, but quite fun. The Book Thief is also fabulous, but much more emotionally intense.

  6. God. I just have far too many. I need more focus. What are your three favourite books (if you can choose) and then recommendations can be tailored! Tailored service…now that can never be a bad thing!

    • Oof, that’s tough. I have a hard time picking favorites because I either skew pretentious or immature. So I’ll try to find a happy medium to embarrass myself to the fullest extent. Let’s go… In Cold Blood, Little Women and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

      What I really want is the kind of book I can’t put down, but I’m a sucker for big family narratives and anything to do with over-imaginative childhoods aimed at kids or adults.

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