Confession: I am terrible about taking advice from others, especially in the realm of books. I am really, really picky and over the years I’ve learned that people don’t get my taste. Or so I assume. There is now a very, very short list of people I think truly know what I will like.
But I am a terrible hypocrite because I am constantly recommending books to others!
It is definitely a sense of accomplishment when you can suggest a book (or film) and then hear back how much the reader loved it. Plus, I think you get bonus points if you convince someone who thinks they don’t like to read by picking the perfect book for them.
Some of my go-to “entrance” books…
The Flavia de Luce mysteries
The first novel was recommended to me and I am ashamed to say that it took my several years to actually read it (reference fears above). But once I started, I read all of them in a couple of months. They are smart, classic mysteries but the compelling reason to return is the narrator, Flavia de Luce. She is part Anne Shirley, part Sherlock, part mad scientist. And she is blazingly funny.
The Sherlock stories
Sometimes it’s good to revisit something you think you know. Sherlock has been part of our culture since he appeared in 1887, and he’s enjoyed a serious revival lately. It’s easy to assume you know the original. But when I go back and actually read them, I’m constantly surprised by how modern they sound. The style is clean and simple, and in direct contrast to what one assumes will be flowery, Victorian prose. The stories hold up and the adventures are still great fun.
The Winter People
This book is so amazingly creepy and manages to keep its scary subtle. It marries the old New England, Puritan brand of superstition with the modern era. Past and present meet and it’s terrifying. I’ve only met a handful of people who have read it so if they show any interest in smart ghost stories, I always push it on them.
My recommendation for it even ended up on the radio – listen at about 1:25.
But, I am trying to do better! In the comments, recommend something for me to read and I promise I will try.