I love lending books to people. It makes me very excited to share books I enjoyed with other people and even more excited to pick out a specific book I think they’ll like. One of my friends has been borrowing books from my personal library very frequently lately and we’ve gotten to a point where she only asks for ‘a new book’. She has no idea how AMAZING this is for me! I pick out books and she reads them without question!
I really love the book-recommendation function of the book blogging community, but I’ve realised that I myself hardly ever write posts that do that. To change that, here is a short selection of the books from my library that I often recommend to people ‘in real life’.
These are all books I own, and in their corresponding editions. The hyperlinks take you to their Goodreads pages, in case you want to know more about the book.
I recommend A Man Called Ove to anyone who is feeling a bit disappointed by life. Finding Colin Firth for anyone who wants to dream away through a romance novel with some substance. If you’re in need of a laugh The Hundred-Year-Old Man is for you. Broken Soup when you need a brave young girl to inspire you.
Young Adult Fiction
The Perks of Being a Wallflower for anyone who’s struggling to find their place in the world (who isn’t?). The Inexplicable Logic of My Life deals with loss, love and grief in the most compassionate way. Leah On The Offbeat offers some steamy romance and a lot of putting-into-excellent-words of complicated feelings. It is the sequel to Simon VS, though, so perhaps you should read that first to avoid any spoilers. Then there is The Secret Life of Bees for anyone who wants to run away from home to learn more about themselves.
The Bastard of Istanbul is full of Elif Shafak’s beautiful prose, atmospheric descriptions of Istanbul (I think, I’ve never been) and a good story with some interesting twists and turns. I recommend Etta and Otto and Russel and James because of its interesting subject matter and wonderful imagery. White Teeth gives that sometimes well-needed ‘this is life’ feeling. Gritty but beautiful. Lastly, as a friend correctly pointed out to me, a few things may be said against the way the plot of The Art of Fielding is set up. I still recommend it, however, because of the interesting insight it gives into the world of college baseball and its quote-worthy prose.
The Shadow of the Wind is the first in its series, and arguably the best. It features a great mystery set in a world of book-love. Likewise, Once Upon A River emphasises the power of storytelling. It’s world seems magical— or is there a logical, scientific explanation for everything that happens? I recommend The Thirteenth Tale because it too is concerned with book-love (I see a pattern here..) and because I did not see its plot-twist coming at all. Lastly, The Night Circus is wonderfully mysterious and atmospheric, a good read for anyone who likes to dream of visiting a magical place.
Very powerfully written, full of well-rounded characters and interesting to the last sentence, I cannot recommend The Help enough to anyone who is interested in life as a black maid in 1960s Mississippi. One Hundred Years of Solitude is a family history of a cyclical nature and full of magical realism. Even though I can only read it in translation (I don’t speak any Spanish) I still marvel at Márquez’ beautiful prose. I’m a huge Austen fan, and because I cannot decide whether Pride and Prejudice or Persuasion is my favourite of her works I have included them both. I have read each of them at least three times in the past few years and they continue to fill me with intense book-loving joy every time I pick them up, I hope you will love them too.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Which books do you always recommend to people? I’m very interested in hearing your thoughts!