As promised, we’re discussing what books to recommend and to whom. Reading isn’t one size fits all and, as writers (or readers) who want to support the book industry, we know we need to recommend responsibly. We do that by encouraging so-called ”non-readers” to read and thus, hopefully, converting them into at least occasional book-buyers. But, we can’t do this by impressing non-readers with our love for dense, flowerly prose or by insisting that they’ll love whatever genre we write in. Or by peddling every book we love. We recommend books like we give presents–we think of the recipient.
Rule Number Two: We ditch the snobbery. A lot of writers aren’t fond of celebrity authors. Who can blame them? Here we are working our bums off, fighting through rejection, and in walks Lauren Conrad with a three book deal. But BIG books, like these celebrity books sell. People like them. We *want* publishers to make money so they can take risks on other manuscripts. So, if you think your Aunt Matilda would like to read Maureen McCormick’s new book, then get it for her, or recommend it! No worries.
Ok, so I’ll need y’alls help making this list, but I’m going to try to start thinking of types of people and what types of books they like. When it’s done I’ll add it to the books I recommend page.
Middle School girl: Beacon Street Girls, Savvy by Ingrid Law, The Floating Circus by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter
Middle School boy: Zen and the Art of Faking It by Jordan Sonnenblick, The Wishlist by Eoin Colfer, The Giggler Treatment by Roddy Doyle, Antsy Does Time by Neal Shusterman, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein
High School girl: Girl, Hero by Carrie Jones, The City in The Lake by Rachel Neumeier, Shift by Jen Bradbury, Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
(If looking for non-edgy-Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson)
High School boy: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein
College girl: The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella, Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr, Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes, Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin, Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn, Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler
College boy: Foundation by Isaac Asimov, Lolita by Nabokov, John Adams by David McCullough, Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, Freakonomics by Stephen Dubner
30s-40s-50s women: The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, A Lotus Grows in the Mud by Goldie Hawn, Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen
30s-40s-50s men: American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. Ellis, Marley and Me by John Grogan, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
For the Southern fic reader: Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
For the no-nonsense, none of that fantasy junk reader: Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
For the historical fiction lover: The News from Paraguay by Lily Tuck
For the hopeless romantic: The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
For the woman growing up: Eat Love Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert
For the why-would-I-read-fiction-unless-I’m-learning-something reader: Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
For the vampire lovers (adult): Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice
For the vampire lovers (young adult): House of Night by P.C. and Kristin Cast
For the celebrity gossip lover: Confessions of An Heiress
For the lawyer: One L by Scott Turow
For the guy searching for the meaning of life: The Zahir by Paulo Coelho
For the I-Miss-Harry-Potter reader: His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Ok, wow, that was exhausting! I’m sure I’ll think of more later. But help me out!