Books I Recommend, IRL

In every review I write, I tell you if I recommend the book or not. Usually, if I liked it, rated it four or more stars, I recommend it, but a better test is to see if I actually recommend it to my real-life friends and family. So here’s a list of books that pass that test, sorted by person, that I either have told a friend or two about, or plan to, next time they ask me: “what should I read now?”

Click the titles for reviews I’ve posted, if they’re available.

To Multiple People

These are the books I have given to at least two people and said: “you have to read this.” True recommendations for all sorts of people from books that are just that good, interesting, or that I somehow feel are necessary reading for human existence, because I love them that much.

  • The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

To Savanna

Savanna’s a good friend of mine, and she reads nearly as much as I do. She’ll pretty much read anything, but she’s like me and sticks mostly to YA dystopian or fantasy adventure/romance.

To Kayla

Kayla’s a slower reader and she’s not as into it as people like Savanna and I are. She does enjoy it though, and when I recommend books to her, I like to make sure they relate somehow to her personality and interests (animals, rock music, and cute boys). She hasn’t read any of these yet (most of what she’s read before is on the “multiple people” list, since I always start people off on the best) but they’re next on my list to get into her hands.

  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  • Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
  • Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

To Brittney

Brittney is pretty new to reading for fun. After Savanna and I dragged her to the bookstore one night (a story I chronicled in my Eleanor and Park Review), she started off with Eleanor and Park, then read The Fault in Our Stars, and is currently finishing up The Hunger Games series. So after making her cry for a solid month, I think it’s time to give her something a little happier before diving into another tear-jerker. She seems to like YA contemporary the best, so I’ve been sticking to that:

  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  • Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
  • An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  • Every Day by David Levithan
  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

To My Mom

My mom reads slowly, but consistently. She’s a pretty picky reader, liking character driven, adult, often historical fiction pretty much exclusively. No thrillers for her, but it does have to hold her interest:

  • The Kite Runner by Kahled Hosseini
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Kahled Hosseini
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • The Chosen by Chaim Potok

To My Brother

Andy and I have been swapping book recommendations for years and years. Less so now that we’re both grown up and don’t live in the same state, but I still like to see what he’s been reading. He likes epic fantasy, but he also reads a lot of very thought provoking, dense philosophical or historical works. Those I don’t really know enough to recommend, but I thought up a couple things he might like, if I get stuck trying to find him a birthday present in a few months:

  • The Eye of The World by Robert Jordan
  • The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by M.T. Anderson

From Others

Finally, here’s a few good books that have been recommended to me by the people listed above. Gives you some idea of what they like, and it’s even more books for you to check out, if you haven’t already.

  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett (from Mom)
  • Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline (from Mom)
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (from Savanna)
  • The Farm by Emily McKay (from Savanna)
  • A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (from Andy)

As always, leave your recommendations for me in the comments, or you can leave some recommendations for my friends for me to pass along. (I especially need some good contemporaries to tell Brittney about! That genre is not my forte.)

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2 thoughts on “Books I Recommend, IRL

  1. I don’t get to make many IRL recommendations. My mom likes to read but never has (or rather, doesn’t make) the time. I’ll usually give her a book or two for Christmas and MAYBE she’ll get through them by the next year. My friends who read, we just don’t overlap that much. One recommendation I won’t let up on is getting my husband to read Ready Player One. He doesn’t read much at all but I KNOW he’d love it!

    • I haven’t read Ready Player One yet. It’s on the list and I was this close to getting at the bookstore the other night, but I’m trying to save for that vacation and get through some other things I have lying around.

      I have the same experience with my dad that you do with your mom. My brother and I each got him a book for Christmas, so he’s more than set for the year.

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