Tuesday, September 8, 2009
In the Name of Friendship
When a friend or family member says, "You must read this book." Must you?
Many of the books I've read lately have come to me by the way of friends. They are not books that I've researched or read about in the many magazines or online sources privy to those in the business. When I get these suggestions sometimes I want to say, "Recommending books -- that's MY job."
Most of us behind the desks at libraries have a long list of books we want to read. We don't "need" suggestions. When a friend's suggestion dovetails with my list, then life is good and that title moves up in order. But often I read the suggested book as an act of friendship.
The last three books I read were not recommended after a series of questions about my reading preferences or interests. Instead they were given to me with wide eyes and smiles big enough to make me happily stray from my methodically prepared list. It's hard to resist the opportunity of a shared experience under such pleasant circumstances. And happy I was. All three - different but engaging. One mysterious, one thoughtful, one funny...mirroring the good friends that recommended them.
The Help A debut novel by Katherine Stockett that portrays black maids' perspectives of working for white folks in 1960s Mississippi.
A city news reporter goes back to her small rural hometown to write a story about unsolved murders. A suspenseful, psychological story by Gillian Flynn.
Foreskin's Lament Shalom Auslander writes his memoir about growing up in contemporary America as a male in a Jewish Orthodox community.