Meet my friend _INSERT BOOK NAME HERE_

The best thing about librarians — no, wait, I can’t start that way.  Who knows what the best thing about librarians is?  They stand against censorship, encourage reading, help us access just the right information, support writers, help communities, and shush us when we need to be shushed.

So — a really cool thing about librarians is the way they guide people to the right books.  Independent booksellers are that way, too.  And that’s what I really wanted to talk about here: recommending books.

I’m not a librarian, nor an I a bookseller, but I sure love recommending books.  Have a look at at the bottom of the page for a list of recommended summer reading that I curated for my school just about a month ago.  Please note that the links to the Chapters-Indigo website are not sponsored or anything like that.  Please also note that the recommendations are not all mine: I asked all the teachers to contribute, and many did.

Recommending books, for me, is really like saying, “Hey, Sue, this is my friend Anil.  I think you two will get along.”  And you really hope they do, so the truth is you have to be careful.  You learn this when you’re a kid.  Not all of my friends liked Tarzan, and even fewer liked the John Carter of Mars books.  Eventually, you realize that not everyone is going to like the books you like.  And sometimes it really hurts when they don’t, because you get this personal relationship with a book.  What do you mean you don’t like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?  What did it do wrong?

(I think my wife has that even worse than I do.  Tell her you don’t like Harry Potter, and fall several points in her estimation.  Well, mine too, to be honest.)

When I started this post, I thought I was going to have something profound to say about recommending books.  Turns out I don’t.  It’s fun.  It’s a tiny bit risky.  It’s like sharing a friend.

Oh, but speaking of friends, my pal David Waldner sent me a signed copy of Graham Joyce’s Some Kind of Fairy Tale for my birthday.  Got it a couple of days ago, and almost finished it now.  If you like your fairy tale fantasy with a hard edge of working-class realism, and enjoy sentences so crisply written that they crunch as you read them, then get this book.  It’s awesome.  (As is everything I’ve read by Joyce, to be honest; he is not appreciated nearly well enough for my liking.)

Anyhow, here’s that list of recommended summer reading.  Tell me what you like:

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Leverageby Joshua Cohen

Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King

Shineby Lauren Myracle

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Septys

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill

The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews

No Impact Man by Colin Beavan

Bike Snob by Bike Snob NYC

Essex County by Jeff Lemire

For the Win by Cory Doctorow

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole by Sue Townshend

The Mortal Instruments Trilogy by Cassandra Clare

Vick’s Blues by John Harvey

Girls Fall Down by Maggie Helwig

The Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

The Sentimentalists by Johanna Skibsrud

Stunt by Claudia Dey

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner

What the Dog Saw by Malcom Gladwell

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

The Book of Negroes by Laurence Hill

A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

Remarkable Creatures by Tracey Chevalier

The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway

Room by Emma Donoghue


About davidlomax

Writer, teacher, husband, dad. Geek from way back. Author of the totally pre-orderable Backward Glass, out in October 2013 from Flux Books ( View all posts by davidlomax

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