Monday, December 19, 2011

Musing Monday...You Can't Please Everyone

Monday, time to, what is this week's question from MizB at Should Be Reading?...

This week’s musing asks…
What’s one book you always recommend to just about anyone?

Wow, that is a hard one.
I will have to muse and get back to you.

OK, I am back.
And it is still a hard one.
Is there one book that every reader will like? I am not sure there is.
Books are very personal and what appeals to one person will most likely not appeal to someone else. I read a lot of book blogs and quite honestly there are many that contain reviews of books I have no interest in reading and let the blogger waxes on about them. Which is wonderful. I am always happy when people love to read, whatever their taste.

And also, quite honestly, I often hesitate to recommend books to people unless I really know their taste. OK, isn't that a strange thing for a blogger who write book reviews to say? Sort of. Every book blogger puts their personal taste out there and if you are reading it I have to assume there is something of interest for you there. Also, I assume we bloggers are speaking to an audience of serious regular readers. We read dozens and dozens of books a year, as opposed to most people (and yes, I still find this sad and shocking) who go a year reading one or two...on no...books. So if I recommend a book to a BIG reader and they read it and don't love it, no great loss. There will soon be the next one. But if I get most other people to read a book and they dislike it, I have probably turned them off books for years.

OK, do I actually have an answer?
I must say the first book that comes to mind, and yes, I have said this before, is Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather. I think it would appeal to men and women, which is not easy, it can appeals to people who have an interest in history of the West, it appeals to people who love great characters. It makes all those 100 Best Books of all time lists as my friends at Wikipedia point out, "The novel was included on Time's 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005 and Modern Library's list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century, and was chosen by the Western Writers of America to be the 7th-best "Western Novel" of the 20th century." Not sure what happened to take it off Time's list from 2005 on, because it is still a great book. So, it must be a pretty good book right, standing the test of time
And bottom line, it is just a great story.

After a bit more musing, I am editing this to add another book. Yes, actually two, I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This and Lena by Jacqueline Woodson, but I think they need to be read as a pair. I am not sure why, but for some reason these books just grabbed me and have held on for all this time since I have read it. At times they can be a bit difficult to read because of what they are about, but they are so beautiful written, so powerful, I would love for everyone to read them

So I throw these out there for your consideration.
If you love it, I am happy.
If you do not...well, you can't please everyone!


  1. This is such a hard question as it's so personal and subjective. I haven't read this Cather book though I did like "A Lost Lady" and "Lucy Gayheart." Must put this one on my list...

  2. This is a hard question and I kept trying to think of a book I could recommend to everyone . . hmmm, sorry, I got nuthin'.

  3. I would be hard pressed to come up with one book .. but I can say I love all of Louise Penny's books ..

  4. After reading The History of Love this past week I would recommend it to any adult who enjoys fiction-great, great story.

    I love Jacqueline Woodson and am happy to see you recommend these controversial titles!

  5. I love those two Woodson novels. She is a minimalist with a maximum impact. I also throw out The Help and The Book Thief, two books that are read by both men and women, and also by young adults. A few people hate them, but most do not!

  6. Your post title said it all … yet I'm curious to try your recommendations.

  7. I haven't read any of those, but Woodson is an author I'm really anxious to try.

  8. adding The Book Thief to my list..

  9. Hi! Thanks for visitng my blog!

    I have wanted to read Willa Cather for a while but have not got around to it yet. Hope next year will be the year I finally do it. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Never heard of this one, and I loved My Antonia, so I'll be adding it to my to-be-read pile (which is toppling over).

    Such a hard question. My MM:


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