9 Books I Read Because Someone Recommended Them to Me

Technically, I would say “the blogosphere” recommends a lot of books to me (and what is required school reading if not books recommended by your teachers/professors?), but here are some books that I read because I remember a specific person recommending them to me.


Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block

This book was a recommendation from a publishing internship supervisor I had while I was in college. I, frankly, do not remember anything about the book besides the fact that I disliked it, which probably explained something about my internship and the mismatch in literary taste my supervisor and I often had. (She also recommended Living Dead Girl to me, which is certainly a powerful read but not something I think I would have picked up on my own either.)

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Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Blackhearts

This was a recommendation from Stephanie @ Chasm of Books. Stephanie loves this pirate adventure–and the rest of the series. While I didn’t fall in love with it myself, I thought it was a fun read.

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The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

The Alchemist

Michael @ My Comic Relief mentions The Alchemist a lot, on his blog, on Twitter, probably in his daily life (I’m just guessing here, but I can imagine him bringing it up. Let me know if I’m right if you read this, Michael! :D) Anyway, he convinced me it was interesting enough that I had to at least give it a chance, and I did enjoy it, even if I don’t think it is literally the best book I have ever read. I put it on my list of best books I read in the first half of 2020 at least!

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The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

A friend recommended this as an example of the type of young adult book he’s actually interested–male-oriented, a bit dark, definitely nothing like Sarah J. Maas or the stuff I think of dominating the YA market today. I did enjoy reading it (if that’s the right word for a book that’s kind of depressing where nearly every character is a jerk), and I appreciated that it is different from a lot of what I normally read.

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Middlemarch by George Eliot

I don’t remember, but Krysta says she recommended this to me, so here it is on the list. This is a fabulous story, very engaging and worth the length (don’t be put off by all the pages!).

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The Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

Keeper of the Lost Cities

Krysta LOVES this series and, um, I don’t really get it. I thought the book was fine. Entertaining. But I read the first one, and that was good enough for me. Meanwhile, Messenger has legions of obsessed fans eagerly looking forward to each new novel. If that sounds like you, check out Krysta’s posts on some interesting questions the Keeper of the Lost Cities series raises.

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Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables

A friend recommended this to me in fourth grade. I read it, and history was made! It remains one of my very favorite books, and I’ve probably read it about two dozen times now. (As well as most of Montgomery’s other books!)

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The Protector of the Small Series by Tamora Pierce

I don’t remember exactly. I think a friend just recommended Tamora Pierce books in general when I was in middle school. I started by reading Page, which…isn’t even the first book in the Protector of the Small series, but that didn’t matter because I loved it and have read most of Pierce’s books since then. I’m very much looking forward to the planned Tortall television series!

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The Dragon’s Tooth by N. D. Wilson

Another book I thought was fine, but I don’t 100% understand why Krysta is always raving about it. Sorry! XD

Briana

28 thoughts on “9 Books I Read Because Someone Recommended Them to Me

  1. Andie says:

    The only book I’ve read on this list was Anne of Green Gables. Unfortunately I was not a fan of Anne at all. I could see why people would love the series but I couldn’t get past the constant rambling Anne would get into.
    Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Ah, no! I love Anne, though I think she might overwhelm me a bit in person vs. as a book character. Maybe you’d like some of L. M. Montgomery’s other books, where the characters are much less talkative. :p Interestingly, reading the books I never quite understood why all the other characters were constantly saying how much Anne talked, but it really hit me with the audiobook and seeing some of the film adaptations where Anne really would just be going on and on. ๐Ÿ˜€

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  2. Isobel Necessary says:

    Re “The Chocolate War” (which I’ve not read) and depressing books about terrible people – what’s your stance on “Wuthering Heights”? I’m always surprised by how many people (myself among them) love this tale of intergenerational misery!

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    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I’ve reading Wuthering Heights twice, once quite recently, and I don’t really like it. I can see how it’s objectively well-written and complex and all that, but, yeah, I hate all the characters, and that means even if I can see merit in the book, I don’t really find reading it enjoyable, if that makes sense.

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  3. Lindsey says:

    I love this – especially that you’re including ones that you didn’t like rather than books that were suggested that you loved every time. I’ve got a pile of borrowed books at the moment that I really should get through as they’ve been ones people have suggested. Great post!

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  4. Never Not Reading says:

    I would definitely say that a lot of the books I’ve read in the past three years, if not most of them, were books that I discovered from book bloggers. Getting involved in this community has definitely improved my reading life!

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  5. miri (formerly @ the book dragoness) says:

    I had to read Anne of Green Gables for assigned school reading and I fell in love ๐Ÿฅฐ My mom ever tried to recommendations Inkheart to me and while I did read it, I could never get into the series!

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  6. Michael J. Miller says:

    You know/can predict me well, Briana! I talk about ‘The Alchemist’ ALL THE TIME. I mention it in casual conversation. It comes up when I teach. I’ve given this book as a present so many times I’m sure I’ve purchased 2-3 dozen copies. I met a significant other (and while we’re no longer dating, we’re still best friends) because she was sitting at the table across from me in the coffee shop reading this book. I’ve taught it in class. I’ve done book clubs with it. Many of the theological/philosophical principles Coelho uses are/have become foundational to my own theological world view as well so I discuss it in that way all the time, too. I’ve discussed it over dinners, lunches, walks, coffee runs and in bars, restaurants, parks, living rooms, hallways, pretty much everywhere. It often leads into discussing Coelho’s other works, too (most notably – but not limited to – ‘Brida,’ ‘The Zahir,’ ‘By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept,’ ‘Veronika Decides to Die,’ and/or ‘ The Devil and Ms. Prym’).

    So basically, yeah, you called it.

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      • Michael J. Miller says:

        Well it’s not like all of those happen EVERY day nor even EVERY time I’m in one of the above circumstances. But the do happen a lot :). And yes, I’d presume eventually I’ll wear you down and then I can see if they can rate high enough to end up on your “Best Books I Read in the First/Last Half of [Fill-in-the-Blank Year] List”! Also, those all have more “complicated” narratives. The very sort of direct, simple parable nature of ‘The Alchemist’ (while I love it and appreciate how Coelo uses it in that novel) isn’t indicative of all his work. Which will you read first?? When will you read them?? Well I guess we’ll just have to leave that mystery to be solved in the future (and after lots more book banter about Coelho’s writing).

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  7. Eustacia | Eustea Reads says:

    I’ve read the Tamora Pierce circle of magic series and the Trickster ones (the first two, at least), but I can’t remember who introduced them to me! But I’d recommend them if you haven’t read them already!!

    I get so many book recommendations from the blogosphere and bookstagram! My TBR cries, sometimes.

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  8. bookbloggingbooks says:

    Those are the best types of reads…ones you read and can share with someone else! Especially when you both love them!

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      • Milliebot says:

        Haha I tore it apart on my blog. I had 2 friends in high school who loved FLB’s work so I was into it very briefly. I read two of her works last year, I think, and they were awful lol.

        Liked by 1 person

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