Generally when Amazon offers up a suggestion on what to read, based on the books I have perused on that visit, I politely decline to look into them.However, lately I have realised that if I never broaden my literary horizons I may never read anything any greater than that which I have already read. Now, don’t get me wrong…I have read some fantastic and somewhat life-changing books – but the idea that I may have already read the best book of my life simply due to self-imposed limitations was exactly that kick in the pants that I needed to (figuratively) meet some new friends.
The only problem with wanting to discover new favourite authors was that generally this discovery is happenstance – an over heard raving review in the lunchroom, a passed on treasure from a friend of a friend, etc. My literary tastes (although not so discriminating as having kept me from the hunger games trilogy) can be somewhat off the beaten path a la Palahniuk, Copeland and Moore; this can make finding “my” type of book somewhat more difficult than cruising the best sellers list and running out to pick up the newest 50 Shades of Grey.
Luckily for me, the good old library has figured that people need new suggestions for what to read – after all, my lunch hour does not allow me to peruse the shelves of the library stopping at every colourful or well-designed book spine in order to decide whether or not my time investment in that particular novel will have a high rate of return. Truth be told, I would love to hop on a bookshelf ladder (please envision Belle in Beauty in the Beast in her local bookshop) and throw every appetizing literary work into a basket…however, not only would I be unable to carry them all on the walk home…but I highly doubt a full-time work schedule would allow for the time necessary to finish them all.
The library has helped me out in this respect – my local library has created lists based on popular authors. These lists include books by authors with similar writing styles, approaches to story-telling and/or subject matter. It’s fantastic! It’s a little Pandora’s box for all of us book-worms.
So far based on my love for Douglas Copeland I have been introduced to another author I feel proud to add to my “favourites” – Jonathan Franzen. So far, I have read “Corrections” and “Freedom”. Both of the fore mentioned books follow families through the years in a very honest (maybe my family isn’t so bad) kind of way. I strongly recommend them for anyone with a bit of a dark sense of humor and who loves to people watch…Jonathan Franzen is the literary equivalent to people watching. Also – Corrections is a literary prize-winner and Freedom is an Indigo recommended read - I am not alone in my appreciation, as he is considered one of the great modern american novelists.
Since it has been awhile I will also throw in a strong recommendation for ”We Need to Talk About Kevin”….all I will say is – it isn’t what you think it is. The main character is an anti-hero I think women will find easily identifiable (that is if you are brutally honest about your own imperfections and insecurities while reading it).
So…there you have it – visit your local library website and see if they too have the amazing suggestion rabbit hole that I was so lucky to discover!