My response: What a difficult but great question! I guess it depends on the person, and what they actually like to read (assuming they read, just not literature). I think I would try to figure out which genre they do like, and then try to tailor my recommendation to fit what they already like. For example, if they like Steven King, I might recommend Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman as a beautifully written book that falls into this genre, or maybe some Edgar Allan Poe, as many of his stories are somewhat short and might whet the appetite for more. If they like romances or Nicholas Sparks type books, I might recommend Memoirs of a Geisha, The Great Gatsby, or On Green Dolphin Street, as they might be able to appreciate these stories. If they like sci-fi/fantasy, I might recommend The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami, as it's short stories that often have a fantastical twist that might appeal. A fan of mysteries and thrillers might appreciate Raymond Chandler. So for me it would depend on what I know about the person before I make the recommendation.
Over at the GReads TGIF Hop, the question this week is:
Writing Reviews 101: What's your process for writing book reviews? Any tips or suggestions you would recommend to other bloggers?
My response: When I started this blog last January I was really only doing it as a place for me to keep track of my reading, but the blog post format necessitated a review of some kind, so I kept it short and sweet and limited to deliberately non-spoilerish commentary. As time wore on I have not really changed this format, for many reasons. I don't add book summaries as I find they can be spoilerish for me, plus I am too lazy to copy them from Amazon or Goodreads or wherever. I try to limit my reaction to high-level comments about the content of the book, and/or the writing and my reaction to it, so as not to create spoilers. I do try to write the review as soon as possible after I finish a book so as to capture my thoughts while they are still fresh, and because I have a tendency to procrastinate and if I put the reviews off they may never happen!
As I consider myself still fairly new to this, and not someone who does in-depth reviews, I am not sure I have any tips or suggestions. I would say, however, to do your reviews in the way you feel most comfortable. If you like to summarize and review at length, go for it! If not, keep it brief. I would say to be honest at all times though; if you don't like a book feel free to explain why. I'd always rather read an honest review, even if I don't agree with it, than a halfhearted review that doesn't display your true thoughts.
If anyone reading this has any suggestions for me, I'd love to hear them too!
What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to books? Maybe you don’t like love triangles or thin plots? Tell us about it!
My response: I know I have said this before, but I cannot stand clunky, poor writing. I can put up with a lot of issues if a book is at least well written. An interesting story that is hampered by poor writing becomes unreadable to me. So that's number one.
I have to say another pet peeve (because as usual I have multiple answers to every question) is when writers have characters do things that are not at all realistic, just to create drama or a "funny" situation. Or just because they are not thinking about continuity. In my opinion it's lazy writing and indicative of a writer who is not fully thinking out his/her ideas, or someone who is just writing to try to make money, not because they have a story to tell.