Monday, October 16, 2017

The Book Blab Episode 15: The Joys and Sorrows of Book Recommendations

Well, it's been a couple of months since our last one (my fault, I've had the crazy schedule lately), but Amy and I are back with another episode of The Book Blab. You guys, this one was seriously so much fun to record, we both had such funny stories about book recommendations gone awry! I'd love to hear your own stories in the comments. Also, apologies for the less than stellar lighting. We had to film at night because, once again, my schedule is crazy. Enjoy!

Show Notes

0:20 - Suzanne's new PhD program
1:35 - Today's topic: the perilous territory of making and receiving book recommendations
2:30 - Personal experiences with bad book recommendations
  • 3:00 - Suzanne's experience
  • 5:20 - Amy's experience
7:25 - How to handle a book recommendation that you didn't like
10:28 - The joy that comes from getting a good recommendation

  • 11:10 - Suzanne's experience
  • 11:50 - Amy's experience
13:25 - The anxiety of giving a book recommendation (but we love making recommendations anyway!)
15:40 - Suzanne's book recommendation gone wrong
18:20 - The times we've forced a book on someone, and it's gone over well
  • 19:00 - Amy's experience
  • 20:05 - Suzanne's experience
20:53 - The moral of this discussion
22:40 - Two seasonally appropriate reads for October
  • 23:30 - Suzanne's reccomendation
  • 24:50 - Amy's recommendation
28:08 - Conclusion

Books and links mentioned in the show:

Suzanne's recent post about time: Never Enough Time
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (Amy's review)
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (Suzanne's review)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (Suzanne's review // Amy's review)
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (Suzanne's review // Episode 6 of The Book Blab)
A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman (Amy's review)
The God Who Weeps by Terryl and Fiona Givens (Suzanne's review)
Dracula by Bram Stoker (Suzanne's review
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (Amy's review)


  1. Fun discussion! I feel like tons of people give me recommendations (which makes sense, because I always ask for them on my blog!), but that only some of those people actually put a lot of thought into them...I think what's more usual is that people enjoy a book themselves and just pass it along, without any thought as to what your interests/tastes might be. On the one hand, it's awesome---it guarantees that you'll be exposed to a wider variety of books. On the other hand, if that person follows up and you actually tried it and didn't like it, it can cause some hurt feelings (which has totally happened to me). That's why I liked what you said in the podcast about the friend that says that it's okay if you hate the book--you won't hurt her feelings. I need to tell that to everyone I recommend books to!

    1. I know what you mean. A person's recommendation reveals more about their own tastes than it does about how well they might know yours. But hating a book is not the same thing as hating a person who loved that book!

  2. That's funny that you did this little episode on this topic because I had to return a book unfinished to a friend. Luckily it was a situation where she needed it back to give back to her mom but I kind of felt guilty that I didn't read it when she thought I would like it, oops. But then again, I gave her a book over a year ago and she still hasn't returned it, ha! But I've had the same feelings when I gushed about a book (like The Snow Child) on Goodreads and my cousin immediately read it and said it was "cute" and gave it three stars. I was like "cute?" Did we even read the same book? :) But really, everyone has their own interests and timing of books can play a big part in it too. For another topic of discussion, I'm not sure if you've done this yet, but what are some of your favorite classics? I know you both mentioned Jane Eyre and Dracula but curious what else you would add on the list. And curious to know which ones you hated as well.

    1. The Snow Child as "cute"? Yeah, not the description I would give it. :) Yes, I love the idea of an episode about classics! I'm actually in the middle of re-reading all Jane Austen's novels right now, so that topic is on the mind. I'll talk it over with Amy, I'm sure we'll do that some time.