When you're a reader, people recommend books to you. When you're a librarian, there's a fair amount of assigned reading. Sometimes you just get through to the book. Sometimes you discover a new favorite that you almost never picked up. Today, I'm saying thank you to the people who brought some of my favorite books--books that I almost missed entirely.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. A few years ago at ALA, Katie kept talking about how awesome this one was and how much her teens loved it. I was like "eh, not really my thing." THE LOOK ON HER FACE. I was pretty sure she'd never talk to me again if I didn't read it. So glad I did. I love this whole trilogy.
Going Bovine by Libba Bray. After this won the Printz, it became required reading for an in-system Reader's Advisory training. I wouldn't have read it if I hadn't had to, but I'm glad I did-- it made me give Bray's work a second chance (I'm not a huge fan of the Gemma Doyle series), which has only been a bonus for me!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling. Goblet of Fire came out the summer before my junior year in college. My boss had young kids and was telling me how they were counting down the days. I was only vaguely aware of Potter-- one girl on my floor had been reading it that year and said it was good, but I hadn't read any. The next day, she brought in her copy of Sorcerer's Stone for me to read. (Luckily for me, she knew I'd love it, so she had Chamber of Secrets waiting for me the day after that.)
Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn. This is one I had to read for a committee I was on. So glad I did--it's a great book and was the first thing I ever read by Cohn-- now one of my favorite authors.
Titanic: Voices From the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson. This is another one I had to read for committee. When I saw it, my thought was "eh. Another Titanic book." But I don't know of any other Titanic books that has me on the edge of my seat every.single.time I've read it, or sob so hard when the ship goes down (and, because it was a finalist for the award, I've read this book more times than I can count.)
Wintersmith by Terry Prachett. I had to read this one for Books for the Beat a few years ago. It was my first Discworld-- heck, my first Prachett. I never would have picked it up, but I'm so so so glad I did. Prachett's now a favorite author.
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh. This was a recommendation from my English penpal when I was in high school. I read it, because she was way cooler than I was. Not only did I love it, but it gave me major cool points in high school. Plus, after getting through it, I've never struggled with reading dialect again.
Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma. I only read this one because SLJ assigned it to me for review. It's not even the type of thing they normally assign me, so I'm not sure why or how I got it, but I'm so glad I did. Such a wonderful book.
Saffy's Angel by Hilary McKay. Permanent Rose was assigned for a Reader's Advisory training, and I'm a bit of a dork that I felt I had to read the earlier books in the series first. And, oh, the Casson family!
If you haven't read any of these books, you should! What books are you thankful that someone shoved into your hands?
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