Literary matchmaking: blog friends and far-away friends

Literary matchmaking: blog friends and far-away friends

literary matchmaking

The details on this ongoing project, and the factors I’m taking to heart.

Readers told me 3 books they loved, 1 book they hated, and what they’re reading right now. In turn, I’m choosing 1 mainstream pick, 1 eccentric pick, and 1 YA/memoir/nonfiction pick for each reader. (Or more, if I can’t help myself.)

This week we’re choosing books for Cate, Melissa, and Marty.

Cate: 

Love: The Sun Also Rises, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Wonder
Hate: She’s Come Undone
Last read: The Storyteller 

My picks: 

Mainstream: The Girl You Left Behind
Eccentric: Zelda: A Novel
YA: Code Name Verity
Nonfiction: Unbroken

I love the breadth of Cate’s choices! Recommending The Girl You Left Behind for its war-time setting, like Guernsey and so much of Hemingway. I only kind of liked the writing and tone of Zelda, but the content and fresh perspective is fascinating for any Hemingway fan. Code Name Verity is a unique pageturner with a WWII setting.

Unbroken is simply brilliant: read it now before the movie comes out! Laura Hillenbrand’s first book Seabiscuit is also very much worth the time, even if you think now, as I (foolishly) did, that you’re not interested in the story of a racehorse.

I didn’t pay much attention to Wonder in these picks–and I’m sorry for that–but would recommend anything by John Green, Gary Smith, or Rainbow Rowell.

Melissa: 

Love: Unbroken, Wonder, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Hated: Gone Girl
Last Read: Divergent
Currently: The Whole Brain Child

My picks: 

Mainstream: What Alice Forgot
YA: The Wednesday Wars
Memoir: Chasing Daylight 
New release: Surprised by Motherhood
Parenting-ish: The Spark

I feel like this is cheating: I know Melissa In Real Life, although she moved far away and now we have to talk books over Facebook instead of over coffee. Sigh.

I’m recommending What Alice Forgot because it has the sweet spirit of Wonder and Guernsey (though with a few spicy words). Melissa didn’t mention anything that screamed “memoir,” but I think she’d like Chasing Daylight. The Wednesday Wars is a well-drawn YA novel that plops middle school drama (and baseball) into a wartime setting.

Melissa’s current read brought two parenting titles to mind: I wanted to make sure Surprised by Motherhood (just out this week!) was on her radar, because it’s right up her alley, as is last year’s hit The Spark.

Marty: 

Love: Harry Potter, A Discovery of Witches, The Happiness Project
Did not like: I know there are books I haven’t liked but they must have been so bad I blocked them.
Last Read: Grave Peril (Dresden Files 3 by Jim Butcher)

My picks: 

Mainstream: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Eccentric: Out of the Silent Planet (Book 1 of C. S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy)
YA: The Mysterious Benedict Society
Nonfiction: Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

I chose The Hitchhiker’s Guide because of Harry Potter–not because it creates a similar, magical world, but because it creates a compelling alternate reality. Out of the Silent Planet has more in common with Harry, but it’s less well known.

The Mysterious Benedict Society is a middle-grade series that reminds me of Harry’s adventures, except these kids must rely on their smarts (and not magic) to extricate themselves from peril.

I also love The Happiness Project, and recommended Decisive because it’s another well-written, epiphany-provoking, change-your-life kind of read. (I strongly considered recommending The Power of Habit or The Talent Code instead.)

How did I do? What books would YOU recommend to Cate, Melissa, and Marty? 

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  1. Shannon says:

    I am LOVING this series, Anne. It helps jog my memory on books I’ve read and gives me new ideas. I read it with both Goodreads and the library’s site open so I can update both with your recommendations. Thanks so much for doing this.

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