BBAW New Treasure - When recommendations pull you out of your comfort zone

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Let me put this question to you - what is your best part of reading a blog? Is it the memes or the reviews or the bookish topics? Or is it the anticipation of discovering a new book that you hadn't heard of, so that you can go add it to your wishlist? I'm sure it is a combination of all those features, but how often do we go pick up a book the moment you hear of it? Or if not the moment, then the very day itself or the next day? Of course, I'm assuming here that you had not heard of that book before. Now what if that book is out of that comfy zone you are in? Are you willing to get off the lazy couch and read something that's not your cup of tea? You got to be kidding me, right? With all the mountains of books to read - at your home, in your library hold list and in your virtual TBR (wherever it is that you catalog your reads) - each new book we add inevitably goes to the bottom of the list, but to the list it goes for sure!

So, although I have an Mt. Everest-sized TBR, which tripled over the past 9 months that I have been blogging (yeah, I'm pointing my finger at you all), I did once surprise myself and pick a book to read right after I read a review - a book that I had not heard of at all previously, a book that I would not have grabbed at had I seen it at the store or simply read the blurb at the back, a book I picked only because the blogger who recommended it to me did complete justice to it. This book wasn't exactly the kind I read either, so I doubt I would have read it if not for a recommendation!

Let me introduce you to the book first (I like to keep you surprised, so don't get sneaky and look down) - Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster. This book was published in 1912 (yeah, that long ago). Doesn't the title grab you in a curious way? The protagonist, Judy, addresses her benefactor as Daddy-Long-Legs because the shadow of his long legs were all that she saw of him the day he came to her orphanage to sponsor her education (She doesn't know his name either.) This book is real short and a zip-fast read! What made this book click for me is Judy's quirkiness. Oh my! You should read this book to really get her amazing character! I just couldn't stop laughing. She is one character I would have loved to know personally!

I read this book in January - the month I started keeping reading lists (I stopped keeping readings lists months later, but that's a story for another day!) And then when I saw the review of this book on Aarti's blog, Booklust, I just had to go to the library and read it! I have looked forward to blogger recommendations ever since then. Even with books that I read, I have been able to predict whether a book will be a hit or miss for me simply by reading a blogger's recommendatrion, and that's the best part of reading blogs. Do you have a book that you picked solely on blogger recommendation?


10 comments:

Cat said...

Some of the best books I've read this year have been those recommendations that drag me out of my comfort zone. The one that immediately comes to mind is We Need to Talk about Kevin. I had two reviews come into my Google reader one after the other - neither gave much away but each screamed 'read it".....brilliant book.
Daddy Longlegs sounds interesting - will keep my eye out for it.

gautami tripathy said...

I have not read it!

Here is my BBAW: Unexpected Treasure post!

bermudaonion said...

I've never read it either, but it sure sounds good!

Gwen@ChewDigestBooks.com said...

This must be the one that they made into a movie of the same name with Fred Astaire. I always wondered where they got that title!

Amanda said...

This is one I really need to read!

Care said...

I've read many many books just because some blogger said, "You MUST. READ. THIS." and so I do.
I remember this book - it DOES look fun.

Marce said...

I haven't heard of this one Aths.

Great post, there are many books I have bought or downloaded immediately from recommendations from bloggers, I agree you guys are the best for recommendation.

I have a few that I trust for sure and you are one of those. It is funny when it is out of your norm though, I think memoirs will be my new reads next year.

Liz said...

I have loved, loved, loved getting book recommendations from blogs. I haven't liked all the books, that's for sure! But that's OK. I didn't really lose all that much for trying them (I get mine from the library! Good use of tax dollars and all that.) Some have been squarely in the comfort zone, which I think pretty much makes sense, as you gravitate to the kind of books you know you already like. But I read "Glass Castle" (memoir) by seeing the recommendation on a blog and just loved it. I might not have read it had I not seen so many positive reviews online.

And then other times you find things that just look like fun, a momentary distraction from everyday life and you go for that! That's the case with Soul Mates, which is a romance novel involving a non-conventional relationship. And the two become folk heroes of sorts! Fun fluff.

I know this book is in your Friday post, but I have to admit I'm intrigued by the "Financial Life of Poets" (or whatever -- may have the title wrong!) you mentioned. That's outside the comfort zone, too, but I may give that a look!

Aths said...

Cat, I love it when that happens because then you are surprised plus you just added a new genre that you can enjoy. It's so hard to get out of your comfort zone that when the book works out really well, it is rewarding!

Gautami, Amanda, I hope you do!

Kathy, it was really enjoyable!

Gwen, actually that was based on the book, but not true to the story. There's a 1919 movie that is exactly based on it.

Care, it sure was! When a blogger says those words, I just run and add it to my TBR. Those books never fail me.

Marce, I'm so honored that you trust my recommendations. I agree with you when I enjoy books outside my norm, I'm really surprised!

Liz, I love those books that look like fun! I tend to pick them when I see them reviewed at blogs, and this usually happens when I'm reading heavy stuff - so it happens pretty much all the time.

niranjana said...

There's a little known sequel to this btw, called "Dear Enemy", written from Sallie McBride's POV. It's more serious than DLL, and Judy and you-know-who figure only slightly. But still, worth checking out.