The unexpected treasures of books other bloggers, my brother-in-law have introduced me

Today’s BBAW assignment is: Share with us a book or genre you tried due to the influence of another blogger. What made you cave in to try something new and what was the experience like?

As I begin to write the answer to this, I have conflicting thoughts.

Here’s how they go:

You should share about Purple Jesus by Ron Cooper to which you were invited to read by J.C. Montgomery of The Biblio Blogazine for a GoodReads discussion group and read-along. After all, it was less than a month ago, you received the book, you already read the book and you liked it.

Yes, however, I didn’t really want to write about that in a “forced” way. I actually wanted to write a review of the book for the group and solicit opinions from others in the group, and actually have a discussion on it separate from Book Blogger Appreciation Week. In other words, I didn’t want it placed within the context of a meme and seemed like I was “forced” by a publisher or author to give a review of an advanced reader copy…which I’m not saying I was, by the way. I was invited to the group and accepted the invitation.

Mockingjay

Image via Wikipedia

Plus I can think of other books and genres I tried due to the influence of several bloggers, not just one blogger. Primarily, I think of the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Only weeks before the release of Mockingjay, I caved to the peer pressure of other book bloggers (why? I don’t know, but I did) and read the first two and then the third. I really enjoyed them, except for the ending of the series, and even then, it wasn’t horrible, just unsatisfying, because I was on the wrong team (those of you who have read the book know about what I’m talking).

As for genres, I think of young adult fiction. Yes, naturally as once a young adult myself I had read books in the genre previously, such as The Outsiders, but only through book bloggers was I introduced to books such as The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is still my most popular review, and The Giver.

I also think about those books that I tried due to the influence of someone who is not a blogger, namely my brother-in-law Warren. As I looked back at my reviews from the last few years, trying to trigger my memory of books and genres to which I might not have tried if it had not been for bloggers, my eyes were drawn to books by one author: Donald E. Westlake. I wouldn’t have discovered Westlake, if it hadn’t been for Warren, and, for that, I thank him as Westlake is fast becoming my favorite author. So far, I’ve read 17 novels by Westlake (and one of his pseudonyms, Richard Stark):

Cover of

Cover of Somebody Owes Me Money

  1. Somebody Owes Me Money by Donald E. Westlake 4/5
  2. Smoke: The Disappearing Novel by Donald E. Westlake 4/5
  3. The Hunter by Richard Stark 5/5
  4. The Ax by Donald E. Westlake 4/5
  5. The Man with the Getaway Face by Richard Stark 5/5
  6. The Outfit by Richard Stark 5/5
  7. The Cutie by Donald E. Westlake 4/5
  8. Memory by Donald E. Westlake 5/5
  9. The Hot Rock by Donald E. Westlake 3/5
  10. Bank Shot by Donald E. Westlake 4/5
  11. Pity Him Afterwards by Donald E. Westlake 4/5
  12. Jimmy the Kid by Donald E. Westlake 4/5
  13. Nobody’s Perfect by Donald E. Westlake 4/5
  14. Why Me? by Donald E. Westlake 3/5
  15. Good Behavior by Donald E. Westlake 4/5
  16. Drowned Hopes by Donald E. Westlake 5/5
  17. Don’t Ask by Donald E. Westlake 3/5

My rating system: 5- Classic, must read; 4- Worth owning a copy; 3- Worth picking up at library; 2- Worth skimming at the bookstore; 1- Worth being a doorstop

Right now I’m reading my 18th Westlake novel, What’s The Worst That Can Happen?, another in the series about the hapless burglar John Dortmunder, not for any online reading challenge, but just for the challenge for myself to read all of the Dortmunder series. So far, I’m loving them. I only wish our library had all the Parker (the anti-Dortmunder) novels that were written by Westlake under his pseudonym Richard Stark.

So the question for you, dear reader, at the end of all this is: Is there a book or genre you tried due to the influence of another blogger, family member or friend? If so, what was your experience like?

4 responses to “The unexpected treasures of books other bloggers, my brother-in-law have introduced me

  1. I think I’m the only one who hasn’t caved to the peer pressure of The Hunger Games trilogy. My husband enjoyed it. My son’s reading The Hunger Games now and he’s nit-picking his way through it.

    • You really should cave, especially to the first one. It’s that good. Really…and I did not receive any copies from the publisher. Full disclosure: I won’t receive any compensation for this comment either. 😉

  2. Sadly,not many in my case. My husband persuaded me to read THE CITY AND THE CITY and while I enjoyed it a lot, it didn’t lead to any great love affair with science fiction- or even with China Mieville’s writing!