r/books 2d ago

WeeklyThread Weekly Recommendation Thread: December 08, 2023


Welcome to our weekly recommendation thread! A few years ago now the mod team decided to condense the many "suggest some books" threads into one big mega-thread, in order to consolidate the subreddit and diversify the front page a little. Since then, we have removed suggestion threads and directed their posters to this thread instead. This tradition continues, so let's jump right in!

The Rules

  • Every comment in reply to this self-post must be a request for suggestions.

  • All suggestions made in this thread must be direct replies to other people's requests. Do not post suggestions in reply to this self-post.

  • All unrelated comments will be deleted in the interest of cleanliness.

How to get the best recommendations

The most successful recommendation requests include a description of the kind of book being sought. This might be a particular kind of protagonist, setting, plot, atmosphere, theme, or subject matter. You may be looking for something similar to another book (or film, TV show, game, etc), and examples are great! Just be sure to explain what you liked about them too. Other helpful things to think about are genre, length and reading level.

All Weekly Recommendation Threads are linked below the header throughout the week to guarantee that this thread remains active day-to-day. For those bursting with books that you are hungry to suggest, we've set the suggested sort to new; you may need to set this manually if your app or settings ignores suggested sort.

If this thread has not slaked your desire for tasty book suggestions, we propose that you head on over to the aptly named subreddit /r/suggestmeabook.

  • The Management

r/books 11h ago

WeeklyThread Weekly FAQ Thread December 10, 2023: What are your quirky reading habits?


Hello readers and welcome to our Weekly FAQ thread! Our topic this week is: What are your quirky reading habits?

You can view previous FAQ threads here in our wiki.

Thank you and enjoy!

r/books 22h ago

Gen Z and millennials visit libraries at higher rates than older generations


r/books 15h ago

Coming back to Percy Jackson as an adult and realizing how juvenile the writing style is


edit: for anyone who thinks this post is calling the series bad, reread it again. i was just merely surprised at how easy it is, nobody was complaining

When I was in 3rd grade I read the first series of Percy Jackson. I had read Harry Potter a couple of times by then and the following year I had read The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner. Throughout my life I’ve come back to all of those books except for Percy Jackson, which I am doing so now in preparation of the new TV show.

I’ve read Harry Potter 10 times across my life and have never felt like I was reading a juvenile book each time I’ve read it, in fact there’s way more details to analyze in the first few books as you reread. And I guess I’m shocked with how easy the reading level is for The Lightning Thief. I really thought Percy Jackson would be one of those series’ that could be reread with more analysis as you get older (and I know this rings true for Heroes of Olympus, just merely talking about the first 5 books) but I’m shocked with how much easier TLT is to read than Sorcerer’s Stone is.

I’m enjoying it for sure, but I think it’s starting to become clear why I never revisited Percy Jackson the same way I did other books and that’s because I was able to easily comprehend them on first read through and that made it easier to feel like I didn’t have to go back and reread to see if I missed anything.

r/books 5h ago

What's a character/idea from a book that you feel is often completely misunderstood?


For me, it’s Heathcliff and Catherine’s relationship in Wuthering Heights. Throughout TV and film people portray their love (and the novel in general) as a stunning romance story. And yes, the novel looks at their complex relationship, but it is ultimately a revenge tragedy.

It's a novel about a man (who after getting rejected by the woman he loves) dedicates his life to ensuring that she and everyone connected with her is miserable. How this story became associated with a beautiful tale of love, I will never understand.

Are there any characters/novels/ideas that you think are often misunderstood?

r/books 2h ago

The Hardy Boys have not aged well


I was really big on the Hardy Boys when I was growing up, maybe 5th grade? I got every book from the library and read them one by one. I owned a lot of them. I'd get them for Christmas and my birthday and I built a collection.

I even saved them since I thought it'd be cool for my future kid to see the stuff I read when I was that age.

Fast forward to now, and they just seem so ridiculously dated. The world has changed so much. I knew the books were set in another time when I was reading them in the early 90s but 30 years later I don't know who would even want to read these which is kind of weird.

How many fights can you have while getting punched in the solar plexus? The only reason I even know that word is from those books.

It just seems crazy I've saved these books for 30 years and then what?

When my kid is 10 I don't know that he'll even want to read these.

r/books 9h ago

Goodreads releases results of Reader's Choice Awards


What do you think of the following Winners? What do you think of the Goodreads awards in general? Have you read any of the books, and what did you think of them?

Best Fiction: Yellowface by RF Kuang

Best Historical Fiction: Weyward by Emilia Hart

Mystery and Thriller: The Housemaid's Secret by Freida McFadden

Romance: Happy Place by Emily Henry

Romantasy: Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Fantasy: Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo

Sci Fi: In the Lives of Puppets by T.J. Klune

Horror: Holly by Stephen King

YA Fantasy/ Sci Fi: Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross

YA Fiction: Check & Mate by Ali Hazelwood

Debut: Weyward by Emilia Hart

Best non-fiction: Poverty, by America by Matthew Desmond

Memoir: The Woman in Me by Britney Spears

History and Biography: The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder by David Grann

Humor: Being Henry: The Fonz . . . and Beyond by Henry Winkler

I personally have no stakes in this, as I know it's entirely a popularity contest + marketing from Amazon, and they have definitely made some controversial decisions (eliminating categories like middle grade and poetry). It's curious, though, what people rally behind.

I'm curious what everything thinks.

r/books 4h ago

Have you found that a book has less emotional impact if you read it too fast?


I was wondering this today. Let's take a book with 20 chapters for example.I was thinking, if I read 5 chapters in one day, I should stop there and pace myself, and don't read more until the next day.

I was thinking, If I read too much in one day, I won't have time to process it all and let it settle. I can probably read an average 300 page book in 2 days, but if I never slowed down and processed it, maybe it won't hit as hard? It be as impactful? I don't know. I'm kinda thinking that though.

Maybe pacing yourself helps the story have more emotional impact, so it doesn't seem like one big blob of information stuffed into your brain without time to process it.

What do you think? Is this stupid? Do you agree with it? I'm still thinking this over.

r/books 1d ago

I just read the lottery by Shirley Jackson, holy shit


I heard it was interesting, so I pulled up a copy online and it took me about 10 minutes to read, and the ending was absolutely sickening, it starts off with a festival, kids collecting stones, that’s normal. There’s a lottery, alright, I knew the lottery was going to be something weird, like a death, but the entire town stoning the “winner” everyone was ecstatic about this lottery, and the kids thought it was amazing. That was one of the most disturbing twists I’ve ever read, each line in that last paragraph was a punch in the face. Anyone else know of a short story that has a punch-in-the-face twist or ending (don’t tell me the ending)

r/books 7h ago

As Florida targets Black history, this Tampa bookstore celebrates it


r/books 3h ago

About Outpost (and a question)



Edit: Yes, Outpost by Dmitri Glukhovsky Im just gonna rant a bit about the near-end chapters of Outpost (the one in Volga). Ok so, almost no books (excluding fanficts lol) have made me suffer like this or even made me feel anything other than cringe. Im a very Picky reader and i tend to drift off when i read, like reading with my eyes but not with my mind, thats why i love Glukhovsky's books: they keep me engaged and wondering what will happen Next, with charming characters that i fall in love with. Hell, even the side characters that might not feed a lot into the story, i like them! So with that said, i hope its no wonder i ended up kinda liking Alexandr Krigov (tell me your opinions about him and Michelle) and FLINCHED when Michelle discovered him inside the train, before she ended up deaf. Again, It surpired me both that i even felt something while reading a book and how fond i was of Krigov, appart from the obvious shock it gave me the description of in which state he was in. Imagine someone you love turned into a creature, inhumane, not even animalistic before loosing your father figure too (Nikita's death). I havent finished the book, i just wanted to express myself before reading It so i could come back to this when i actualy do end the book, and see if my vision of things have changed

With that aside, whats yall's opinion on Michelle's and Sasha's short relationship? Do you think Michelle only 'loved' him bc of the idea of coming back to Moscow, or do you think It was true love?

r/books 15h ago

Anyone else loves purple prose?


Almost all I’ve seen so far about purple prose has been people expressing dislike for it, claiming it makes the writer seem amateurish and quite pretentious. But, honestly, sometimes you read a book for fun, and at other times, you just need to fully immerse yourself in the atmosphere and appreciate all the beautiful words and descriptions. I’m both, actually.

I would love to hear your opinion.:)

r/books 19h ago

What was your big what did I just read moment?


I just read the finale of The Book Thief and throughout it I was just like “what did I just read.” It felt so poorly communicated that everyone died at the end that I thought is was a dream sequence. Just such a disappointment for such a great book for me at least. Anyways what are your opinions on this.

r/books 4h ago

So in Ship of Theseus by Abrams and Dorst, who is Straka?


I’m not sure I fully understand the story. I thought it was all about uncovering the identity of the mysterious V.M. Straka, but I still do not know who he was. I feel like the mystery in this book had great buildup, but the ending just failed to deliver a satisfying conclusion. This was a lengthy read, felt daunting too because there is so much to get into. And then you get through it and it’s just not satisfying at all. I still don’t know who Straka was. Anyone else give this book a read? What did you think of it?

r/books 1d ago

If you're bilingual, do you read books in both langauges equally?


I speak both English and Spanish at a native level and I'm curious to know if other fully bilingual readers read in one language over the other or if it varies.

Most of the reading I do is in English, but if a book is originally in Spanish, I'd rather read it in the author's original language. If you read in both, is your reading list 50/50 or does it skew one language over the other? I'm so curious.

r/books 1d ago

Did Harlan Corben basically write the same book twice? Are all popular thrillers from the 21st century essentially the same book?


Recently I read "Tell No One" and it was extremely mediocre but that's not what this post is about. I just saw a trailer for a Netflix movie adaptation of his other book "Fool Me Once" which I'd not heard of before.Within the first few seconds of the video, the summary of the premise sounded very similar to Tell No One so I thought it might be a looser adaptation with the protagonist being female rather than male. But no, apparently this is an entirely separate novel written 15 years later.

You don't have to have read the books to see what I'm getting at here, this is the summary for Fool Me Once (2016):

Former special ops pilot Maya, home from the war, sees an unthinkable image captured by her nanny cam while she is at work: her two-year-old daughter playing with Maya’s husband, Joe—who had been brutally murdered two weeks earlier. The provocative question at the heart of the mystery: Can you believe everything you see with your own eyes, even when you desperately want to? To find the answer, Maya must finally come to terms with deep secrets and deceit in her own past before she can face the unbelievable truth about her husband—and herself.

I was going to include the summary used everywhere for Tell No One but none of them include a very important point for the purpose of this post. So here's my modified summary after having read the book:

David and Elizabeth Beck, are celebrating the anniversary of their first kiss at a secluded lake when Elizabeth is abducted and later murdered. On the eighth anniversary of Elizabeth's death, David receives a shocking email from an unidentified source linking him to a live stream of an unrecognizable street corner where a woman resembling his long-dead wife appears on screen before vanishing. Shocked by what he's seen, David goes on a quest to find out if this is Elizabeth or if he's being fooled. And, if it is his late wife, how is she alive? Where is she? Why is she hiding? David investigates the truth of the murder he still thinks about every day, hoping what should be impossible may be true.

Honestly, reusing the same plot points is not exactly surprising for authors known for cranking out a large volume of thrillers (James Patterson for example) but seeing the ad for the adaptation and seemingly no one pointing this out made me think I was crazy!

Really the other reason I wanted to post about this is because I'm getting real sick and tired of the books being recommended to me via The Algorithm. Why is every fucking book basically Gone Girl? They're all clearly written with hopes of being turned into a Hulu or Netflix movie/series and a lot of them actually are!

Let me know if you've heard this one before: Someone has gone missing/been murdered/is in a coma, their spouse/sibling/child is certain the police are missing something, the protagonist then discovers a hint/secret that makes them think their loved one is still alive/hiding for their safety/knows who caused their accident leading to coma. The protagonist must go on a mission to save their loved one which leads them to unravel truths about the past of the person they thought they knew.

Here's a list of books I've read in 2022/2023 that were all "critically acclaimed" and followed the exact pattern I just described:Imposter by Bradeigh Godfrey, My Murder by Katie Williams, The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave, Thought I Knew You by Kate Moretti, The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

And I only read a lot of those because the synopsis made it seem slightly more unique than the other dozens of books Goodreads/Book Tok recommends me. It's like every book on a "mysteries you won't be able to put down" list, especially if they were written in the streaming era, has a summary containing one or more of the following phrases:

"But there's something she/he doesn't know"

"Secrets are revealed that lead him/her to believe there's something the police are missing"

"He/she must unravel the mystery"

"His/her past contains secrets about the person he/she thought they knew"

"He/she must first come to terms with the truth in order to save him/her"

"Shocking twists and turns make this book impossible to put down"

Listen, I'm one to talk about formulaic novels, the author I've read the most is Jodi Picoult. Say what you will about the structure and beats of every one of her books but at least the premise is different. There's often a court case involving an interesting moral question which is why I enjoy her books so much. They are very similar in style but actually unique in overall story. I can't say the same for a lot of these "if you liked Gone Girl and Big Little Lies, you'll love this page-turning thriller" novels.

How many books have y'all read that follow the rule:

If the husband is seemingly perfect, he's the one who did it. If the husband seems suspicious, he's a red herring and the real culprit is someone who the protagonist believed was helping her.

I guess it'd be a lot easier to find new books if I was a fan of romcoms with illustrations of the characters on the cover. Or fantasy novels which require you to learn the vast lore of family trees, a magical world, some societal system including a long list of terms specific to the book, different creatures and their positions in said society, the back story of the kingdom, etc.

r/books 1d ago

"Quiet", slow burn books



Hello, I'm quite surprised to see all these comments and discussions, sorry that I cannot reply to everyone of the comments, but I am so happy to see that there are these many quiet yet wonderful books out there :) I will search the books you've mentioned (AND I also loved Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro!)

Thank you all so much for sharing your thoughts and books you love.

I didn't ask in the original post, but I'm now also wondering:

  • What do you think makes a good "quiet" book? (Beautiful prose? The detailed description of the character's inner world? Slice of life and daily feeling?)

I've seen readers criticise quiet works I like as too daily (?) and boring... and I realise that it seems as if it's one of the main reasons someone might judge a book unworthy... I also feel as if it's related to people liking fast paced works more and more (as someone has pointed out in the comments).

I also feel as if these quiet/slow paced/slow burn books exist more in literary fiction (at least in my country but I also feel the same way for English books)? Maybe readers/market of general fiction require faster pace naturally?

What do you think?


Original post below

English is not my native language, please excuse-me for any faults.

As a reader as well as writer, I truly love to read/write slow burn stories, or books that are considered "quiet".

But I feel as if people (whether it's readers, agents, editors etc.) don't really like these "quiet" books and think they are boring or lack twists...

What do you think about quiet books? Are there books that you love but are often see as too slow/quiet by others?

r/books 22h ago

What makes a classic a classic?


In your opinion of course. No right answers. Just curious how others perceive the greats and why. Is it showing mastery over writing? Doing something completely new and original? Telling a supremely entertaining story that can override any flaws the writing might have? Does it need to resonate with a large group of people to be a classic?

Personally, a classic to me embodies the themes and philosophies of the time while remaining timeless for future generations so by that reasoning it takes time for something to become a classic. Maybe becoming a classic takes a bit of mythos as well?

Anyways what are your interpretations of classic?

r/books 22h ago

Kafka short story


Excursion into the Mountains by Franz Kafka Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir 'I don't know,' I cried without being heard, 'I do not know, If nobody comes, then nobody comes. I've done nobody any harm, nobody's done me any harm, but nobody will help me. A pack of nobodies. Yet that isn't all true. Only, that nobody helps me - a pack of nobodies would be rather fine, on the other hand. I'd love to go on an excursion - why not? - with a pack of nobodies. Into the mountains, of course, where else? How these nobodies jostle each other, all these lifted arms linked together, these numberless feet treading so close! Of course they are all in dress suits. We go so gaily, the wind blows through us and the gaps in our company. Our throats swell and are free in the mountains! It's a wonder that we don't burst into song.'

I think it's about a lonely man who invited people to a celebration of some sort,most likely knowing that no one will show up.He then gets into a wordplay calling them nobodies,and as his thoughts go on he thinks about how it would kinda be nice to have some "nobodies" to hang around with and have fun in the mountains. He can imagine vividly the things he would do with his friends,if he had them. Is my understanding somehow correct or did the meaning fly over my head?

r/books 1d ago

Has anyone else noticed books disappearing from open library?


Not sure if this is a me problem, but I recently went to reference something from a book I read earlier this year on open library, but it was no longer available. It’s not that someone else was borrowing it either (I don’t think). I just saw the “preview only” button instead of the usual “borrow”. Has anyone noticed something similar happening?

r/books 1d ago

Who is the best literary villain?


I just finished reading Jack London’s “The Sea-Wolf” and damn, Wolf Larsen was such an insane but thought provoking character. The descriptions of his physical appearance were incredible and his philosophical nihilistic dialogue was mind blowing. And the book itself was a thrilling page turner. He seemed like a calmer, more defined Ahab and the book was a more exciting Moby Dick.

So who are the best antagonists of all time? And why? What is it about them that makes them complex, surprising, sympathetic, etc.?

r/books 1d ago

How much land does a man need? - Is Tolstoy against peasants?


So basically guys, I been reading Tolstoy for the past few months and started reading short stories and I started loving him so much! He gives me peace and today I read "HMLDAMN" I loved it as usual! And I saw ourselves as the protagonist running in the fields same way we running behind money

And as usual to learn more I saw this reddit thread where guy said Tolstoy wants the peasant to be the same way and be content instead of aiming for opportunity? It bothered me alot

Is that what Tolstoy did? I view him as very good person and a wise guy! Please guys let me know anything I need to be aware of

r/books 23h ago

Escape from CAMP 14


So I just finished the book Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden. It is a story of a guy "Shin" who escapes the Camp 14 ( a prison for political enemies) from North Korea. Author has described the life in the prison and what they have to go through. It was nerve wracking but at the same time it made me realize I shouldn't complain about things that I do and I should be grateful about where I am right now!

r/books 1d ago

Are people supporting their local small bookstores?


I recently noticed a new bookstore in my neighborhood and decided to check it out. It is run by a young, friendly, attractive couple in their early thirties. Books are generally organized by last name and there are a few different sections. They will also purchase used books from you. I did come in with a bag of a bunch of books- some were duplicates, some were books I was never going to read again, but they were mostly classics. I sold some of them and was told they purchased used books at between 15- 30% of what they are expected to sell for, taking into account how long it may sit on the shelf. I sold about 6-7 books and wound up with credit of $11 dollars, which I used towards the purchased of a nice vintage edition of R. L. Stevenson "Kidnapped," I was a little disappointed to see my books selling for slightly more than what I would have expected based on what I sold them for.

Ultimately I like the couple and their cute little store. I could have sold these on ebay, but they could have taken months to sell. I will continue to purchase the majority of my used purchases from Ebay and Biblio and similar sites, but still wish to give patronage to this small, lovely bookstore.

Anyone else have any Mom and Pop bookstores that they are supporting?

r/books 16h ago

The Dark One by Nikki St. Crowe Plot Fail?


I am like 60% through reading the second book- wow they are tiny reads. She’s no Tolkien, why this was released as a series and not one whole book is beyond me.

Not everyone cares for the darkest side of dark romances, and clearly there is less actual plot than there is smut in these books- but I still can’t help but have a question:

In the Dark One, it’s revealed that all the Darlings were brought home except one. Wendy, Winnie’s great-great grandmother. Umm if they’re being stolen away to Neverland on their 18th birthday, and Wendy never returned to the mortal realm, how exactly did her family line continue? How did her family get her suitcase containing the shadows? Timelines are not adding up in my mind here. Does anyone know if the author touches base on this later on, more secrets they aren’t aware of, or is the spicy scenes just there to distract us away from that?

r/books 1d ago

The Texas Historical Commission Removed Books on Slavery From Plantation Gift Shops