Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Who Do You Trust?

I watched a webinar yesterday, and it led to a question. So, I'm doing a survey here, and I'll answer it as well. Who do you trust for book recommendations? Quick, without thinking. What are your top three sources for book recommendations?

Here are the three people I trust to recommend books that I will probably like. Not always. No source is perfect. But, I picked three people rather than journals or magazines.

1. Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Friend, author, and blogger at Meanderings and Muses. Kaye and I don't always like the same books. I tend to read more cozy mysteries than she does. But, if Kaye recommends a book to me, she's usually right on target. And, at the end of the year, our list of favorite books will include several that are the same.

2. Donna Seaton - Friend and co-worker. Donna's taste is much more literary than mine, but she's often able to spot the book that I'll like.

3. Talia Sherer from Macmillan. Talia is the Library Marketing Director for Macmillan. Her taste is more grisly than mine, but Talia can often pinpoint what I like.

And, I didn't mention my sister, Christie. She doesn't recommend books, but we talk about mysteries and amateur sleuths as if those characters lived next door.

I read book reviews, journals, several blogs, and publicists contact me quite frequently. And, often a publicist will hit the mark with one title or so. But, I'll listen to these three people, and at least check out the book they recommend.

So, take a look at your list. Is there a librarian on there? That's what the webinar was about. Are librarians still a trusted source for book recommendations? Were they trusted sources when you were a child? Do you ask your librarian for recommendations now?

I'm curious. If you answer the question, you don't need to name the person. You can say a friend, my mom, a co-worker, my sister. If it's a blog or a magazine, give it a shout-out. I'd love to know who you trust for book recommendations.


Christie said...

MY SiSTER-of course! You are my favorite person to recommend, because you know what I like. Thanks for the shout out!

Lesa said...

Thank you, Christie!

SandyG265 said...

One of the librarians at my local library likes a lot of the same books I do so we tell each other if we like a new series. I've found several good books from your reviews. And my Mom used to give me authors to read but now I seem to be giving her things to read instead.

Diane said...

I try a lot of your recommendations and have often found books or a new series that I end up devouring. But your taste is not exactly mine so about half the time I am disappointed. Still that means half the time I end up with something I love.
I also look at NYT book reviews especially a couple of their columnists.
And finally I can get lost at the website Brain Pickings. So many great books and so little time!
If I read all the books I want to read I would Never have time for anything else.

Lesa said...


Love to hear that you and your librarian are sharing recommendations! I recommend a lot of books to my mother, too.

Lesa said...

You're right, Diane. If you take all my reviews with a grain of salt, and end up liking half of what you pick, that's pretty good. I never heard of Brain Pickings. Now, I'm going to have to check it out.

Kay said...

I'll answer and not name specific people. There would be more than 3. LOL

1. Certain bloggers - don't always agree but there are some that I seem to be particularly reading twins with (did that make sense?).

2. Stop You're Killing Me - more as an informative site for what's coming but I check out their reviews as well.

3. My mystery book group - a wonderful bunch of people who are so, so well read. We all feed off each other's mystery suggestions. Many members come with pen in hand to each meeting and fill up books with the suggestions.

And, no, I don't really ask a librarian. Except maybe you. Honestly, I think that I was the staff member at the time I worked at the library that everyone else sent people to if a patron wanted fiction suggestions or help. They have told me several times that they miss me as a resource. Which is nice. Me, I just have this odd little memory about some things - books in particular.

Lesa said...

Kay, I get that part about your memory for books. I miss that part of my job. I did that quite a bit in Florida. Yes, that reading twins does make sense. LOVE Stop You're Killing Me. I use it all the time. And, it's fabulous to have a mystery book group with well-read members! And, I know you have been an active part of making that group successful. Thanks for answering.

Margie Bunting said...

I don't rely so much on other individuals for recommendations. I find that Library Journal Prepub Alert is a great resource, as their weekly email and thumbnail descriptions let me know what books are coming out 4 months or so in the future so I can catch up with my favorite authors or find new favorites. Step You're Killing Me is also helpful, as is the Shelf Awareness email. But Lesa, I can't leave you out. I have picked up on many books I've loved from your reviews--thank you!

Liz said...

My daughter, Lesa, naturally.

Lesa said...

I agree with all your sources, Margie. And, thank you, for including me.

Lesa said...

Thanks, Mom!

ceblain said...

I have found that I more or less prefer to make book choices on my own with just reading the synopsis of the book or online and knowing what this author has written before that I enjoyed. I also trust one particular publisher more than others and that is Henery Press, as every author that comes through this company has books done right by their authors. Every one of the authors that I have read that is published through them has been a book that I have truly enjoyed!! I will discuss books at my neighborhood book club for the variety of books that we all discuss, but for my mystery reading especially, I tend to make the final choice myself. I so discuss books before getting them with friends who read the same books as I do too. I also follow Dru's Book Musings, Lisa K's (Lisa Kelly) Book Reviews as they do many book reviews each week and are very interactive with the readers which I enjoy a lot. I also read a number of other blogs who write about the cozies (*your included, Leas) that I love to read. I have not had good luck with librarians recommending cozies, sorry to say.

Thank you.
Cynthia B

Anonymous said...

My three sources would be:

Your blog,
my best friend as we tend to like the same books(she is a cataloger)
Various resources on the web.

I miss sharing what my patrons are reading,but I'm going back to work part time so I'll find new books to try.

CindyD said...

Interesting question. I always check out your recommendations, except I don't read many cozies. I am in two book groups and I we always talk about what we're reading. I look at BookPage and Reading Group guides.
I do miss access to Library Journal and Booklist reviews!

Lesa said...

Thank you to all of you for your answers. I look at BookPage as well, and, of course, LJ and Booklist, but most people don't have access to them. I like Dru's Book Musings, too, Cynthia. And, I miss talking to my patrons about their books, since in my job, I don't really interact often with them.

Pat said...

Well, Lesa, I would have to say that I put you as my favorite "blog" resource. I have followed you daily since your Arizona days, and I really appreciated your reviews. I have also noticed a broader field since you moved east, but that's okay. :-) Otherwise, I read Book Page and basically prefer to read the book covers in stores and libraries and decided for myself. For cozys I also like the comments on "The Cozy Mystery List" blog.

Lesa said...

Thanks, Pat. Yes, a little broader field. Mainly because I don't have Poisoned Pen nearby, and don't have the chance to see the authors as I did. It makes a difference in the blog. Thank you!

Donna Seaton said...

The first person I ever had recommend books for me was my mother, she is the one that introduced me to the world of books and libraries.
My friend Lesa is always on the look out for books she believes that I would enjoy, and as of right now she is batting 100. Love, love our book chats, wherever they may take place. :)
Some of my other library friends and co-workers, because even though we may not read the same types of books, we may discover something new to enjoy by discussing our love of certain books.

Lesa said...

Donna and I have discussions about books in stairwells, offices, cars, at lunches on Saturdays that go for 3 hours. We can always find books to talk about. Thank you, Donna.

Shirley said...

I know that I can always rely on the recommendations of my friend, Connie. We also have the same taste in TV shows and movies.

Lesa said...

Isn't it great, Shirley, to have someone who shares an interest so you can talk about it?

Carol N Wong said...

I have a very close friend in California, we seem to rave about the same books and read the same genres.

Also I like reading reviews on Amazon and GoodReads and if there is enough detail about why they like the book, I trust them.

Lesa said...

Carol, as I told Shirley, it's wonderful when you have a friend who shares book interests, isn't it? I glance at reviews on Amazon, but tend to use them more for movies, checking to see what people say.

Reine said...

My friend, Stephanie. She is the only person I know who gives me books as gifts that I read and enjoy. Always. So far.

My librarian when I was a little girl was great. She drove the bookmobile to the grammar schools in our little town in Massachusetts and always seemed to know which books i would like. Bookmobile day was something we all looked forward to.

My librarian now is a lovely volunteer who sends me books on tape from the local library. But, she doesn't know what a cozy is and has trouble differentiating thrillers from classic mysteries. I tried to explain to her, but I was no help. I want you to know that I thought the world of this librarian, but after several discussions and many bags of books gone unheard I decided to suspend book deliveries.

I tried ordering Books on Tape/Recordings for the Blind from the State Library, but they only have recordings of the most popular books which are usually on waiting lists so long I rarely got one I wanted to read. I got a lot of tapes that didn't fit any of the categories I selected as being ones I might enjoy.

I was not allowed to order hard copies that my book holder could hold open while I read (tedious and time consuming but doable), and order books on tape or the best reading method for me, recordings for the blind and handicapped.

I feel guilty about all of this, because everyone seemed to try and cared. I felt bad complaining.

Lesa said...

Reine, You're right to continue to complain. You're not getting what you want, and someone needs to understand what you're looking for. I'm sorry.