Hi, my name is Sarah and I’m a book pusher.
Yes, yes, it’s true. And let’s be honest — I’m sure that if you’re reading this, chances are that:
A. You like books
B. You like recommending books to other people
It’s pretty simple, really: There’s a book pusher in all of us.
But what’s not so simple? Trying to decide exactly which book to force on anyone asking for suggested reading material.
I read a hundred books a year if I’m lucky. Most I loved, some I liked, a few, I didn’t even finish.
And if I loved a book, or maybe even liked it, I might suggest it if someone was specifically asking about that book. An example: I don’t think The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) needs any help with publicity, but I read it and enjoyed it and if anyone were asking me about it, I’d tell them as much.
That said, some books, I push. Hard.
I blab about them at my Sisters in Crime meetings. I talk them up on Twitter and Facebook. I keep copies in my car just in case someone at my trail running group takes my pitch and wants to borrow one or all of them after our run.
Yes, I’m that person.
So, when I found out my friend Owen Laukkanen was up for Pop Culture Nerd’s “Stalker Award” for “Novel You Most Often Shoved at Others” I was especially proud.
Because, though I loved the other two books represented (above), I can honestly say I’ve shoved The Professionals down many a book-loving throat.
It’s a fabulous book, as is his second book, Criminal Enterprise. GO READ THEM.
In fact, I’ve mentioned both so many times on Twitter, that Owen has joked he owes me a drink. No, no, he doesn’t, he owes me more words. (Get on that, Owen, if you’re reading this!)
But honestly, Owen’s books aren’t the only ones I’ve been praising this past year. I’ve mentioned a few of these books in this space already (because I’m a pusher), but here are the top five books I’ve suggested in 2013:
- The Professionals (and Criminal Enterprise) by Owen Laukkanen
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton
- The Yard (and The Black Country) by Alex Grecian
- Every Last Secret (and Every Broken Trust) by Linda Rodriguez
What have been your favorite books to push this year?
I interview authors for our Welcome Wednesday spots, which promotes authors and their books. I read every book we promote on WW. I owe our readership to read the books--then decide if I want to interview an author. All of the books I promote must have admirable qualities that make me love them or show that the author has great potential.
Based on the calendar, I guess I've pushed about 40 books or more every year. If you'd like to see the titles, please go the schedule at the top of our homepage.
You've provided more books for my reading list Sarah--not sure if I should thank you for that or not!
I have to say that my TBR pile (physical, virtual and wish) is high.
Since my own debut novel came out in March, my "pushing" has been more about that book than others, but whenever I'm in conversation with people, I'll mention goods books I've recently read.
I've been too disappointed by other people's "Oh you just MUST read this book, it's so great" recommendations, that I try instead to talk about what I enjoyed about a book so the other person can decide whether or not is sounds good for them.
My TBR pile is already tottering, and now I've got to add more to it - Owen Laukkanen you're going on the list!
My favorite "pushes" at work - I think I'll use the job title book pusher rather than librarian - WHERE'D YOU GO BERNADETTE? for a lighter read, AVAILABLE DARK by Elizabeth Hand for a darker read, and THE ANGELS ARE THE REAPERS by Alden Bell for the pitch black read.
I have such a huge TBR pile, but the books I read first are the ones for my two book clubs, unless I find I really, really don't want to waste the time on them after reading a few chapters, but that is rare.
One recent book is UNBROKEN by Laura Hildebrand. It's the true story of a former marathon runner, Louis Zamparini, who enlisted after WWII and all that happened to him especially his time in a Japanese prison camp. There wasn't one person in our book club who wasn't impressed with this book, and that is rare indeed.
The other one was from my other book club THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS by M.L Stedman. I liked it so much that I chose it for my other book club that will be meeting at my house the week after next. The book club that already discussed it, also did not have one member who didn't like it. Lots of discussion ensued with both books. A good sign that the books have depth in plot and characters.
Annnnnd, I'm adding all these books to my TBR wishlist. Thanks so much for sharing, guys!
Thanks for telling us about a a great group of authors, Sarah.
I have been reading a lot of short stories lately, but not many books. A friend handed me Lori Benton's debut novel Burning Sky, about a young woman kidnapped by the Mohawks, who makes her way home after the American Revolution to see if she can return to her former life. It's a unique historical period, and Benton's characters and descriptions are richly detailed and vividly portrayed. I'm having a difficult time putting it down. Please add it to the list of the "pushed."
Sarah, thanks for the lovely shout-out!
I, too, have been pushing Alex Grecian's THE YARD on folks, as well as Hank Phillippi Ryan's THE OTHER WOMAN, Kathleen George's SIMPLE--two of the best examinations of politics, power, and class in this country--Deborah Crombie's THE SOUND OF BROKEN GLASS, Paul Doiron's MASSACRE POND, and Jenny Milchman's COVER OF SNOW.
I'm also always pushing Julia Spencer-Fleming's ONE WAS A SOLDIER, still the best book I've read about the effects of multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and the private corporate corruption over there on our soldiers--fiction or nonfiction.
Then, there's NOS4ATU by Joe Hill, and anything by Neil Gaiman or C.J. Cherryh, two of the best speculative fiction writers out there--and two of the just, plain best writers out there today.
And I'll stop there before I really get warmed up. :-)
Oh, Linda, Neil Gaiman and Julia Spencer-Fleming - yes and yes!
Cute! Couldn't think of a better guy to promote!
Although I give Sarah a run for her money in pushing Owen's books.
He's such an inspiration to me in so many ways. He's one of the hardest working writers I know. His daily word count is off the charts. And he's so good that he makes it all seem effortless. Clean, crisp, clear writing that makes you rip through the pages.
Good job pushing that book, Kristi! So glad you told me about Owen way back when:)
Linda, I always love pushing your books! They're fabulous! And I'm adding every suggestion to my TBR.
Thank you for book recommendations, Sarah. My TBR list is long and filled mostly with books about writing at the moment.
I’m still in awe that you read 100 books a year.
I would have to push James Palmer here. He is fairly new also and has 3 books out. Delirious, Stolen, and Helpless. He happens to be the son of Michael Palmer and comes honest by his gift of writing. His books grab you very early and take you on a roller coaster ride. You will be disappointed when you finish the book because you enjoyed it so much.
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