the book rec lottery launch

the book rec lottery launch

Hello everybody! And welcome to a new, exciting feature that myself and the lovely Michaela @ A Novel Idea created!

Do you like recommending your favourite books? Would you like more recommendations tailored to your mood or content you fancy?

Then you’re in the right place!

How does it work?

  • Each month, Michaela and I will pick a theme. This could be anything, from a certain type of representation to a specific trope to an emotion you want a book to make you feel.
  • We’ll launch it on our blogs and Twitter at the start of the month – make sure you’re following both myself and Michaela!
  • Then it’s up to you! All you need to do is leave a comment or reply to our tweet with a book recommendation you think fits that theme and why. This can be as long or short as you like and you can recommend as many or few as you can think of!

For example: this month’s theme is ‘A Book For When You Want To Cry’

My recommendation for a book for when you want to cry is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak because you develop a real affection for all the characters and the ending is so brutal. It’s based around a real period of history too so it hurts even more to think events like this could actually have happened.

  • At the end of the month we’ll round up all your suggestions and put them in a random generator – this is the ‘lottery’ part.
  • We’ll then make a blog post with five of your randomly chosen recommendations with a full synopsis, our thoughts on the choice and your explanation! All other suggestions will be added at the end as ‘Honorable Mentions’ so no one will miss out on having their recommendation shared.

This means that every month, you’ll get at least five recommendations based on a mood, trope or theme as well as being able to share your own favourites and hopefully find people who love them too!

If you’d like to take part in February’s lottery, then the theme is:

A Book You Would Recommend To Someone Who Doesn’t Like To Read

We’ve chosen this theme as it was sort of our inspiration for starting this feature; a friend asked us to recommend books for someone they know who wasn’t a big reader, but wanted to try read more. He has started some of our suggestions and loved them so far! So, we figured why not try do the same for more people, across more topics!

***Please note that if you do submit a recommendation, you’re giving us permission to use your quote and name/handle as part of the blog post.***

Do you have a recommendation for someone who doesn’t like to read? And do you have any requests for upcoming themes? They can literally be anything and we’ll consider all suggestions! Let us know in the comments 🙂


42 thoughts on “the book rec lottery launch

  1. a man called ove by fredrik backman! if you don’t like reading so much but would like to give it a go, this is the perfect book to help ease someone into the reading world. centered on an old, cantankerous and grieving man, it follows a compelling cast of characters, has a very uncomplicated and easy-to-follow plot (without it being too patronising or oversimplified to the reader), is relatively short and doesn’t require constant attention which is ideal if you want to read a book you only have to pick up every so often without losing your place in the story. plus, the emotional punches it pulls is guaranteed to leave any reader desperate to find something else that will replicate the feelings they experienced reading this book – and naturally, that encourages more reading! (trigger warnings for death, suicide, dementia and miscarriage – all topics that are dealt with in the story but not overused to the point of melodrama)

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    For someone who doesn’t like to read (& hopefully likes horror), I’d recommend THE SEA WAS A FAIR MASTER by Calvin Demmer. It’s a collection of flash fiction, so the reads are SUPER fast, but also so well-written! I was in complete awe while reading this book! Also, it’s a double bonus for horror fans, because Calvin Demmer explores so many different sub-genres! There’s something for everyone!

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  3. I’m extremely excited for this little adventure! It’ll be a lot of fun seeing what people come up with, and hopefully getting more people interacting as well as discovering new content that they might not have considered to begin with!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a lovely idea– can’t wait to see everyone’s recommendation!! 💛

    A book I would recommend to someone who doesn’t like to read would be… An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir because I love fantasy reads so it’s got to fantasy and I think this one had a very strong plot and strong characters– the main character hope is inspiring . It hooked me start away, had great pacing and I didn’t want to put it down. And I hope others would feel the same way. 😊

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  5. This sounds like a really great idea! I’m sure I’ll get a lot of good recommendations!
    For people who don’t like to read, I’d probably recommend Wonder, by RJ Palacio. It’s a short and sweet book, that a lot of people can relate with. It talks about bullying, friendship and family in one of the most beautiful ways I’ve ever read, and I really think everyone should read it! Also, the multiple perspectives make the story more fast-paced and engaging, so I don’t see how one can not like it.

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      1. My husband isn’t a reader and I suggested he try The Martian by Andy Weir and really enjoyed it. I think the Martian is a great book and with all the science and because of the film it might appeal to non-readers…(maybe???)

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      2. Ooh I love both the book and film of The Martian!! I think that’s a great rec, it’s very cinematic and the narrator is super engaging. Great choice!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. For anyone wanting to try fantasy (YA or adult), TRUTHWITCH by Susan Dennard. Magic, intricate world-building and brilliant friendships.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is such a good idea. Hmmm. I think I’d recommend something like One Day by David Nichols (sp?) partly because I loved it when I read it, but also because he’s so used to writing for television that the structure is very episodic and his writing has a lot of visual appeal so I think it would make it quite an easy transition for someone who doesn’t read for whatever reason.

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    1. I’ve been keeping a distance and liking all the comments, letting Esmè do her thing, but I just wanted to jump in and say I LOVE this suggestion! I haven’t read it myself, but I love your reasoning and the description of Nicholls’ writing/past experiences being episodic. It sounds like it could be a really captivating of drawing new readers in!

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  8. This is such a good idea. I don’t know what books to recommend – it would depend on what their interests and/or likes were. What I’d like may not be what someone else does. But I love books that make me laugh so my favourites at the moment are the Why Mummy … series by Gill Sims and the Noah books by Simon James Green.

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  9. This sounds like so much fun.
    Eeerrm, I think I’d recommend a Jack Reacher book because they’re easy to read, fun, and keep a steady pace. It’s not hard or complicated reading just a bit of fun.

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  10. Oh my goodness, what a fabulous idea! And naturally I’ve gone completely and utterly blank about what I would recommend someone. Going to have a think – and very excited to see where this goes across the year!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This is such a fun idea!

    For someone who doesn’t like to read, I’d pick They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera. I feel like you’d need something with an interesting premise and something that’s gripping, and this book fills that brief entirely! What would you do if you know you were going to die today? Definitely a premise that would intrigue non-bookworms!

    You also know what’s going to happen at the end, but you spend the whole book wondering when it’s going to happen and how. Also, the characters Mateo and Rufus are super cute and it’s all around and easy and great read!

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  12. Superb post, as always Esbop. Very very excited to see what you come up with and all the contributions that come from this over time! You’re doing absolutely excellent work with this blog and every inch of your creativity, lovely!

    A book that I would highly recommend to anybody, but definitely to new readers, would be “How To Stop Time” by Matt Haig. This wasn’t initially the book I was going to choose, and I went through a few different options, ranging from genre to genre, and I think it’s obviously quite a difficult feat to recommend a book to somebody who doesn’t read, as you’re limited in knowing what genres would appeal to them, and what type of themes would be to their tastes. There are so many books that I love, that I found exceptionally easy to read, ones that helped me through the most damning of slumps, from “The Raven Cycle” by Maggie Steifvater, to Becky Albertalli’s “Simon vs The Homo Sapien Agenda”, to “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer. All are incredibly different stories, with very different premises, and so it’s a tricky job recommending new books, but i’m pretty happy with this one!
    How To Stop Time fits into an array of genres, from Science Fiction, to Fantasy, to Historical, all the while still taking place, at its core, in present day London. It is the story of Tom Hazard, who is, quite simply, a man who, seemingly, never ages. Or, rather, he is a man with a condition that means he ages very slowly, at an entirely different pace to humans, one which leaves him looking just 41 years old, when in reality he has been alive for centuries. There’s a lot of reasons I enjoyed this book, so i’ll start off by saying that I think Matt Haig is a fantastic writer, and that his books flow with such ease, and are very easy to follow. That’s the initial reason with which I’d recommend it, knowing how difficult it can be to immerse yourself in a story if you aren’t a big reader, or if you aren’t one at all, Haig’s style makes it extremely easy to lose yourself in the tale and these characters.
    I think that How To Stop Time is very easily a story that deals with a lot of important topics, mental health in particular, but even sexuality, more subtly. Yet, though it talks of topics that I find can often be hard-hitting, or even ones that can often open up discussions to hatred and bigotry, Haig handles it in a very gentle nature, in a way that isn’t loud or glaringly obvious, there’s no preaching or force involved, but merely these aspects are a part of the story, a part of Tom’s journey, and they fit exactly where they need to be, and are addressed accordingly.
    I think a lot of first time readers will enjoy the magic of this story, subtle as it is, while also appreciating that not everything is bright and sunny, and though there are a lot of fun aspects to Tom’s tale (with flashbacks to Shakespeare, Fitzgerald, and other such historical figures), that there is a darkness to it too, and that it’s not without twists and turns that keep you hooked. The dynamics in this story are all incredibly different, all contrasting one another in brilliant ways, and each one as interesting as the last. And even the characters that you don’t like, they still serve a purpose and have an impact on everything around them, and push the story along.
    Lastly, I’d even go so far as to say that perhaps this is not only a good story for new readers, but particularly for fans of Doctor Who, too. Thanks to you, that was one of the aspects that actually encouraged me to read this book sooner, rather than later, being a big Doctor Who fan myself, and I can’t say it disappointed. Haig manages to capture the brilliance and magic and science fiction aspects necessary to tell Tom’s story, while still maintaining the same true-to-life realness that Doctor Who encapsulates, with a great representation of human nature, love, and everything in between.

    Sorry for prattling on (again)!

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