Thursday, October 13, 2011

Readers Are Like Drug Pushers

It's a dreary rainy October night, which means it's a great night for reading!  My latest "find" is Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand.  Actually, I shouldn't call it a find since I didn't find the book--it found me.  It would be more appropriate to call it a "referral" as my daughter recently read it and recommended it to me.  I'm only 100 pages into it, but the premise is a woman who is married to the biggest Ponzi schemer in history (think Bernie Madoff) must go into hiding with her estranged best friend on Nantucket to avoid the public's scorn.  The only regret I have about this book is that I didn't find it during the summer.  This would have been a great beach read, but the ocean shore setting still seems appealing on this fall evening.

As someone who is in the process of publishing a novel independently, I have learned that marketing is key to getting a book before the public.  Although marketing is essential, all the experts agree (and I concur) that the best PR is word-of-mouth recommendations.  Many of my favorite books have been recommended by friends and family.  Have yours?

Readers are a bit like drug pushers.  When I was a girl, I fell in love with Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.  It's the first book I ever read that made me cry.  (And I'm still not over Laurie's marrying Amy instead of Jo.) I couldn't wait until my daughter was old enough to read it.  In fact, I "turned her on" to it when she was in the fourth grade.  From there she was hooked on reading.  She'd read a chapter and like addicts comparing highs I'd ask her, "how was it?" 

Some of the books others have recommended to me that I've enjoyed are:

The Help (my sister)
The Devil in the White City (a student in my memoir writing class)
The Education of Little Tree (woman whose children I watched)
Light a Penny Candle (my mom)
Where Are the Children? (my grandmother)
Mark of the Lion (a neighbor)
Hello Darkness (a fellow writer)

When you read a good book, do you spread the word?  Is there a book you always recommend? I'm always on the prowl for a good read, so feel free to suggest some of your faves.

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