Friday, February 19, 2010

Faith 'n' Fiction Saturday: Not Recommending

What keeps you from recommending a book? Poor writing? Poor theology? Explicit sex? Profanity? Violence? Inappropriate subject matter? Are there any books you love so much you would recommend them to anyone or does each recommendation you make take the person you are recommending the book to into consideration?
What keeps me from recommending a book differs from situation to situation. It could be a Christian book I'm hesitant about recommending to a more general, more secular audience. It could be a secular book I'm hesitant about recommending to a Christian audience. I think there are certain things that are "offensive" to the other. For example, if I'm going to recommend a Christian book for a wider audience, a more secular audience, then I'm going to want it to be the best-of-the-best. I want it to be well-written. I want it to be complex. I want the characters to feel real, the situation to feel authentic. I don't want flimsy cardboard characters. I don't want sermonizing. I don't want the reader to feel preached at. I don't want the reader to think that I am using a book to preach at them.

On the other hand, there are some wonderful, wonderful books--"secular" books published by mainstream publishers either for the young adult or adult audience--that I think are worth reading. I think Christians could/should be willing to read wider. In some ways. Not all ways. Not too much, too soon. I think I would just be honest and say this book does have x, y, z. But it's still a really good book. You might like it.

Like Speak is a book that I would recommend to just about anybody. I think it has something to say to readers of (almost) all ages.

I do love recommending books to my friends. I love "spotting" books that I think they may like. I've been known to check out library books with others in mind. Thinking that if I read it and tell them about it, that they'd be more likely to pick it up at some point. Sometimes I finish a book and have a list in my head of people (often bloggers or online friends) who I think would like it.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

4 comments:

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Becky this is a great post and you covered the question so well! I will put a post up tomorrow if I have time but really have a review I want to post tomorrow too.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

If I don't think a book is any good I won't finish reading it and if I don't finish it then I don't think I'm qualified to comment on it. So the problem kind of takes care of itself.

ladystorm said...

Great answer, I feel the same way.

bigguysmama said...

I've never read a book with a specific person in mind, unless it was a YA for my daughter.

I'd read a secular book only on a recommendation from someone I trust. Honestly, I have such a large pile of Christian reading, I won't dig out of it in my lifetime!

~Mimi @ Woven by Words