Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read Because Someone Recommended Them to Me

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s prompt was a little tricky for me because it’s been a while since I’ve received a memorable book recommendation. I can be a bit picky about what I read, so I definitely don’t blame anyone for that. It’s just hard for some folks to figure out my tastes well enough to recommend things I end up loving.

These recommendations were all hits, though! They’re loosely arranged by how old I was when they were first recommended to me.

Title and Author: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1)
by C.S. Lewis

Who Recommended It: My uncle sent this entire seven-book series to me when I was in elementary school. I adored it immediately.


Title and Author: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Who Recommended It: I believe my fifth grade teacher recommended it during or after we did a history unit on the Holocaust. Anne’s stories about living in hiding as well as the truth about what happened to her gave this era a personal touch that made it easier for my young mind to grasp the horrors of it all.


Title and Author: Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe by Edgar Allan Poe

Who Recommended It: My ninth grade English teacher. She didn’t recommend this specific book, but she did an in-depth unit on his work in general that turned me into a lifelong fan of his stories.


Title and Author: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Who Recommended It: A book display at my high school library. I knew nothing about this author or tale, but I thought I’d give it a try. Jane won me over from the beginning.


Title and Author: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Who Recommended It: A high school study hall teacher. She had a shelf filled with books for us to read if we’d finished all of our homework. I picked this title out from it and was mesmerized from the first page.


Title and Author: Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

Who Recommended It: My aunt. She had a large personal library that I was allowed to borrow books from while she was away at college and later graduate school, and I believe this was one of the titles she thought I’d particularly enjoy. Yes, she was completely right.


Pile of opened books stacked on top of each other Title and Author: The Bluest Eye
by Toni Morrison

Who Recommended It: A librarian at the local public library if my memory is correct. I’d mentioned enjoying Beloved, and she immediately told me to read this next. I’m glad I listened to her!


Title and Author: Indian Horse  by Richard Wagamese

Who Recommended It: A coworker. I asked him for recommendations of Canadian books at some point after I moved up here, and this was one of his ideas.

Title and Author: The Stone Angel  by Margaret Laurence

Who Recommended It: The same coworker who recommended Indian Horse. I enjoyed both of these titles.


Title and Author: Annabel  by Kathleen Winter

Who Recommended It: A display of new Canadian books at one of the Toronto Public Library branches. I borrowed it with no knowledge of who the author was and had a great time reading it.


Filed under Blog Hops

87 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read Because Someone Recommended Them to Me

  1. Great list! It sounds like you had a lot of teachers who gave good recommendations.

  2. I’m planning on reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn as part of my next classics run — trying to read more American lit since there’s a lot of ‘famous’ novels I’ve not yet. Sounds promising!

  3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my favorite books!

  4. Six out of ten I’ve read, that’s doing really good for TTT. Poe is good for this time of year.

  5. Wow, so many great books! It’s wonderful that as a child, you had people recommending such wonderful books to you. I think being surrounded by adults who love books makes such a difference for a child!

  6. I love that teachers and librarians had so much influence over what you read. That’s awesome! THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE was one I read in elementary school that I have never forgotten.

    Happy TTT!


  7. Fun list! I don’t always have an easy time remembering who recommended a book to me either, though I do know Jane Eyre was recommended (and then gifted to me) by a co-worker. I didn’t know much about it before reading either, and I think it worked out best that way!

  8. A few of these I read in school, and remember Jane Eyre with fondness.

  9. Aw I like how you’ve included books you were recommended as a child too. Teachers really do shape so much of our reading don’t they!

  10. Great work! Indian Horse sounds very interesting.

  11. I love how you featured recommendations from childhood until now! 🙂

  12. brilliant list! I need to read The Bluest Eye

  13. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn! I didn’t discover that or Jane Eyre until I was in my late 20s and wish I’d read them earlier!

  14. Great list, I loved the Narnia books when I was little!

  15. Till We Have Faces has been on my radar for a while.

  16. I read Jane Eyre because my BFF recommended it to me.

  17. You had a lot of great teachers! I never got much in the way of recommendations from mine unfortunately, they were more concerned with making sure I read the set texts, none of which were very interesting!

  18. What a good list, that’s awesome you had so many teachers and librarians with such good recommendations!

  19. Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese was eye-opening.

    Here is my TTT list.

  20. Great list! Now I want to read all of the ones I haven’t on here…

    Here’s my post:

  21. I love Edgar Allan Poe; he is my favorite romantic period author. Do you have a particular story of his that is your favorite?

    • Oh, it’s hard to pick just one! So I’ll mention two.

      “The Masque of the Red Death” reveals things about human nature that are as true today as they were in 1850.

      “The Cask of Amontillado” is a story I sometimes reference in conversations with others. What chilling imagery it has.

      How about you?

  22. I don’t know why but Disqus flagged your comment on my post as spam, and when I went to approve it, it disappeared. But yeah, Indian Horse! I want to see the movie sometime because I heard it was really well done.

  23. I had to read The Bluest Eye in high school. I wasn’t a fan of how it was taught but when I reread it I preferred it.

  24. Thanks for visiting me – looks like libraries and librarians play a big role in your recommendations….they’re definitely a good source.

  25. I love the Narnia books so much. such great memories… and nostalgia too. A few of them I hardly remember, but the whole series still has a special place for me.

  26. My grandma used to loan me her books all the time. I can’t believe I didn’t include one of her recommendations! Loved hearing about all the recommendations from your past.

  27. I have not read these books but that is a great list! That’s great that you could still remember the books that was recommended to you!

  28. I’ve always been super curious about The Diary of a Young Girl. We never had the opportunity to discuss it in school. Maybe I’ll actually pick it up one day!

  29. Great list. I’ve read #s 1, 2, 4, 5 and 7. I don’t think I have read that many from any of the other lists.

    Thanks for visiting my TTT earlier. And for leaving your link. It doesn’t work, though, but I found it anway. 😉

  30. Carla

    Wonderful list Lydia. I love that you included Canadian Authors. I read both of the ones you mentioned and enjoyed them. Believe it or not, I have not read anything by Poe except for The Raven. There are a couple on this list that I am going to check out, specifically the Toni Morrison one.

  31. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my all time favorite novels!!!

  32. Great list! You had a lot of luck with recommendations 🙂

  33. Excellent list! I have only read Anne Frank’s diary.

  34. Someone just recommended C.S. Lewis’ book, Till We Have Faces. I love how you can remember exactly who recommended these to you.

  35. I love that you did this by age! Teachers and libraries are excellent ways to get recommendations. I actually had a similar experience with Edgar Allen Poe. We did an in-depth cover of some of his works in 8th grade, and I loved it. I was able to find a copy of the Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe earlier this year, but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.

  36. I had every intention of finally reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn this year, but it didn’t happen. It was my mom’s favorite book when she was younger. I really need to pick it up soon. Great post!

  37. I love all the classics on your list! Til We Have Faces is on my TBR as well.

  38. I wish I could be a little pickier about book recommendations! My TBR pile would probably thank me. But you have so many wonderful reads on your list this week. I’m spotting several favorites—and I just read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for the first time a few weeks ago.

  39. Verushka

    This is a very diverse list! And more than a couple I actually didn’t know

  40. you are surrounded by awesome people with great book tastes!

  41. I always think teachers give great reccomendations 🙂

  42. You’ve had some wonderful books recommended to you! Jane Eyre, Anne Frank, Narnia, Poe…

    I think my aunt and uncle started me on the Narnia books, too. At least, I can’t think who else would have given me The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Which means they (particularly my uncle) had a huge influence on my love of fantasy, since my uncle also got me reading The Hobbit. It’s great to live in a book-loving family. I get some of my best books as gifts from my sister, my child, and my parents.

  43. So many great reads here. I thought The Bluest Eye was just such a powerful story.

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