Fear Not!

Back in 2012 I talked about one of my biggest bookish fears (I have lots of them — here, here and here) and I wanted to revisit the topic. I said that one of the things I fear is lending someone a book that is an all time favorite or when someone tells me that they are reading a favorite book of mine because of how much I rave about. BECAUSE ALL THE PRESSURE (what if they hate it? What if they think your taste sucks?). Now, at that point, I had only been into about 2 years of book pushing — erm I mean blogging — and now here we are at ~5 years of doing a whole hell of a lot of recommending and lending and being LOUD about books I love.

I still DO have this fear that they will totally hate the book I love so much and am sharing with them and never ever trust my recs again. But ya know what? The sweet, sweet victory of getting a friend totally into the books you love is FAR more worth the initial jitters/panic that they might not like it. And also I feel like at this point I have so many “wins” under my belt at this point and statistically speaking (I don’t really do maths that well so my statistics have no basis) I’m not going to able to have a winning streak for forever (I mean, that’s what I’ve learned from all the sports Will watches)?

I am also finding that I am FAR more triumphant when I get my IRL friends/family into the books I love. I mean, I always feel happy when I give a good rec to a blog reader or anyone else in this community. BUT there is something about giving those recommendations to the people in my life who don’t read as much as we all do and who don’t have anyone else giving them recommendations. I feel like this glorious matchmaker!!!

Can I share two of my biggest personal victories recently??? I want you to share yours in the comments, too! Let’s rejoice together!

* My little sister Paige: Paige is 20 and she’s pretty good about listening to my recommendations over the years. She’s in college right now so doesn’t have as much time to read but recently she LOVED some of my faves: The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, the Jessica Darling series,  and Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson. (Sorry, had to edit it out some ~confidential things haha)


* My friend Kelsey: My friend Kelsey and I have a standing date every Wednesday (mostly) during Survivor season where we hang out and drink wine while we watch. She reads occasionally and is a self-proclaimed slow reader. BUT LET ME TELL YOU SHE HAS BEEN DEVOURING BOOKS THAT I GIVE HER LATELY.

If I Stay/Where She Went by Gayle Forman: We all know how I love Gayle’s books (if you don’t…where have you been??). She read these SO FAST and was obsessed. She passed them on to her mom and then to her sister-in-law and THEY were both in love.

The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi: I was SO happy she loved this one because I wasn’t sure how she’d do with dystopian. She liked The Hunger Games but that was all she read so it was hard to gauge WHAT she liked in the genre.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: THIS IS MY BIGGEST VICTORY. She has never read a fantasy novel in her life and was A LITTLE nervous. I was like, “look if you don’t like it…I will pick you out a new book from my collection when you come over next week.” BUT ALAS…the texts speak for themselves and the fact that she book talked it to another friend of hers!!! (Edited out A LOT of non-book talk in between haha).



I LOVE GIVING BOOKS TO MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY. AND TO ALL OF YOU. It’s those little things in life, like giving a book to someone who ends up loving it, that put a smile on my face. The little victories, man!!

So, tell me some of your victories!! Also, do you get nervous to rec books you love to people for fear they will hate it/not trust you?? Do you recommend books to a lot of people outside of this community!


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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. That’s the best feeling!! My sister is in grad school and doesn’t have much time for non-school reading, but I recommended Shadow and Bone to her and then not only did she get hooked on the series, so did her husband! 🙂

    • That is AWESOME!! YAY YOU! I love it when, in turn, the person you recommended to it gets other people into it. It’s like this chain of awesome.

  2. Excellent! I love it when book recommendations are successful. I managed to get my father to read Harry Potter and Outlander, but sadly Game of Thrones was just a step too far for him.

  3. That’s really great! I have had some similar experiences sharing books as well…one of my biggest successes was with my best friend this past year. I have been trying to get her into more fantasy so I recommended the Grisha trilogy and Marie Lu’s Legend series. She liked them both! Plus, I have been trying to get one of my non-reader friends into a series; right now, she’s on the Lunar Chronicles. I really love having bookish friends for recommendations, both to give and to receive!

    • Oh good job!!! Legend is one I recommend a lot because it’s SO easy to get into. My nephews loved that one.

  4. I love your friends reaction to Throne of Glass, especially because it is one of my favorite series as well and I push it on everyone. haha 🙂 I also love that she understands that reading while hanging out with you is okay. 🙂 I am glad you are conquering your fears. I get nervous about recommending books too and people at work are always asking me.

    • Her reaction made me so happy!! And she totally did come here and finish the last chapter which was awesome bc we just silently read together. TRUE FRIENDS.

  5. One of my coworkers is 6’8″ and his name is Steve. In one of my favorite books, FEED, there’s a really big guy named Steve. He and I were discussing audiobooks one day, and I mentioned that he should check out the Newsflesh trilogy. He started them a couple days later and gave me regular updates on how much he enjoyed them. Now I have him reading Fortune’s Pawn. I’m so excited!

    • THAT IS AWESOME!! I loved during my last job that I had a co-worker who loved YA bc we would always talk books instead of work hahaa

  6. Oh man, recommending books is SCARY. I just lent Fangirl to my best friend, and if she doesn’t love it, I might cry. That one I think I’ll take personally, even though I know it’s not personal at all.

    I’ve had good luck (like, to one person each) with Robin Hobb, The Archived series, The Raven Cycle, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and A Darker Shade of Magic. Robin Hobb is usually my go-to epic fantasy rec.

    Last fall, I recommended The Enchanted to a friend who isn’t a big reader and wanted to splurge on a book. HE STILL HASN’T FINISHED IT. I feel terribly and guilty. I guess that’s always the risk, but still. Ugh. On the other hand, I also recommended it to Stormy from Book.Blog.Bake, and she gave it 5 stars.

    I find it much harder to recommend books to my guy friends than to female friends. Do you find that too, or am I just perpetuating stereotypes? (I mean, I know I am, but also…are my guy friends going to want to swoon over hot boys in some of my favorite YA contemps? Probably not…)

    Oh, and GOOD WORK with your recommendation successes! 😀

    • YAY LOOK AT YOU GO with all those successful recs!!! And your friend HAS to like Fangirl…I mean how can you not?!?!?

      Aw and sad about the other friend BUT sometimes we are bound to have duds. IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S HIM.

      Most of my guy friends don’t read but I definitely find it’s easier to rec books to the ladies.

  7. I love these victory stories. I have one friend who devours EVERYTHING I recommend to her, which is awesome. And then we text, but it’s mostly just flailing (can you flail via text) and gushing about how we need the next book or something like that. I have been trying to get my sister on some stuff, but she is not an avid reader and seems to prioritize to the point where reading is low on the list. I just gotta find her a series that is addicting. She is working on Divergent, but she has watched the movies and people have basically spoiled the last book for her…ugh gotta find another.

    It’s always fun to get people hooked on something. I love it. It feels SO much different than getting someone online to take your recommendation (which is still awesome, but it’s different). Glad they are loving your faves (and some of my faves it seems. They can never have too much love can they?)!

    • I LOVE IT. Like even though we have a zillion book blogging friends to flail with there is just something about flailing with your IRL people! Yeah, my one sister is like your sis. She will go through kicks though..like she’ll devour a bunch of books I give her and then not read for 8 months haha. What about The Hunger Games? Under the Never Sky trilogy (I got a FB friend from college into those when she asked for book recs!!). Hope you find something to hook her!!


  8. Ok, my recent book victory might be a little odd, but I got my Grandma into Outlander! I had some friends say things like “I can’t believe you recommended that book to your Grandma because of the sexytimes!” But to me, they weren’t anything bad. And I HATE erotica, so I figured if I, the prude, was ok with Outlander then surely it would be ok for Grandmas, right? Well she called me yesterday to tell me she LOVED the book and I asked her if she found it too racy and she said yes it was too hot for her, but that she wished she had read it when she was younger and taken some notes… BAHAHAHA!

    I finally got into the Game of Thrones books, which is a victory for my husband, haha.

  9. Oh yeah, that’s one big fear right there! Recently one of my bloggy friends said that since I have talked so highly of a book it was a must have and I felt all nervous!

    And I do have this feature with my bloggy friend Alyssa from Eater of Books, where we recommend a book to each other each month to read, and I’m always nervous she’ll hate them!

    • It IS nerve-wracking. I’m always like OMG IF SHE DOES NOT LIKE THIS SHE WILL BE LIKE WOW HER TASTE SUCKS AND I WIL NEVER TRUST HER. *cue panic spiral for no reason*

      That’s such a fun feature! How have your recs been for each other? Wins? I think it’s fun to rec books to people who you really know their taste though sometimes when it backfires I’m like MAN I GUESS I DO NOT KNOW YOUUUU.

  10. Amen, Jamie. Just. Amen. Those messages! 🙂 Like you, I get a lot happier when a friend or someone I know who doesn’t blog loves a book I recommended. This happened with my best friend ending up loving Paper Towns, and another I introduced to The Beginning of Everything and she totally smitten! These are the little victories I wouldn’t change for the world. Really interesting post!

    • LOVE IT. I had a co-worker at my old job who I gave all JG books and she looooved them! I wish I still worked there bc I’d give her The Beginning of Everything!

  11. My biggest victories have been The 5th Wave to my sister-in-law who only likes super action-y books, Code Name Verity to people who “don’t read YA”, and the Jessica Darling series to all of my college girlfriends. JD, in particular, has sparked a lot of love because it really does feel relateable to anyone who went to high school in the 90s.

    I love those texts. I love getting texts about books – do you get all fist-pumpy and delighted when you get them?

    • YES CNV is the one I Loooooove giving to those who think YA isn’t good. I gave my little sister (she’s 20) Jessica Darling and she totally loved them even though they were def before her time haha

      And yessss I sit here grinning like a fool like YEAH I AM AWESOME *mic drop*

      ALSOOoo are you doing BEA this year??

      • YES, I am doing BEA – you’ll be there, right? =)

        I’m really glad to hear that Jessica Darling works for ladies now, too – I wondered if some of the references might be too dated, but I’m glad it doesn’t matter. Jessica feels so much like a real person, and she deals with so much crap that we all do that I think it’s relateable no matter what.

  12. I rarely recommend books to people IRL because I have no idea what they look for and like in books, with just a couple exceptions. I don’t like it when people who don’t know my reading habits very well try to recommend books to me, so I try not to do that to others. It is a nice feeling when your friend likes something that you like, and then you get to talk about it 🙂

  13. I also recommend books to a friend and love it when she enjoys the book. I get so giddy whenever she texts me her reactions on the books she’s reading. Sometimes I’m tempted to spoil her, though. LOL

  14. my IRL friends never read my book recommendations 🙁 so sad. but i love when a blog reader loves my recommendation! i have been pushing the martian on everyone (er, including you) and it’s such a good feeling when people like it, especially because it’s not my kind of book at all and everyone else has been like ‘er doesn’t sound like i’d like it’ and i’m like NO REALLY READ IT.
    anyway. i want to read all of these now. throne of glass is on my list but i kinda want to wait until the whole series is out because i’m super impatient / forgetful.

  15. Oh, I’m always nervous when I recommend books to my friends & family (less so, but still nervous when I recommend to other bloggers)! It’s hard to really say what will appeal to a person’s reading tastes, but I definitely think the risk is worth the victory when your friend falls in love with something you love. And the major bonus? You get to gush with them! (Throne of Glass is one of my favorite series that I’ve pushed on people and had them fall in love; the Newsoul series is another.)


  1. […] Jamie has written a great post this week about how she’s overcome some of her bookish fears and gotton two victories out of suggesting her favourite books to people she knows. To see the post, click here. […]

  2. […] Jamie shares some of her recent book recommendation victories. […]