Friday, November 29, 2013

A Thankfully Reading Black Friday Mini-Challenge

How's your Thankfully Reading going? I feel so spoiled putting everything aside for my books! But, boy, is it fun. I'm on course to exceed my reading goal, so that's an added bonus.

As part of today's festivities I'm hosting a mini-challenge. Since it's Black Friday, let's talk about gifts for the holidays. After my one attempt at shopping on Black Friday and experiencing the worst humanity had to dish out in a so-called "civilized society," I vowed never to set foot in a store on this day again. But that doesn't mean we can't plan!

One of the most common questions I get as a blogger is for book recommendations based on what someone already likes. "If my dad really likes [fill in the blank] what other books would you recommend for him?"

I also hear a lot about people who read the books they can easily get at Costco or Walmart (a.k.a. the NYT bestsellers) but don't know about all the other wonderful authors out there who aren't stocked in bulk at these stores or faced out at the local Barnes & Noble.

So here's the challenge for today:

1.) Choose one or more of the authors listed below.
2.) Pick two to three other authors that share common characteristics with this author to complete the statement: "If your reader really likes [fill in the blank], I recommend: [fill in the blank]." Now here's the important part: include a short reason why. It doesn't have to be elaborate but you want whoever you're making the recommendation to to understand what connection YOU are making between the writers.
3.) Try to include at least one new-to-you in 2013 author or one 2013 debut author in your recommendations.
4.) Mention your favorite indie bookstore where people can go to buy your recommendations. Include the URL for their website. Since Saturday is "Small Business Saturday" we want to give an added plug for our favorite book-and-mortar stores.

If you don't have a blog, you can leave your responses in the comments or send me an email. If you post the challenge at your blog, please make sure to leave a comment here so I count you in the challenge. Also, I'll collect up everyone's responses and make a complete list in a post on Monday, so you can check back for recommendations from others you may have missed.

Everyone who participates and communicates their response to the challenge in one of the three ways mentioned above will be entered in a contest to win a Thankfully Reading Prize Pack. Two winners will each receive a Jen's Book Thoughts tote, two print books, and an audio book. You could win a gift for someone on your holiday list or simply win a gift for yourself!

Here are the authors to choose from. I tried to give you as much variety as possible, so hopefully there's something here for everyone. 

1.) James Patterson (any age level, but please specify)
2.) Sue Grafton
3.) Janet Evanovich
4.) Jodi Picoult
5.) Stephen King
6.) Nicholas Sparks
7.) Nora Roberts
8.) Dan Brown
9.) John Grisham
10.) Michael Chabon
11.) Neil Gaiman
12.) Philippa Gregory
13.) Danielle Steele
14.) George R. R. Martin
15.) J.K. Rowling (as the MG author)
16.) Stephanie Meyer (YA)
17.) John Green (YA)
18.) Rick Riordan (MG)
19.) Jeff Kinney (MG)
20.) Suzanne Collins (YA)

O.k. let's put together a great list of recommendations so that everyone can do the bonus challenge: buy someone on your holiday list a new-to-them author this year. Let's get the word out about great books and great writers!


Erin @ Paperback Stash November 30, 2013 at 1:15 AM  

Here is mine:

Jen Forbus November 30, 2013 at 10:05 AM  

Jennifer S. ran into some technical difficulties with my comments (imagine that!) so I'm posting the great response she sent me:

"If you really like Jodi Picoult, then you will like the new Kristina Riggle (THE WHOLE GOLDEN WORLD), the new Kristina McMorris (THE PIECES WE KEEP), and Jason Mott (THE RETURNED). All 3 books and authors take an issue, a circumstance, a world and show you that it's not just black and white. There is grey and there's beauty in the grey. I will be at my second home tomorrow - Foxtale book shoppe."

The Editor's View November 30, 2013 at 2:45 PM  

If you really like James Patterson, LeCarre, et al, you'll like Douglas Richards' Wired, Amped, and his latest The Cure. Richards' plots take us to the cutting edge of technology and geo-political intrigue while making us care about his characters.

An author I read for the first time this year and want to see what's next is Ellen Ullman. Her By Blood is one of the most unusual novels of recent years, featuring a protagonist you won't like, and a story you can't put down.

The independent bookstore that carries all of my novels and is happy to get any book you need and mail it to you is Mysteries on Main Street in Johnstown, NY.

Happy Dissertating December 1, 2013 at 11:35 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous December 1, 2013 at 11:37 AM  

If your reader really likes Jodi Picoult, I recommend: Nichole Bernier (The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.) or Elizabeth Silver (The Execution of Noa P. Singleton) - both authors write interesting mysteries nice twists at the end.

Anonymous December 1, 2013 at 11:40 AM  

And my recommended bookstore is The Book Oasis (


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