I was stuck between 2 really dull books. Mainly Marcus Aurelius's Meditations and Andre Gide's Fruits of the Earth. Of course, I chose to read them. Still, it's a good example of how sometimes recommendations should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Reading is a profoundly personal experience. What one loves may not be loved by others. Which is why it's so annoying to have people come up to me to ask," What's good for a 15 year-old girl?"
Really, it depends on who is the 15 year-old. Is she a science-nerd? A goth-punk? And what makes you think the goth-punk and the science-nerd don't like reading the same book?
And what makes you think they do?
I do put a lot of faith on book recommendations and reviews. It's part of my job to rely on Word-Of-Mouth, because book-buyers usually don't get to read the book before we place the orders.
And for my personal readings, I do make it a point to listen to people's recommendations too. It's quite an adventure to pick up a book someone else loves - but it's a little different from your usual reading diet. The fact is, somebody loved this book (or film or music) - and that is enough reason to take a closer look. If you're lucky, you'll like it too. If not, you allowed yourself an opportunity to experience something different.
Meanwhile, I'm back to reading The Deptford Trilogy. Put it on hiatus a while back to read other books. A friend loves Robertson Davies (the author). She's so enamoured of his books she's gone to the trouble of giving it away, just so that she can share her love of this Canadian author.
That's why I put it down on my 100 Books To Read list, even though I know very little about the author.
Someone I know loves this book.