Discussion: books I loved but would hesitate to recommend

I love books (obviously) and I love recommending books (also obviously). But, there are some books that I would hesitate to recommend. I understand that not everyone has the same taste as me, and that not everyone wants to read heavy things. Reading is so subjective, and sometimes my favourites won’t be everyone’s favourites.

So here are some books that I loved, but would hesitate to recommend. Also, Naty and Kristin did similar posts recently, which I loved and you should definitely check them out.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

I loved it and think it’s brilliant, but Gaiman’s writing is so hit-or-miss for people and it’s so long that I wouldn’t recommend it to most people. And it was just so long. Granted, a lot of the reason it took me so long to read was because of life-happenings, but still. I definitely recommend it to fans of Gaiman, but would hesitate otherwise.

What I’d recommend instead: Good Omens or the Graveyard Book, both by Neil Gaiman. They’re shorter, easier reads that are still brilliant.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

I think this is a book a ton of people feel like they “need” to read. And while I think it’s a book everyone should read, I don’t think it should be the first that people read in the feminist dystopian genre (or just the feminist genre in general). I feel like it would lead a lot of people to rejecting it and missing the point

What I’d recommend instead: the Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis. It has a similar overall message, but easier to read as it’s YA rather than adult dystopian.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Again, this book is so hit-or-miss with people. I personally love it, but I know so many people who find it boring and hate the writing. So I’d still recommend it, but with a disclaimer that it’s not for everyone. Like, if someone was like “hey have you read the Lovely Bones? I want to read it, what did you think?”, I’d tell them yes, read it. But otherwise I’d hesitate.

What I’d recommend instead: honestly just watch the movie. Saoirse Ronan is wonderful in it, and Stanley Tucci is incredible.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I loved this book, and I totally recommend it to readers, but for non-readers or casual readers, I think it could drag. I mean, I found it dragging and I still rated it 5 stars. I think for sure if you like adult fiction, this is an amazing book. And I wish everyone would read it. But, I understand how it could be hard to read.

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson

This book was great, but so so so disturbing. Like, I never feel sick reading books, and I felt nauseous while reading it. So I just wouldn’t recommend it, unless someone already wanted to read it. Similar to the Lovely Bones, if someone asked if I’d read it, I’d say yes, and if they asked if I liked it, I’d say yes and encourage them to read it. But otherwise, I wouldn’t recommend it. I also don’t want people judging me for it because it’s so disturbing lol


From my friend Madison: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie: she said she wouldn’t recommend it to people who already know the ending. So, if you’ve already seen the movie, don’t bother with the book.

From my mom: Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham: she said it was really good and she really enjoyed it, it was just weird so she’d have a hard time recommending it to someone.

From my brother: the Sunbird by Wilbur Smith: personally, he really enjoys the book. BUT he said he realises that it’s outdated and therefore misogynistic and racist (I’ve raised him well (jk he did a lot of his own reading into sexism and racism) ).

So those are some books I’d be hesitant about recommending! Have you read any of these? Do you feel the same way? Are there any books you hesitate to read? Let me know!

Thanks for reading! xx

19 thoughts on “Discussion: books I loved but would hesitate to recommend

  1. Got it: read Murder on the Orient Express first, then watch the movie.

    I get you on American Gods. I’m currently in the middle of it, and it’s long and dense. I’m enjoying the read, but I need to take breaks between reading sessions. It’s not for a newbie to Gaiman.

    Also, I feel about The Lord of the Rings the way you feel about The Lovely Bones. If you haven’t read it by now? Just watch the movies. Then read the book if you loved the movies. But the books are long, and Tolkien isn’t the easiest read, and the (LOTR) movies are so well done. (Note: this does NOT apply to The Hobbit.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like that’s the best approach!

      Exactly! It’s good, but definitely not the first Gaiman you should read.

      That’s good to know about LOTR! I’ve never seen the movies or read the books, but I think we own the movies so maybe I’ll finally watch them soon! I have read the Hobbit, though!


  2. I totally understand with American Gods and The Goldfinch. I liked American Gods but if people don’t know mythology or like it, they may be lost or bored. I loved the Goldfinch but yes there were spots that dragged. This book actually came up in discussion in book club today and some people said the same thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally agree about The Butterfly Garden! I gave it 5 stars but it was so agonizing and even difficult to read sometimes. Not easy to recommend! 🙂 Thanks so much for linking to my post ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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