Pinched Ideas on Recommending Books

In March I have a flash nonfiction piece coming out in a journal called Toasted Cheese. I will post a link when it’s published. The piece is called “And So It Goes,” and it’s the story of my great-great-grandparents who immigrated from Goes and Kloetinge (Netherlands) to Michigan. It’s meant to be part of the family history chapbook I plan to put together.

If you’re a writer or want to write, I think you might want to check out and follow the Toasted Cheese website. They are very interactive and provide DAILY writing prompts and creative articles about writing and reading. Here’s a sample article from this past December. The subject is book recommendations.


What Do You Recommend?

A Pen In Each Hand

By Baker

  1. Recommend on social media at least one thing you’ve read this year. If you don’t use social media, recommend in person. Independent authors are particularly grateful for recommendations.
  2. Create some recommendation business cards and leave them with your favorite works in the bookstore. You can print them at home. They could be as simple as the word “recommended” with a thumbs-up or a shelf card that lists why you recommend the book. Don’t put stickers on or in the books.
  3. Ask for recommendations at a used book store and/or independent bookstore. If you’re lucky, your local chain bookstore will have fellow book lovers who are well-versed enough to recommend as well.
  4. Recommend a book to a friend on Goodreads.
  5. While you’re there, write a recommendation of a book. If you’re stuck for one, think of a book you discovered on your own and write the review as though you’re speaking to your younger self.


What do you think of those recommendations? Do you do any of them? Or do you finish a book and move onto the next and squirrel away your reaction in your own mind?


Kana playing with her activity board

This toy is pricy, but it’s rewarding to see cats hunting for their food (without any resulting tragedies to small animals). This is an activity that is natural for them.


Filed under Book Review, Books, Creative Nonfiction, Essay, Family history, Flash Nonfiction, Literary Journals, Nonfiction, Publishing, Reading, Writing, Writing Talk

33 responses to “Pinched Ideas on Recommending Books

  1. I THINK I’ve recommended books on my blogs – I can’t remember! But now I’ll make a point of it because it all makes sense. Whew. Now I have a blog post idea for Redo Sue – thanks, Luanne. And congrats on another submission success!

  2. Congratulations on your submission, Luanne! Yay! I’m not on Goodreads, but I do write reviews on Amazon, not always, but I’m working on it.

  3. Congratulations on the Toasted Cheese piece – I’ll have to check it (and the site) out! Thanks for the recommendation suggestions – I really like the business card idea. 🙂 And that’s a great activity board for Kana – I’ve been working on similar foraging toys for our cat, Fluffy. Last week I cut a few paw-sized holes in a small box and put some kibble inside. That seems to have been a big hit. Kana is a lucky cat! 🙂

    • Thanks, Jennifer! I’ll let y’all know when the link is up. The business card idea is cool because it’s so immediate and once you have the cards it sure doesn’t take much. I’ve been making stuff for the cats, too, but this one is particularly good because it’s washable and very sturdy. And they all love it. Kana’s luck has definitely turned for the better! Not sure about poor Tiger though who feels uncomfortable walking freely in her own home now because she feels that Kana will chase her.

  4. I want that cat activity board – my cats really hate winter. The tiny part of it that they are awake for…
    I will reference books as related to whatever I’m writing about in my blog post, but I don’t recommend them. This will likely be a problem for me, if I ever want to get published, as there seems to be a lot of tit-for-tat among authors.
    It’s not that I’m stingy, I just know reading is a very subjective experience. I may love something you hate or vice-versa. I might have to get over that at some point.

    • When your book is ready you are going to panic when you realize you need reviews, but blog readers and others will come through for you. I didn’t realize before my book came out how important though the reviews are for writers and that I should have been writing them before. I’m trying to make up for it now haha.
      It’s so fun to watch the cats on this board. They are so happy being so active.

  5. I do Amazon reviews but recommending on social media can certainly help.

    • Good for you on the Amazon reviews! I came lately to writing those, not realizing how important they were for writers–and for readers who want to choose a book too.

  6. Congratulations on your piece. (I love the punny title!).
    I sometimes recommend books on my blog, but I haven’t been good about doing anything on Goodreads or Amazon.

    I haven’t seen a cat toy like that before.

    • This activity board is really ideal. Even the lazy ones want the treats so they are willing to work for them.
      I just wrote two book reviews this weekend, so I feel pretty good about myself now ;). I will post them later this week or next.

  7. Love seeing Kana play!! Good recommendations. I hope to write some profiles once I get some more things done, and as you have done in the past, ask for some guest blog posts. Hope you’re feeling better!

    • She’s such a pleasure to watch!
      I’m thrilled that you are enjoying blogging, Carla!! I am feeling better, although still some carryover + allergies (pollen is horrible now here), and today I had to have a crown prep and new filing so I was feeling sorry for myself all over again.

      • Aw, thanks Luanne! I feel sorry for you too, disliking dental visits as I do. But chin up! You will get back to normal soon. Yes, I am especially enjoying reading the posts by other bloggers, many of them recommended by you. Appreciate the traffic. 🙂

  8. Toasted Cheese sounds delicious. Also I need one of those boards for Simon!

  9. That activity board looks great fun! Congratulations on your forthcoming publication Luanne 🙂

    • Ah, thanks, Andrea. The board is great. I can’t believe how smart they are or how my oldest cat (16) learned new tricks (she’s the best at it).

  10. Congrats on your latest publication, Luanne! So jazzed about all of your success. xo

  11. Congratulations on your publication Luanne…wow, you are on a roll! Love the cat toy…beauty kitty…never seen anything quite like it! I’ve only recently signed up to Goodreads but not done anything on it and have only left one review on Amazon so far. I feel so behind with all that kind of thing, writing my memoir is taking my full focus (when not blogging, ha!) but one of these days I hope to get more into recommending and reviewing. Thanks for the link!

    • Just found this! Still sending hugs!!! I’m starting to miss working on my memoir. You are inspiring me. I hope your Mum is improving.

      • Hi Luanne, just caught this… Glad I’m inspiring you…I need to inspire myself with all that’s been going on… Mum is home now and recovering a little each day. Thanks so much for asking and for your concern. I’ll catch up with you as soon as I can…and I wish you a very Happy Easter <3 xoxo

  12. Luanne all great ideas but when I go to check out a book I will read Amazon and goodreads for recommendations . I do leave reviews on the books I read because I am in the goodreads reading challenge. I guess in my local bookstore I rely on the back cover to see if I want to read the book and I never take much notice if it says best seller. These days that can be an unreliable source. Well done on your submission.

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