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You Have the Perfect Book for a Friend. There’s Just One Problem. They Don’t Want It.

September 18, 2019

I was with my bestie the other night and we were moving one of her shelves when a book fell off. Not just any book… but the book. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. We shared a look – countless unsaid words. And then continued moving the shelves.

Years ago, I’d given her The Mists of Avalon telling her how much I loved it and how she simply had to read it. She never did. Around the same time, I was heading to India and she gave me her precious copy of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. She believed India would change my life (it did, I picked up a parasite) and that I would adore the book. I couldn’t get past the first chapter.

Often, we give others the books we love, or think they should read, rather than what they actually want to read. I asked my Better Reading colleagues what they thought of this.


For the last two years at Christmas I have bought my two best friends my two favourite reads for the year – last year it was Boy Swallows Universe and The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart. After unwrapping them and commenting on the beautiful covers I never heard another word… it’s nearly Christmas time again!


I absolutely loved the book Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. It’s a YA historical fiction. I bought it for a friend after raving about it for weeks. To her credit, she read it. And despised it.


What are the books you loved and shared with a friend, who didn’t feel the same way about the book? 




  1. Anne

    A reversal of the above:
    I was given The Ghormengast Trilogy by someone who said it was the best book they ever read. I tried numerous times but couldn’t read more than a few chapters & was dreading our next get together as I knew he would asked if I enjoyed the book. I had to be honest in case he wanted to discuss it! Kept it for many years but eventually I donated it to an op shop. Hopefully someone else enjoyed it.

  2. Veronica

    I’d read so many great reviews about The Light Between Oceans I bought a copy for myself and my mum. Mum loved it. She loved it so much she told me everything about the story before I had a chance to read the book. 🙂

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