What makes a book a “must-read”?

Musing Mondays is a meme hosted at MizB’s Should Be Reading. This week’s musing is:

What is the one (or maybe two) qualities a book must have for you to pass it along to your best friend as a “must-read”?

Of course, the book depends on the person I am recommending it to. If it were my sister, I’d recommend every book I love; because she’ll also love almost all of them! But that’s not the same with my friends. I tend to read rather genre-specific books these days – mostly fantasy or science fiction. And they tend not to like them. So, for my friends to like the book, the first requirement is that the book does not belong to either of those genres!

Usually, what I tell my friends to be a”must-read ” has a different or new or unique plot. Not like your usual mysteries, crime stories, classics, romances or horror stories. The last book I really forced my best friend to read was Life of Pi by Yann Martel. (Isn’t this cover absolutely beautiful?) And the next book I am going to make her read is The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester.

6 thoughts on “What makes a book a “must-read”?”

  1. Nice post, Priya! I haven't read 'Life of Pi' but have heard people raving about it. Simon Winchester is an awesome author and I think 'The Professor and the Madman' is a wonderful work. I think all his books are awesome. I read one of Winchester's books a few years back called 'The River at the Center of the World', which is about Winchester's travels through the Yangtze river and also through time across Chinese history. It was a wonderful book. I don't know which book I would recommend to all friends and people I know – I think it would really depend on the person's interest, as you have said. However, one book which I can think of is 'Ex Libris' by Anne Fadiman. It is a slim gem and is a collection of seven-page essays on books. I think every booklover will love it. If you haven't read it, I would recommend it to you 🙂


  2. I love that cover – the blue one is so ubiquitous that it's a pleasant change to see something else!
    Most people have answered plot/characters to this one so your selection of a unique or unusual plot is very interesting – have you read Room? or A Visit From the Good Squad? (I loved the former and loathed the latter) they are both very fresh, new plot ideas.


  3. Vishy – The name Anne Fadiman sounds familiar; I will definitely read Ex Libris! It's great that you liked The Professor and the Madman, because actually, I haven't read it myself and I wasn't sure if it would be as good as I thought. It wasn't recommended to me, I just found it on Amazon, liked the sound of it and bought it on impulse! I'm still somehow sure that I'll be recommending it to my friends when I'm done with it though!

    Kyle – I have the blue one too, and this one is so much more interesting!

    Readingfuelledbytea – Room is a really great book, and it does have an unusual plot! I haven't read A Visit From the Good Squad, but seeing as how you loathed it, there's no point in adding it to my already long TBR list!


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s