Friend Recommends Posted on 8 Mar 15:51


I have a close friend who once admitted to me that she’d rather lose a friend than a book. At first, I thought it was just hyperbole, but then I realized she was stone cold serious. Wow. What a stunning statement. I love books like I love food and clean sheets and a fire during a winter storm, not to mention the sound of my kids’ laughter or a sincere embrace, but I wouldn’t sacrifice most relationships for pages—even with Jane Austen’s words on them. Then again, we do find friends in books, don’t we? I feel close to Scout Finch (and, of course, her dad Atticus), Jean Valjean, Anne Elliot, Hans Hubermann, and more recently, Auggie Pullman. The good news is we don’t have to choose between books and friends. We do, however, get to pick which novels will occupy our solitary space—which characters we’ll meet with for hours at a time. There’s so much to select from. So, at the end of Read Across America Week, here are some well-chosen book recommendations from the atly staff.

Ted: Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

Adam: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Annie: Charlie & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Sean: Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Brooke: Le Petit Nicolas by Rene Goscinny/the edition in English is called Young Nicolas
Watership Down by Richard Adams

Jay: Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

Tracy: Persuasion by Jane Austen
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson