Recommending Books Based on Phrases a Random Generator Gave Me

Hi readers!

I have something new today 😈. I honestly don’t remember what sparked this idea originally, but I’ve been thinking of how I don’t really recommend books on my blog! But with this post, I want to remedy that 😏. The books I’ve been reading this year are nothing short of incredible, so I hope I can highlight them (and other great books I’ve read in the past) with these recommendation posts!

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Before we get to the recommendations, Lee and Low, an independent publishing company known for consistently amplifying diverse voices, recently posted this on their Instagram:

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Let's talk about LABELING DIVERSE BOOKS. 📚 In many libraries, schools, and bookstores, it is a common practice to label books by/about BIPOC as "diverse" through stickers on the spine or by shelving them in a separate area. The argument is that this helps more readers discover these titles. But labeling diverse books can also other them—and even uphold white supremacy by reinforcing a white norm. Today on the Lee & Low blog we're lucky to welcome librarian @bookjockeyalex to share some thoughts on the problem with labeling books as diverse. "It’s great that your patrons are seeking out books by and about BIPOC! And yes, many libraries choose to separate out mysteries, science fiction/fantasy, westerns, and “regular” fiction. But identity is not the same thing as genre. To reduce my life as a queer (asexual and aromantic) biracial Black cis woman down to a genre is tokenism and othering at best, offensive and regressive at worst. Tokenism and othering are damaging microaggressions with long lasting ramifications. Labeling books by or about BIPOC is to declare them different because of who they are and that they are only interesting because of how they contrast with whiteness. Labeling does not celebrate diversity but instead centers whiteness as the norm and relegates BIPOC-ness to the abnormal, thereby reinforcing white supremacy. " Alex recommends using other approaches to highlight BIPOC authors and works, such as: 📚 Handselling 📚 End-caps and shelf-talkers 📚 Booktalks 📚 Book clubs 📚 Giveaways 📚 Social media Read the full post at the Lee & Low Blog link in our bio. What creative ways do you use to help readers discover diverse and #ownvoices books?

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The full article is “How Labeling Books as ‘Diverse’ Reinforces White Supremacy,” and I strongly encourage you all to read it!

Here is a quote that really stood out to me at the end of the piece, “We want our patrons to read books that provide windows, mirrors, sliding glass doors, and prisms, but we first must set up a system where diversity, equity, and inclusion are the default rather than the exception.” As someone who works in a library and who is thinking of being an English teacher, this article is one I will think about often, because we make choices that impact more than just ourselves at the end of the day.

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IN WHICH I RECOMMEND BOOKS BASED ON PHRASES A RANDOM GENERATOR GAVE ME

*covers link to the books’ Goodreads pages*

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I can’t recommend The Black Veins enough!! I love books revolving around found families, and I don’t read that many of them, but The Black Veins proved to me that I really need to find more of them. The adventure/road trip aspect had me craving for the next page, and the banter between the characters is top notch 👌. I’m hoping the next book comes out soon because there was such a cliffhanger at the end!! Things hit the roof and beyond in that last chapter, I have to say.

IndieBound | Bookshop | Book Depository

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THIS! BOOK! IS! EVERYTHING! You Should See Me in a Crown has such cute romances (queer love!!) and also just loving relationships in general. I’m interpreting “falling deeply in love with another person” in a different way, but the friendship in this book that is so obviously rooted in unapologetic love for the other person has my entire heart!

IndieBound | Bookshop | Book Depository

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I bought the ebook of The Sound of Stars on a whim since I saw that it was on sale, and then I buddy read it a little bit later. And wow. The Sound of Stars takes dystopian and makes the classic situation of aliens (rather non-humans) taking over the world its own. The romance in this book blossomed because of common interests (music and books!!!) and spending time with another while slowly gaining each others’ trust. So, basically, this is my dream romance.

IndieBound | Bookshop | Book Depository

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This phrase was really made for The Poppy War, huh. And I can’t forget about The Dragon Republic—this whole series is about risking it all. But for what? 😏 My TPW review can be found here, and I also recently published my The Dragon Republic review here!

IndieBound | Bookshop | Book Depository

The more I look at this phrase, the odder it gets. And it’s even stranger because I know I use this phrase pretty often 🤨. Anyway, here are some books that I believe deserve more love!

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Mañanaland is a middle grade book about a boy who loves stories. Pam Muñoz Ryan wrote one of my favorite books when I was little, Esperanza Rising, which I’m reading right now, and she is such a masterful storyteller. Mañanaland is all about family, bravery, and the power of storytelling.

IndieBound | Bookshop | Book Depository

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I remember first really seeing Slay around at last year’s BookCon a few months before it was out. Now that Slay is almost at its first anniversary, if you haven’t read this book, please considering picking it up!! The premise is so unique (Slay is a video game world that is a safe space for Black people around the world), and Kiera’s narrating voice is steady and strong. I write more in my mini review, which can be found here.

IndieBound | Bookshop | Book Depository

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I read The Light at the Bottom of the World a little more than a year ago (I actually remember where I was reading it!), and the world building in this book still makes me shake my head in disbelief. It’s the future, and the world—specifically London—is underwater. I loved reading about the submarines that was the mode of transportation in this world that is so familiar but, at the same time, so different from what we know. My full Goodreads review is here!

IndieBound | Bookshop | Book Depository

It proved harder than anticipated to find an image of a pickle on Canva that did not require the premium suspicion. I guess pickles are in demand? Went off on a little side note, but here are the book recs!

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I devoured The Perfect Escape the moment I received it in the mail. Nate and Kate (also, why am I just realizing that their names rhyme??) find themselves battling out other teams in a survival competition after meeting at the zombie escape room place they both work. So love really is a battlefield, isn’t it?I wrote a mini review of The Perfect Escape (with a moodboard!) in my story on Instagram, which can be found under the Book Reviews highlight.

IndieBound | Bookshop | Book Depository

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The Dragon Warrior‘s motto could probably be “always stuck in a pickle.” These young warriors get no rest and the gods are no help. But, you know, someone’s gotta save the world! From flying horses to bullies to being able to talk to dragons, this book brings the heart and the Chinese mythology. My full review is here, and I can’t believe I read this book about a year ago!! The sequel to The Dragon Warrior, The Fallen Hero, is out on October 13, 2020! Look forward to my review of this book in early October, since I am a part of the blog tour with Caffeine Book Tours!)

IndieBound | Bookshop | Book Depository

I hope you enjoyed this post and recs as much as I had putting this together! Based on these phrases, what other books would you recommend?

Until next time,

All prompt graphics made by me in Canva.

Post banner image via Pixaby on Pexels.

8 thoughts on “Recommending Books Based on Phrases a Random Generator Gave Me

  1. This is such a fun idea! Esperanza was also one of my absolute favorites as a kid, I want to reread it and check out Ryan’s other books so thanks for the recommendation! I think for “Head Over Heels”, I would say Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills. It’s such a fun book that includes adorable friendships, a queer relationship, and crushes developing into romance, it’s one of my favorites.

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  2. Omg I LOVE THIS POST SO MUCH!! I haven’t read any of these ones yet, I know a crime. But I hopefully shall, especially You Should See Me In A Crown and The Poppy War. SO excited to read those two. Seriously though, such a cool post. Love the idea so much xoxo

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