We Recommend: Extreme Challenge, All in the Family Edition

Yes, it's We Recommend, where you write in looking for a book for your son/daughter/niece/cousin/you, and we use our superpowers to find the perfect book. Just write us at thediamondinthewindow (at) gmail (dot) com, with the age, interests, and reading preferences of your person, and we will do our best. For the absolute best recommendations, look in the comments, it's where they're all hiding.

OK, people, it's not one, it's not two, it's books for THREE people. And only one of them is a kid! But I believe in you, readers! So, to arms!

Olivia Grace age 5: likes Tinkerbell, but not princesses; likes cooking, her brother, God, doggies, Olivia the Pig, and generally being the boss. Does not like princesses, getting dirty, anything sticky or yelling.

Jason’s 27, likes chocolate, cats, dogs, food, anything Philadelphia, God, soon-to-be-fiancée Amanda, Modern Family, Veggie Tales, South Park , Arnold Schwarzenegger & The Rock, (Sofia Vergara although he denies it); hates reading (the last thing he read for fun was the cover of an animorph book in the 90s), hates suits and hates show offs.

Amanda’s 27, loves reading, writing, languages, a good clean party, God, dogs, loved Madeline books, loves Antonio Banderas; hates Alice in Wonderland, & Dr. Seuss & secretly detests Pride & Prejudice, and absolutely loathes eggs.

Well! This is a pretty pickle. Let us first attend to Olivia Grace, age 5. I must say, for a young lady who likes Tinkerbell and being the boss, there's someone who springs to mind.


Oh, how I love Lilly! Her sense of herself! Her gumption! Her wit! Her zip! I feel anyone Olivia Grace will cotton to her immediately, and then there are other, excellent Lilly books to follow.

But we're not done yet, we have Jason. And for Jason, I must say that I have a feeling about this…. Hates suits? Hates show-offs? I am hoping that he will love Stephen King. Because I do, too. But which one? Well, he liked the cover of the animorphs book, so I'm going with this. Because it's about an animal? I don't know, I'm trying here.


OK now, almost home: we still have Amanda. Who does NOT like Pride and Prejudice. Loves Madeline, but hates Alice in Wonderland. I am thinking that we need to go with contemporary, realistic…something orderly. And with languages in it. This is a little crazy, but it's sort of French, and contemporary-ish, and boy do I hope it works.

I worry it's too self-conscious, and that I'm being too literal, but maybe?

And if not: help me, readers! Can you come up with a family of books for these people? Put them in the comments!

3 thoughts on “We Recommend: Extreme Challenge, All in the Family Edition

  1. I think you are spot on for Olivia Grace.
    For Jason, what about the Da Vinci Code. It is what I think of as a ‘man book’, meaning one that men who don’t read will still read. It has a religious tie-in, though depending on Jason’s particular religious affiliation he may strongly disagree with a lot of what it says. But that can be motivating to the reader as well – if the book is interesting but, in your opinion, totally WRONG, then it definitely keeps you reading.
    Another possibility for him would be some kind of non-fiction. Short essays of the Freakonomics variety, maybe? Something that doesn’t take forever to read but that you can turn over in your mind for a while. Malcolm Gladwell?
    For Amanda the dog-lover, there are a couple I can think of that are told from the perspective of the dog, and are actually a little better than that sounds! The Art of Racing in the Rain was very popular with my book club, though I found it sentimental. But Dog On it is a mystery that I actually enjoyed.


  2. For Amanda I suggest Mark Salzman’s Lying Awake, Judith Valente’s Atchison Blue, or Homestead by Rosina Lippi. All very different but well written. For something lighter, how about All Creatures Great and Small.
    For Jason, if it’s not too irreverent, then Lamb by Christopher Moore. If it is too much then Another Fine Myth by Asprin.
    Olivia Grace- Press Here (Herve Tullet)Eloise, Zoom at Sea, or Not a Box.


  3. Another thought for Jason, how about some of Neil Gaiman’s graphic novels? (The Sandman vol. 1 Preludes and Nocturnes or Death: the High Cost of Living).


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