Here's a question I get asked A LOT, in one variation or another. "What have you read lately that's good?"/ "What's your favorite book published this year?" / "What are you excited about?" Sometimes, those questions are the perfect lead-in for me to talk about one of the recently-published books that I've edited or worked/assisted on (and I like to think I've helped to sell at least a few books that way!), which is something that I never get tired of doing.
Other times when I get asked this question, it would be a bit gauche to mention books that I've had a hand in putting out into the world. Happily, though, I'm not the only editor whose authors have written great books, so quite often I also find myself evangelizing for other books and authors who I admire. And I think that evangelize (which Websters defines as "having crusading zeal,") is exactly the right word, because I think there's something in all of us readers that instinctively wants to share the goodness of books that we truly connect to/admire/find truth in. It's easy, these days, to click a button that makes you a "fan" of something, or to retweet someone else's praise--and these are good things, and important tools in today's world. But I don't think those sort of automatic, reflexive actions take the place of honest, person-to-person getting-worked-up-about-a-book excitement (though a great thing about today's world is that I don't think those exchanges have to happen in person anymore, thanks to blogs, goodreads, facebook, twitter, etc.).
I'm curious how spreading the word about books looks and feels to those outside the industry, though, as I know my perspective sometimes gets skewed by being surrounded by so many professionally bookish types. So think back to the last few books that you haven't been able to stop telling people about. What makes you talk about those books/give them as gifts/make your book group read 'em/lend out your copies/determined to spread the word about them in a zillion other ways? The floor's wide open in the comments--what books (or qualities about books, if you don't feel like naming titles) are you an evangelist for, and why? And how do you find yourself doing your book evangelizing?