Are your book choices influenced by friends and family? Do their recommendations carry weight for you? Or do you choose your books solely by what you want to read?
I would have to say both yes and no, to all three questions. Of course some of my book choices are influenced by friends and family. On the other hand, I may also be influenced by recommendations or reviews from complete strangers. How much weight a recommendation carries depends partly on who gives it, and partly on the impression I get from the presentation itself.
If a friend recommends a book, and I know that we often have similar taste, it is likely to make me curious. On the other hand, if I know that this friend and I usually don't like the same kind of books, I'll probably not go looking for it just because he or she mentioned it.
If the recommendation comes from a new friend, I might follow it up because I'm curious to learn what kind of books that person likes.
If I hear a lot of opposite opinions about a book - and especially by people I know - that is also likely to make me curious and want to read it, to form my own opinion.
I usually don't force myself to read (or finish) a certain book if I don't feel particularly interested in it, unless there is some special reason to do so. (See last week's BTT post.)
To the BTT questions I will add one of my own:
Is there a book or author you like that you would probably never have read if it hadn't been on recommendation by a friend or family member?
My own answer to that is Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. I probably would not have started reading those unless my brother had started lending them to me (as audio books) as he "discovered" and started collecting them. I had never heard of Pratchett until my brother lent me Guards! Guards!