Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like Reading.
What a challenging topic! I do have people like this in my life (and yes, I tolerate them), but it would be hard to just make a blanket statement about what books to recommend without knowing anything about their overall interests. So, here is a somewhat scattered and arbitrary list of books I might give to non-readers — but realizing that this is a total crapshoot and none of these might work at all!
- Old Man’s War by John Scalzi: For someone who enjoys science fiction and humor, I can’t think of a better place to start! This book has it all, and is very accessible.
- The Martian by Andy Weir: More science fiction, but since I’m assuming most people have at least a passing familiarity with the movie version, it could be fun for someone who enjoyed the plot to read the original book.
- Emma by Jane Austen: For someone who says they can’t get into classics, I typically push Emma. It’s just so funny! The audiobook makes it even more “user-friendly”, and is a great entry for someone who doesn’t typically read non-contemporary books.
- The Salt Path by Raynor Wynn: If the person who doesn’t read says that they don’t like made-up stories, then I’d go with a memoir that feels compelling and presents an unusual life… and I just loved this one.
- The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal: And even more science fiction! This is one of my all-time favorites, and it really is superb for so many reasons — great science fiction, very human characters, strong feminist messaging, and an interesting look at at a historical period and what it could have been in different circumstances.
- Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling: This one needs no explanation, and again, most people have probably already seen the movies or think they know enough about Harry Potter… but experiencing the books for the first time is such a special experience, and I could easily see someone who doesn’t usually enjoy books really getting immersed in this series.
- Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery: Anne is such a sweet and optimistic character, and her world is so lovely. I challenge anyone to read this book and not be charmed!
- The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne: Another one that I found so immersive, in terms of historical setting and characters, that I can’t imagine anyone not being captivated.
- The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende: Such a beautifully written book, and great on so many levels! I’ve given this book to a lot of people over the years, both avid readers and people who don’t read a lot, and have always gotten a positive response.
- Good Talk by Mira Jacob: This book got passed around my entire extended family over the past year. A graphic memoir, it’s easy to read yet also provides some great food for thought and discussion.
What books would you recommend to people who say they don’t like reading?
If you wrote a TTT this week, please share your links!
33 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like Reading”
I think The Martian and Anne of Green Gables are both excellent picks!
My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-books-i-would-hand-to-someone-who-claims-to-not-like-reading/
Thanks! I did try pushing The Martian on my husband (who reads, but not science fiction), and got a firm “no” in response.
This is a great mix of books, and I can see why you chose them. This is a hard topic, because books and reading are so subjective!
Right, it’s very much a matter of taste. I always laugh when people say to me, “Oh, you like reading? Have you read xxx?” as if all book readers have the same tastes.
An interesting set of books! When I was making my list I found that a lot of what I would class as brilliant was fantasy which not everyone enjoys.
Emily @ Budget Tales Blog
I’ll have to check out your list — because recommendations for fantasy would definitely appeal to me! But right, for some, fantasy would be an automatic no.
It’s a tough one isn’t it. I tried my best to mix it up a bit 🤣
You have such a good variety of books here! Surely someone who claims to not like reading could find at least one book to like on your list. 🙂
Haha, I hope so!
The Martian made a lot of lists today—including mine! Your husband does NOT know what he’s missing. 🙂
LOL, my husband relies on me for book recommendations, but I get shot down every time I try to sneak in a little science fiction!
Great point about audiobooks! And I love that Harry Potter has (and continues to!) introduced so many people to reading. Great list 🙂
Thanks! I have a friend whose elderly father (a retired doctor) discovered Harry Potter books in his 80s, and became absolutely obsessed… so it’s never too late. 🙂
I LOVE that! Definite proof that it’s never too late ☺️
Great list! I’ve always been intrigued by The House of Spirits, and one of these days I need to give Anne of Green Gables a try.
I read Anne of Green Gables for the first time just a few years ago, and loved it enough to read the entire series!
Anne is a great pick for this topic. She is just so endearing.
She really is! I loved the Emily of New Moon books too — possibly even more than Anne, in some ways, but Anne is the one more people have heard of and are willing to try.
I’m not a reluctant reader and never have been, BUT of the four books I’ve read (ish) from your list, I ADORED three (ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, HP, and EMMA) and DNF’d THE MARTIAN because I found it sooooo boring. Different stroke for different folks!
Absolutely, it’s such a matter of taste! (and I know others who couldn’t get into the Martian either)
I’ve never seen that Harry Potter cover, looks fantastic. Happy reading!
My TTT: https://readwithstefani.com/ten-old-favorite-books-i-want-to-reread-to-determine-if-theyre-all-time-favorites/
Thanks! The HP edition came out last year, and it’s beautiful. It has illustrations and graphics by MinaLima, the graphic design house that did all the graphics for the movies.
Difficult choice, but you provided a good spread. When young, I loved Anne of Green
Gables. The Martian was a compelling read. Isabel Allende doesn’t work for me, but I know she’s very popular. I couldn’t get enough of The Salt Path, a wonderful read. And good old Harry P : always a cracking good story, and that’s what its all about, IMHO.
Ah, someone else who loved The Salt Path! I thought it was so beautiful. I haven’t read the follow-up yet, but hope to soon. Thanks!
I have read the follow up . I preferred the first book. But don’t let my comment put you off book #2
Don’t worry, it won’t! I plan to listen to the audiobook in the next month or so. 🙂
The Martian would be good because of the movie tie in.
That’s what I thought, that maybe someone who’d seen the movie might be curious enough to want to check out the book too!
Harry Potter is definitely a good one to get non-readers into reading.
My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2021/11/02/top-ten-tuesday-340/
It’s worked for me a few times already!
A good list, Lisa. I need to reread Emma!
I think I’m due for a reread as well!