Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like Reading

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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

  1. The Martian made a lot of lists today—including mine! Your husband does NOT know what he’s missing. 🙂

    My post—

    Happy TTT!

  2. 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.

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