It's Top Ten Tuesday again, the day when I, and many other people at the Broke and Bookish Blog, make a list of ten books that fall under a certain category. Today this category is "Books I'd hand to someone who doesn't like to read." Hmm...
I have to say, this is a tough one for me. I just don't really get people who don't like to read. How!? Why!? Why don't you? I guess I can see being too busy. Or because school ruined it for you. I get that....you start to associate it with school and boring essays about the symbolism of a red door...and you just think, "bleh, reading." Well, today, I'm going to try to prove to you, hypothetical non-reader, that reading is fun, something you can enjoy, something that doesn't always have to feel like work. (Also, if it makes your eyes tired - which happens to me sometimes -there's always audiobooks. Those totally count and are really fun!)
2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - Another gripping fantasy book. Everyone I know couldn't stop reading this once they started. I know I couldn't. I think this book would grab even the most reluctant of readers from the first page, and would keep them reading till the end. I mean, once you start, you HAVE to know what happens to Katniss in the Hunger Games. And then, our reluctant reader would have to keep reading the next two books, in order to find out the whole story. And pretty soon...they want to read other books, to fill the void the Hunger Games left in their life. Then just like that: They're a reader! Also, it's a bit shorter than Twilight and Harry Potter, so therefore maybe less intimidating to the new reader.
3. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card - Yet another exciting fantasy book. (I'll pick some realistic books in a second.) Not to be repetitive, but this one also grabs you right away. I think that's what you really need with a reluctant reader - A story that they just can't stop reading, and something that feels like an exciting movie. You don't want to give a new reader something where the narrator spends lots of time pondering the meaning of life, or the significance of one stupid kiss (ahem - Chekhov!).
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer - I was a little reluctant to put this one on there, since I have a few issues with the books, but I can't deny that Meyer made readers out of many of her fans. Like Potter, I've heard of many people, particularly older women, who didn't read much until they read this book. It is a very grabbing story, since it strangely mixes love and death together - You never know if Edward is going to kill Bella or kiss her, and you want to keep reading to find out. Plus, the love story is cute, however antiquated. So yeah, I guess it's a good book for non-readers. You win this time, Twilight
5. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare - Okay, last fantasy pick, I swear, but I just had to talk about this once, because I just started reading it. Actually, I just started listening to the book on CD, which I would highly recommend. The woman who reads it is excellent and very fun to listen to. But besides that, the story is also really interesting and has so much detail, so "richly imagined" as they say in book reviews. I just wonder how she came up with all this stuff! And I can't stop listening to it! I find myself making up reasons to go places in my car, just so I can listen to it. The story is really incredible and has something for everyone: weapons, monsters, mythical creatures, legends, secrets, lies, betrayal, love, flirtation, friendship. I think a new reader would love it, and it's also part of series (a very long one, at that), so it would also suck them in.
And now for some of my more realistic selections, for those very difficult people who don't like reading and especially don't like reading fantasy:
Sloppy Firsts by Megan Mccafferty - This is a novel about high school, so some adults might not go for it, but I think it would definitely appeal to young women. It's so funny and the narrator, Jessica, has such an honest, relatable voice. It's like reading a letter from your best friend and so, to a reluctant reader, it might make them feel like they're not even reading something. And it would definitely help them realize that there's more to books than stuffy old men writing about England. Plus, it grabs you, too, just like the fantasy books - you have to find out what's going to happen with Jessica and the mysterious Marcus Flutie (aka the best male lead in YA lit to date).
7. Looking for Alaska by John Green - This one I think would appeal to both young girls AND boys, especially since the narrator is male. I don't like the idea that boys only read books about boys, but that does kind of seem to be the trend. Anyway, in addition to that, it's definitely nothing like your required school reading - there's romance and sex jokes and pranks and teen rebellion. It's a very funny book and also has a little bit of wisdom stuck in.
8.Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Renninson - This is a really funny series. I mean, really funny. And it's set in England, so that's always exciting for us Americans. I think a reluctant reader could really get into it because it's so funny and because its so unpretentious - the chapters are short and snappy, written in very informal language, and it just follows a girl around through her life - but yet it still manages to be very funny. Also, it's part of series, again! So your reluctant reader will get sucked in - again!
9. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz - And now something for the adult reluctant reader (Not that adults can read YA, because they totally can.) So, again, I picked this book because it's really unpretentious. I think a lot of people are turned off by reading because they think all books are written in a stuffy way, using old-fashioned words and too much boring description. Not always true! This book is written in very colloquial, street language, and it's really really funny. And exciting. The only thing that might turn off a reader is the foot-notes, which can be kind of long and full of historical detail. But, they could always skip over that. And I think they'd get so into the story that maybe the footnotes would be worth it.
10. Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks - I reviewed this book a little while ago, and now I'm bringing it back for this list! Again, this book is written in a very casual, not-stuffy way and is fun to read. It tells the story of a man who attempts to hitchhike around Ireland with a mini-fridge. That premise alone, I think, would be enough to lure in a reluctant reader. And then they would keep reading because of Hawks' very familiar, friendly voice and because of all the funny anecdotes in the book, like when he attempts to go surfing with the fridge.