Top Ten Books I’d recommend to someone who says they don’t like to read

Top Ten Tuesday

It’s another post from over at The Broke and the Bookish, where they pick a different topic every Tuesday and people blog about it. This week it’s Top Ten Books I Would recommend to someone who doesn’t like to read!

Dearly Devoted Dexter
10. Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsey. This is actually a big surprise for me, because I actively hated the first Dexter novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter. I loved the show, but found the novel shallow and rather painful. The sequel however was awesome. Dark and frightening, funny and sardonic. It’s a truly great novel. And it’s not necessary to read the first one to get it. It goes on this list chiefly because many people love the show. So if they like the show and don’t like reading, this could be their gateway into the written word.

The Hobbit
9. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. Again, like Dexter, this novel is mainly on this list for the popularity of the movie series by Peter Jackson. Anyone you know who likes something media related shouldn’t be hard to pick a book for. By why this instead of Fellowship? Well, to be blunt, Fellowship is hard to get through even for some real bibliophiles (like me). Better not to daunt them with their first novel.

The Thief of Always
8. The Thief of Always by Clive Barker. This is simply one of the better novels written. Barker is known for his Hellraiser series of films, so the name should ring a bell with any horror fan. And it’s written to appeal to both adults and young adults, meaning it shouldn’t be too hard for a non-advanced reader to attempt.

Lolita
7. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. This one, simply, because I think everyone has some sick fascination with it. It’s basically literary porn. But there’s surprisingly little “smut” in it and it’s one of the better written novels of all time. So kind of a bait-and-switch.

The Gunslinger
6. The Gunslinger by Stephen King. One of the most prolific and popular authors of our generation, King is the gateway to literature for many people. So the question becomes: which of his dozens of novels should go on my list? I picked The Gunslinger because it’s the first in King’s popular Dark Tower series. Hopefully this book would lead to reading the rest, and then to the rest of King’s books, and then on to the wild world of other literature.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
5. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. I’ve gone on about this book before. It’s simply a great piece of literature as a novel, and fable, and a religious allegory. I find it influences me more and more. The only people I wouldn’t recommend this to are hardcore fans of the movie… Because they’re very different.

The Things they Carried
4. The Things they Carried by Tim O’Brien. I usually find non-fiction books are great for non-readers. Many people don’t read because they find that mental gap between real and imaginary hard to cope with, and this is one of the better non-fiction books ever. Again, highly recommend to anyone.

Life of Pi
3. Life of Pi. by Yann Martel. I gave this book to my mother for Christmas. She’s a non reader. Upon finishing it, she immediately called and asked me if I could recommend any other books. I love Pi, but to me the above anecdote proves its place on this list.

Twilight
2. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. I know this may get me kicked off the Internet, but let’s face it: no one book has turned so many non-readers on to reading. We can debate the merits of the book all day… Hell, we could debate any of the books here all day. But Twilight can stand on its record as being good at hooking readers in. There’s no debating that.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
1. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. This book is absolutely incredible. It’s imaginative and fun and takes a unique viewpoint yet one we’re all familiar with. Great for anyone.

Hope the list doesn’t disappoint.

Never Look Back
Matthew LeDrew

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8 responses to “Top Ten Books I’d recommend to someone who says they don’t like to read

  1. Nicely eclectic list. I’ve just finished Ishmail Kardare’s Broken April. He is my Albanian entry for A Year of Reading the World (I’m trying to read a book from every country in 2012 – don’t ask). He is an *amazing* writer. Seriously worth a go.

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  2. I went all out and picked The Lord of the Rings over The Hobbit. I know it scares some people, but I personally think it’s the better book! Though I think The Hobbit could definitely get kids into reading fantasy.

    I’ve seen Twilight on a few lists. I debated it (because it actually has succeeded in making people read), but then Mark Twain came to mind: “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.”

    I really enjoyed One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Life of Pi, as well.

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  3. Curious Incident and Life of Pi are great books, aren’t they? I also have Lolita on my TBR shelf. These look like great choices for non-readers and readers alike!

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  4. I really like your list 🙂 and I am so happy to hear that Dearly Devoted Dexter is better than Darkly Dreaming because that one really disappointed me 🙂

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