Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Top Ten Books I'd Hand To Someone Who Says They Don't Like To Read

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books I'd Hand to Someone Who Says They Don't Like to Read
Post by Kayla 

As a librarian and former bookseller, I have come across many people who fit this description. Unless you are someone who is raised around books, they can be pretty intimidating. Sure the covers are sparkly and pretty, but it can be overwhelming to walk into a library or bookstore and find something. I mean, a person has to really devote him/herself to a book to finish it. The thicker the book, the scarier it is for a non-reader. And let’s be honest, the most experience a lot of non-readers have had with books are those tough literary pieces that school required them to read. I have always found it works best to suggest something engaging, easy, and fun to read. Yes, the majority of my list is for children and young adults, but the pacing in those genres is much more reader-friendly. The following are a few that I am currently recommending to people:

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Now, I personally am not one to give in to hype. However, if it means that it will get someone reading a book (who usually does not), I am all for it. With the movie coming out next month, this is the perfect time to thrust this book into the hands of someone who is curious about the growing popularity of this book (and series). Even better – it is a great read. There are very few people who I have spoken with that did not enjoy this book in some capacity or another.

2. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
I am putting all of my personal views of this book aside for a moment*. I must give it some credit. It is drawing people into reading. There are very, very few people in developed countries who have not caught wind of this phenomenon. Again, it is necessary to use the popularity of the series and author to our advantage, and give a person something they will enjoy reading.

This is my favorite book to give to young boys. There are a lot of books out there aimed at the male youth audience, but this one is something special. Okay, young girls love it, too. And older males. Adult females, too?! Of course. I mean, popularity is being brought up again here, folks! Unless you are against this book for religious reasons, it is the perfect ticket to magical escape. I was an adult when I began reading the series, but I was still disappointed when I did not receive a letter inviting me to Hogwarts the following August. It is a sensational method of escape from the mundane in everyday life via Platform 9 ¾.

Stop right there! I know what you are probably thinking. No, I am not taking anyone over to the Erotica section of a bookstore or library. I actually came across this book as I was doing research for one of my history classes. (I am a history major, when I get time to go to school.) I was drawn to the name and sucked in just from reading a few pages. Our society is fascinated by the shenanigans of other peoples’ relationships (hey – I am just stating the facts. Shall I show you a People magazine?), and this book tells you all about some of the most famous monarchs and mistresses in history. It is an extremely easy read and downright hilarious. I would not recommend you giving it to a fifth-grader, but anyone older than sixteen will probably enjoy it immensely.

5. A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead
Yes, I am well aware that this is a picture book. Unless you have read it, what you do not understand is that it is a picture book that speaks to the reader well past the words written on the page. I always suggest that people read it and then reread it to notice the subtlety of the message that is also added in the pictures. This book won a Caldecott medal for a reason. The young and old alike will be delighted by Amos McGee and his animal friends.

I cheated a little on this one. I am drawing a blank, so I asked my assistant, “Bookboy”, what he would suggest to someone. He chose this book because it is a very quick and easy read (I think there is another theme going here), and it also is a fun spin on mythology. I agree.

7. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
What little girl does not hate her parents? Whoever you just named is either lying or in denial. We have all wished that we had different parents than who we were blessed with, and this book gives its readers an idea of what can happen when you get what you wish for. It is a little bit scary, but humorous at times. It is a fun read and extremely short.

8. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Women love this book. Contemporary women’s fiction is not my thing, but I read this book when I had a gun held to my head. (A figurative gun, but I was forced all the same.) I still loved this book. I have suggested it to many of my library patrons. They loved this book, too. Perhaps there is a connection between books being so popular and being an enjoyable read. {{ponders}}

9. The Magicians’ Guild by Trudi Canavan
I have not read this book, but Bookboy suddenly demanded that I put it on my list. I guess he has recommended it for people in the past, and it turned out well. He says it is an easy fantasy to read, and not too over-the-top epic. So kids, listen to the Bookboy. See his name? He knows his business.

10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
{{shrugs}} It is a great story. Everyone should try to read it at least once.

*One of the cardinal rules of being a librarian is finding something positive in everything you read so you can share the book with others. Not everyone has the same taste, and book-bashing is never okay.

15 comments:

  1. Agree with HP, Hunger Games, and Percy Jackson (all on my list too, of course!), and definitely To Kill A Mockingbird! It's a classic that well deserves all its praise. I admit I laughed when I saw Sex With Kings, but after reading your summary and the ones on the BN page you linked, I'm so intrigued! I think that will be added to my TBR list now.

    Great list!
    My Top Ten Tuesday

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, I'm glad that you liked my list! I think there is a lot of nonfiction books out there that should be getting more attention. Be sure to stop back by and let us know if you liked it. :)

      Kayla @ Krazy Book Lady

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  2. Our first three choices are the same! Great minds think alike. ;)
    My Top Ten Tuesday

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    1. Indeed they do! :D

      Kayla @ Krazy Book Lady

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  3. No shrugs on "To Kill a Mockingbird" it's one of my favorites. Great story and engaging characters.

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    1. It's one of my many favorites, too. Unfortunately, people tend to shy away from anything regarded as "classic" or written more than twenty years ago. I do try to get people to read it every chance I get. :)

      Kayla @ Krazy Book Lady

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  4. Harry Potter and Hunger Games made a lot of lists today as I'm sure they were responsible for creating a good number of readers over the years. Great list!

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    1. Their time on the bestsellers' lists are testament to that. Thanks!

      Kayla @ Krazy Book Lady

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  5. Seems like Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and The Help are common among a lot of today's posts. How fun! I have to admit, though, that my loathing for the Twilight series is so deep that I could not possibly recommend it to anyone. I can admit, though, that it has a pull and for a non-reader, one who isn't analytical at all and is just in it for introductory style get-into-it reading, I suppose it would work. (I think I may have just broken my soul a little bit saying that.) So, you're a better person than I am for being able to recommend it! I love your post, it's incredibly insightful, especially since it's coming from a librarian. I love you folks!

    My T10T Post

    ReplyDelete
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    1. As I wrote the post, it really hit me how important hype is to draw people to books when they don't usually read. I guess it plays off of the peer pressure thing - "Everyone else is doing it!"

      It takes a lot of practice to be able to smile and hand someone a book that you don't find enjoyable. I can be a book snob at times, so I have had a LOT of practice. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

      Kayla @ Krazy Book Lady

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  6. Great list. The king book looks interesting! Here's ours http://marmaladelibby.blogspot.com/2012/02/top-10-tuesday-4.html?m=1

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  7. I love this list! I am absolutely in LOVE with more than half of these books so I love that you would recommend them to people who don't like to read! :)

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  8. GREAT list! Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games have done SO much for reading everywhere! There is just that little ((well, BIG) something special about those 3 that make reading so enjoyable.

    FYI: I found another blog with your same header: http://a-reading-daydreamer.blogspot.com/

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    1. The first three on your list were the first three I thought of that I'd put on my own list for sure.

      Just finished reading the hunger games ironically, today.

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