(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish. Want to make your own list? Clicking the image will take you to this week’s post. Happy listing!)
Topics like this are tricky; I don’t want to force on someone a book they won’t like, but if they don’t like to read, I don’t have much of a frame of reference for what they might like. I can’t say, “Well, you like mythology, so you should read…” These issues aside, here are some books I’d recommend to people who say they don’t like to read.
1. The Avocado Drive Zoo (Earl Hamner) – One writer’s chronicles of the animals his family has loved. Four words: alligator in the bathtub.
2. Where the Sidewalk Ends (Shel Silverstein) – But this is poetry for kids, they’ll say. Sure it is.
3. Anything by Mary Roach – She’s written about death, life after death, sex, and life in space. Something for everyone, with plenty of humor thrown in.
4. Good Omens (Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett) – British humor. Puns. Sarcasm. General silliness. If someone reads this and doesn’t laugh, we need to revoke their humanity card.
5. Beowulf on the Beach: What to Love and What to Skip in Literature’s 50 Greatest Hits (Jack Murnighan) – The title says it all. A good way for someone to see what’s out there, and what’s worth reading or skipping.
6. Cheaper by the Dozen (Frank Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey) – A funny book about a family of twelve raised by the pioneers of motion study.
7. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (Fannie Flagg) – Set in a period no longer considered contemporary, but “young” enough to have modern language. A great, hysterical, meaningful book.
8. Anything by Clive Cussler – Action, adventure, sex, and awesomeness.
9. Graceling (Kristin Cashore) – For anyone looking for a kick-ass heroine and an introduction into the fantasy genre.
10. At Home: A Short History of Private Life (Bill Bryson) – I know, a chunkster seems like a terrible thing to recommend. But this book’s got it all: history, architecture, nature, humor, and all kinds of interesting info.
Well, that’s my list. Anything you’d add or take off? Let me know in the comments!
10 thoughts on “Top 10 Tuesday: Books for People Who Don’t Like to Read”
Bill Bryson is great, isn’t he? He made my top ten this week too.
I’m officially obsessed. 🙂
Shel Silverstein is simply a genius. The Giving Tree never fails to make me cry like a baby. I loved Good Omens!
I haven’t read Silverstein in a long time, and The Giving Tree was the last book of his I read. I also cried — who wouldn’t?
Yay, another Good Omens fan! Who knew they could fit so much meaning behind all that silliness?
It’s been a while since I read Clive Cussler, but I went through a huge Dirk Pitt and Kurt Austin phase. Great recommendation for someone who likes adventure! I’m thinking it might be a good idea to check out number 5 before work through anymore classics…
I liked the Kurt Austin books, but for me, Pitt was always the best. Probably because I read those books first. They’re all such fun to read.
Murnighan’s book is awesome. The Last of the Mohicans is not included in his list. 😉
Terry Pratchet isn’t someone I read personally, but I will recommend him as someone who is well liked and respected by a lot of readers. And if it’s funny? Extra points!!
But I haven’t actually read anything on that list- but Bill Bryson is someone I know I need to read properly when I get the chance.
I haven’t read a whole lot of Pratchett, but I love his style and sense of humor. He’s a brilliant writer, and I recommend him to anyone. Especially his funny stuff.
Yes, Bill Bryson. Read his stuff now. 🙂
I’m going to have to look up that Beowulf on the Beach book too. Sounds too good to pass up.
I’ve only read Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island, which I really didn’t care for, but I’ve heard his others (particularly A Walk in the Woods) are better. I was surprised and a little appalled to find Notes from a Small Island on the reading list for one of the classes I teach on heritage management, though, and having to teach it made me remember afresh how much I didn’t care for it the first time around!
Beowulf on the Beach is a great resource book. It gives you the high and low points of the books, as well as which sections it’s okay to skip.
I’ve only read Bryson’s At Home, and I can understand how Notes from a Small Island might be kind of lame — it can be kind of hard to get into the spirit of learning about a foreign country and its history. But I love England, so I’d probably enjoy the book.
I’m sorry you had to teach a book you didn’t like. Does that happen often, or do you for the most part like what you teach?