Top Ten Books I’d Recommend to Someone Who Doesn’t Read…

17 Jan
The Broke and the Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesday topic (alliteration!) this week is the top ten books you’d recommend to somebody who doesn’t read a particular genre. Since I don’t focus on one specific genre, I decided to break my list up into the three genres I get the most flack for reading: fantasy, young adult, and romance. Although it’s foreign to me, these three genres are deemed silly by some of the people in my life. If they only knew how amazing books in these genres can be – how soulful, light-hearted, imaginative, and freeing they are. So today’s post will focus on books in these genres that I think could turn even the most serious doubter around.

Young Adult:

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – alright, this one is way obvious, but I literally know of no one who was somehow persuaded to give the first book a try and didn’t fall in love with it. Or at least want to go to Hogwarts and drink a butterbeer.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery – I hope my childhood memories aren’t clouding my judgement, but I truly believe the sweet simplicity of these stories will appeal to any generation. I’d recommend this to a particularly frazzled friend. There is something so lovely about Anne’s world, especially when you’re caught up in the difficulties of your own adult life.

Looking for Alaska by John Green – this contemporary novel will appeal to a lot of people, especially those that think young adult are just meaningless fairy tales. Green’s novels are always realistic, sweet, and pack a punch to the gut.


Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – I think a lot of people are intimidated by the size of LOTR and the depth of the world-building. However, once you get started, you realize that a) it’s a cracking good yarn, and b) it is the originator of the basic plot line of many of our culture’s most popular adventure stories.

Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin – as the recent TV series proved to those who hadn’t read the book, Game of Thrones is not some high-minded and ethereal fairy tale. It’s gritty, dirty, heart-breaking, and almost eerily real.

On the Edge by Ilona Andrews – I thought I’d throw a little urban fantasy into the mix here, since I’ve gotten the high fantasy covered already. Andrews’ writing is always solid and believable, and I think the author team is able to mix fantastical elements into a gritty storyline in the most captivating way.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – This was an incredible read from start to finish. I have rarely felt so excited about a book than when I did when first reading this novel. I haven’t read the sequel yet, but I hope Rothfuss’ engaging characters and excellent plot development live on in the rest of the series.


Soulless by Gail Carriger – I’ve had success with recommending this book to people who don’t normally read fantasy or romance. Carriger’s series is laugh-out-loud funny, and the romance is of the classic I-hate-you-but-actually-I-love-you variety.

When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James – ok, this might be a tough one for the romance-leery since the cover is pink and purple and has a girl in a frilly dress. Inside the cover, however, is a beautiful and clever love story that plays off of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. This one is a gateway drug – once your victim realizes that romance novels aren’t all sappy and insipid, I guarantee they’ll be back for more.

Lady Julia Grey series by Deanna Raybourn – I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Deanna Raybourn cannot write a bad book. This series has everything – excitement, intrigue, quirk, clever dialogue, eccentricity, and a hero to die for. Part mystery, part romance, all awesome.

8 Responses to “Top Ten Books I’d Recommend to Someone Who Doesn’t Read…”

  1. kaye January 17, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    wonderful recommendations. kaye—the road goes ever ever on

  2. Tanya Patrice January 17, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    Seriously awesome list – I love how you have recommendations from different genres.

    • Amanda January 17, 2012 at 8:22 am #

      Thanks Tanya – I honestly couldn’t get myself to settle on one, so I indulged my inability to focus. Glad it came across okay. 🙂

  3. Kristina Ebert January 17, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    Love your list especially One the Edge (on mine too), LOTR I still need to finish reading that series, loved HP and I should read a John Green book from the sounds of it.

    • Amanda January 17, 2012 at 8:29 am #

      Thanks Kristina! I’ve been thinking of doing a re-read of LOTR, but it’s a big commitment, you know? And glad to meet another person who digs Ilona Andrews’ Edge series (I actually prefer it to their Kate Daniels series). 🙂

      • Mary Jo January 17, 2012 at 10:02 am #

        Hmm- flack from people in your life. Would that be me?

        • Amanda January 17, 2012 at 10:40 am #

          Umm, I plead the fifth? 🙂 No, you never give me flack, I just know some things aren’t your cup of tea.

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