Happy Tuesday everyone! It is the second day of the week already but I hope everyone is doing well and is safe. Oh well, Tuesday also means one thing, a Top Ten Tuesday update! Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
This week’s given topic is Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like Reading.
To be honest, most of my friends are not into reading. It does make me feel out-of-place sometimes. HAHA. Nevertheless, I have some friends who ask for my recommendations. Of course, I enthusiastically provide them with books that I love or books that I think they will love. It is always a tricky business recommending a book for one has to gauge what book is suitable to one’s personality. Without more ado, let us start the list!
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
I have mentioned this before but I was initially apprehensive about Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s Shadow of the Wind. I guess it was the title or the book’s cover but there was something that I found off about it, at the start. Thankfully, the positive feedback from fellow book bloggers convinced me to finally read. And I am glad I did! It was a surreal experience that transported me to Barcelona. Ruiz Zafón, with his atmospheric and descriptive prose, made me walk through every nook and cranny of Barcelona, making me discover a secret or two. Because of this experience, I find it fitting to recommend this book to self-confessed non-book lovers. One good thing about the book is that it is also about reading, books, and literature.
Circe by Madeline Miller
I did notice that there are some non-book lovers who like Greek mythology. I, for one, love Greek mythology, and mythology in general. It is for this reason that I am recommending Madeline Miller’s Circe. It gives a different and interesting insight into a character who is often vilified in mainstream Greek mythology. Miller gave the readers a heartwarming rendering of Circe’s story, a girl, and, eventually, a woman who is often misunderstood because of her unique abilities. It is also a lighter and more slender read compared to The Shadow of the Wind (HAHA).
The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
During the lockdown, there was something that I have realized. While I love dogs (mostly puppies because they are cute), I am more of a cat person. This reminded me of Hiro Arikawa’s The Travelling Cat Chronicles, a book I will always recommend to both book lovers and non-book lovers. It is an easy read and gives a different dimension to reading experience in general. It places the readers into the mind of a cat! It was a unique and interesting experience. The novel also has a heartwarming, although heartbreaking, premise. It will surely pluck the proverbial strings of the heart.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Of course, I just have to recommend a literary classic and what better way than with an English classic. My love affair with English literary classics begun with Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. I have since read a steady stream of English classics and one of the books that stood out for me was Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. Sure, it is no easy read but it is worth it. It also has one of my all-time favorite literary characters in Heathcliff. He is a cipher but behind that veneer is a complex personality which made the reading experience more interesting.
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
To reiterate, I think it is best to start reading at a place that one is already familiar with. I was thinking of recommending J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series but that one is quite long so I have chosen to recommend Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games Trilogy. I think everyone is already familiar with the movie top billed by Jennifer Lawrence. I loved the first two books and I was really drawn by Katniss Everdeen and her antithesis, Peeta Mellark. I read the trilogy almost a decade ago but I can still vividly recall the heart-stomping moments, the tenterhooks, and the adventures.
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
Fredrik Backman’s Anxious People is another book that I would never tire of recommending to anyone; I just recommended it to my officemates through an online discussion. I did love A Man Called Ove, my first Backman (I also recommend it!), which led to Anxious People. It had the signature Swedish humor that Backman’s prose is renowned for. However, this lightheartedness belie the book’s deeper messages about mental health. The unusual story also reminds the readers about kindness and how it ripples through a wider range. It is indeed a memorable book, and one that made the lockdown bearable.
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Any recommendation list curated by yours truly would never be complete without Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince. I read the book over a decade ago but my memories of it are still vivid. The premise is simple and the book is slender but the messages interwoven into the Little Prince’s adventure resonate on all levels. I wanted to be his friend. I wanted to hug him and be his older brother. It is that kind of book. The book also contains one of my favorite literary quotes: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.“
Love, Rosie by Cecilia Ahern
I still recall reading Love, Rosie by Cecilia Ahern as if it was just yesterday. For the record, I read the book over a decade ago and was recommended by someone I cherish, or used to cherish (HAHA). I have good memories of the book for, while the premise was simple, the execution was brilliant. Related entirely through letters, emails, instant messages, postcards, it was one of the books that showed me that telling a story can come in different ways. It was an interesting experience to say the least. When I had the chance to recommend the book, I did. I guess she liked it. Or maybe she did not finish it. I am not sure which.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Ah. Khaled Hosseini. There is simply no word to express how I admire Hosseini’s works. I loved all three of his novels, with his debut novel, The Kite Runner just a little further ahead. It is the story of a son and a father in the Afghan capital of Kabul. Hosseini, with his knack for description, managed to transport me to Kabul and made me walk its alleys and colorful markets. It was an immersive read, both raw and powerful. More importantly, he provided a picture of Afghanistan away from how it is depicted in mainstream media. He made me fall in love with his country with the beauty of his prose. I had the same experience with A Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed. His works reminded me of literature’s power to transport one to another place and time.
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
I came across Agatha Christie at a crucial moment in my reading life. I was ready to give up on mystery and suspense fiction because of their predictable storytelling. My first Christie novel, Murder on the Orient Express, featuring his star detective Hercule Poirot, riveted me from the onset. The ending was also brilliant. It renewed my interest in the genre. I do believe that this is a book that non-readers will like because it is witty, suspenseful, and an entertaining read. It has all the elements to convince one to pick up the next book. It sure worked for me for I have since read over 20 of her works, with several more unread in my bookshelf.
Thus ends another Top Ten Tuesday post. I have a lot more of books to recommend but I think this will do, for now. I hope you enjoyed my post. How about you fellow reader? What book will you recommend to a non-reader? I hope you could share it in the comment box as well. For now, happy Tuesday! I hope you have a great week ahead!