Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like Reading

I want to start off by saying that not liking to read is valid. We all have different hobbies and passions, and I believe that forcing someone to read is counterintuitive and will likely not spark a love for it. However, there are books that I would put into someone’s hands who told me they historically haven’t liked reading but want to give it a chance. I will highlight ten of those books in this post and would love to discuss them and any recommendations you have in the comment section!

I think that any of Liane Moriarty’s books are perfect recommendations for someone who is looking to get into reading. They are compulsively readable, have interesting and flawed characters, and there is always a mystery at the center of the story. I also think that the fact that both Big Little Lies and Nine Perfect Strangers have been adapted into popular TV series makes them an easier sell. Apples Never Fall is my favourite of her work, so that is why I chose it for this list!

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is one of my go-to book recommendations! It is sweet and heartwarming and is set at a bookstore on a small island. The characters truly shine here and I love the romance! I found the writing to be very accessible and the characters to be memorable. Everyone I have recommended it to has loved it!

WWII fiction can be really compelling and I know that it is one of the genres that got me into fiction. There are many that I can share, but I think that The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society is the one I feel most confident about universally recommending! The fact that the story is told through letters makes it a quicker read and I thought that the movie adaptation was well done.

Much like A.J.Fikry, A Man Called Ove is one of the books I recommend most often. Ove is one of the best characters of all time, at least in my opinion. I loved his character development and seeing how his relationship with his neighbours develops into something so damn sweet. I think someone who is getting into reading will read this book and realize how emotional books can be!

I had to recommend a nonfiction title because a lot of readers tend to prefer nonfiction and that may turn out to be the case for a reluctant reader. I think that Bad Blood is the perfect recommendation because the story is so wild and it reads like a podcast. I loved that the author was so deeply involved in exposing Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos, so we get a lot of behind-the-scenes info.

Homegoing is one of the most beautiful and harrowing books I have ever read. I think it is a good book for someone who is looking to get into literary fiction. There is something so special about Yaa Gyasi and it is a book that I am confident in recommending to most people.

Norse Mythology is a perfect book for Marvel fans, which I know many people are, myself included. Anyone who likes the dynamic between Loki and Thor will absolutely love Norse Mythology. I also think that most of Neil Gaiman’s books are great for someone looking to fall in love with reading!

The Martian and/or Project Hail Mary are my go-to SciFi recommendations! In fact, someone in my real life is currently borrowing my copy of Project Hail Mary. I know many people who would not consider themselves readers who have read and loved Andy Weir’s books. Plus, The Martian is a fantastic movie, and Project Hail Mary is being adapted with Ryan Gosling starring in it.

The One was the first book I thought of when I saw this week’s prompt. It is one of the books I buddy read with my irl best friend, who is not a big reader. We both flew through it and still talk about it over a year later. It is such a good and unique thriller!

Of course, I had to recommend a romance! I think that The Unhoneymooners is one of the more accessible ones for anyone looking to get into the genre. It reads like a romcom and is being adapted. It also has quite a few of the classic romance tropes, so it is a good one to read if you want to discover which tropes you love and which ones you don’t!

What is a book you would recommend to someone who says they don’t like reading?

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43 thoughts on “Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like Reading

  1. The majority of these are still unread on my TBR but I’ve heard lots of great things about them. The Guernsey Literary is a great recommendation and Bad Blood is defo an interesting one too! I would rec the audiobook for that one as well 🙂 Great list!

  2. I would also absolutely recommend Guernsey, project Hail Mary (audio), Storied Life, Ove, and Homegoing! So many great books to share!

  3. Guernsey is also my first recommendation for someone who isn’t a big reader! It’s such a comforting read, and the snappy epistolary format definitely helps – you can just read a letter or two at a time and not feel like you have to block off time for massive chapters. Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club is another universal recommendation – an easy, engaging read with humor, heart, and again, short chapters!

      1. I can’t imagine anyone NOT loving it, so I’m sure you will! I just finished the sequel (The Man Who Died Twice) last week, and I’m happy to say it’s every bit as lovely!

  4. This is a great list! When I was looking at the topic, I was trying for easy, plot-forward books, and these all fit that bill. 🙂

    My post—

    Happy TTT!

  5. Great list! I’ve heard so many good things about The Unhoneymooners. I love what you said about not liking reading being perfectly valid, too – some readers get quite snobbish around people who don’t like to read and it’s just not a good look. It doesn’t work for everyone, and the world would be a very boring place if we were all the same!

  6. What a nice list. I have The Unhoneymooners on my bookshelf, just waiting for me to find the time to read it

  7. I’m SOOO glad you said APPLES NEVER FALL is your favorite Moriarty book. I loved it, too, but it seems like we are in the minority in that opinion. I just love that she tried something a little different with this novel so that it has that Moriarty magic but it’s also unique. I also really enjoyed THE UNHONEYMOONERS and A.J. FIKRY.

    Happy TTT!


  8. Recommending books is always a gamble. Everyone has their own unique tastes, and its hard to say “Oh, you’ll like this one.” Especially if they are not an avid reader.
    I think that the criteria for a good book to recommend to a non-reader is one that doesn’t have too many characters to keep track of, descriptions that are concise without over-embellishment, and and opening paragraph/chapter that draws you in immediately.

    Short stories are a good place to start. there’s no great time commitment and usually has all the previous listed criteria.

    “The Martian” is a good one for non-science fiction readers. When I read it it felt like a movie in the making.
    I’ve tried several times, but I can’t get into Neil Gaiman.

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