Every Tuesday, That Artsy Reader Girl hosts Top Ten Tuesday. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like Reading. I decided to do a list of books that I’d suggest to people who don’t like reading period or don’t know that they’d like a particular genre.
This is actually one of the first book recommendations I give to anyone, whether they like reading or not. It’s one of my favorite books (and probably the one that I’ve reread most often), and while the TV series is amazing, the book is even better. It’s a quick, funny read and one that several people who “didn’t like reading” ended up really loving.
Not only did this book have a profound effect on me (it was what helped me finally come to terms with my transness after having shoved myself back into the closet for seven years), but it’s also a fun, sweet read about two characters I would basically die for. The characters are vibrant and, especially for queer teens (or adults), easy to relate to. I think this would be my first choice of suggestion for a teen that felt that reading wasn’t for them.
I’m not a poetry person by any stretch of the imagination–and I know lots of other people who aren’t as well. But this slim volume by Dungeons and Daddies co-star Beth May (who plays Ron Stampler, emotionally detached stepfather and rogue) packs a punch and left me feeling breathless after I read it. While not necessarily a book I’d recommend to just anyone, I would definitely hand this to someone who doesn’t love poetry but has a hankering for something relatable and emotionally wrenching.
Someday I’ll be writing a full review of this book, which I found to be a really fun, campy read. A YA horror novel that gives you exactly what it says in the title, this is the kind of book I’d suggest to someone who loves slasher movies but isn’t sure they’d enjoy reading.
I’ve already gushed a bit on here about how much I enjoy this book (and its sequel, Surrender), and at some point, I hope to do not only a review of the books but also an interview with the author. The Rescue series is sexy and fun and has a lot of heart. For people curious about erotica but unsure if they’d like it, these are the perfect books. They have steamy sex, but they also have a great plot and well-developed characters.
6) Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Another one of my favorite books, Adams’ novel of a hoopy frood who really knows where his towel was one of my first forays into science fiction…but it certainly wasn’t my last. I suggest this often to people who are unsure of getting into sci-fi. It’s “soft” science fiction and it’s hilarious to boot, so it’s nice way to get your feet wet. I personally love all of the novels in the series, but I usually tell people to just start with the first and see how it goes.
I can’t express just how much this series means to me. Lesser Known Monsters and its sequel The Bone Gate are two of my favorite books to come out in a LONG time. Not only is this a great series to help get people into horror, fantasy, New Adult, and queer fiction, it’s also supremely well-written by one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to interact with on Twitter.
I need to be upfront about something before I talk about this book. I recently edited book four in Slinde’s Sins of the Elders series, and I’m slated to edit the first three for eventual rerelease. That having been said, that opportunity only happened AFTER I fell head over heels for these books. All four of Slinde’s Western-flavored steampunk fantasy novels are amazing, and they’re a great choice for people who are curious about steampunk but aren’t quite ready to commit. These genre-blending novels are mostly just incredible fantasy novels with engaging plots and loveable characters, but there’s just enough steampunk to wet your whistle and get you interested in more books in that genre.
I’m not a fan of historical fiction OR mystery, but the Lady Julia Grey Mysteries are some of my favorite books. They’re funny and sexy and I can NEVER figure out the endings, but they’re always satisfying and spectacular. I’ve been singing Deanna Raybourn’s praises for over a decade now, and I’ll never stop. If you want historical romances with compelling characters and plots, these are 100% the books for you.
“But Gabe,” I hear you protest, “that’s your book.” Yep, it is. For one thing, I’m damn proud of it. For another, the reviews so far have been 4 and 5 stars. But also, if I’m physically handing books to you (as the prompt for this list suggests), I probably know you in real life, so you may as well read it to be supportive. LOL! All joking aside, though, the people who have read it so far have flown through it. It’s a quick, fun, sexy novel with characters that readers have called “memorable,” “fascinating,” and “three-dimensional.” Not sure if it’s for you? Click here for an excerpt and content warnings.
So there’s my list for this Top Ten Tuesday. Let me know in the comments which of these you’ve read or would like to read.
Tomorrow’s Writing Wednesday post is one near and dear to my heart: writing in first person present. The majority of my readers so far have been people who don’t normally read books written that way but who’ve said they loved the way I approached it. I’ve been asked by a few people to talk about how I pulled it off, so stay tuned for that tomorrow.