Top Ten Tuesday: Books for Non-Readers

Hey Everyone, sorry for the day late on the Top Ten Tuesday. I cant even comprehend how busy yesterday was. It was great, don’t get me wrong on that one, just zero time to pump this out. I have a little time today so I will throw this at you!

This weeks topic is Top 10 Books I’d Hand to Someone Who Says They Don’t Like To Read and is one near and dear to my heart. I’m a reader, I LOVE to read, always have. So I find it strange when people say they don’t like to read, or that they find it boring. If they’re bored, then they obviously arn’t reading the right thing. You should read what interests you!

I had a foster sister years go who wasn’t a huge reader, she simply wasn’t interested. I took it upon my self to get her interested, that is when I found out that there was a Mary-kate and Ashley Olson series of books. At this time (oh 90’s you precocious decade) the Olson twins were everywhere and were a current obsession of said foster sister. It took one book and we were off. She eventually grew to love reading and branched off into other books and interests. Now she has a college degree in Library Technology and is a Librarian… Who is awesome… I am awesome. Now with my new foster brothers it was the same process, finding something they’d like to read about, and with all the action heroes, spies and demi-gods gracing the pages of kids books it wasn’t hard. Now the youngest brother who we were told was excessively delayed by teachers is reading books two and three years above his class level. Take that teach.

Anyway, what I’m getting at is that there really isn’t a set of blanket books you can throw at anyone and expect them to suddenly love reading. You have to meet them where they are at and find there interests. Therefore I am going to do 10 books and their target audience.

1. Action Adventure Teen: Unwind by Neal Shusterman – Call me crazy but growing up I loved books about girls my age doing whatever it was they were doing. I assume it is the same for everyone. This book therefore is suitable for any teenager. There is a male and female character both in their mid-teens. In a future where abortion is outlawed parents have the right to have their unwanted children unwound between the ages of 13 – 18. A five year stretch in which for any reason you parents can have you essentially farmed out for parts because, in their skewed logic, you never die, you continue to live just in a divided state. Full of action, thought provoking ideas, and little romance its a treat to read.

2. Action Adventure Adult: World War Z by Max Brooks – I really don’y like action books in general, adventure books yes. Too much shooting I think, and how can reading about people shooting off guns be exciting… I picked up this book on a whim via a suggestion from a friend and her knowledge of a pre-existing zombie love.  It was fantastic! Just enough suspense to keep me reading, but so so much as to scare me away. Plus the multiple and interweaving storylines with a cast of interesting and believable characters.

3. History Buff Adult: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society  by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – I mention this books really quick last week, barely gave a description. Its an amazing story that is very good with its facts. It focuses on a famous British comedic author and her correspondence with the people on the Island of Guernsey shortly after the end of the Second World War. The writing is both elegant and witty, the characters beautiful and three dimensional.  I’ve never had a book that made me fall in love with a character you never actually get to meet. So spectacular and amazing for the history buff and romantic alike.


4. History Buff Preteen/Teen: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
– This is such a strong book, I would honestly recommend it to just about anyone. I would love for even younger kids to read it, but the language can be kind of strong. Gives a detailed and heart breaking account of small town Germanic life during WWII.

5. Those Twilight People….: Forest of Hands and Teeth Series by Carrie Ryan – I know I rag on the Twilight people, I can’t complain I read 2 1/2 of the books in the series before I ran away. I can never go back though. I saw the light, and then found this series. Its brain crack too, I will maintain that it is better written and the characters are infinitely more developed, but it is a lie to call it a literary masterpiece.  The premise though is what grabbed me, a world over run by zombie like creatures and the civilization living on whatever land they can fence off. Throw in a little romance (or a lot)here and there and you’ve got a winning combo! 😀

6. People Who Liked the Show Lost (a good brainf***): Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner – This series was fantastic, and like it always happens, I stumbled into it when only the first book had been released, which meant annoyed anticipation between titles. This is technically a YA series but provided enough thrills, chills and nightmare fuel to keep me engaged. Teen boys locked in the centre of a maze, sent supplies and  new person by a box that lifts out of the ground. They strive to find a way out of the maze using only the best to run the maze, and only during daylight hours, heaven help you if you are in the maze once the sun sets. This book pushes to the line of insanity in the number of loops that are thrown your way, but is careful not to turn into a jumbled mess of writing you cant follow. A favorite.

7. Fairytale Freak: Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire – I definitely fall under this category.  There is just something so delicious about them. We are fed them as children to teach us morals, or as a way to make a tv babysit. They are ingrained. So when we grow up what better way to pay homage then to twist them or reinterpret them. Its an engaging retelling of Cinderella from the point of view of those girls we’ve grown to hate, the ugly stepsisters. This is one of his tamer titles, so beware when venturing into his other titles as he has a tendency to include graphic (and completely unneeded) scenes out of no where.

8. Desperate TV Reality Addict: Some Girls: My Life in a Harem by Jillian Lauren – We all know someone, or are someone who is addicted to our raunchy reality tv. Those people who are famous for no reason who we cant take our eyes off of!! This book is for you, or them… or whomever. The nitty gritty of a working girl drafted into the harem of a foreign prince along with dozens of other women from all over the world. The ins and outs, jealousy and mayhem play out like a night of Jersey Shore, but in then our heroine learns her lesson and smartens up.

I’d normally add a couple for Science Fictions Nerds but myself but the only books I have in my head right now are Wyndham novels, and while they are amazing the writing style can be really hard to push through the first couple of times. So sadly I leave you with only 8 titles this time around!

Much Love ❤

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Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books for Book Clubs

This weeks topic over at Top Ten Tuesday is the top ten books that would make great book club picks. Its a neat topic, it intrinsically asks for books that can be talked about, that can spark conversation, and so those at the books I’m going to aim for

1. Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley – This is an amazing re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. It takes a story we know and love and weaves so many new layers in. Gives rise to discussions on changes to the original story, deemed both good and bad; as well as her interpretation of familiar and loved characters.

2. With the Light by Keiko Tobe – Some of you will know what manga is, others wont. Manga is the Japanese equivalent to a comic, vastly different then the Archie’s you might be imagining, manga spans a huge range of content and emotions, from the Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon you grew up on, to this amazing title. With the Light follows the autistic boy Hikaru and his mother and their struggles to make their way in modern Japan. This book has made me cry, and laugh, and yell. The stigmas that we associate with autism here in North America are already pretty harsh, pile on top of that the culture of perfection and conformity that is Japan and your in for an emotional roller coaster. The topics of discussion are vast, and views varied, and make an amazing read for both book clubs and individuals. The mangaka (author and writer) did an amazing amount of research and  paints a accurate, beautiful, and sad picture for us.

3. The Guests of War Trilogy by Kit Pearson – Technically a young readers title but has a great amount of detail. Evacuated from England to Canada during the second World War, Norah and Gavin must adjust to living in a foreign environment without their family. The trilogy covers the five years they live in Canada and slowly adjust, and by the last book its time for them to return home. Norah who was 10 when they left is eager to see her family and childhood home, Gavin, 5 when he left, has little memory and is hard-pressed to leave the land he’s grown to love. Differences in culture, adjusting to new surroundings, the impact of the war on children and Canadian families are all great conversations to strike up.


4. The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe by  J. Randy Taraborrelli – Marilyn was an icon. Whether you love her or hate her, if there’s one thing you can credit her with its never being boring. What I loved about this biography is the writers keen eye for detail and not being afraid to shock us with the truth and shine light on some of the oldest rumours, all while giving us sources and documentation along the way. Speculating on how the various influences in her life pushed her one way or another, and speculating on what could have happened if someone had just stepped in.

5. The Gurnsey Literacy and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Anne Shaffer – I know this is already a book club read, but common. Just read it, WWII, letters, an author, a book club, a lovable cast, everyone read this book and talk about it. Its amazing… That is all.

6. The Thirteen Tale by Diane Setterfield – I love this book. I will be completely honest, when I first bought this book it was entirely because of how it looks… The dark beautiful cover art, the rough cut page edges. And then the story leaped out and grabbed me and never let me go. The dark and twisting tale lead me left, right and left again, ending in a way that is beautiful, subtle and completely unexpected. I’d love to book club this in parts, have everyone read half and speculate on it, then read the last half and react…


7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak -I am 90% sure this book is already a book club pick too, but it deserves love none-the-less. This book takes a unflinching look at a childhood spent in Germany. It introduces us to a cast of characters that you fall in love with, and a setting that is unparalleled. Not to mention a narrator like no other. This book was the second book to ever make me cry. I bawled like a baby. I think it would be interesting to see how other people react to a group of people we are told we are supposed to hate for the things they’ve done, when they find out many of them were just like us.

8. Trouble with Lichen by John Wyndham – I have a huge love and respect for every title John Wyndham title I’ve read. He does science fiction in such a subtle way. I think this one would be the best of his titles for a book club as it has the strongest questions to pose. Should anyone live forever? Who has the right to share or hide such a revelation? Should only certain people be allowed ? The implications raise in this book are fascinating. Layer that on top of  Wyndham’s complex and dynamic characters and you have a recipe for success. 


9. Some Girls: My Life In a Harem by Jillian Lauren – The title jumps out at you doesn’t it? I picked up the book for just that reason. Read the back, read the first few pages and was transported. When I think of a harem, my mind goes straight to the musical The King and I and the King of Siam and his big brood. Its not a concept that had any footing in reality. So reading the book was surreal following this woman into a world of jealousy, intrigue and money. Perfect for a book club, discussing her steps leading to where she got, the relationships between the people present, all interesting topics to explore.

Hmmm, seems I can only crack out 9 for this week. I have lots of books I’d recommend in  general, and would love someone to read and squeal with, but these are really best for group discussion.

Please chime in everyone! Get on board and let me know what your Top Ten are! 😀
❤ Much Love!