Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.
This week’s theme is: Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To Someone Who Doesn’t Read X
I’m going to cheat a bit, since I can’t decide among the genres I usually read, and do five books each for romance, fantasy, and young adult.
Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To Someone Who Doesn’t Read Romance
1. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
This one might not be considered a romance in the strictest sense, but it is simple and innocent and so lovely.
2. The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley
This novel defies romance reader expectations, going against the grain to deliver a hero unlike any I’ve seen in the genre before.
3. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
Crusie infuses her novel with enough humor and palpable chemistry between her leads to win over even the harshest critics.
4. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
Considered one of the seminal historical romances, Chase’s dialogue is highly engaging and the plot substantial enough to pique picky readers’ interest.
5. When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James
James creates a relationship between her two characters that is sustained by mutual equality and respect rather than misunderstanding and manipulation.
Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To Someone Who Doesn’t Read Fantasy
1. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Any Gaiman work could win over fantasy-wary readers; Neverwhere just happens to be my favorite.
2. Enchantment by Orson Scott Card
Card effortlessly weaves Russian folklore into a tapestry of fairy tale, horror, romance, and coming-of-age triumph.
3. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
While not an urban fantasy, Snyder’s writing has all the accessibility of the genre along with a unique plot and a heroine to root for.
4. The Native Star by M.K. Hobson
Part steampunk magic, part romance, and part western adventure, Hobson’s world is unlike any I’ve encountered before.
5. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
Each book in the Toby Daye series is better than the last. This is one of the best urban fantasies out there, with fae, folklore, romance, a genuinely relatable and capable heroine, and humor to spare.
Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To Someone Who Doesn’t Read Young Adult
1. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
It does a disservice to Marchetta’s writing to limit it to young readers. The complexity of her stories can appeal to young and mature readers alike.
2. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
A lesser known work by the author of the much lauded The Book Thief, this coming-of-age story is thought-provoking and highlights the beauty that can be found in even the most dire circumstances.
3. The China Garden by Liz Berry
Sadly overlooked amidst the masses of paranormals, this is a quiet modern fairy tale that treads new ground without abandoning its simplicity.
4. The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan
A novel in verse that explores the divergent yet resonant voices of high school students.
5. Beauty by Robin McKinley
This Beauty and the Beast adaptation transcends generations. It remains one of the best and most beautiful iterations of the tale.