Not everyone is a bookworm. Maybe you had a really bad experience analyzing texts in a high school English class only to have your teacher insist that your interpretation of Shakespeare was wrong. Or maybe reading a book feels like a lot of work when you’d rather just relax and play on your phone. But as a lifelong reader, I’m begging you not to totally give up on books. I firmly believe that everyone is a reader; you just need to find the books to read if you hate reading — ones that work for your interests and personality. If you think reading is boring, then you’ve just been reading the wrong books.
Unlike the literary classics that probably turned you off from reading in high school, enjoyable books aren’t going to make you work for the payoff. They’re funny, gripping, and poignant, or so fast-paced and packed with adventure that you won’t be able to put them down. From real-life stories that made headlines to the wildest works of fiction, these books will defy you to give up on them. Chances are, you’ll just get caught up in the fun and forget you’re even reading at all. And when that happens: boom. You’re one of us! Welcome to the book club.
1. 'Me Talk Pretty One Day' by David Sedaris
2. 'The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time' by Mark Haddon
One of the more interesting narrators in recent years, the novel follows Christopher John Francis Boone — a brilliant autistic teen who happens to be the only person who figures out the truth behind a murder. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon will likely help you look at the world in a whole new way.
3. 'Eight Hundred Grapes' by Laura Dave
Set in beautiful Sonoma, Laura Dave's Eight Hundred Grapes is a romantic comedy that looks at relationships, family, and the craft behind a perfect bottle of wine. When Georgia discovers her fiancé has been keeping a huge secret, she retreats to her family's vineyard to come to terms with the new reality in this charming read.
4. 'The Martian' by Andy Weir
If you're more into science than literature, this book might help bridge the gap between cold hard facts and fiction. When astronaut Mark Watney gets accidentally abandoned on Mars, he rallies his STEM superpowers to make survival possible. Filled with humor and adventure, The Martian by Andy Weir is an inspiring, positive look at space travel and human nature. (And yes, this is the book that inspired the Oscar-nominated movie.)
5. 'Lafayette In The Somewhat United States' by Sarah Vowell
6. 'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins
Fun fact: I know a lot of really smart adults who prefer to read young adult fiction because they find it more fast-paced and engaging than mainstream lit. If it's been a few years since you last gave YA a try, then Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games is a great start. This book achieved its massive popularity for a good reason: it's a gripping adventure story with relatable characters and a backdrop of political intrigue.
7. 'Into Thin Air' by Jon Karkauer
If you're into real-life adventure, then Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air might be the perfect book for you. Krakauer, a journalist, provides his firsthand account of an Everest expedition in which a dozen people lost their lives. His narrative will keep you in suspense until the last page.
8. 'Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family' by Amy Ellis Nutt
Transgender issues have become more prevalent in recent years, and Amy Ellis Nutt's Becoming Nicole gets at the heart of many trans issues. When one of the Maines' family's adopted twin sons feels more comfortable as a girl, the family draws closer together while confronting societal norms.