Monday, August 11, 2014

My reluctant reader

I read a lot.  At any given time I likely have a book on hand, and be somewhere in the middle of at least three others.  I read somewhere in the range of 100-200 books a year.

My fiance, on the other hand, is not much of a reader.  At all.  He'll read car manuals, forums, magazines, but until the past few months he has read a grand total of one book (The Zombie Survival Guide) during the first six years of our relationship.  Reading for pleasure just isn't his thing.

Only, early this year he went out and bought a copy of Ender's Game.  Made his way through it, enjoyed it, and would occasionally have fun discussion points from it with me.  When he got near the end I suggested Ready Player One, one of my favorites and a novel I've thought since it came out that he would enjoy.

I can't being to express how stupidly happy it makes me to see him reading a book because he enjoys it.  He seems slightly amused at my excitement.  Now I'm trying to figure out what to recommend next, and I'm not 100% sure what direction to go.  On the bright side, I've been informed that he plans to read further in the Ender series first before seeking new titles, so I have time.  Still, building recommendations on so few data points is rough.

Recommendation lists that include Ready Player One and Ender's Game tend to go towards YA suggestions or dive right off the deep end into Neil Stephenson.  Then again, maybe he would like Snow Crash, it's been way too long since I've read it (Cryptonomicon or Baroque Cycle are more what I think of these days in association with Stephenson).  So let's tentatively throw that on the list.  To me, Ready Player One and Ender's Game aren't (just) 'Young Adult' - they read like novels written for mature readers but have a wide appeal base.  I'm not sure I want to recommend Heinlein just yet, as I fully admit even the novels of his I love can be very hit or miss with readers.

I'm looking for similar reads in terms of voice, pacing, and appeal.  Books good for a competent adult reader who's just discovered that recreational reading might be something they like doing now and then.  "New reader" recommendation lists tend to be aimed at youth, and the previously mentioned read-alike lists tend to assume either teens/YA or adults with an established Science Fiction reading interest.

Possible future suggestions:
What books would you add suggest to an adult discovering that they might actually like recreational reading starting with these seeds?

1 comment:

  1. Brave New World / Aldous Huxley
    Fahrenheit 451 / Ray Bradbury (although most of his stuff would be good)
    Anthem / Ayn Rand (this is light Ayn Rand and fairly short0

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