A Big Challenge For Book Bloggers!

Ok fellow bloggers. I have a HUGE challenge that I need your help with.

The challenge: My boyfriend of almost four years is not a reader. At all. I’ve bought him a few books and they have gone unread. The other day while walking around Borders with me, I told him that I had a propisition for him. It was to let me pick out a fiction book for him to read and he has to read the whole thing and then he may challenge me to whatever he’d like. Surprisingly he accepted!

This is where you all come in. I need some rock-your-socks off, awesome recommendations because I need to show him that reading is great! I’ll tell you a few things about him. He’s obsessed with sports (I tried to buy him some biographies about his favorite sports players but that didn’t work), his attention span isn’t the longest so the book can’t be too long, he isn’t a big fan of anything fantasy or sci-fi and his reading level probably isn’t up to par but he’s certainly not dumb by any means. 🙂

I’m looking for something that will hook him from the beginning as I don’t know that he’ll have the patience to wade halfway through a book to get to the good stuff. It needs to be a fair length and keep in mind that he is in his twenties.

I have a friend that got her previously non-reading husband into James Patterson books but I have no idea on specifics. I don’t want to pick a dud. A guy friend of mine who is typically a non-reader LOVES My Losing Season: A Memoir which is about basketball and has read it several times so this could be a good option but I don’t know anything about it. I actually bought it for my boyfriend but he’s never read it.

So, any recommendation would be AWESOME! I need fellow readers to help me find the perfect book because I’ve been waiting so long to try and get him to read a book!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she’s actually that old. When she’s not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.


  1. ~The Book Pixie says:

    How about…Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto by Eric Luper? It's contemp YA, guy protag, and has some golf in it (sport-ish). I personally loved it. You may want to look into it more though because you obviously know your boyfriend better than me. lol. 😀


  2. Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben. It's mystery, got some great characters, funny humor and it's the start of a series. Think.. Stephanie Plum but for guys. Great books.

  3. If it helps at all I got my non-reading sport loving boyfriend to start reading with The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, City of Thieves by David Benioff, and I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. Now he's constantly reading and picking out his own books. 🙂 Good luck! Oh, and I've read all of the previously mentioned books and my personal suggestion would be City of Thieves by David Benioff, it's REALLY good!

  4. First of all, SUPER cute pics of the two of you!

    My brother wasn't a big reader but in his 20's he picked up a Dean Koontz book out of boredom and now he loves to read. Try Dean Koontz or James Patterson… (Lifeguard might be a good one to start with for JP). Is he into true crime at all? Does he like those 48 Hour Mystery type shows cause if he does a true crime book might interest him.

  5. hubby loved the Stephen King Dark Tower series and his Under the Dome.

  6. I second sarahem's recommendation for City of Thieves by David Benioff. My brother, who hasn't picked up a book to read for pleasure possibly ever in his life, started reading this one on a whim and ended up staying awake all night to finish it. I listened to the audiobook; it's really really good!

    Good luck with the challenge! I think it's awesome that he's willing to give reading a shot!

  7. I have a son with the same problem. James Patterson is a good idea — they are quick reads — I would make sure you pick one of his Alex Cross novels. But the one that really got my son was Tell No One by Harlan Coben — he got MAD at me because I wouldn't tell him the ending and he couldn't put it down! Good luck!

  8. IngridLola says:

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, maybe?

  9. Anastasia says:

    That's so funny because my boyfriend had the same non-reader problem. I got him hooked into reading with "The Things" They Carried by Tim O Brien. It's relatively short, broken into small chapters (the bf said this helps bc it makes you feel like you've accomplished something when you quickly finish a chapter – lol) and it's sort of about gruesome war-type issues, which sort of falls into the 'action movie' category.

    Also, when he finally got into reading, he read a few books by Chuck Palahniuk. Fight Club is a good choice, as are any of his other quirky books – Pygmy (quirk), Snuff (about sex… which guys are into – lol).

    I know what you're going through, so I hope this helps. But my bf told me one time that while he's come to appreciate reading, he'll never be a book-lover like I am, so not to expect him to be one. Keep this in mind but also remember that even if he's not a bibliophile like you, at least he loves you enough to put up with your bookish quirks and get dragged to various book events 🙂

    Gook luck! 🙂

  10. Heather R. says:

    My boyfriend is a non-reader too. The only books I've ever gotten him to read and he absolutely devoured are by Chuck Palahniuk. His two favorites are Survivor and Invisible Monsters. Surprisingly, I actually got him to read The Time Traveler's Wife which he loved, but it took him like a year to read haha. Good luck!

  11. Kayla + Cyna says:

    🙂 Hm, well since he's got a shorter attention span, maybe start him out on a book of short stories? Stephen King's Night Shift is really good, and the stories in it aren't longer than maybe 10-20 pages. The shorter ones are only a couple.

    Good luck!

  12. Sherilynn Kenyon Dark Hunter series or Infinity, her new YA Nick Chronicles?

  13. TNBBC Super Mod says:

    Awww Jamie, you two are an adorable couple! How about the first book in the Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay? It's got police action, a serial killer who kills only bad guys, and it's a super quick read!

  14. How about Storm Front by Jim Butcher?

  15. Have you considered Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson? There's lots of sex and stuff.

  16. Becky (Page Turners) says:

    What about Fever Pitch, Trainspotting for Fight Club?

    Then again, it might be best to stick to something simple, like a well known popular fiction author?

    My boyfriend is not a reader either. We reached an agreement that he would read the Harry Potter books, one per year. He read the first two, but he was so miserable about it that I said he didn't have to read the rest.

    They were the second and third book he had ever read!

  17. My ex-boyfriend loved the Ender's Game series and he hardly ever reads. He also read Under the Dome but said it was really weird.

  18. Jennifer (An Abundance of Books) says:

    Wow, there are some great ones in here.

    What about James Dashner's The Maze Runner. It's YA (so a bit shorter), it's dystopian (I know you said he doesn't like fantasy/sci-fi but this is great), and it pretty much grabs you from page one. It's tense and brutal and I thought it was fantastic.

  19. Horns by Joe Hill if he's into horror and dark humor and that sort of stuff. It's not bloody/gory, but it's dark and kind of scary, but it was really funny if you have the right sense of humor. It's definitely a guy book.

  20. iubookgirl says:

    How about Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby? Hornby's writing style is pretty straightforward yet engaging, and this one is about soccer. I have to admit I haven't actually read this one because of the subject, but am a huge fan of Hornby's writing.

  21. Awww you guys are cute :o)

    My boyfriend isn't much of a reader either, but there are a couple that I recommended and he read and loved:

    "Lamb" by Christopher Moore. The FUNNIEST book I have ever read. Anything by Christopher Moore is usually great, but this one is the all-time fave. And my honeyman really liked it! It's the fictional story of Jesus's childhood, told by his best friend Biff. And it's definitely not heavy on religion at all, despite what it sounds like. I think this is the first book that I've read that actually made me laugh out loud, so hard I had to put the book down for a minute and catch my breath!

    "Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie. OK, your man might not agree to this one because it's technically a romance book… but again, my boyfriend read and liked it. Even said he's re-read it some day! It's sweet, funny, and super quick to read.

    My boyfriend is also a big fan of the Vampire series by Anne Rice, and anything by Ray Bradbury (whose books are pretty short, so he might be a really good pick too).

  22. ConnieGirl says:

    I tweeted my suggestion, but I have this same problem with my husband, but I did get him to read my favorite book, 1984, and it's now his favorite, too. Also, I got him to read Catcher in the Rye, and he liked that, too.

    Another suggestion, maybe Cormac McCarthy? Or, maybe a shot in the dark, but maybe A Tale of Two Cities? Great story, and lots of exciting beheading?

  23. John Grisham has some sports themed books – Playing For Pizza and Bleachers. I haven't read either but my sports-fan husband really liked them both.

    Another thought too, how does your bf feel about audiobooks? I got my husband really into reading by getting some audiobooks for him to listen to during his daily commute.

  24. I've given up on getting my boyfriend to read anything, he just won't do it!
    But I also have a non-reading brother (what's it with men and not reading??) who really enjoyed The Hunger Games and even got mad at me when I forgot to bring Catching Fire with me after he finished it. This doesn't really count as sci-fi right?

  25. you NEED to get him the average american male by chad kultgen. it's hilarious, it's short, it's awesomely offensive. my ex-bf, who was not a reaader at all, read it and became obsessed with it and gave it to all his friends and then read chad's next book too.

  26. I thought Id share my experience of this – I gave my husband (was then my boyfirend)memoirs of a Geisha (easy read) then he gave me Starlingrad by Anthony Beaver to read which is a 500 page non-fiction account of the battle of Starlingrad. We never did this again LOL

  27. My brother didn't read until he found Lee Child's books. I'd check them out!

  28. Matthew Reilly. His books are like action movies.. fun, quick reads that boys like because they are full of boy things.

  29. My husband isn't a huge reader either, but he's found a couple of series that he's really gotten into. He just finished The Dresden Files and loved those. Has your boyfriend tried any graphic novels? I've found a lot of guys can get into those. Luke loved the Maus books, V for Vendetta, and Watchmen.

  30. S. Krishna says:

    My husband really likes Chuck Palahniuk. He's stopped reading recently because he's so busy with work, but I was able to lure him back in with the Dragon Tattoo series, The Dresden Files, and (GASP!) The Hunger Games!