Yeah, like that.
SO. Today's question is thusly: "What work of literature would you recommend to someone who doesn't like literature?"
(Jeff at The Reading Ape calls these "Swiss Army Recommendations," or books that work for pretty much anyone. BookRiot has also done a few posts about this here et here.)
I find that when people say they don't like literature they mean they don't want something boring, long or diffcult. Which, hey. THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID. And also, I'm picking up what they're putting down. I actually discussed this a bit with The Husband because he is sort of new to the literary fiction world, having spent most of his time in Westernville and (nonliterary) SciFi Universe. His suggestions were (un)surprisingly masculine:
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
White Fang by Jack London
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Didn't all these people drink themselves to death, essentially? Interesting, Husband. Interesting.
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (I didn't super-love this one, but I can see why tons of other people did, and everyone I've recommended it to has loved it)
The Guernsay Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows. For serious- this is my star. It has romance, history, it's in epistolary form so it's got that novelty, and it's funny. It isn't Literary capital L, but it's a crowd pleaser.
So yeah. I've never had a person read any of those books and not loved them, which means they trust me when I shove Bleak House into their hands and desperately implore them to read it. What are your go-to recommendations for people who aren't really into literary fiction?