By: Manuela Soares
Hello again, readers! Happy Friday and welcome back to Functionally Fictional! I had some trouble coming up with a topic this week until I was watching a video by Jack Edwards on booktube last night, where he mentioned an upcoming video he’s going to do about a blind date with a book. That got me thinking, what books would I give to someone for something like that?
If you aren’t familiar with the concept, blind date with a book is essentially wrapping a book up, many times it’s shown wrapped in brown paper with twine and some decoration so that the person receiving it doesn’t know what it is. Thus, they have a blind date with a book.
The first list here is comprised of books that I’ve read and would recommend, the second list is books that I haven’t read but have heard many good things about.
To start this off, here are some easily accessible classics that are raved about and are enjoyable reads. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, or Peter Pan a.k.a Peter and Wendy by J. M. Barrie.
If you want to go the Shakespeare route, Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing are my favorites of the works I’ve read. Hamlet is a little long but captivating and great for literature nerds, who love dissecting and analyzing texts. Much Ado About Nothing is shorter and good for a laugh.
For fiction lovers, I give you The Girl in the Letter by Emily Gunnis, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd (Inspired by), & Jim Kay (Illustrator), anything from the Eve Duncan Series by Iris Johansen, or Curse of the Night Witch by Alex Aster.
For fantasy adventurers, I recommend The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden or The Lost Legends by Cait Marie (shameless plug, and I’m not sorry). Both books are the first in their respective series and make for great reads and presents.
For the historical fiction lovers, I’ve got The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah, Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly, or The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor. The first two revolve around WWII, and the third revolves around the RMS Titanic and how that shaped a life.
For the sleuths and thrill seekers amongst us, I recommend The Hound of Baskerville or A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (I love Agatha Christie books, especially Poirot, but this one is my favorite), Ghost Shadow by Heather Graham (paranormal action in this one), or Cold Dresses by David Pelletier.
For those with non-fiction preferences, especially about history, I have Humankind by Rutger Bregman or Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. Both are good choices for those interested in the history of humankind. They’re both long, but each gives a unique insight into our history and they’re well written and easily understandable, which isn’t always the case with history books.
For the poetry enthusiasts, I have anything written by Shel Silverstein, Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Edgar Allan Poe’s Complete Stories and Poems, The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson, or anything by Rupi Kaur or Lang Leav (both are easy to understand and are good for those who may want to get into reading more poetry but are intimidated by it).
For the sci-fi/horror fans out there, Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes (releasing January 2022) is a must. I got an ARC of this and read it in two days, and it was incredible!
Now, onto books that I haven’t read but have heard good things about:
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Circe by Madeline Miller
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid