11 Books You Never Thought You'd Read (but Will Fall in Love with Instantly)

Like most of us, you've probably heard of graphic novels—but haven't read too many. Here are 10 new titles (plus one classic) that make you think, feel and daydream just like any other book.

The Conference of the Birds

The Conference of the Birds

160 pages; Penguin Press

In The Conference of the Birds, filmmaker, author and illustrator Peter Sis revisits a classic Persian epic poem originally penned by Farid Ud-Din Attar in the 12th century. The tale, while centuries old, still resonates with today's reader. Every species of bird gathers together to look for their one true king, Simorgh, on the mountain of Kaf. Led by the hoopoe, they take flight and travel through seven valleys: quest, love, understanding, detachment, unity, amazement and death. In the course of the journey, the birds experience loss, pain and hardships, but in their unity they reach the mountain, only to find that the king they are searching for is made up by each and every one of them. Sis's watercolor and pencil drawings create a bird's-eye perspective of each landscape as the flock wings through the corners of the world, looking for the meaning of it all—which in this case is a lesson in perseverance and working together. A must-give for any friend in the middle of a challenging task.

— Abbe Wright