Top 10 Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish
Lately, I’ve started to really notice how many very popular books there are that I haven’t tried yet. Many of them are books that I actually do plan on reading, including several which I have in mind for my reading challenges this year. In some cases, my avoidance of very overly hyped books has led me to miss out on books that it seems that everyone else has read. It leaves me in a bit of a strange situation where the book might not interest me very much, but I sometimes feel like I should read it just to see what everyone is talking about. I think this has only multiplied since I started following more blogs and Youtube channels that talk about popular and new releases.
When putting together this list, I decided not to include any books that I already have in mind to read this year. Reading challenges in general over the past couple of years have been a great excuse for reading many of the popular books that I’ve never picked up. For example, A Court of Thorns and Roses is definitely a book I feel everyone has read but me, but I’m planning on fixing that pretty soon. I struggled a bit with whether to include books that I planned on ever reading, but decided to go ahead with those since I have no idea if or when that will happen. Here are ten of the books I feel everyone has tried but me:
1) The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
To be honest, I have never had very much interest in this book at all. When I first heard about it, I thought the plot might be good but never bothered to pick it up. As it started to become overhyped, I started to get more and more tired of hearing about it and actively avoided it. I got even more confused when I saw that the book was labelled as the second in a series, following Angels and Demons which apparently was published first but I’d never heard of until after The Da Vinci Code came out. I still think the book might be interesting, but I’m not very motivated to try it either.
2) The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
I’m only listing the first book in the series, but I haven’t read any of the His Dark Materials series. This book has been extremely popular since I was in elementary school, but I’ve never had much interest in trying it. While I enjoy fantasy books, it often takes quite a bit to motivate me to actually read them. The older I got, the less interested I became in this series because I worried that it wouldn’t appeal to me much anymore. This is especially true after trying another popular children’s series that I’d missed out on in elementary school, and slogging my way through the book (Inkheart, for anyone wondering). I’ve actually had a copy of this on my shelf for years, always vaguely intended to try it, but never bothered to actually give it a chance.
3) The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
Along the same lines, I have never had much interest at all in Percy Jackson or any of Rick Riordan’s other series. I’ve always been a little conflicted about this one because the series itself doesn’t interest me much, but the use of Greek mythology does. I’ve heard nothing but positive reviews for these books, and I’ve even seen quite a few comparisons to Harry Potter. Once again, my main concern reading it now is that I’ve probably outgrown the series a bit. I do read a lot of YA and I’m open to reading middle grade or even children’s books if they are good, so there’s the chance I would enjoy this. There are just so many other books that appeal to me more, and the longer I put it off, the more concerned I get about being too old to really appreciate it.
4) City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
I have not read any books by Cassandra Clare, but I am just listing this book since I think it is the first one I would read if I decided to give her series a try. I actually saw and really enjoyed the movie version, although if I recall correctly, the DVD copy I was using was defective (or there was a power outage or something), and I never saw the end. This is actually a series that does interest me, but I’ve always put it aside to read other books instead. I initially put it off because I had just seen the movie and didn’t want the same story so soon afterwards, but it’s been a few years now so there really isn’t much of an excuse anymore. To be fair, it is quite a long series (6 books, I believe) and I usually don’t like to stop series mid-way unless I’m really hating them, so it’s quite the commitment.
5) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
This is probably going to be a very unpopular opinion, but I honestly can’t understand the popularity of this book. I can’t judge completely since I have not read it yet, but I’m just blown away by how universally loved this book seems to be. As I said, I enjoy YA contemporary, and I even often enjoy romance if it is well-done, but from what I know about this book, it seems quite generic. I read the first couple of pages as an online preview just to see what all the hype was about, and I really don’t get it. I’m not really a big fan of the whole “typical American is grudgingly forced against their will to live in Europe” storyline, and the little I know about the relationship dynamic between Anna and her love interest, it is not the kind of story I would really enjoy. For a long time, I was sure I would never read this book, but considering how it seems to get nothing but positive reviews, I may have to eventually see what all the hype is about.
6) To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
This is a similar situation, where I’ve known about the book for a long time, but the plot never really appealed to me much. I’ve never been the type to be obsessive over boys/crushes, so these kinds of books often don’t appeal to me very much. This is another series that has received such positive reviews, and has come back to my attention now that the third book was released, that it is actually starting to make me curious. I’ve always thought the plot was a bit silly, especially growing up in a social-media dominated world where anything that is written is always a bit of a risk. Given the overly positive reviews, I might have to give this a chance.
7) Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
I will qualify this one right away by saying that at some point, I probably will be reading this. This book seems to be extremely popular among YA fans, but I’ve always been hesitant because I wasn’t so sure about the plot. This book essentially seems like a YA version of PS I Love You, a storyline that I’m already a bit on the fence about. Essentially, the introverted main character’s best friend disappears and leaves behind a list of tasks to inspire her friend to take more chances and come out of her shell. Speaking as an introvert, I’m a bit nervous about how this plot might be handled, especially after reading a very interesting review recently (I will link to it if I can remember where I saw it) that viewed this book as an attack on introversion, essentially giving the message that the main character was automatically better when she behaved more like her outgoing friend. Having not read the book myself, I can’t comment on that, but it definitely made me a little more reluctant to try it.
8) Looking for Alaska by John Green
This is another book that I actually do want to read, and will be reading at some point in the future. The main reason I’ve put it off so far is because I’ve read so many of John Green’s other books. The last one I read, Paper Towns, has been described as very similar to this book, so it seemed best to space them out a bit. Looking for Alaska seems to be John Green’s most popular book, except maybe The Fault in Our Stars, so it definitely feels like everyone has read this already except for me. I was originally planning on slipping it somewhere into this year’s reading challenges but never managed to find a place for it. Maybe next year.
9) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
I’m actually very surprised that this book has been out for 6 years already, since I only really started hearing about it maybe 2 years ago. This is another very popular book that it feels like everyone (or at least everyone who is interested) has already tried. This is a book that theoretically should be really interesting since I enjoy video games, although my gaming knowledge is not very good. This book has come highly recommended to me a few times (mostly by the same person), and although I would like to try it at some point, I’ve always put it off. I think in part, I’m a bit worried because I’ve heard that there are a lot of older gaming references that make the book a lot of fun for gamers to read. I’m a bit worried that if I don’t get the references, I might not fully get what’s going on or I’ll just find them irritating. This book has been absolutely everywhere though, and I think I will have to give it a chance.
10) The Martian by Andy Weir
This is another book that has been absolutely everywhere, and that I’ve always been a little on the fence about. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with sci-fi as a genre, in a sense. It is definitely not a genre I read very often and there are not that many that interest me, although I usually enjoy the books that I do try. Most of the reviewers I follow on Goodreads have absolutely raved about this book and it is another case of a plot that theoretically sounds very good, but I’m not sure how much I’ll enjoy actually reading it. I tend to like books that are very character-driven, and it seems that there is only one character in this book. If I don’t like him as a narrator, there is no way I’ll enjoy the book. Usually, even if I don’t like the narrator much but I like the way they interact with others, I’ll like parts of a book, but with only one character, it seems risky.
If anyone has read any of these books, please let me know what you think! Just knowing what I’m like, I’m sure I’ll end up reading them all eventually.