Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday - Books That Lived Up To The Hype

I have a confession to make: until I started blogging, I'm note sure I was very aware of book "hype." Oh, maybe The DaVinci Code, Stephen King's books, or Bridget Jones' Diary were buzzed about sufficiently that I really took notice. [A second confession: I read The DaVinci Code and even though I knew the writing wasn't great and didn't buy the supposed facts, I still enjoyed the ride]. But it wasn't until I started blogging that the buzz really got loud and really had an impact on my reading. When it did, not all of the books were new; many were older books that people just kept telling me I needed to read. So my list includes book from all of those categories. In no particular order, here are ten books that I really felt lived up to the hype:

  1. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett - still one of my all-time favorite books.
  2. Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson - everyone was reading Lawson's blog and everyone was reading her first book. And, by God, they were right; it is every bit as hilarious and bizarre as billed.
  3. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver - this was one of the first books I read with my book club and it was such a favorite of our leader that she was making the club read it for a second time. To this day, I think of those girls growing up in Africa.
  4. Bridget Jones' Diary - I liked this book so much when I read it that I was one of the people furious that the filmmakers chose an American actress to play Bridget in the movie adaptation. But that didn't stop me from watching it again and again. Because I adore Bridget!
  5. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt - I had serious doubts about this one but it felt like one I wanted to be able to talk about with people. So I made my book club read it. I'll admit to getting a little bored when the action moved to Las Vegas; but, otherwise, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. And by how many others in the club did, too.
  6. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson - so, so beautifully written and such a lovely story. It's short but, if you haven't read it, don't plan to race through it. It deserves to be savored.
  7. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - I got an ARC of this book but it really didn't sound like my kind of book so I gave it away. Then everyone started talking about it. So I ended up paying for it. And it was worth every penny.
  8. The Year Of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion - yes, yes, I thought, Didion is a genius. But this is a book about death and grief. I did not want to read a book about someone's husband dying. But the library had it on CD once when I needed a book to listen to so I caved and picked it up. And I cried and cried while I listened to it. And then I bought a print copy. I may never read it again but I needed to know I could if I wanted to. Or needed to.
  9. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - I don't generally do dystopian books. I mean, why do writer's always paint such a bleak picture of the future? But a readalong convinced me to finally pick this one up. It was one of the scariest books I've ever read, partly because so much of what Atwood predicted had already come true. It's even more relevant today.
  10. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple - I'd read Semple's first book and I didn't much care for it at all. So the buzz had to get really loud for this one before I finally broke down and read it. I couldn't believe this book was by the same author. I love the story, the unique style of the writing, and found myself relating so much to this book. 
What books would you put on this list?

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl.


  1. The only one I've read on your list is Bel Canto. And I liked it very much indeed. Have heard of all of them - own several of them. Haven't read them or not yet. So many books...LOL!

  2. Yes on Me Before You, Let's Pretend This Never Happened, and Where'd You Go Bernadette! I haven't read the others or I'm sure I'd agree there too. I've read and reread the Jenny Lawson so many times!

  3. Loved Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Poisonwood Bible, The Year of Magical Thinking...also had me in tears.

    The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas lived up to its hype. I really enjoyed that one. Great lists! I still need to read a few of those and good to know you also enjoyed them!

  4. An interesting list. I've read three of those on your list. One I didn't finish, one I made myself finish and it left an impression on me and one I enjoyed, but didn't like the next novel the author wrote. I usually stick to authors I've already read and like. I note down the novels on the Mann Booker Prize short list and try to read one or two.

  5. I agree with many you included here and the others I just haven't read. Books that lived up to the hype. I'd include:

    A Gentleman in Moscow
    Lincoln in the Bardo
    Fates and Furies
    Little Fires Everywhere