Top Ten Hyped Books I’ve Never Read



1. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – This is a case where all the hype made me actively avoid the book. I’m super, super picky about my “journey of self-discovery with Italy as the backdrop” books.

2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – This will probably will never be my kind of read, although Taylor’s spirited review almost had me convinced to give it a try. I may watch the television series sometime.

3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson – One day, when I’m in the mood for a thriller…

4. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – I kinda sorta tried to read this. Made it to page 3 before getting annoyed and setting it aside. Plus, it seems like every book lately is said to be “the next Gone Girl” and that makes me cranky.


5. Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James – Yeah… no explanation necessary. Not my thing. At all.

6. Quiet by Susan Cain – Throwing a nonfiction title in the mix; I’ve heard very good things about this, but to be honest, I can’t imagine it offering up anything I don’t already know.

7. Paper Towns by John Green – I have a borrowed copy waiting for me whenever I decide to give it a whirl. Not sure what I’m waiting for. I do know I won’t see the movie without reading it, though.

8. The Shack by Wm. Paul Young – You know, I don’t even know what this one is about, but holy moly I see references to it at every turn, it seems like!

9. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey – I keep seeing this one everywhere, and it sort of sounds like a book I’d enjoy (I’m not sure about the alien part, though). Haven’t jumped on board yet.

10. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara – So much hype; we even discussed it on The Socratic Salon. I’m afraid to read this one since I DNF’d The People in the Trees. I’m intrigued, but I know it’s going to be a risk…and on top of that, it’s a chunkster.



What do you think? Do any of these live up to the hype well enough that I should consider them “must reads”?

  • As I mentioned on Twitter, I haven’t read any of these either. Like you, I also tend to avoid some books because of the hype. I usually get to them eventually, about 3-10 years later than everyone else!

  • Quiet is on my list too – but I do really want to read it…mostly for validation of the way I am – ha! I didn’t love Eat, Pray, Love…except maybe all the parts about real Italian food and I did think Dragon Tattoo series was top notch for thrillers.

  • I think the books on your list I really loved I read before they were super hyped…so I’m not sure how they would be for me if I read them afterword. The hype machine can be a dangerous thing!

  • Eat, Pray, Love was SO pretentious, and I would completely skip it if I were you. I read Gone Girl before all the hype, so of course, loved it. If I read it later, I’m not sure if it would have held up. Hype can be such a mood killer sometimes!

  • Monika, I’d really like to read Paper Towns, as well; my library has the audio book version, so I’ve thought of borrowing it to listen while I run. I’m glad you’ve reminded me – ha! I would definitely suggest The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; I really enjoyed the entire series. Great post!!

  • I’ve read ‘Paper Towns’ but I can remember almost nothing to do with it. I’ve read ‘Eat Pray Love’ too and enjoyed it, but I love books about Italy.

  • I liked Gone Girl and the Millennium trilogy! I still have never read The Help or The Goldfinch because of my anti-hype bias. 🙂

  • Farin Schlussel

    I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and A Little Life after all the hype. I ended up loving The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (and I recommend it highly) and haaaating A Little Life. Of the ones that I read before the hype, I feel like if I’d gotten to Gone Girl before it exploded, the anticipation might have ruined it for me a little, great as it is (the movie was like that — I was so excited, but when I finally saw it, it definitely didn’t live up to expectations). Conversely, I think I would have loved Outlander even if I picked it up because of the TV series.

  • Susan W

    Eat Pray Love, I have no desire to read that one, way way too hyped. For me, the same type of story and the same hype kept me from Wild. A Little Life, I read the day it was released so maybe before the hype? I’d tell you it’s so very good, but, more hype you don’t need.

  • A couple of these made my list, too. A Little Life is gut-wrenching! It has it’s flaws, but it is definitely one of my favorites this year, although I had to take several emotional breaks throughout. I read The Shack years ago and loved it, but I honestly don’t remember a lot about it, except I felt inspired and…happy after reading.

  • Jennine G.

    I’ve read four of those…Gone Girl I’d say is a YES. I’m reading Outlander right now and loving it! Like Twilight but intelligent and without weird stalkerish love is my take so far. Lol!

  • I am one of those people who LOATHED WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY SOUL “Eat, Pray, Love.” However, I would recommend Quiet. I read it for my book club a few years ago and there was quite a bit I learned in it (most of it was nitty-gritty science stuff, but it was still new to me)

  • Lilly

    What about The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up?? Everybody is obsessed with it right now but I found it odd and not all that inspiring (Ok, there were some interesting perspectives that I did like).

    First 3 on your list, same here. I’ve heard of them but never read.

    I think I read Quiet, or tried to… I don’t remember one thing about it though so maybe I never finished it.

    I loved Paper Towns because it was set in Central Florida, which is close to where I grew up 🙂 I am a big fan of John Green though.

    Gone Girl I read just before the hype was starting about the movie…. so early enough that I had no idea of any of the plot points but late enough that I knew EVERYONE had already read it… and I loved the twists and turns of the story. If I had already known more of the story (like from people talking about the movie) I probably wouldn’t have liked it as much. I read Sharp Objects later because I liked Gone Girl so much… did NOT like it at all.

    The Shack! Same as you I have NO idea what that book is about but I hear it mentioned everywhere!

    Last 2 on your list I’ve never heard of!

    I will read just about anything, but Fifty Shades of Grey is a big nope for me.

  • You’re not missing anything by not reading Eat Pray Love. I haven’t read any of Gabaldon’s work, Gone Girl, Paper Towns, the 5th Wave … and 50 Shades, ok it was on the TBR for a while then I realized: WHY?!@# You need to read Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, or at least try to, I thought it was a great read!

  • Slackerjo

    I got Girl with Dragon Tattoo on audiobook and totally got into to it. Might not have got into it if I’d read it. I don’t do well with award winning books. I get them cause they won an award and then I read it and I either hate it or describe it with the sentence “it was okay.”
    I read John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and was disappointed (all the teenage characters have the vocabulary of 40 year old academics) so I probably will pass on his other books. I’d be curious what you think of Paper Towns.