So I’ve generally been pretty pleased with my decision to read books from my shelves, but it does mean that every time I hear someone talking super excitedly about a book they loved, I can’t immediately go out and read it myself. Even if I could, though, sometimes I’m just not in the mood for a book yet or I haven’t heard enough people rave about it.
But eventually it gets to a point where I’m like “I need to read this book!!!” and I feel like I’m seriously missing out for not having read it yet. And that, my friends, is what has inspired this list.
I actually couldn’t adequately tell you what a lot of these books are about as I haven’t read them yet, and I have no intention of checking out the blurb before I finally do read them. So I’ll let you know below what I do know, but if you want to know even more, the hyperlinks all lead to Goodreads.
The following books are in no particular order.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I swear literally every blogger or booktuber I follow has read The Night Circus, and they pretty much all rave about it. My understanding is that it’s a dark and atmospheric fantasy with a lot of character development, but other than that, I really couldn’t tell you anything about it. It has an awesome cover, though, and enough people have named this one of their all-time favorite books that I have to read it.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
I’ve seen The Underground Railroad front and center in so many bookstores and heard it so highly praised — it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction — that even though I don’t often read literary fiction, I want to give this book a shot. I think it’s a magical realism book in which the underground railroad is reimagined as an actual railroad, but that’s about all I know. I’m a bit hesitant to pick it up because it is literary fiction, a genre that I rarely like for various reasons, but it’s good for me to go outside of my comfort zone every once in a while, and I think this is a good book to do that with.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
So I actually read the first book in The Raven Boys series in college and enjoyed it, but I just never got around to finishing the series. I keep hearing people talk about what a great series it is, so I’m really excited to go back and read them all. I have to know what all the hype is about!
For all that I read the first book, I really don’t remember much about what these books are about. I know the protagonist grew up being told that her kiss would kill her true love and the story starts when she meets this group of boys from a local prep school who are on a hunt to discover some sort of treasure related to an ancient Welsh king, but that’s about it, but that’s about it.
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
I’ve heard such amazing things about The Fifth Season, which I understand to be a post-apocolyptic fantasy trilogy. I’ll admit, I’m a bit hesitant to pick it up because I’ve heard it takes a while to get into and you’re confused about a lot of the book, plus I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, which is the only other book I’ve read by Jemisin. But I’ve heard enough people rave about it at this point that I need to just get over that and read this series already. Plus it’s completed, so I really have no excuse.
Indigo by Beverly Jenkins
I don’t know how I can call myself a historical romance reader and not have read Indigo. It’s one of Jenkins’ earliest published books, and even though it came out more than 20 years ago, I still hear people raving about it, especially in my book club. I have no idea what the premise is for this book, but frankly, it doesn’t matter. I need to read it!
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Oh hey, another Pulitzer Prize winner is on this list. Outside of historical romance, I don’t tend to read a lot of historical fiction, but when I do, it always seems to wind up being set during World War II. So considering how many people have read and loved All the Light We Cannot See and still talk about it three years after it was published (literally, a co-worker suggested it to me just a month or so ago), I definitely need to jump on the bandwagon and read it. I don’t know anything about the actual premise of this book, but knowing that it’s set during World War II means I need to be prepared to have my heart ripped out…
Illuminae by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I can’t say I’m much of a science fiction reader, which is odd because it’s closely tied to fantasy, which I love. But I do enjoy a good science fiction book every once in a while, and by all accounts, Illuminae fits the bill. I know it’s told in an alternative format via memos and interviews, etc., and that it can take a while to adjust to, but I’ve heard such amazing things about it that I’m excited to read it. I have to admit, I’ve intentionally been holding off, though, because I know it’s a trilogy and the final book is coming out this spring. But once that date gets close, I’m diving into these books!
Bonus book: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel, which has a completely different premise but I believe is told in a similar format, and which I’ve also heard amazing things about.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
I don’t know what rock I was hiding under, because Between the World and Me really only came onto my radar when it was nominated as a book choice for the One Book, One New York campaign last spring. I’ve been seeing it everywhere ever since and so many people call it required reading that I am absolutely determined to read this book. I believe it is essentially a letter that the author wrote to his son about growing up as a black man in America, which is such an important topic to be knowledgable about. I really want to read a physical copy of this book, but I’m also interested in hearing Coates narrate it for the audio…decisions, decisions.
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
So contemporary YA is another genre that I’m not normally drawn to that much, and even less so when I know a book deals with grief and death and is pretty much guaranteed to make me bawl my eyes out. But I keep hearing such great things about Adam Silvera’s books that I need to get over that reluctance and just read his books already.
I’ve heard amazing things about all of them, but the premise of They Both Die at the End is the most interesting to me, so I think I’ll start there. Basically, in this world, people are notified on they day they’re going to die so they can get their affairs in order and enjoy their final day. To that end, some choose to utilize an app that connects people who have been notified about their deaths so they can spend it together, which is how our two protagonists meet.
Once Upon a Marquess by Courtney Milan
So this could basically apply to any Courtney Milan book, as I keep hearing amazing things about her and I really enjoy following her on Twitter (enough authors I follow kept retweeting and interacting with her that I finally caved and followed her even though I haven’t really read her books). I did read The Duchess War and thought it was just ok, so I’ve been reluctant to pick up more of her books. But enough people with similar reading tastes to my own keep highly recommending her, plus people who don’t typically read romance have nothing but great things to say about her contemporary new adult series, so I need to try again to get on this bandwagon.
I think a good place to start is probably with the first book in a different series than the one I’ve read, which is what led me to pick Once Upon a Marquess. It’s interesting that romance is a genre where I’m much more willing to pick up a book because of the author than because of the premise, because again, I know nothing other than that it’s a historical romance, but that really doesn’t bother me. I also want to read Trade Me, which is part of her new adult series in which a rich student and a poor student agree to trade places so they can get a sense of what each other’s lives are like.
There you have it! Ten books that I feel everyone else has read and that I’m hyped to read as well, but just haven’t gotten to yet for various reasons. I’m hoping to get to all of them in 2018, though! What book do you think I should start with first? Let me know in the comments, along with what books you feel like everyone has read but you.