Olive from abookolive recently did a video talking about the 10 most popular books on her TBR, which I thought was a really fun video. The thing with my Goodreads TBR, though, is that I put a lot of books on there that I’m somewhat interested in or hope to get to one day, but don’t necessarily plan to read in the immediate future. However, I’m currently working on shrinking the number of unread books that I own, so I thought it’d be fun to pick the five most popular books from my shelves and try to read them in June!
Like Olive, I sorted my Goodreads by the number of ratings a book has. In addition to doing this for the books on my shelves, I included the books I’ve purchased on Kindle as well, though as it happens, none of them are as popular as some of my physical books.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (708k)
I was kind of afraid that A Tale of Two Cities would show up on this list since it’s a classic and classics have been around waaaay longer than all of the new releases and have therefore had a lot longer to accumulate reviews. I bought this book in high school after reading an abridged version for class and really enjoying it. But because I knew so much about the story, I wasn’t very motivated to pick up the full thing. I technically haven’t read it, though, and I think I should. I’ve struggled lately to pick up classics and pretty quickly DNFed Wuthering Heights, Buddenbrooks, and Beloved, so I don’t have a ton of hope for this one, but I did read and enjoy it in high school, so I’m trying to be optimistic. I guess we’ll see how it goes!
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (354k)
I’m actually pretty excited to read Rebecca, but it keeps getting pushed to the back in favor of newer books, so having it pop up here is perfect. I don’t know much about it other than it involves a woman (whose name we never learn) uncovering the mystery of what happened to her husband’s first wife, Rebecca. I’ve literally heard nothing but amazing things about this book and I love a good mystery, plus my edition is really pretty, so I’m excited to finally pick this up!
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (230k)
I missed the initial hype for When Breath Becomes Air and instead became interested in it when researching books for the 2018 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. I’ve since heard nothing but absolutely amazing things about this memoir by a neurosurgeon diagnosed with a terminal cancer, but I’ve been reluctant to pick it up because it deals with such a sad topic. I know I’m going to cry through this entire thing, and I just haven’t been able to make myself do it. But I do really want to read this book, and I’m never going to be ready, so I’m glad this will be the motivation I need to finally read it.
John Adams by David McCullough (246k)
I’m so excited that John Adams came up because I was actually planning to read it in June anyways! I’ve got a bunch of big biographies lurking on my shelves just waiting for me to finally commit and pick them up, and it’s been long enough since I finished Grant that I think I’m ready for another one. I was specifically eyeing this one because I really want to give David McCullough a try, plus I have this one signed, and I like that it’s in a distant enough time period from Grant that it won’t feel too repetitive. I’ve already started majorly preparing to read this—now that I take the subway to work again, I think the Kindle version of this book will be key because I really don’t want to schlepp the physical copy around (it’s 650 pages without citations and 750 with them). So I have that on hold at the library as well as the audiobook because it’s narrated by Edward Herrmann, who is one of my favorite audiobook narrators. So I’m excited to be able to tackle this book in a number of different formats!
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (217k)
I had good intentions of reading Station Eleven right away when I ordered it from Book Outlet because, even though I missed the first wave of hype about this book, I still hear people talking about it on BookTube and pretty much everyone seems to like it. I can’t say the plot sounds all that interesting, which is why I think I keep putting it off; it’s an apocalyptic story that switches back and forth between a storyline before the apocalypse and following a Shakespeare troupe after. But the hype has been so real and I do really think I’m going to like it, so again, I’m glad this prompt is giving me the extra push to finally read it.
So there you have it, the five most read books that are currently sitting on my physical TBR. It’s a good mix of genres, and I’m glad that they’re a combination of my 2017 purchases and 2018 purchases. Actually, three of them are from my 2017 shelf, so I only need to read one more book that I bought in 2017 to stay on track with reading all of my 2017 purchases by the end of 2018.
Speaking of goals, at this point I’m just abandoning my goal to read books within three months of purchase, at least for the books I bought in February. I went a little out of control that month! But I’m on track for my March and April purchases (they’re all read!), and while I got a rather large stack of new books in May because of all the new releases, I’m confident I’ll be able to stick to my three-month goal going forward. But I’m definitely going to keep working on the list of books I outlined last month, and hopefully I’ll have them all read soon.
It’s also time to resume my monthly reread. I’m kind of tempted to pick up some old Lisa Kleypas or Julia Quinn books, but I think it’s time to continue my Harry Potter reread with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. So I’m going to try and focus on getting through that beast.
Normally I would list my next book club pick on here as well, but I don’t think I’ll be able to make it to the July meeting, so I probably won’t read the book, which hasn’t been announced yet anyways.
So yeah, I’ve got those five picks to read, plus another book from my 2017 shelf and my reread, and then I’ll probably keep working on my 2018 purchases and the stack of books I anticipate collecting at Book Expo and BookCon!
What’s the most popular book on your TBR? Let me know in the comments, along with what you’ll be reading in June!