September 28, 2021
Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books That Live Up To Their Hype
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I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie!
Hype. Does it affect your reading?
My name is Carol, and I suffer from FOMO!
As a consequence, I often read books that are highly hyped. Sometimes this works out OK and other times….well….it leads to disappointment. I wrote this post about Buzz, Hype, and High Expectations here.
Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is a freebie so I thought I’d revisit a topic I missed: Books That Live Up To Their Hype. All the books on this list I read because of the HYPE. They all lived up to their hype in my opinion. There are so many books I’ve read because of hype that I had to create a runners up list after I reached ten. So this post contains twenty recommendations! (and I could keep going!)
*Titles are Amazon affiliate links.
Ten Books That Live Up To Their Hype
(in no particular order)
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (audio version)
Genre: science fiction
Andy Weir’s new book has received a great deal of hype because of his previous hit, The Martian. I highly recommend the audio version of PHM. This lived up to the hype because of the story telling and narration. My review of Project Hail Mary here.
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
Genre: literary fiction, historical literary fiction
Maggie O’Farrell is a popular writer so her new releases receive a great deal of hype. Because this is historical fiction, I hopped aboard the hype train. My review of Hamnet here.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Genre: classic, historical fiction (YA)
This book continues to appear on list after list, so I decided to do a reread to see if it still lives up to the hype. Yes, it does. It’s my favorite book by Betty Smith.
The Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett M. Graff
Genre: nonfiction, U.S. historical event
I put off reading this book for a while because of the emotionally difficult content. However, I’m thankful to have read it and consider it an honor to hear the survivor stories. I’ve heard that the audio version is fabulous. My review of Only Plane in the Sky here. A wonderful companion read is The Day the World Came to Town by Jim Defede (review coming in November).
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Genre: contemporary fiction, drama, sports
I doubt that I’ve created any list that Backman hasn’t been on! Beartown did live up to the hype for me, but the sequel (Us Against You) didn’t have the same appeal (although it was still good)….I’m looking forward to the third in the series (Winners) to be released in 2022. My review of Beartown here.
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Genre: nonfiction, memoir
This was on my TBR quite a while before I read it because I typically avoid celebrity memoirs. By the time I read it, it had received so much hype that I became nervous that it wouldn’t meet my expectations. I love thoughtful memoir and it exceeded my expectations. I’ve heard that the audio version is fabulous. There’s also a YA version. My review of Born a Crime here.
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Genre: historical biographical fiction
Despite the hype, this was a book I had to talk myself into reading because of the difficult subject matter. Although it was difficult to read at points (especially his capture), Unbroken exceeded my expectations and I am honored to hear his story. There is a YA version.
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Genre: dystopian (YA)
This genre is completely out of my comfort zone, but I didn’t want to miss out on reading it because of all the buzz. Well, you can imagine my surprise when I devoured the three book series during my one week spring break!
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
Genre: historical fiction (YA)
I’m thrilled to participate in the buzz for this book. It’s on my lifetime favorites list.
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
Genre: historical fiction
I’m sure you’ve seen this book on a few lists, including some of mine. It’s worthy of the hype. In fact, it’s about time for a reread! My review of Invention of Wings here.
Bonus! Ten Runners Up
The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
The River by Peter Heller
We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
What book have you read that lived up to the hype?
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There’s some great books on this list and the runners up list that definitely live up to the hype.
Thanks for chiming in Marg!
Completely agree with Beartown, I really enjoyed that one.
Are you eager for the third one?!
I tend to avoid books that are hyper hyped like the latest Sally Rooney. Good to see Girl With A Louding Voice on your list – was it hyped though? I’d not heard of it and bought it on a whim
Well… I admit I jumped on the band wagon early for that one….but it was a Read With Jenna pick and that National tv promotion in the states provided some hype at least for me because I tend to enjoy her picks…..and some of the accounts I follow on Instagram were hyping it. But truthfully I am probably more guilty of creating the hype than falling for it! 😂😂😂 …. it’s probably a book that deserves more hype!
A tv advert fir a book? Wow. Do t think I’ve ever seen that here in U.K.
Have you heard of the Oprah Winfrey book club? Or other celebrity book clubs like the one Reese Witherspoon sponsors? Well, Jenna Bush Hagar is the cohost of the Today Show on NBC and promotes a different book each month for her “Read With Jenna” feature. https://www.today.com/read-with-jenna
Beartown is such a fantastic read! Lovely list this week. Happy reading! https://readwithstefani.com/ten-books-about-books/
Thank you! I’m happy we both enjoyed it! Are you eager for the third one releasing soon? I’m hopping over now to read your post. Thanks for commenting!
Oh this is a good list yes! And agree with all of the ones I have read. I haven’t read Unbroken, but I did read Devil at my heels that was Louis Zamperini’s Memoir.
I am going to take a look at the ones I haven’t read yet too.
Thanks for commenting! Unbroken reads like a memoir…it’s excellent.
Happy Tuesday, Carol! You’ve got some good ones on your list. I loved The Book Thief and the movie adaptation was also surprisingly good. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah was also an amazing audiobook.
LOL We both talked about A Tree Grows in Brooklyn this week. It’s my all-time favorite classic! Here is my Top Tuesday post:
Thanks Adria! I’m happy to hear we share some favorites! I recently reread Joy in the Morning, Tomorrow Will Be Better, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn…..my fav remains Brooklyn! I’m hopping over to read your post!
Have you read Weir’s new book yet? I sure liked it! Project Hail Mary was great, too.
My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-ten-ttt-topics-i-really-enjoyed-doing/
I love Andy Weir! He has a book newer than PHM? I’ll check it out!
I’ve been collecting his others to read so no doubt I will get to them at some point. I heard they made a tv series of Beartown which I’m interested to watch.
Yes I’m eager for the release of Beartown tv series in the U.S!
I stay away from hyped books, typically, but sometimes, under duress, I come back to them. I completely agree with all the books you have listed, though I still haven’t read Born a Crime or Beartown (really must read these).
I think it’s a good idea to wait a while to see if the buzzed books have some staying power! I usually don’t have the will power! 😂😂😂
Some great books here – in both parts of your list! Hamnet is probably one of my best books ever! This my my freebie list: my favourite fictional detectives!
Hamnet is unforgettable and memorable! I’m happy to hear we both loved it! I’m hopping over to read your list! Sounds creative!
So many of these are still on my TBR and I’ve heard amazing things about them (especially Hamnet and Backman’s books) but I have read Born A Crime and absolutely loved it. It was my first audiobook and it’s what made me realise that I could actually get through one with a fantastic narrator! 😂Great list!
Thanks so much! A great narrator is essential for a good audio book experience! Project Hail Mary is also one with a fabulous narrator if you’re tempted! Happy reading!
Book FOMO is a real thing lol
Yep! Thanks for enabling me! I’m hopping over to read your post.
haha love it
Agree with your roundup here!! I’ve read 5 of your top list and 8 of the secondary list– lots of them recommended by you Carol!
I love that we’re book twins Rhonda!
I have read all of these and agree with every one. Several are on my best of all time list – Hamnet, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Unbroken and The Only Plane in the Sky (audio version).
Im happy to hear we’re book twins Mimi!
Some great books there, Carol. Well chosen. I loved “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”, “The Book Thief” and “The Invention of Wings”. “Hamnet” is on my wishlist.
My TTT is about my favourite Nobel Prize Winners.
Thanks Marianne! I love that we love some of the same books! Hopping over to read your post!
I think that is the main reason why we “found” each other. That and the reason we can talk so easily.
I was wary about The Book Thief, but it was so good!
Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!
I’m happy to hear you enjoyed Book Thief! I’m hopping over to read your post!
Beartown! Unbroken! So many great books here. I’ll have to give Hamnet a try now.
I hope you love Hamnet! It is a bit emotional…you will need tissues handy! But so beautifully written!
I agree with many of your choices Carol, the ones I’ve read that is! So many great reads here 🙂
I love that we share some favorites!
Quite a few in fact! Especially Hamnet and The Hunger Games – so pleased you devoured the whole series despite it being outside your comfort zone. My daughters recommended them to me.
I as so surprised by how addictive and enjoyable the series was!
I tend to stay away from books with lots of hype, as I find they don’t always hold up. One that I read this year that I did enjoy was Legendborn.
Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!
I’ve been burned by hype, but I’ve also been pleasantly surprised! I’ve seen some good reviews of Legendborn!
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Wow, great list! I can’t argue with any of these. Sometimes the hype is there for a reason– yes, these books are that good!
Thanks Lisa! hype can be a mixed bag, but when it works out, it’s the best!
I loved Born a Crime!
So memorable! And what a life!
I loved both The Hunger Games and The Book Thief, I stayed up so late reading The Hunger Games because I just had to know what happened next!
My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2021/09/28/top-ten-tuesday-335/
HG is unputdownable! Hopping over to read your post.
I’m so afraid of hyped books, its so often a lie 😂
Hype is definitely tricky!
I’m really looking forward to Project Hail Mary!
Listen on audio if you’re able for added enjoyment!
What a great list, Carol. I read 7 on your list, and have A Tree Grows in Brooklyn on my TBR. I have read 5 of your honourable mentions list so that means I have 7 more books to check out.
Thanks Carla! Happy reading!