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It’s the holiday time of year and one of the things that means is #AMonthofFaves hosted by Girlxoxo and Traveling with T. Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday in December the two give a prompt for a possible blog post. Many have to do with books, but others are about the season or some other fun topic. I’ll be participating in a handful of these, starting with today’s topic, Popular Books Worth the Hype (or Not Worth the Hype). Being an over achiever, I’m doing both!
2019 Books That Deserved the Hype
- A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum – This book was EVERYWHERE last winter and spring. Jenna Bush Hager picked it for her book club selection in May. It was a tough read, but well worth all the conversation surrounding this painful debut. (my review)
- Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Daisy Jones had the most hype of any book this year, by far. The more people who read it, the more intense the hype became. I both read AND listened to Daisy and can say with assurance that it lived up to every bit of praise received. (my review)
- Recursion by Blake Crouch – I’m not much of a sci-fi lover, but well before publication saw a lot of excitement out there around the upcoming release of Recursion and felt like I needed to see for myself. So glad I did. I still don’t consider myself much of a sci-fi fan, but I am for THIS one! (my review)
- The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead – After Whitehead’s enormous success with The Underground Railroad it was inevitable that his next book would have a lot of buzz surrounding it. Sometimes that’s NOT a good thing, but in the case of The Nickel Boys, it turned out to be spot on. (my review)
- The Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett Graff – As talk around this book started to grow in early fall, I was still wary. Could all the talk of how amazing this oral history of 9/11 was be true? Could I listen to accounts of that day and not fall apart? The answers were yes and no, and I’ve recommended Graff’s book to everyone I know. (my review)
- Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson – No one was more skeptical than me when it came to a book about kids bursting into flames. I tried to discount all the hype, but more and more people I trust liked it. Finally, I had to see for myself and am so glad I did. Loved it! (my review)
2019 Books That Didn’t Deserved the Hype
- Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane – Don’t get me wrong, I really liked this book. I just thought it wasn’t as good as all the hype surrounding it. This was a year of a lot of great family stories and I found others more original, more compelling. Not much in Ask Again, Yes took me by surprise. (my review)
- City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert – Again, I liked this story. Gilbert did a great job recreating the theater world in the 1940’s and beyond. The setting made it unique, but as for great historical fiction for me it was a little on the pedestrian side. Sort of historical fiction lite. (my review)
- Three Women by Lisa Taddeo – This was one of the most buzzed about nonfiction books of the year. Touted as revolutionary in discussing female sexuality, there was a lot to live up to. When people started reading, they found it was really only the sexuality of three specific women, thus not quite living up to the hype. (my review)
- Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center – I loved Center’s 2018 book, How to Walk Away (my review) and requested a copy of this six months before publication. It popped up everywhere in the summer, but when I got to her latest, I found it just a little too cute, a little too chick lit. (my review)
- This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger – A beloved author who many people came to adore with his amazing book Ordinary Grace, deserved a lot of hype around his latest release. I was eager to read it, but so disappointed in this historical fiction that felt forced with far too many lucky breaks for the characters. (my review)
- Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson – I’d never read Woodson before, but praise for her latest was everywhere and so I decided I MUST finally read her. Perhaps I should have started with a different Woodson book because this one read almost like a series of connected short stories and that rarely works for me. (my review)