December 2: Popular Books Worth the Hype (and/or Not Worth the Hype)
So once again, I struggle with the word “popular”. What does it mean to be a popular book? Last year, I decided that I would go by the number of Goodreads ratings. I use Goodreads to track my books and it’s probably the easiest way to figure out what is “popular”. Last year, I decided to go with a minimum of 25,000 ratings (note, not reviews). Of course, this isn’t the best way either as there will be plenty of 2019 releases that have barely had time to garner ratings! But I will do the best I can in this list!
This year I’ve read books with just a few hundred Goodreads ratings, to several hundred thousands.
The Poppy War and The Dragon Republic by RF Kuang (26,023 ratings for The Poppy War)
These are the first two books in the Poppy War series and while I enjoyed the first one, I really liked the second book, The Dragon Republic (my review). It was exciting and magical and also, navy battles! But throughout the two books, I loved the incorporation of Asian elements, with some of the battles based on Chinese mythology and history. Cannot wait for the next book!
The Library Book by Susan Orlean (50,033 ratings)
This book was made for readers and book lovers and especially lovers of the library, like me! It was full of great writing and interesting facts about libraries (my thoughts)
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (121,395 ratings)
I really like fictional books that feature music so I was dying to sink my teeth into this one about a band. It was such fun!
All Systems Red by Martha Wells (43,806 ratings)
Becoming by Michelle Obama (320,815 ratings)
I listened to this one and it was great hearing her read it.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (107,199 ratings)
Goodness it’s taken me a while to get to this one! But it was a lovely dark one.
I’m on the fence about the hype for this one:
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
This of course is the long awaited serial to The Handmaid’s Tale, a book I’ve loved for many years. So I was excited to read this one and while parts of it were great, overall I was a bit disappointed (read my thoughts here).