What books has everyone read but you?

For the 2015 Reading Challenge, I’m blogging through one category per month, in order. (Don’t worry—you don’t have to read them in order.)

So far we’ve covered:

  1. a book you’ve been meaning to read
  2. a book published this year
  3. a book in a genre you don’t typically read
  4. a book from your childhood
  5. a book your mom loves
  6. a book that was originally written in a different language

This month we’re tackling category #7: “a book ‘everyone’ has read but you.”

The 2015 Reading Challenge. I'm starting now!

It’s easy for me to add new books to my reading list. And it’s easy for me to prioritize reading great books I just found out about, or books that were just recommended by someone with good taste, whether those books were published this year or a hundred years ago.

I have a harder time prioritizing those books that I’ve known about forever but haven’t gotten around to reading yet. This is your chance to cross one off the list.

Your list of books “everyone” has read may overlap your list of books you’ve been meaning to read, and that’s okay. For my own lists, I have some pretty obscure titles on my “books I’ve been meaning to read” list. Today’s list contains books that people talk about—whether that’s in literary circles or in pop culture—and I’m clueless, because I haven’t read the book.

For a less light-hearted take on this category, check out this parlour game David Lodge invented for his campus novel Changing Places, aptly called “Humiliation”: players take turns naming works of classic literature that they haven’t read. The player with the most egregious omission wins the game. In the novel, a professor wins the game because he’s never read Hamlet—and that admission gets him fired.

This is my incomplete list of books “everyone” has read but me. I can’t wait to read yours. 

2015 Reading Challenge: a book everyone has read but you
The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans

Every time I talk about gripping novels, un-put-down-able stories, or books worth binge-reading, someone always says, "Didn't you just LOVE The Light Between Oceans?" This book has been recommended too many times by too many thoughtful readers for me to pass it up. More info →
Starring Sally J Freedman as Herself

Starring Sally J Freedman as Herself

I only recently discovered that "everyone" has read this title but me. I read a lot of Judy Blume as a kid, but this title was never on my radar. So in all the buzz surrounding the release of Blume's In the Unlikely Event, I was surprised to hear how many people cited this as their most favorite, beloved, life-changing, childhood-defining novel. I picked up my copy from the library yesterday. More info →
Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express


It was supposed to be the perfect crime. But an avalanche stops the Orient Express in its tracks just before a passenger is found murdered in his berth, foiling the perpetrator's getaway, and trapping 13 potential suspects—each with an airtight alibi—in the train car with Inspector Hercule Poirot. If you've seen the movie, take note: Branagh changes Christie's ending. Hot tip: Dan Stevens's audio narration is fantastic.

More info →
A Little Princess

A Little Princess

Frances Hodgson Burnett wasn't on my childhood bookshelves. I'm making amends: I read The Secret Garden earlier this year, and this title is next. The gorgeous Puffin in Bloom edition is waiting patiently on my bookshelves. (It's so pretty it could absolutely be a book I chose for the cover.)

More info →
Eat Pray Love

Eat Pray Love

I didn't read the book, I never saw the movie, and it really didn't bother me any. But I love Gilbert's TED talks and have watched them multiple times, and I can't wait to read her next book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear coming out this fall. I feel like I ought to read the book that made her career—especially since everyone has read it but me.

More info →
The Book Thief

The Book Thief

This book has 843,378 ratings on Goodreads. That's more than Wuthering Heights, Persuasion, Middlemarch ... or even Gone Girl. My husband has even read it and given it his seal of approval, which means it's definitely time to move it off my TBR list. More info →
Watership Down

Watership Down

People are shocked when I tell them I haven't read this modern British classic, and I can't tell you how many times I've checked it out of the library only to return it weeks later, unread (again). (It doesn't help that the hardcover my library carries is massive.) But serious readers speak so fondly about it, and it shows up on so many book lovers' favorite-books-of-all-time lists, that I want to see what I'm missing out on. More info →

Have you ever been the last to read a book everyone's talking about?

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Leave A Comment
  1. Anything that is regularly on book-club lists, I probably haven’t read, but everyone else has.

    You’re in for a treat on Agatha Christie, though Murder on the Orient Express is actually not one of her best– it makes a good movie, and the plot is straight-up Christie, but it doesn’t do character development the way that most of her books do. Her best books are probably Sleeping Murder and the Mirror Cracked, though those are both a bit more hard-core than her usual cozy parlor murders.

    I hadn’t heard of that Judy Blume book. I think I was always a bit too pragmatic and just plain weird to appreciate Judy Blume books. (Probably the only pre-teen girl in the US who didn’t identify with Margaret.)

    • Anne says:

      Thanks for the Christie recommendations! She has so many books that I need a guide to her best, especially since I haven’t read a single one yet.

      Chuckling at your Judy Blume comments. 🙂

    • Amanda Sue says:

      Hahahaha I never read Judy Blume either. I just never even wanted to.

      And my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE Agatha Christie book ever, is “Death Comes As the End”. I’ve always been fascinated by Ancient Egypt’s culture, so it was a fun read for me!

      As far as more standard Agatha Christie book, I really enjoyed the Miss Marple mystery “The Body in the Library”. 🙂

    • Steph says:

      My husband and I worked our way through many of Agatha Christie’s books on audiobook in the car. We have especially like Hugh Fraser reading her Hercule Poirot novels and Joan Dickson reading Miss Marple.

  2. Jeannie says:

    Anne, I just finished The Light Between Oceans myself. Just before starting that one, I had abandoned (in the early stages) a big, fat, overblown and underedited novel. So glad I dropped that one and picked up The Light Between Oceans; it’s excellent. It has beautiful (but blessedly unpretentious) writing, a great plot with some very thought-provoking moral/ethical questions — great book!

    The book on my “everyone’s-read-but-me” list (and in the stack on my side table) right now is Unbroken.

  3. Jo Yates says:

    I’m having trouble reading for the list because I keep finding other good things to read (especially good books with dogs in them!) I just finished The Dog Who Came to Stay by Hal Borland, published in 1961. Beautiful writing and deep insight into the psyche of a dog. And no dog dies!

  4. Sarah Askins says:

    While I have read many books, there are still a few that I’ve somehow missed. Let’s bite the bullet: Wuthering Heights, A Prayer for Owen Meaney(I tried but never finished), Night, Of Mice and Men, 1984, and for something more contemporary, The Light Between Oceans.

  5. Sue says:

    I’ve read 5 of yours ~ and they are all good ones. Haven’t read Watership Down or Eat, Pray, Love. I have chosen to read the Harry Potter books for my books everyone but me has read. I think they more than qualify:-)

    • Kimberly says:

      I haven’t started yet, but yes. The Harry Potter Series is on my list. I’ve actually read the first one because I wanted to read it before my 8 year old did to make sure it was appropriate for her. I don’t really want to read the rest.

      • The Harry Potter series is what came to my mind as well. Also, All the Light We Cannot See. For some reason I have not been able to connect with this book that everyone loves. Should I give it another try?

    • I, too, am reading the HP series for this category! I read the Book Thief recently and I hate to be the dissenting voice but I did not love it. I have Murder on the Orient Express on my list too!

      • Oh and one more thing…the books get darker as you progress. I wouldn’t let my kids read them when they were younger. They read them as teenagers which is why I’m finally getting around to reading them. Just FYI if you only read the first one.

  6. Rachel S. says:

    Wuthering Heights is on my list. I started it, but it was just so stressful! All the yelling! Not exactly easy bedtime reading! Lord of the Flies is also on that list, though I pretend I’ve read it. Anything by Dickens except A Christmas Carol, and I’m missing a few Austen titles, like Mansfield Park. DON’T TELL ANYONE! Thank goodness I read Little House on the Prairie last year or I’d be the most pitiful English major ever. But I’ve read The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker—HAVE YOU?! 😉

      • Meghan says:

        I think this is a really polarizing book. I actually loved it, but I have a pretty high tolerance for navel-gazing. I know many people who hated it and thought the author was super self-centered to the point where they disliked the book. I can see that, though I didn’t feel that.

  7. Ciera S says:

    I love the story about the man being fired for not having read Hamlet ha.

    The Book Thief would be on my list as well. Also, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Little Prince.

  8. Alison says:

    Oh, I adored Watership Down! I read it when I was a teenager and it is easily one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s funny- I’m currently reading The Book Thief and I love it so far. As for a current novel, I’m looking forward to reading All The Light We Cannot See soon.

  9. Dawn says:

    I did read “Eat, Pray, Love” and saw the movie. It’s not my favorite, but I’m not into memoirs. My pick for this category was “The Nesting Place” because it has been so popular among my friends/blog reads, but my 13yo daughter (an avid reader) recommends “The Book Thief” to EVERYONE.

    I would add “The Alchemist” to a list of books everyone has read.

  10. I absolutely LOVE A Little Princess. I think I might have read it more often than any of my other childhood favorites (and I’m a big re-reader.) Plus every year I use the first chapter’s description of Miss Minchin as an example when I teach on adjectives and creative writing.

  11. Clara says:

    The book I read for this challenge was To Kill A Mockingbird. What can I say? I went to high school in Canada, where it wasn’t required reading ( but I did read lots of Dickens and Shakespeare, not to mention Lord Of The Flies!) My younger son finally convinced me to read it this past winter, and I have to say it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a while. I’m looking forward to reading Go Set A Watchman this summer!

    • Amanda Sue says:

      To Kill a Mockingbird is my chosen book for this section of the challenge! I NEVER have read it, and I feel like everyone and their cat has read it. lol

    • Bev says:

      Lord of the Flies was our book as well in highschool (in Canada) altho I did read To Kill a Mockingbird on my own. Loved it. Must reread it again.
      Haven’t read Watership Down – just couldn’t get into it but will try again.
      Must read more of Jane Austen as well.

    • Gina says:

      I never read TKAM in school either. I’m in BC, Canada. But I recently bought it and it’s on my TBR list this year. I’m finally going to do it!

  12. Liza Lee Grace says:

    On your list, I’ve only read Watership Down and The Book Thief. I first read Watership Down in 6th grade. It was a major challenge, but I slogged through and fell in love with it. It’s not hard to read, it’s just LONG.

    The glaring failure in my reading is that I’ve never read anything by Jane Austen. I’ve tried, I really have, but the most I’ve read was about 1/4 of Emma.

  13. Janet says:

    I absolutely hated Eat, Pray, Love, so pretentious, if I could have smacked the author I would have. The Elegance of the Hedgehog is on my TBR list, have read the Little Princess, The Light Between Oceans and Murder on the Orient Express. Don’t recognize the Judy Blume, will have to go looking for it. Mine was Station Eleven, absolutely loved it, can’t praise it enough.

    • Anne says:

      I’ve heard such mixed reviews of Eat, Pray, Love, and I’ve heard it’s one of those books that you’ll feel differently about if you read it at 20, 30, 40.

      I loved Station Eleven. 🙂

  14. I had never read all of the Little House on the Prairie books until last year, and I’d never read all of The Chronicles of Narnia until two years ago. Both were conscious decisions on my part to finally remedy this horrible oversight. I absolutely love both of these series now.

    Do I dare admit that I’ve only read the first three Harry Potter books and not the last four? I’m feeling a little better about that now that I’ve seen your list of popular books that you haven’t read. I guess even avid readers have to prioritize.

  15. Victoria says:

    I checked off two of these books this year! (The Book Thief earlier this year and then Watership Down just last month.) Both of them were wonderful!!!!

  16. Sara K. says:

    I have started, but not finished, The Diary of Anne Frank, Watership Down, Wuthering Heights and The Book Thief. There are several Jane Austen novels that I have not read yet. Oh and Lord of the Flies (it wasn’t required reading for me in school). I could probably even put Gone Girl in this category since it seems like everyone I know has read it but me!

    I am planning to finish The Diary of Anne Frank and The Book Thief this year. Not sure when or if I will finish the other two 🙂 Honestly, I know Wuthering Heights is a classic, but I don’t particularly like Catherine OR Heathcliff! She’s whiney and he’s moody. Maybe I’ll finish it someday.

  17. Sassy Apple says:

    Always enjoy book posts & the comments. As an avid murder mystery fan, please read a different Agatha Christie. If I had to pick, start with a Miss Marple, ‘The Body in the Library,’ ‘Murder at the Vicarage,’ and ‘A Murder is Announced,’ are all good ones. Well, in my opinion, they’re ALL good ones 😉 Enjoy!

  18. Rachel says:

    I think Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None is one of her greatest, so if you have a chance to check that out too, I would highly recommend it!

      • Amanda Sue says:

        I recently binge watched the Miss Fisher Mysteries on Netflix, and I adore that the entire last episode on there, was an nod to “And Then There Were None”. Although when I first read it, it was one of my mother’s paperbacks, and it was called “10 Little Indians” lol.

        • I was trying to think of And then there were none (it’s also not standard Christie, similar to Murder on the Orient Express, but well-plotted), but I couldn’t remember the new title and didn’t want to say the old title. (And there’s an even older title that is even more offensive, since the British used the n-word for Indians during Christie’s time period.)

          • Sue says:

            I agree that And Then There Were None is a good place to start if you haven’t read Agatha Christie. I read all of them in my 20’s and especially loved the Miss Marple books.

    • Tabitha says:

      Then There Were None is the Agatha Christie book I would recommend too! I also liked Spider’s Web, adapted from one of her plays.

  19. Stephanie says:

    I recommend that you read “A Little Princess” next. Such a beautiful book.
    P.S. From your list, I’ve read only two of the other titles – “The Book Thief” and “The Light Between Oceans.”

  20. Heidi says:

    So many books fit in this category for me. For the challenge, my book is A Prayer for Owen Meany. The Hobbit and Their Eyes Were Watching God also qualify, and I’m knocking out those in other places on your list. Good reading is in my future this weekend. 🙂

    • Bev says:

      Forgot about the Hobbit – have started it but it sits unfinished. really must finish it. I still haven’t read the Owen Meaney book. Must do that as well.

  21. I was going to choose All the Light We Cannot See, The Girl on the Train, or The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but when I reserved them from the library, I was number 73, 541, and 76 respectively. I’ll get to them eventually, but for one I can actually read this month, I’ve chosen Emmy & Oliver. I’ve read at least 10 reviews on other blogs this month, so at least among YA book bloggers, I am feeling like I’m the only one who hasn’t read it.

    • Anne says:

      541!!! That’s crazy! (I didn’t like that one, if it helps.)

      And funny thing: this is the first I’ve heard of Emmy & Oliver. 🙂

  22. Whitney says:

    The Book Thief is SO good. One of my favorites.
    I wasn’t a fan of Eat Pray Love. It was fun to read about all the food she ate and some of the pray parts were neat although it’s been so long since I’ve read it I’m fuzzy on what she did- something Buddhist? But it was the love part that was ugh. Just felt unfulfilling as a book which was ironic.

  23. Laurel says:

    The only one of these I haven’t read is “Watership Down” but I already read my book for this category: “The Rosie Project”. (Wasn’t as enthralled with it as most have been.) Perhaps I’ll do Watership for “a book I should have read in high school”.
    I’ve enjoyed all of these to varying degrees. My top two would be “Book Thief” and “A Light Between Oceans”. Both are great storytelling. You have a great list to choose from for this category!

  24. Leah says:

    haha, for me it would be Jane Austen. I haven’t read anything of hers and, quite honestly, have no plans to do so. Also I’m extremely picky when it comes to YA and have never read anything from John Green, Sarah Dessen, etc.

    • Tara says:

      I’ll admit that John Green is a good writer but I don’t think you’re missing out on anything if you skip his stuff. Sarah Dessen on the other hand… those can be some of the most perfect summer reads. Just finished ‘Saint Anything’ (her newest) last night. I am picky on YA as well but I’d recommend some of her books heartily!

  25. Keri says:

    I just finished All the Light We Cannot See for this category. Loved It! My daughter that just graduated from college with a degree in English was shocked that I was reading it. I rarely read contemporary fiction.

  26. Emily says:

    Every time I think about books everyone has read but me, I feel like I haven’t read anything. Hah! The Book Thief is on my list, too. I would also add Station Eleven, All the Light We Cannot See, The Goldfinch, and the Anne of Green Gables books (I read the first one as a kid and I adored it, but I was too young at the time for the other ones and I thought they were boring. I never picked them up again. Hopefully I’ll get to them soon, but if not I’ll read them with my daughter someday).

  27. Katie says:

    “Harry Potter and the Socerer’s Stone”. This was the first category from the reading challenge that I tackled because I felt I was committing a crime by not having read it! But, all is right with the world-I loved it-and now I can’t wait to read the rest of the series?

    • Beth says:

      I’m jealous of you for getting to read them all for the first time. I would love to go back and read them again, but without knowing what is going to happen. ?

      • Molly says:

        Here! Here! I wish I could read this series again for the first time. These are the books that have gripped me the most, and that is saying something.

  28. Kayris says:

    Ugh….I read Watership Down as a teenager and hated it. Loathed it. Tried again as an adult and hated it even more.

    The Book Thief was meh. The movie was a thousand times better and I very rarely feel that way about movies based on books.

    My choice for this challenge would be “Outlander.”

  29. Melissa D says:

    I’ve read everything except the Light Between Oceans on your list. …But I’ve only read the Big Little Comic Book version of Moby Dick!

    – Signed, an English major who really should know better

  30. Ana says:

    I’ve never read The Secret Garden or A little Princess. Nor Watership down. My sister had to read it in High school and HATED it, so that definitely turned me off. I also have never read classics like Lolita or Anna Karenina. And never read Agatha Christie either! I’m not sure I’ve even heard anyone mention the Light Between Oceans (I think I got it confused with “all the light we cannot see” which I did read). I love love LOVED the Book Thief. I can’t believe I only read it last year. It was quick but brilliant.

  31. Tim says:

    You’ve inspired me to read Christie, and I’m going to put it Orient Express on hold at the library tout de suite. (I used a fancy French phrase because I think I saw once that the Orient Express went through France. Or some place foreign like Europe.)

  32. Megan M says:

    I was so excited to see the Puffin in Bloom edition of A Little Princess, but was disappointed to discover it’s an abridged version. For whatever reason, it’s the only one of the four initial Puffin in Bloom editions that’s abridged.

  33. mary says:

    My little secret is I have never read “Jane Eyre.” I read “Wuthering Height,” and didn’t really enjoy it and I just link the two in my mind. I may give it a try. I want to read the Blume book now though. Love your blog and your reading recommendations. Thanks.

    • Ciera S says:

      I re-read both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights this year, and find them to be rather different. Different sisters, different writing. Give it a try 🙂

    • Faith R says:

      I LOVED Jane Eyre though it was super long. I kept thinking of how it could be edited for modern readers – which was really distracting 🙂 but it was surprising how much (overall) I enjoyed reading it!

      • Jane Eyre is great (The first chapter is pretty gripping, and no doubt influenced both Matilda and Harry Potter). It took me at least three tries to get through Wuthering Heights and I pretty much skimmed the last 2/3. Of course, of the three sisters, Anne may be the greatest. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall isn’t as good a story as Jane Eyre, but man is it way ahead of its time.

  34. Hunger Games…which I’ve been dreading. it just sounds like such an awful premise, I don’t understand why everyone loves it. But also Watership Down, which I didn’t think of til I saw your list! So maybe I’ll read it instead of Hunger Games…Just not sure I’m ready!

    • Ciera S says:

      The Hunger Games books feel a lot more “realistic” and less “sensational” when you’re actually reading it. Not for everyone though.

      • That’s good to know! And encouraging. I know it’s worth it, just haven’t been able to psych myself up for it yet! But maybe this challenge is just what I need to do that…

  35. Kristen says:

    There are so many books that belong in this category for me. I haven’t read any of the books you listed, although I’m partway through Watership own. A Little Princess and The Secret Garden have been on my TBR list since my aunt gave beautiful editions of books to me in grade school. (Quite some time ago!) One was illustrated by Tasha Tudor, the other by Kate Greenaway. They still have a place of honor on my bookshelf, so I guess I should finally read them.

  36. Katie F says:

    The audio version of Watership Down is wonderful and might be easier than lugging around a huge book 🙂

  37. Southern Gal says:

    Murder on the Orient Express is our next book club read since it’s Agatha Christie’s 100th birthday??? Is that right? I don’t know, but I’ve never read any of her books so now’s the time. I loved The Book Thief.

  38. Faith R says:

    I LOVED reading “a Little Princess” I tried to read “the Book Theif” and it was good but it was hard for me to keep going. I ended up not finishing it. “Eat Pray Love” was one of the books that I read during the brief time my husband worked as a pizza delivery guy and would be out late most nights. I love this genre so very much. I think the editing could have been much better (she frequently switched from past to present tense and that drove me crazy) and personally I disliked the last 1/4 of the book and seriously disliked the ending, but I remeber being really sad when I was done reading it because I didn’t want it to end.

  39. Dana says:

    I consider my self an avid reader but there are many classics i have not read. In high school/ college in the 70’s our reading was heavy on Shakespeare, Dickens, Twain and Steinbeck, but I missed out on a lot of others. I am trying to remedy that now, but I find myself wanting to reread Dickens, Twain and Shakespeare more. ( Steinbeck, not so much). I have not read:

    Anything by Austen except Pride and Prejudice
    Wuthering Heights
    Lord of the Flies

    As far as recent books go, I have not read Station 11( on my Kindle(, All the Light We Cannot See ( also on Kindle), Elegance of the Hedgehog, Eat, Pray ,Love ( picked it up and skimmed and was turned off), The Alchemist.
    or anything by Margaret Atwood.
    I loved The Book Thief ( sad, but profound and thought-provoking). Watership Down is amazing. It is one of the few books my husband and I both loved. Light Between Oceans was well written. I read all of Agatha Christie in my 20s. Loved her. I think the Miss Marple books are the best.
    A Little Princess is a wonderful book. My grandmother read that to my mom and then my mom read it to me. Wonderful memories around that book.I read it over and over as a child.

    Anne, it would be a great one to read with your daughters.

  40. M.E. Bond says:

    I’ve never read a single Harry Potter book.

    A Little Princess was one of my childhood books. My copy was a dark blue hardcover with beautiful illustrations. Watership Down is well-worth reading; we read it out loud on our honeymoon! I somewhat enjoyed The Light Between Oceans, but found that the right thing to do was just SO OBVIOUS (even though it wouldn’t be easy). I didn’t care for The Book Thief and am in the middle of The Girl on the Train, but it’s putting me in a bad mood (I’m desperate to know what’s really going on, but I dislike all the characters). I’ve read quite a few Agatha Christies and have the Checkerbee Checklist to all her novels (because I love lists!).

  41. I read Watership Down with my grandmother when I was little. She was a fifth grade teacher for over forty years and had her kids read it. I love how certain books can make you instantly recall particular people, places, etc. Watership Down will always be my grandparents’ farm, sitting on the porch swing, listening to my grandmother. Sigh.

  42. Katherine says:

    This category has challenged me. At first I put Gone Girl, but it seems to be such a polarizing book that I wasn’t sure I wanted to “waste” this read on this category.
    So I switched it to “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan (more of a devotional type book) but then I discovered I had a lot on my challenge that included this type and I seem to have saved them all for the end. That will make it harder for me to finish I think.
    So, I might change it to “Wonder” by R. J. Palacio which I’ve heard great things about (YA) or either “The Light Between Oceans” or “All the Light We Cannot See”.
    I am really enjoying this challenge, though, because it is encouraging me to read books on my shelf that just continue to sit or I’ve been meaning to. Case in point: Just finished “The Great Gatsby”. My husbands favorite book but at the end of the day I just didn’t enjoy it. And no one loves that era/style/glamour more than I do. I just found it sad and didn’t really connect with the characters. I didn’t LIKE any of them. Maybe if I’d been in a discussion group about the book I would have felt better about the overall story/writing but I was disappointed.

    • Dana says:

      I recently read Wonder. I loved it. I re-read The Great Gatsby last year. I did not like it when i read it in high school but I thought maybe with a more mature perspective I would. Everyone gushes about it but I did not like it any better the second time. There is no one to care about in the story.
      I have no desire to read Gone Girl.

    • Bev says:

      Wonder was probably one of the best books I read last year and the one that still resonates. I have to agree about The Great Gatsby.

  43. Amanda Sue says:

    Okay here’s some of the ones I’ve never read that I feel like EVERYONE else has read…
    Basically everything on your list, except for “A Little Princess” & “Murder On the Orient Express”.
    Of Mice & Men
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    The Hunger Games series
    Lean In (not fiction I know, but wow!)
    That book that everyone’s talking about with the Japanese woman who talks about decluttering everything that doesn’t bring you joy…
    Lord of the Flies (to be honest, I don’t WANT to read it anyway)

  44. Cassie says:

    The only book on that list I have read is Eat, Pray, Love which I did actually love! Book Thief is one I keep hearing about that I feel like I might cave and read.

  45. Bree Mooney says:

    I’m another one who did not like Eat, Pray, Love. It jas a very whiny, self-indulgent tone.

    I just got a copy of Watership Down, so I am going to read that one soon. I also want to do A Little Princess as a read aloud with my daughter this summer.

  46. VikkiD says:

    I am embarrassed to admit this to you most of all – because of the name of your blog which I enjoy SO much – but the book I have started & not simply not been able to finish is Pride and Prejudice. My sister loved it and gave a copy to me and THREE TIMES I have picked it up and then put it down. I don’t know why. Maybe I should watch the movie. On the other hand, I have redeemed myself with another author. More than 20 years after high school I read John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, and Cannery Row. Loving your blog, your family stories, and your book recommendations. Keep up the good work!

  47. Liesl says:

    Love The Book Thief! But I also have not read most of the books on this list.

    The book I’m reading for this category is The Hobbit. I feel like everyone and their kids have read it and I have not. And it’s… slow going. The writing is good, but I am just not invested in the plot. I’ve been “reading” it for about 4 months now. I just need to bite the bullet and finish it!

  48. donna says:

    I read Eat Pray Love (finally) back in February. I thought it was ok. It definitely wouldn’t make my list of must-reads.
    For this category, I plan on reading The Painted Girls (halfway through and loving t!), Daring Greatly by Brene
    Brown (on my summer
    reading list), Seating Arrangements by Maggie
    Shipstead (just started this
    one), anything by Jojo
    Moyes, anything by Margaret
    Atwood, Persuasion, Emma,
    Jane Eyre, The Great Gatsby,
    The Book Thief, To Kill A
    Mockingbird, Love in the
    Time of Cholera, Tell the
    Wolves I’m Home, Outlander,
    The Paris Wife.
    Favourites read so far this
    year: The Imperfectionists by
    Tom Rachman, All the Light
    You Cannot See by Anthony
    Doerr, Four Seasons in Rome
    by Anthony Doerr, Queen
    Sugar by Natalie Baszile, Sous
    Chef by Michael Gibney, A
    Man Called Ove by Frederik
    Happy reading!☺

  49. Vanessa says:

    The Book Thief will gut you. Just thinking about out it makes me tear up. Actually, you should read that one, then Agatha Christie right afterward for some levity!

  50. Jennifer Haddow says:

    The Book Thief was my choice for this category. Again, a book I would have abandoned if it hadn’t been for your challenge (the other one was The Time in Between by Maria Duenas). So glad I did not though. It was very hard to get into the narrative, but once I did, the story was so good.

  51. Laura says:

    After reading the comments my TBR list has grown. Two books that come to mind first are Angle of Repose and The Shellseekers. They both seem to be on everyone’s favorites lists.

  52. Jill says:

    I listened to Eat Pray Love shortly after it came out and really liked it (mostly…the India section was hard to get through.) Hearing Elizabeth Gilbert read it might help with the criticisms above about feeling like it was whiny and self-indulgent. Hearing someone talk about a life changing experience might elicit a more empathetic response than reading printed words.

  53. I feel like much of my TBR list is catching up on books everyone else has read. Here are some of the more egregious ones:
    The Bell Jar
    Lean In
    A Prayer for Owen Meany
    Still Alice
    The Light Between Oceans
    The Shadow of the Wind

  54. Maryalene says:

    Can you believe I’ve never read anything by Jane Austen? I feel like such a fraud for being a devoted MMD reader and having never read Jane.

  55. Jeanne says:

    In South Africa I feel that it’s the crime series by Deon Meyer, originally written in Afrikaans, but translated into 28 languages. I’ve read 2 in the series, but everyone I know keeps talking about them!

  56. Great topic! My reading choices seem to differ significantly from most of my friends. I’ve never read any Stephen King, Agatha Christie, or James Patterson. There are also many classics I haven’t read, such as Moby Dick, which is one of those books people seem to pretend to have finished!

  57. I’ve tried to read Watership Down several times but it just doesn’t “take” for me. I can’t imagine growing up without “The Secret Garden” (the edition with illustrations by Michael Hague is my all time favorite) or “A Little Princess”.

    One book I finished recently that “everyone” else has read: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It was a slog for me and I have no idea what “everyone” saw in it, but at least I can say I satisfied my personal curiosity about it.

    And I love Agatha Christie. “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” is a must read, I think.

  58. Angela says:

    The only book I’ve read on your list is “Watership Down,” but I read it when I was a kid and thought it was Boring. Yes, with a capital B. I might have hated rabbits after that book. I might have also disliked it because my grandma (who was a teacher) forced me to read it just like she forced me to read Dickens, Twain, and other books I thought were boring but have stayed with me and now sit on my shelves. I have to go thank her now 🙂

  59. liz n. says:

    It probably goes without saying that when I saw the title of this post, I crossed my fingers in hopes that you would say you’ve added “Watership Down” to your TBR list!

    The day you post about actually reading it–whether you like it or not–I will consider my work here to be done.

    I really hope you like it, my most favorite book of all time and forever! But no pressure… 😉

  60. Lindsay says:

    The Book Thief has become an all time favorite for me. I also enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love and The Light Between Oceans. My book for this category is The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis. It’s been on my TBR list forever.

  61. Molly says:

    There are some classics that fit this category for me such as Jane Eyre, Tess of the D’Ubervilles, Animal Farm, and 1984. I am actually reading The Red Badge of Courage for my “book I should have read in high school” title. There are also a number of modern titles that seem to have passed me by. I tend to shy away from titles that are instant media sensations, so I have to say Fault in Our Stars is the title I have in mind for this category.

  62. Lee Ann says:

    What did you think of The Book Thief? My library e-reader loan ran out when I was about halfway through it, and I’m unsure if I want to check it out again. Is it worth finishing?

  63. Molly says:

    I changed my mind. Rather than purchasing another book (Fault…) I decided to read something I already have so Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood it is. I’ve seen the movie a couple times but never read the book.

  64. Well now I’m wondering if you ever did read The Light Between Oceans. It’s one that was absolutely way too much for this HSP and seems to fall in the category of “written to make you emotionally melt down.” Not saying the writing isn’t superb but it was a rough one for me.

    I have never read The Hobbit or any Lord of the Rings books. Or The Girl on the Train.

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