Musing Mondays

This week’s musing from MizB asks€¦

What do you think of books that receive a lot of hype? (think of the ‘Twilight’ saga, or ‘Harry Potter’, or ‘The Da Vinci Code’). Do you read them? Why, or why not?

I suppose I’m a bit contrary, because I tend to shy away from over-hyped books. I like to make up my own mind about the books I read and often don’t read reviews if they’re about books I already intend to read – such as A Thousand Splendid Suns by by Khaled Hosseini.  Books like the Twilight series have absolutely no appeal for me in any case, but I do like other fantasy books and read the first Harry Potter book soon after it came out and all the ones that followed, although I was happy to wait for the paperback versions.

I don’t know if I’d have read The Da Vinci Code when people were either raving about it or reviling it, but as I’d found it before that, I’d read it without being affected by any of the hype that later surrounded it. I found it entertaining and  interesting, but I think I’d have been disappointed by it if I’d read it expecting to find it really controversial – it is just fiction after all.

Books like The Thirteenth Tale were hyped up too and I thought that book was disappointing, similarly I wasn’t overfond of  The Time-Traveller’s Wife. Another book people have written loads about either loving or criticising it is Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love. I was intrigued enough to borrow this from the library when I came across it and was glad I did. It’s a book of many parts – some good, some not so good.

Currently there are a few that I’m avoiding reading such as The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie – the titles alone are enough to put me off, never mind the hype. But if I find them in the library in a few years time I may have a look at them.

So, in the main I avoid hyped books, but I can be tempted to read them sometimes.

11 thoughts on “Musing Mondays

  1. I did read The Time Traveller’s Wife too but could not remember if I finished it or not but I’m guessing it’s the latter. I wasn’t too keen on it and only picked it up because of the hype surrounding it. I should have know better.

    I read Hosseini’s The Kite Runner and I liked it. I intend to read A Thousand Splendid Suns, too.

    Have a happy reading week!


  2. It purely depends on if the book appeals to me rather than how hyped they are. Harry Potter and Dan Brown for example dont appeal so it doesnt matter how popular they are. The time travellers wife and The passage do appeal.


  3. Margaret – I agree with you; I tend to be wary of books that are hyped a lot. I tend to prefer books that are perhaps not so slickly hyped but are often better reads. The only exception is if it’s an author I already know and know that I like.


  4. Funny, I said the same thing, that I might just be contrary, but the hype rarely moves me. I agree with The Thirteenth Tale..lot of hype…didn’t love it.
    But now Guernsey…I must say I just read so many good reviews that I read it. And in this case I totally agreed and loved it.
    I depend more on a few reviewers whose taste I trust than a lot of hype.


  5. I think you hit on something when you talked about reading a book “before” the hype, and how your expectations were not up, therefore you could enjoy the book.

    When I read a book or go to a movie with “lowered expectations,” I usually come away with something like pleasant surprise. I like being surprised.

    I cannot ever imagine myself enjoying the Twilight books…I saw one of the movies because one of my grandkids begged me to take him, but I didn’t enjoy it. I almost cringed.

    I am really not a vampire person, although strangely enough, I enjoyed Dark Shadows back in the sixties. Go figure.

    I read the Guernsey book before it was hyped, as an ARC, and hadn’t heard anything about it. I didn’t like it a first, but then it sucked me in. Again…lowered expectations.

    Here’s my musing:


  6. I’m contrary, too, and hype puts me off a book, though I’ll often read it a couple of years later when it’s been forgotten. I did like The Time Traveler’s Wife a lot, but I read it before the hype. I have no interest whatsoever in vampire stories. And I only really appreciated the HP series when we read it aloud as a family.


  7. Primarily I agree with you except that I find myself reading all the hype. I feel the need to keep up with what’s going on in the book world. Hvowever, I tend to read the books that are recommended by friends and trusted fellow book bloggers whether they’ve been hyped or not.


  8. While I am slightly contrary by nature and don’t like the feeling that I am being pressured to do something, I do sometimes read things that have been hyped.
    I did read The Da Vinci Code, but mostly because I worked in a book shop at the time and felt that I ought to at least try the book that so many people were asking about. For the record, I quite liked it and it certainly rattled along but I doubt that I will read any more either of Dan Brown’s books or the many copycat titles that are out there.
    I did enjoy The Time Traveller’s Wife and the Guernsey book, although I read the former long before the hype machine got going with it.
    I read the first four Harry Potter books when my children were younger and still had bedtime stories, and have to confess to thoroughly enjoying them. So much so that my younger son took to sleeping with the book under his pillow to stop me reading ahead after they had gone to sleep! We got a bit bogged down in number five and never finished it and so although I have the full series, we have never finished reading them.
    Another confession is that I quite like paranormal books – there are some quite good ones out there for all age groups, and they are pure escapism!


  9. I try to take no notice of whether or not a book is hyped (famous last words I know 🙂 ), but inevitably I’ll read some during their period of max hype, ignore others completely, and read the rest when I’m good and ready. I’ve just given in and bought the much hyped chunkster ‘The passage’ by Justin Cronin though – but when I’ll actually read it is another matter!


  10. I’m really immune to hype. I read what I want, when I want, so that means no paranormal, no vampires, no more Dan Brown although I did read The DaVinci Code and my reaction was so-so, but I read the two Khaled Hosseini books and loved them despite the hype. In the latter case, I was eager to learn more about Afghanistan but found wonderful stories. Like Margot, I rely more on the opinions of reviewers I know or whose opinions I value because I’ve been reading them for a long time.


  11. I normally avoid over-hyped books like the plague. But occasionally I succumb, for whatever reason. And most of the time I am disappointed. Maybe because I like being a contrarian? Probably. Anyway, I disliked TIME TRAVELLER’S WIFE, DAVINCI CODE, THE THIRTEENTH TALE – didn’t finish any of these books, in some cases read only a few chapters and called it quits. Didn’t think any of them were especially well written. TIME TRAVELLER’S WIFE, I just found annoying.
    I had the reverse reaction with the Harry Potter books – found the last three books the most entertaining. In fact, I couldn’t put them down. And I admit I loved the GUERNSEY book, to my surprise. I call this a perfect book club book, so I was prejudiced against it. A close friend though, urged me to take a look. I did and loved it. I also loved THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE, in fact, I found it extraordinary. The second book in the series, THE WEED THAT STRINGS THE HANGMAN’S BAG is even better, if that’s possible.
    So sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.


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