Five Popular Books I’ll Probably Never Read

Hello everyone,

It is perhaps time for me to put my tin hat on and hide, as today I will be sharing some very popular and much-loved books that I currently have no interest in reading.

A couple of them are titles that are talked about really often in the book community, but the main reason why I do not think I will ever read them is that they just do not appeal to me. You might find one of your favourite reads on this list, but please do not be too hard on me!

To make it fair, I am only including books from genres I like to read, so for example there will be no sci-fi or romance. There are not many books which I decide are not for me, but here are five where no amount of hype or positive reviews will make me consider reading them.


The Woman In The Window by A.J. Finn

This is one of the most well-known thrillers of the last few years, but for some reason it has never really caught my attention. The concept sounds a bit similar to other books in the genre and I was not sure if it was just one that happened to be getting a lot of hype because of a good marketing or publicity campaign. The fact there was a controversy surrounding the author provided me with another excuse not to read it.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

I know that some of my best book blogging friends absolutely love this series and rank it among their favourites, but everything I have heard about it suggests that it is just not for me. For a fantasy it sounds really dark and full of adult themes, which I tend to avoid where I can.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

I have rarely come across a book that splits opinion more widely than this one! It is a classic love/hate book, and I have seen equal amounts of positive and negative reviews. From what I have heard I can understand the value of it as a depiction of contemporary life, but I am just not sure I would connect with it in the same way as others.

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

I absolutely love historical fiction – indeed it is probably my favourite genre of all. However, for some reason I have never felt too inclined to pick up a Philippa Gregory novel, even though they do look back on a fascinating time period. As for this particular book, it might be because I watched the film adaptation a long time ago and did not find it very enthralling.

This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay

Not many non-fiction books have been more popular in the UK than this one in the last few years, and it even had a sequel entitled ‘Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas‘. But unlike so many others, I have never felt particularly drawn to it even though it is said to be a rather amusing read. It might be because it is about life as a junior doctor, and in the UK we hear about the NHS all the time on the news. I would rather not have to read all about it in a book too!


Let’s Chat

Are there any popular books that you are not interested in reading? Do you think I should reconsider reading one of the books on this list? Let me know in the comments!

55 thoughts on “Five Popular Books I’ll Probably Never Read

  1. I shall put on my tin hat and join you: I listened to Nevernight and I probably won’t be continuing with the series cos I felt that, though it wasn’t bad, it was rather overrated and quite overhyped. I did enjoy The Woman in the Window though. I read it before the whole controversy though, that probably helped 😄

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      1. I found that I didn’t really like Adam Kay when I was reading the book – his humour didn’t really work for me and I wasn’t a big fan of his writing style. Because the book is in diary-format there is little flow or continuation between entries. This made it a bit jarring to read and I wish the author had included additional information to explain the timeline of the diary entries. I also went in with the wrong expectations: I somehow thought that it would be a book about a GP or other general doctor, but Kay is actually specialised in obstetrics and gynaecology. I think I just started reading the book expecting something else that I got. This is already a lot of detail in a comment, but This is Going to Hurt also had one of my pet peeves; addressing the book to a specific population when the book is in wide distribution around the world. The book read like it is very strongly directed at a native British person and as an immigrant I didn’t get much from it

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      2. Thank you for the explanation, Pauliina! It is never a good start when the writing style and humour do not hit the right notes, so it’s a shame you had a bad experience with this book. It makes me even more convinced not to read it! I agree that books should be aimed at a wider audience if it is distributed globally, it means too many people cannot relate.

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  2. I completely agree with This Is Going To Hurt – both my mum and my sister have read it and absolutely loved it but they both work in the NHS so I feel like it attracts them more… it just doesn’t sound like something I would enjoy at all.

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    1. Ah yes I think if you work in the NHS that book would probably be perfect, but it just doesn’t seem like something for me either. Thank you for reading and commenting!

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  3. Hello Stephen. The only one on your list that I read is The Woman in the Window. I found it disappointing. Normal People was made into a television series here in Ireland and EVERYONE was watching, and talking about it, so I wouldn’t bother to read the book in this instance. The book I have been resisting for quite sometime, is Girl, Woman, Other. I’ve begun it a couple of times, but so far, it hasn’t taken!

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  4. I had the same thoughts as you for Normal People, so I wasn’t interested in reading it. However, I had to read it for a book club I’m in, and I thought it was very mediocre. You’re definitely not missing out!

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  5. I read the woman in the window and you are correct, predictable and overrated. Plus the author is pretty problematic. He lied about having cancer.

    I also read The Other Boleyn Girl. It is meh. There are better historical fictions out there. So I don’t blame you for those two. Haha! Great post!

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    1. Yes it sounds like the author made so many false claims to give himself more publicity. Quite awful to be honest.
      I’m glad you could reassure me on those two books!

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  6. stephen! i love this list so much! i also don’t want to read nevernight, because i’ve heard it’s really problematic, and normal people just doesn’t seem like my kind of book! i also don’t ever want to read eleanor & park, because even though a ton of people love it, it’s really racist, and i just don’t want to pick it up. lovely list 💛

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    1. Thank you so much, Ahaana! 💛 Yes I’ve heard lots of things about Nevernight being problematic, that and the general content has made me decide I don’t want to read it. And yes I’ve heard that about Eleanor & Park too, and I wouldn’t like to read that one either.

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  7. Interesting selection! The only one of these I really would recommend is This Is Going to Hurt. Maybe reading about the NHS is not an appealing thought at the moment. I read the book before the pandemic however and actually it is a really powerful experience. I’ve read quite a few ‘medical memoirs’ now and this is one of the best. It’s more than just a funny book about being a doctor.

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    1. Haha even before the pandemic the NHS was in the news all the time so it has never appealed!! I don’t know, lots of people loved it or gave it 5 stars, but I just haven’t been tempted at all…

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  8. I read Normal People and it did not live up to the hype at all 😂. But The Other Boleyn Girl is really good! I read it a couple years ago and loved it, plus the movie adaptation is really good if you want to check that out instated of the book 😊

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  9. You’re definitely not missing out on anything exciting with Normal People was just an ok read. Had Nevernight on hold at the library but never got it in end as the wait was too long, But I did enjoy This Is Going To Hurt and have the audiobook downloaded for The Woman in the Window. 🙂

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  10. Great list. The only one I won’t be reading from this list is The Woman in the Window. I was interested in reading it until the controversy with the author. I’m pretty sure there is a movie adaptation out on Netflix now or it’s coming soon. I own Nevernight and do plan to read it but I keep putting it off.

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  11. Oh, I read The woman in the window and this book is definitely overhyped. Soon Netflix will release a movie adaptation, I think it shoukdbbe better than book. As for Nevernight, I tried to read it but failed. A very strange book. Normal people, I also watched as a tv series, and I’ve heard it’s better than the book.

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  12. This is a wonderful list. I probably won’t pick up Nevernight either. Another popular book I probably won’t read is The Martian. I’ve tried, but it just doesn’t catch me as much as I thought. Perhaps I should try an ebook or the physical book instead of the audiobook with this one 😅

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  13. Great post 🤩 there are many books that may appeal to a mass population that do not appeal to a lot of other people and I’m glad that the pressure of reading popular and hyper books is reducing, maybe it was just me but when I first got acquainted with the book community I felt this pressure hanging over everyone who produces any bookish content to read all hyped and popular book but I’ve noticed that over the years that has reduced.
    There are a few books on my never going to read list which are quite popular like any of Cassie Claire’s books, they just don’t appeal to me whatsoever

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    1. Thank you, Mek!! Yes I agree, there has often been a fear of missing out when it comes to hyped books – when I joined the book blogging community I had hardly read any of the books so many people were talking about lol, so it’s good that has reduced. Oh yes, I agree about Cassandra Clare, I’m not especially interested in her books either.

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  14. I’m not interested in reading any of these except maybe ‘Normal People.’ ‘The Woman in the Window’ looks super generic and I don’t read a lot of mysteries. I don’t mind all that much that the author is nuts and a pathological liar (separate the artist from the material and all) but it just doesn’t interest me that much.

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  15. Great list, Stephen! I think as book bloggers it’s important to read books we’re interested in and not because of the general hype. I have read both The Woman in the Window and Normal People and was disappointed by both however the general opinion is that they are great and I honestly don’t understand why!

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    1. Thank you, Darina! I agree, when we see hyped books there can be a pressure to read them, but it is important to stick to what we want to read. That’s reassuring to know, but sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy either of those books!

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  16. This is a great discussion to have. I feel like especially on Bookstagram there are so many books that are considered ‘must reads.’ Any post about top fantasy books usually has a bunch of comments at the end saying “you have to read X!” and there are a lot of super popular books that I feel like everyone in the blogging sphere is expected to read, whether or not it interests them. Personally, I have no interest in reading Brandon Sanderson’s books, or Jay Kristoff’s, or Sarah J. Maas’s, or Cassandra Clare’s. I just don’t want to, but it feels like sacrilege to talk about being a fantasy fan and not have read any of their works.

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  17. Ooh this is a great idea for a post Stephen!!! ❤️You’re not missing out on Normal People, I found it a bit slow for my liking. I did laugh my head off at This Is Going to Hurt though, but some of my family members didn’t find it that funny so maybe it’s just my niche sense of humour 😂 X x x

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    1. I’m so pleased you liked this post, Florence! 🥰 That’s good to hear about Normal People, and from what I have seen lots of other people have found This Is Going To Hurt really funny, so perhaps your sense of humour isn’t quite so niche 😉

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