As someone who spent their entire childhood staying up past my bedtime to read and an adult who’s been steadily back in their reading habit for approximately three years, there are many classics, core fantasy series and bookstagram highlights that I haven’t read (yet). So as somewhere between a motivator and a guilt trip for myself, I thought I’d list some of the books that I already own that I really should have read by now.
1984 – George Orwell
My dad gave me a beautiful copy of this book as one of his favourite books and I just find the concept of reading Orwell too intimidating. Honestly, I’m not a big fan of classics – my A Level English Literature classes were mostly just me getting angry at wilty female characters (I’m looking at you, Bryony from Atonement) or getting confused by flamboyant writing that took me three attempts to understand (Jane Eyre… I don’t think I even finished it).
But I have the audiobook downloaded on Audible and maybe one day I’ll bring myself to read it… Any brilliant reviews to entice me are more than welcome.
His Dark Materials – Phillip Pullman
Considering we had a reading from The Amber Spyglass at our wedding, we really should have read this series. I remember watching and loving ‘The Golden Compass’ film when I was a kid, but I think I was confused by the fact that the book had a different name and I got the impression from somewhere that it was a difficult read.
But after the wedding we did buy the most beautiful set of the trilogy so I really should prioritise them! Maybe that’s a series to take on the honeymoon…
The Hobbit / Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkein
Although I have watched and enjoyed all of the film adaptations of these books, I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a hardcore LOTR fan. But then I took myself on a solo cinema date to see the film ‘Tolkein’ about the authors life and it is honestly one of my favourite films and totally inspired me as a writer. So I should really do the man the honour of reading his books, shouldn’t I?
The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary
I’ve seen so many people talking about and reviewing this online that it really should have been more a priority, but the concept even now still doesn’t really strike me. Living with someone, sharing a bed with them but never meeting them? It just sounds ridiculous but I am susceptible to hype and it’s got to be this popular for a reason, right? I have it, I just need to read it!
Daisy Jones & The Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid
I could extend this to any Taylor Jenkins Reid book to be honest. Daisy Jones has been on my ‘want to read’ ever since I saw YouTuber Hannah Witton do a review of it literally years ago. I picked up a copy when my husband and I went away for our anniversary in 2021 (he wasn’t even my husband then 😱) and I just haven’t got to it yet. The incentive I’ve given myself for this though is that I’m not letting myself watch the show until I’ve read the book and considering Sam Claflin is in the show (and I think Sam Claflin is brilliant), it’s a pretty good incentive.
It Ends With Us – Colleen Hoover
Colleen Hoover is a powerhouse, isn’t she? I swear she’s releasing 3-5 books a year and I can’t comprehend how anyone can write that much that quickly. I’ve never read a single one of her books, mostly because I couldn’t suppress the hipster in me that said ‘well everyone likes her so you have to be different’. That and the fact that none of her books have particularly appealed to me (except Verity, but I haven’t got my hands on a copy yet). But one of my friends gave me a copy at my wedding last year as one of her favourite books from 2022 and I trust this friend’s book opinions so it’ll happen this year! For sure. (Please hold me to that).
The Mortal Instruments series – Cassandra Clare
Considering I was on top of the major fantasy series when I was a teenager – Harry Potter, Percy Jackson (ish), The Hunger Games, Twilight etc – the fact I never made it passed book 1 of the Shadowhunters saga is actually kind of surprising. I picked up a copy of the entire Mortal Instruments series for a tenner on Facebook marketplace well over a year ago now but I just haven’t got to it. That might be another option for the honeymoon – I could probably get through the whole series in two weeks by the pool in a Greek hotel, right?
There are so many more classics I haven’t read that I’m not interested in – even the beauty of the Penguin clothbound classics doesn’t draw me in to reading stories that take more brain power than I have to comprehend. I like easy reading books – a simple writing style with a witty, sarcastic main character who could probably do with believing in themselves a bit more but the self-deprecation is relatable.
I’m all for reading books that bring you joy – I read to relax and trying to understand more complex literature is a lot of work for my little probably-autistic brain, so contemporary romance and light fantasy are my go to, but I should probably try and push myself every now and then.
Thank you for reading,