5 Popular Books Worth the Hype

December 2, 2016

So if you have ever read a post on this blog, you will know that I can complicate anything–even something as simple as picking five popular books worth the hype for a month of faves. Because, you know, what constitutes popular? And hype? Is it number of ratings? I mean, what?

A Month of Faves

I mean, really, it’s not that difficult. What are some books I’ve heard a lot about that were actually as good as people said? STOP MAKING EVERYTHING COMPLICATED, AKILAH.

So without further ado:

The CrossoverThe Crossover by Kwame Alexander
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was both exactly what I expected and not at all what I expected, so that was impressive.

Listened to the audio. Narration was excellent & it’s a fast listen. Two thumbs up for that as well.


The Storied Life of A. J. FikryThe Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I first started this book, I didn’t think I would like it, but I very quickly changed my mind. This was really sweet (but not twee) and very engaging. Great characters.



The Importance of Being EarnestThe Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Listened to the BBC full-cast production. This is super fun and has a lot of great commentary on gender and class.


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the UniverseAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars, rounding up

Great characters, EXCELLENT ending. Also, Lin-Manuel Miranda is an A+ narrator. Full-length review here.


Zahrah the WindseekerZahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was super cute. Also, let’s be real: it’s hard for me not to like a book that includes a discussion of black hair politics and makes use of the trope of the talking book. Plus also, it’s a FRIENDSHIP BOOK and those are totally my jam, so.


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  1. Tanya Patrice

    I had to laugh at your complications of the topic – which are so true! But we purposely left it vague so you could interpret it as you wished 🙂 I love Okorafor’s books but haven’t read Zahra yet, so I’m adding that to my reading list.

  2. Read Diverse Books

    The Importance of Being Earnest is such a good play! I’ve read it a few times and always enjoyed it. 🙂 Have seen some good film adaptations too.

  3. crbrunelle

    I haven’t read Zahra yet, but I have enjoyed other books by Nnedi Okorafor so I will definitely try to grab it soon. I agree on Crossover. I loved The Importance of Being Earnest, but haven’t read it in ages. Audio might be a great way to re-visit. I love Aristotle and Lin Manuel Miranda so again, maybe an audio re-visit is a good plan. Thanks!

  4. Sharlene

    I loved Zahrah! Such a great character and setting. And YES the friendship!

  5. vendija723

    Zahrah just went straight onto my TBR. Sounds terrific, and I adore all the other books on your list that I’ve read, so I’m trusting you. I read The Crossover to a class, and I’m pretty sure it’s NOT meant to be performed by a middle aged suburban white lady, but it is so well written that it STILL worked. Also, Ernest and Artistotle & Dante are two of my favorites. Terrific list!


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