On My Radar #1: Books that Other People Loved

Hi everyone! It’s a new year and it’s also time for a new feature here on Bookish Wanderess called On My Radar, where I talk about books that I have heard a lot about and I’m curious about, but they are outside of my comfort zone and I’m not sure if I should give them a chance. My idea is that hopefully, you all can help me decide which books are worth reading because I would like to read a few books outside my comfort zone in 2021.

For this first post, I chose books that I have seen in other people’s lists of favorite books of 2020. At the end of a year, I always end up with so many new books on my tbr because other people loved them and recommended them, and a lot of time they are not books that I would usually pick up. This list is full of those books, beloved by others but not books I would usually pick up, and I want your help deciding if I should give them a chance! 

Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas: This was the first book that came to mind when I came up with the theme for this post, because I saw in so many lists of best books of 2020 but I also saw it in so many lists of worst books of 2020.

I’m curious about this book because it sounds like a gothic, dark academia book but weirder. I’m not someone who loves weird books, but I have loved some of them and I have liked the gothic stories I have read so far, so I think I may like this even if it is outside my comfort zone.

Bunny by Mona Awad: Another weird book that I’m on the fence about. I heard someone describe this as Mean Girls but weird and that sounds so interesting and intriguing to me. But I have also heard so many people say this is the weirdest book they have ever read and that makes me hesitant to pick it up. I think it may be a bit too weird for me.

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn: I haven’t been reading that much YA Fantasy because I haven’t loved that many of the ones that I have read recently. But this book has me so curious, the concept of a secret society of descendants of King Arthur’s knights sounds really interesting and all my friends and people I follow who have read it loved it.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid: I don’t read literary fiction often, it’s not a genre that I’m drawn to, but I have seen this book everywhere and everyone seems to love it, so I’m curious. Also, I know it deals with performative activism and that sounds interesting and it’s a subject that I would definitely want to read more about.

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell: this sounds like something I would never want to read, it’s literary fiction and it’s dark and sad. But so many people love this book and it deals with a predatory relationships which sounds interesting. I’m curious but I don’t know if that’s enough to make me pick up this book since I think it’s going to be a very disturbing read.

Which of these books do you think I should read? Are there any books on your radar that you are not sure if you want to read or not?

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26 thoughts on “On My Radar #1: Books that Other People Loved

  1. I have Legendborn on my tbr too! Looking forward to it 🙂

    Agree about My Dark Vanessa being disturbing. I read it last year and I did enjoy it- I thought the author handled the subject well, but it wasn’t light reading material.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would steer clear of Bunny because it is truly bizarre and disorientating!! It was out of my comfort zone too.
    I really liked Such A Fun Age & it’s definitely an accessible read. My Dark Vanessa is very very good but also disturbing and you have to be in the right mindset for it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been eager to read Legendborn since it has come out as well, hopefully I’ll pick it up soon.

    And yeah, My Dark Vanessa is definitely a tough read, but it’s very strong in the fact it doesn’t pull punches.

    Hope you love the ones you end up reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I’m glad you’re loving Legendborn! Someone recently told me that Catherine House reminded them a little bit about Mexican Gothic, so I’m excited to give that one a chance. I hope you enjoy it if you end up reading it!


  4. See, I picked up Bunny exactly because people described it as their weirdest book they ever read. I read it, and I still don’t know if I even liked it, but I think the author is really talented to have written a book that so thoroughly confused me lmao. My Dark Vanessa is good, and despite it being literary fiction & dark and sad, I do think it’s relatively quick to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I would pick the last one on your list. Especially since it seems to be the book that you are least comfortable reading. Sometimes, it is a good thing to pick something you are uncomfortable reading to overcome your fear. (just my thinking)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m also not a fan of literary-fiction at all, but I read My Dark Vanessa last year and it really worked for me. I listened to it as an audiobook and I think that was the right way for me to consume this story so it might work for you too! Loved the post

    Liked by 1 person

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