6 Popular Novels I Still Haven’t Read

Posted September 11, 2018 by Renee / 26 Comments

Last week I posted my most anticipated fall reads but lingering in the background are still some popular novels I’ve been meaning to read. The following 6 novels are ones that SO many people have recommended to me over the years but for some reason I still haven’t read them. I DO want to read them but the question is, where to start? I’d love to hear if any of the following books are on YOUR favorites list.

Cutting for Stone
An unforgettable journey into one man’s remarkable life, and an epic story about the power, intimacy, and curious beauty of the work of healing others set in 1960s & 1970s Ethiopia and 1980s America.
Buy on Amazon


The Goldfinch
It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.
Buy on Amazon


Pillars of the Earth
The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king.
Buy on Amazon


All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible “adult” around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle
Buy on Amazon


The Poisonwood Bible
A story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it — from garden seeds to Scripture — is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.
Buy on Amazon


Station Eleven
An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.
Buy on Amazon

Let me know if you’ve read and loved any of these! Right now I’m leaning toward starting with The Poisonwood Bible but that could change. 

26 responses to “6 Popular Novels I Still Haven’t Read

  1. Jan

    The only one I haven’t read of these is All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, although I own it.

    Of the rest, I loved Cutting for Stone, Poisonwood Bible (although it took a second try and then I couldn’t put it down), and The Goldfinch (wonderful on audio).

    Good luck choosing!

  2. Amanda

    I also have had multiple people tell me to read “Cutting for Stone” maybe we should make it a book club pick. Also you were right about “Baby Teeth” – UUUGGHHH!

    • renee

      Let’s suggest Cutting for Stone next week! Can’t wait to hear how Baby Teeth went wrong for you! That’s one I’ll keep passing on

  3. Oh my – you have some doozies in here! I haven’t read Poisonwood Bible either…or Cutting for Stone. Although, I think I owned both paperbacks at one point.

    I loved Station Eleven, The Goldfinch, and Pillars of the Earth. I liked All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, but it definitely made me squeamish too!

    • renee

      Maybe we can read Poisonwood Bible together sometime:) I almost want to try All the Ugly and Wonderful Things soon just to see which side I fall on

  4. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is one of my favorites. I definitely recommend it. I’ve had a copy of Station Eleven forever and still haven’t read it. And I just got a copy of The Goldfinch.

    • renee

      I own Station Eleven and The Goldfinch too so I don’t know why I haven’t picked those up at some point. I might try The Goldfinch on audio since that was a suggestion. Maybe we could do a buddy read of Station Eleven this fall?

  5. I haven’t read any of these books yet though Poisonwood Bible is one that i’d like to read. I hope that all these will turn out to be great reads for you, Renee.

  6. Holly B / Dressedtoread

    I haven’t read any of these, though I have read many reviews! I would read Station Eleven if I had to pick one!

  7. Wow! I’ve read all of these, but All the Ugly and Beautiful Things and can say with confidence that you NEED to read these. I think you’d love Station Eleven and The Poisonwood Bible. Cutting for Stone was a book I put off for years, but finally after a really close friend read/loved it, I had to give it a try. It was fabulous and I think you’d agree. With Donna Tartt, I liked Goldfinch, but still prefer The Secret History. Great list….lots of good memories!

    • renee

      Thanks for the suggestions Susie, I just bought The Poisonwood Bible and downloaded Cutting for Stone, so just need to squeeze those into my fall reading lineup:)

  8. The Goldfinch wasn’t for me and Pillars Of The Earth was huge and too slow for me… But I can highly recommend Station Eleven! The Poisonwood Bible is on my TBR as well as All The Ugly And Wonderful Things. I hope you will enjoy these!

    • renee

      Thanks Yvo, glad to hear Station Eleven was a winner for you. I’m really curious to find out if that one is one I’ll like!

  9. I have Station Eleven, I think I will read it maybe in 2019 hahahaha Ive had it for 3 years lol Oh and I read Poisonwood and it started well but then I grew tired of it… maybe I would’ve liked it better now

  10. Anita Maguet

    You know how I feel about Ugly Wonderful Things! I didn’t read it, but listened to it on audio. I LOVED it as an audible. It was one of the first I listened to after you recommended “You”. Def can be squeamish for those with daughters (I saw a comment from one of your followers above) but somehow I was able to overlook the “wrong” aspects of it while listening to it. I think that’s what I loved about it. When an author can get you to root to for something that is so ordinarily wrong….

  11. Rebecca Hock

    I read “The Golfinch’ after everybody I knew seemed to have read it and loved it. I read it but can’t say I loved it. My brother suggested i read “Pillars of the Earth.” I was a little reluctant as I had read a book by Ken Follet years ago and didn’t think his books were really my cup of tea. I really liked “Pillars of the Earth.” So much so that I have read the sequel and am now looking forward to reading the third one in the series whenever I can get ahold of a copy. The others you have mentioned I have not read but I have made a note of them and will be on the lookout for them.

    • renee

      It seems like The Goldfinch is middle of the road for a lot of people. I’m hesitant about Pillars due to the length but I’m also curious to see if I’d like it because it’s not something I’d typically ever pick up. Hope some of the others end up being possibilities for you, thanks for commenting!

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