The internet has a huuuuge influence over my reading choices. I’ve been a life-long reader and book lover and YES I was that child who won the libraries’ Summer reading challenge every year. But whilst I might not read quite as much as I did when I was 10, I’m still always engrossed in books and looking for new ones to add to my shelves. And the internet comes in REAL handy for that!

We could delve into the argument of whether bloggers or internet personalities actually have any influence and the answer is a resounding YES. For me, I’m very influenced over what other people are reading. If I see a book featured on more than 2 blogs in the space of a week, I instantly make a mental note to add it to my TBR list.

And when it comes to books in particular, I very much trust the opinion of other bloggers and would much rather buy a book based off of what a handful of bloggers I love are thinking rather than a random review in a newspaper or from a critic.

For that reason, most books on my bookshelf are ones that I’ve heard about online and decided to try for myself. Do I enjoy all of them, even the ones that have been monumentally hyped up? No way. But nonetheless, the internet well and truly made me by them. Here’s 8 books that fall under that category.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

I’m a big fan of Michelle Obama and I loved her Netflix documentary “Becoming”. But I honestly don’t think I would have felt the need to pick up the book and read the more in-depth story of her life and journey into the White House if it wasn’t for the hundreds of reviews I saw online. But I’m SO glad I did. I only finished reading this book in September and it was a stunning read.

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

This is a book that I saw occasionally on my travels; in the Tesco book section or in Waterstones but never felt the need to even pick up and look at. UNTIL I saw everyone talking about it online. My Dark Vanessa is an uncomfortable read and covers some heavy topics, so reading people’s reviews and opinions of this one was interesting and instantly made me want to try it myself.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Funny story. Years ago now, I was sent a book subscription box to review which included this book in it. This book was published in 2014 might I add and at the time, I had heard nothing about it. It didn’t sound like it was for me, so I decided to give it away to someone who would enjoy it. Fast forward to 2020, year of the pandemic, suddenly everyone’s talking about it and I decide to buy it again.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This is 100000% not a book I would have picked up had it not been for everyone and their Nan raving about it online. The cover is beautiful and whilst I might have been initially drawn to it for that reason, I don’t think I’d have felt like this was a book I’d enjoy. But thanks to everyone’s reviews I read of this, I did decide to read it and whilst at first I didn’t think I’d like it, after a few chapters I was hooked.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Woah okay we’re going back a good few years here but before I even really started blogging, the internet 100% made me buy this book. Everyone was sharing photos of this book on Instagram and saying how profound it was, with everyone’s bio reading, “we were infinite” and everyone was getting infinity symbol tattoos. I needed a slice of that pie. Simpler times.

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

I haven’t actually read this one yet, it’s still sitting on my bookshelf but I’m hoping to get around to it before the end of the year but the internet definitely made me buy this one as I saw it featured on so many different blogs and YouTube channels and have heard generally very good things.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Again, let’s rewind a second here. If you WEREN’T influenced to read The Fault in Our Stars back in the day and then spent your whole life saying “Okay? Okay” to your best friend then what on Earth were you doing? Although after this read, I did become a big fan of John Green’s work and whilst TFioS is by no means by favourite book by him, it still holds a special place in my heart.

Fun fact: To this day, this is the ONLY book my boyfriend has read. When we first started talking, I posted by copy to him (because he lived in Lincolnshire at the time and I was in Essex and we hadn’t yet met IRL) and he read it, even though he’s not a reader. Proud.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

And finally, a little bit of a cop-out this one because I didn’t buy it but I got it from the library but the only reason I did is because everyone was raving about it. Andddd I didn’t like it one bit. Usually, I tend to jump on the hype train but I just couldn’t with this one.

So tell me, which books did the internet make you buy? Did you enjoy them? Loathe them? Let me know!

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68 Comments

  1. I love reading books that I see all over social media! Recently I finally got Beartown by Fredrik Backman from the library and I am enjoying it so far! I haven’t read the ones on your list yet, but I have heard several of them are so good!

  2. I loved The Fault in our Stars and Becoming Michelle Obama! I’ve heard sooo much about Where The Crawdads Sing that I think it needs to be one of the next on my list. I love the movie of The Perks of Being a Wallflower so I imagine the book is even better?

  3. Getting them from the library definitely counts as well – that’s what I’ve been doing a lot of lately. I did exactly the same with Becoming – I’m not usually a biography person but everyone was raving about it so much that I just had to, and boy am I glad that I did. The Flatshare was an internet one as well. I do a similar thing that if I start seeing a book crop up from my favourite reviewers who I know tend to have similar tastes, it goes straight on the list. Great post!

  4. I couldn’t agree more with the Fault in our Stars “okay” thing haha! But yes I also am so influenced by others reviews of books and it does help. It is something I need to invest more time into actually doing and relaxing as I do have a pile of books already to get through and then a wish list (which I have added some of your recommendations onto) x

  5. I absolutely love that you are influenced by other bloggers over what books you read (and buy), that’s wonderful to hear. The only one on your list I’ve bought for myself (and everyone I know) is Where The Crawdads Sing, it was absolutely unputdownable and I’m praying the film does it justice 🙂 x

  6. I have such a huge list of books to be read and reading about new books online makes this list even longer. Mrs Obama book seems interesting and I will add it also in my list 🙂

  7. I also read Where the Crawdads Sing because of all the hype surrounding it online. I didn’t love it quite as much as it seems everyone else does, but I can see why it is so hyped. I do adore TFiOS to this day, as well as The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I’m totally bummed you don’t like The Flatshare, since that’s one of my all-time favorite contemporary romances, but to each their own, of course! 🙂

  8. While there are some of the books on here that I had never heard of before reading this post, there are definitely some books I felt like EVERYONE was talking about. Especially the Flatshare (which I enjoyed), Becoming (which I’m still currently reading, but also enjoying), and Where the Crawdad’s Sing (still haven’t picked it up, but I’m definitely curious, especially cause like you, it’s not something I would have chosen myself). Great post! xx

    Melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com

  9. “I very much trust the opinion of other bloggers and would much rather buy a book based off of what a handful of bloggers I love are thinking rather than a random review in a newspaper or from a critic.”
    As a book blogger, every time I reach that “why am I doing this?” point in my life and blogging adventure, I think about this. I myself don’t really listen to critics or magazines. There are bloggers and readers that I know have the same taste as I do or whom I trust and I would rather check a few blogs before deciding than go with the flow of trends (because that’s what critics and magazines usually end up doing and it wasn’t just once that people bought that hyped book only to find out they didn’t like it)

  10. I think that the more you hear people talk about a book, and how much they liked it, the more interesting it becomes. So many people have talked about, “Where the Crawdads Sing”, that now i definitely want to read it… 🙂

  11. There are so many books I’ve bought & read because of other bloggers recommended it! The last book I read that was highly recommended was They Both Die at the End.
    Where the Crawdads Sing is also on my TBR because everyone I know who has read it, liked it!

  12. Hi Jenny,

    My wife has read Barack Obama’s book so perhaps she’ll be interested in the one by Michelle. There you go, you have played the role of ‘the internet’ and it is likely that my wife will buy this book 🙂

    And I know exactly what you mean, I would far rather buy based on feedback from like-minded people on the internet than based on reviews on TV, radio, or newspapers that, being cynical, have probably been paid for.

  13. I’m reading more than ever, thanks to the internet, having more time and just the massive choice of books. I definitely think ebooks are a game changer. To download books instantly, on their published date, with no need to travel is great.

  14. I read The Fault In Our Stars when I was in 10th grade, when it had just came out and it was my first heartbreaking read.

    Thank you for sharing this list! I’ll be checking out My Dark Vanessa !

    Nons Mshengu | http://www.cherbelle.co

  15. Some good books here! People on the internet make me buy all the books! My dark Vanessa is on my TBR x

  16. I love this. I too bought Becoming by Michelle Obama because it was highly recommended on a lot of blogs.

  17. I love this post! There are a few books I’ve seen online, and instantly known I would love them, and others that I’ve just been intrigued to try haha 🙂 I’m glad some of these were a success x

  18. I love a good book post, I’m always looking for new recommendations. I personally love The Fault In Our Stars – such an amazing movie/book! I think after seeing the world go crazy for it, that’s what got me interested. Xo

    Elle – ellegracedeveson.com

  19. Love The Fault in Our Stars! & the one you gave away then bought again, haha! Like films & TV series, I think there is a time for certain books.

    You’ve inspired me to put my reading list together and start getting through it!

      1. I did find the manipulation triggering (adult relationship) I think emotional abuse and coercive control needs to be on the curriculum and books like this are a must read even if they are really uncomfortable x

  20. Oh wow I love a good book post!! These books sound amazing. I read The Fault in Our stars years ago and loved it, I’ve read most of John’s books and he’s such a good writer. I’ve always wanted to read the perks of being a wallflower as the film was amazing!x

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