So this year I decided not to join any year-long reading challenges. Instead, I decided to focus on a structured TBR. I have a feeling this might not work, but I’m hoping it does!
The reason I’m doing this is because I focus so much on reading a lot of books, rather than reading for pleasure. I saw someone on Twitter say “quality not quantity”, and that’s something that I can appreciate too.
So here’s my MASSIVE 2019 TBR!! 78 BOOKS! I’m going to really try to tackle all of these books. Like last year with my reading challenges, I’ll be posting updates every three months to see where I’m at.
Here we go!
My (irl) friend Steffie and I decided to make a little bookclub — which currently only has two members: ourselves. We’re going to be reading one book a month together, and then at the end of the month we’re going to catch up, eat pizza and drink wine and then talk about the book! I’m so freaking excited for this — we already have our TBR and, in excitement, I created a little graphic for us!
- Fire From Heaven by Mary Renault
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
- Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
- Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
- The North Water by Ian McGuire
- The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
- XX by Angela Chadwick
- Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
- The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
- The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood
- Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
- Milkman by Anna Burns
If you don’t know, I joined the Classics Club last year, an online group dedicated to reading at least 50 classics books in a five-year period. Check out my full 50-book TBR here! Basically, you can read any book that you personally consider a classic, including modern classics and books that define a particular genre. The classics books that I want to read this year are a mixture of my Classics Club TBR and classics books that I really want to read!
At Swim, Two Boys is set before Ireland’s revolt against the British in the early 20th century, where a young man teaches another how to swim and they begin to fall in love, but the country and the people in their town have other ideas. Murder on the Orient Express is the tenth book in Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot series, but every book can be read as a standalone. This one was made into a movie, so very keen to read it! Brideshead Revisited is set before WWII and is about Charles Ryder’s infatuation with the Marchmains family, and the world of privilege they inhabit that is slowly disappearing. Maurice is a queer classic about a young man who is heartbroken over unrequited love, who then decides to be true to himself and go against the grain of society’s rules.
Nightwood is another queer classic novel about a woman who begins to fall for a woman and who’s passion might destroy her life. Very excited to read this book as there’s not many classic female queer novels out there. The Road is a dystopian novel about a father and son who walk alone through a burned America, trying to survive together. Gone with the Wind is one of the biggest classics books out there. It’s a romance between a woman named Scarlet O’Hara and a dashing soldier named Rhett Butler, set against the backdrop of the American Civil War. I’m going to be doing a readalong of this book in March, so check back in February for the details!
This year, I want to reread a bunch of old and new favourite novels. I want to reread some old books because I want to see if my reaction to them years ago is the same now, at the (soon-to-be) age of 25. Plus, I read some amazing books last year that I immediately want to reread, so I’ll be doing that too!
I definitely want to reread Twilight after watching the movie again last year. I’m very keen to see if I dislike this book as much as I used to or if I like it, especially now since I’m an editor! As an editor, I look at books a different way now and I wonder how I will approach Twilight. They Came on Viking Ships was my favourite book back in high school, about a young enslaved girl who forms a strong friendship with her Viking captor. I also loved The Raging Quiet back in high school, about a young woman who gets into a relationship with a young deaf man when she’s accused of witchcraft. I already know I’ll love On the Jellicoe Road because I read it twice in 2018, but I want to reread it again because I’ve been thinking about it again. It’s about a girl who is put in charge of her country high school during the annual war games with the kids from the town and the cadets who camp near them every summer. It’s amazing.
The Uncrossing was my favourite novel of 2017 — like of the whole year. It was absolutely amazing and I’m very keen to see if I still love it as much as I did two years ago. It’s about fairytales and curses and gay boys falling in love. I adore it. In Other Lands was my favourite book of 2018 and I just know I’m going to love it as much when I reread it this year. It’s about a bisexual boy who is invited to magic school and he and his friends save the world multiple times. Read it! I adored Wolfsong when I read it back in 2017 and Ravensong, the sequel, was just as incredible. I really want to reread both books before the release of the final two books in the series, both coming out this year! Finnikin of the Rock is a book by my favourite Australian author and I read it many years ago, but I never finished the series. So I definitely want to finish the series, but I can’t remember what happened in book one, so time for a reread!
Pisces Hooks Taurus is the fourth book in Anyta Sunday’s Signs of Love series, which I freaking adore. The last two books in the series are coming out this year, and I reread the first three books last year, but didn’t get a chance to reread this one yet! The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was my second favourite book of 2018 and I wanted to reread it all last year but didn’t get a chance, so here we go! Over and Over Again was the first Cole McCade book I read and he’s now become one of my favourite romance authors. I freaking adore all his works but Over and Over Again has a very special place in my heart, so definitely rereading this. The Bones Beneath My Skin was a very different book from TJ Klune’s usual, but it was amazing all the same. It only came out in October 2018 but I already want to reread it. I’ve heard the audiobook is amazing, so maybe I’ll try it!
You all know I love reading romance, so that definitely won’t change this year. While there’s a bunch of books on my TBR below, I’m sure I’ll be reading way more. I fully intend to read every book and/or a particular series by the following authors: Talia Hibbert, TJ Klune, Cole McCade, Anna Zabo, Cat Sebastian, and Cordelia Kingsbridge. Wish me luck!
Mating the Huntress is a werewolf paranormal romance by Talia Hibbert, who’s books I have come to adore. I love paranormal romances, so will be reading this book ASAP! Damsel has been a divisive book: a lot of people seem to love it but just as many seem to hate it. It’s a dark retelling of a fairytale, and by ‘dark’, I mean really dark. Here’s a list of trigger warnings from a reviewer: animal abuse & death, sexual abuse & sexual assault, threats of rape, physical & emotional abuse, humiliation, captivity, talk of past rape, self-harm, gaslighting, misogynistic & sexist comments. Wow. Even so, I am low-key intrigued but also scared. But I’ll still give it a go because I’ve heard it’s brutal but honest. A Princess in Theory is the first book in a royal series by Alyssa Cole, and I’ve been meaning to read her books all of last year. Bear, Otter and the Kid is an old series by TJ Klune, but I’ve heard amazing things. It’s friends-to-lovers and a young man becoming a pseudo-father to his younger brother. It looks like it’s going to hurt, and it’s a series too.
Darkling is the first book in a series about witches, and it features a trans main character. I’ve heard really good thing about this book and I can’t wait to read it (especially because every character is supposed to be queer). The Story of Lizzy and Darcy is an f/f retelling of Pride and Prejudice and you guys know I freaking adore that book, so I’m so down for this book. Wanna Bet? is the second book in Talia Hibbert’s royal romance series and I read book one back in 2018, and fully intend to finish the series! His Cocky Valet is a book I’ve been meaning to read all of 2018 — like, all of 2018, and I just never got around to it. Definitely will this year!
Takeover is the first book in a romance series by Anna Zabo. It’s about a one-night stand between a CEO and his employee, but neither of them know it at the time! Last Couple in Hell hasn’t actually been written yet, but I’m hoping it comes out this year. It’s the second book in KJ Charles’ Green Men series about magic, and featuring an f/f romance. Kill Game is the first book in an m/m series by Cordelia Kingsbridge. I sued to read Cordelia’s books back when she was an original online writer and I actually haven’t read a proper published book by her yet, but I’ve heard this series is amazing. Very excited for it! I’ve never read a Cat Sebastian book before but I’d thought I’d start with The Soldier’s Scoundrel! So many friends seem to love Cat’s books, so here’s hoping I do too, especially as it features a criminal and a gentleman, and I love the romance trope of two very different people from opposite worlds.
I got an unsolicited ARC of Girls and Paper and Fire last year, the day before I went on a holiday, so I didn’t get a chance to read it. Everyone seems to love this f/f fantasy YA romance, and I want to too! The Weight of the Stars is K.A. Ancrum’s second book and since I adored The Wicker King, I just know I’m going to love this one too. It’s about space and girls falling in love with other girls and I just want it already. I recently fell in love with Audrey Coulthurst’s books last year, after I read Of Fire and Stars, and when she announced Starworld I freaked it. It’s about two girls falling in love over text messaging, and it looks gorgeous. I have been meaning to read The Cruel Prince since January last year and I never got the chance, I don’t know why. I’ve never read a Holly Black novel before and I can’t wait for this to be the first.
To say I’m excited for The Red Scrolls of Magic would be a massive understatement! Alec and Magnus are my favourite characters from the Shadowhunters series, so I’m dying to read a book just about them! I’ve wanted to read the Stalking Jack the Ripper series for a while now, but I haven’t had the time! I feel like that’s a common sentiment with me and books in this post. Anyway, I definitely want to read this series sometime this year. Of Ice and Shadows is the second book in the Of Fire and Stars series, and it’s following Mare and Denna after they ran away from the capital. I loved the first book, so here’s hoping I love this one just as much! Fans of the Grisha series collectively screamed when Leigh Bardugo announced Nikolai’s series, myself included. King of Scars is going to kill us and I’m ready to die.
The Edge of the Abyss is the second and last book in The Abyss Surrounds Us duology. I fully intended to read this book last year, but for some reason I forgot? Anyway, I really want to finish this series, so I’ll be getting to this book ASAP. Outrun the Wind is a YA f/f romance about Ancient Greek girls and something to do with Artemis, so freaking count me in. I got an ARC of this last year and while it’s already come out — whoops — I definitely still want to read it. I originally wasn’t interested in The Fever King but then multiple friends got an ARC and have non-stop been screaming about it, and then I found out it has a bisexual main character, and now I won’t stop until I get a chance to read this book. I absolutely adored Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, and when I found out she’s writing a sequel, I passed out a little bit and haven’t stopped thinking about it since. We don’t know much about Wayward Son yet but I believe it’s set about 10 years after Carry On. Maybe? Still excited, either way.
I recently fell in love with Sarah Rees Brennan, through her In Other Lands — which was my favourite book of all of 2018 — and also because she co-writes the Shadowhunter short stories (mainly the ones that are about Alec and Magnus), and so I decided it was time to read more of her books, starting with Unspoken! I think it’s about a girl who’s imaginary friend from childhood shows up one day — very interesting! I only recently discovered Tattoo Atlas — after stalking a friend’s Goodreads profile — and am super keen for it. It’s about a boy named Rem who watches a classmate named Franklin commit a horrific crime; a year later, Rem’s mother selects Franklin as a test subject in her experiment: “curing” violence and evil. I think it’s also queer, so definitely hyped for this book. Red, White & Royal Blue is a YA contemporary about the First Son and the Prince of Wales, who are enemies who have to pretend to be friends but who end up falling in love. Do I have to go on, this already screams me. Long Way Down is another book I’ve been meaning to read for ages. It’s a book in verse, about a young Black teenager who wants to avenge the death of his brother.
The Fifth Season is about three different people who’s lives change after the fall of an Empire. It’s a sci-fi book and I’ve heard nothing but good things. Jade City has been on my TBR since early last year and I want to know why everyone loves it! It’s about a powerful family who make their earnings in selling jade — it looks freaking cool. Everyone seems to really love Beartown and I can’t wait to read it. It’s about a high school hockey team who are trying to make it to the finals, but something devastating happens in their small town. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is yet another book I’ve been wanting to read for ages, especially because so many of my friends seem to love it. It’s a sci-fi adventure novel with an f/f romance — down for it.
I don’t know how I came across Lost Souls but regardless I’m dying to read it. It’s about vampires, and apparently it’s super dark and violent — definitely sounds like a book for me. Miranda in Milan is an f/f retelling of The Tempest. It’s not out yet but it will be sometime this year, and honestly? Shakespeare and gay girls? Yes. I’ve never read a Samantha Shannon book before but when I found out about The Priory of the Orange Tree, I definitely wanted to. It’s about three women who are the only ones who can save their country, but the main reason I wanted to read the book was because of that beautiful cover. Vengeful is the last book in the Vicious duology and I’m dying for it. I loved Vicious and I want more of these violent anti-heroes.
The Charioteer is another book I found by stalking a friend’s Goodreads profile — the same one as before — and I can’t wait to read it. It’s about a young man who is sent to a veterans’ hospital after WWII to convalesce and there he befriends a bright young man, their friendship slowly developing into romance. But then an old mentor arrives and destroys what the men have made. I’ve been wanting to read A Little Life for so long but it also looks so intimidating. It’s set over a couple of decades about four friends’ lives and apparently it’s quite haunting. I can’t even begin to explain how long I’ve been meaning to read The Game of Kings — at least three years now? I want to read it so bad but I’m also already reading a massive fantasy series — Nightrunner — so if I finish Nightrunner this year, I’ll definitely be picking up The Game of Kings.
I’m so freaking excited to read Midnighter and Apollo, the first queer Marvel comic (I believe). After a mysterious villain sends Apollo to the underworld, Midnighter goes to save him. Heck yeah. The Legend of Korra Vol. 2 is the second book in the Korra graphic novels, and the main reason I’m reading this books is because of Korra and Asami — I adore them. I don’t know much about The Lumberjanes but I definitely want to read it. It’s about a group of girl friends who are trying to have a fun summer, but magical quests and supernatural creatures keep getting in their way. You all know I freaking love the Shadowhunters series, my favourite being The Mortal Instruments, and I can’t wait to read the graphic novel about it! Look how pretty it looks!
After I watched Hamilton: The Musical in New York last year, I definitely had to buy the book the entire musical was based on: Alexander Hamilton. It’s about Hamilton’s entire life and I’m so interested by it! I adore Hamilton. I’ve been meaning to read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck for so freaking love, I just have to sit down and read the damn thing. It’s a self-help book, which I’ve never read before, but I’m mildly interested. I’ve literally never read a science book before, but I figured Astrophysics for People in a Hurry would be a good place to start. Neil deGrasse Tyson dumbs down physics for people like me, and that’s probably the only way I’d read it. In Cold Blood is a true-crime novel — one of the first of its kind — about the 1959 murder of a farmer and his family. It’s literally the one best crime novels ever, and I can’t wait to actually read it!