2020 has been a decent reading year so far. My goal was to read 12 books, and so far I’ve read 19. It’s still not as much as I used to read, but it’s a big improvement from last year. May and June were great months because I finally got back to a place where I felt like I was enjoying what I was reading and wanting to read.
Because I’m doing so well and I’ve been trying to get through more of the books on my TBR (most of the books on my shelf are unread), I thought I’d share some of the books I want to read in the second half of this year.
10. The Green Mile by Stephen King.
I was supposed to read this in 2019 with a friend of mine as part of a year-long buddy read. But we ended up not sticking to it and I never ended up reading this.
Since this is one of King’s books that isn’t about demons or monsters or something like that, I was more inclined to agreeing to read this. As far as I know, this is really just a sad, twisted mystery. And that interests me a lot more than reading about demons and ghosts. Or clowns. Because I hate clowns.
Having never read one of King’s books before, I feel like it’s time for me to change that. Just not with one of his horror novels that would actually keep me awake. This seems more my speed and I have a feeling that I would just like it a lot better. Also, I never plan on stepping into the horror genre because my imagination is far too active for something like that, so I think sticking to The Green Mile is a better idea.
9. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
This would actually be a re-read. I haven’t read this story in a physical version before, which probably surprises many people because this is one of my favorite classics. But I actually listened to several classics from LibriVox during my early teen years. I always knew I wanted to own and read the story eventually, and when I came across this cover, I knew I had to have it.
The story of Anne Shirley has been close to my heart for a long time. I think that some part of me shares her sentiments in getting lost in stories, though I haven’t destroyed anything or gotten into trouble because of daydreaming. Another part of me, a greater part of me, understands her impulsiveness and quick temper. It’s not common for literature to showcase a female main character with a quick temper that grows out of it in some ways, but still retains much of the impulsiveness and fiery personality. And it’s not common for that to be portrayed as beneficial to the character.
This also has some of the best stories of friendship and love. The friendship that Anne and Diana have is so sweet and I always enjoyed watching it grow as they got older. The concept of family love is also very well explored in this series and I like that a lot. Also, Gilbert Blythe. Not much else needs to be said. So I think it’s finally time for me to read this in physical form.
8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
Another classic that I listened to in my early teen years, I’ve actually been meaning to re-read this for a number of reasons. Firstly, I listened to it because I couldn’t get through reading the physical version. I was too young when I first tried, and it was hard for 8-year old me to understand what was actually going on.
Secondly, I want to watch the movie. Both the old and the new one. I’ve seen the beginning of the old one and always wanted to finish it. Now that the new one has come out too, I really want to see how both on-screen versions compare with the book.
Lastly, this is a classic that my mom recommended and bought for me. Part of me feels bad that I never read the copy she bought for me (I also have no idea where it is today), and part of me feels like I’m finally old enough to understand the story on my own. Oh, and I will always stand by the fact that Jo and Laurie should have ended up together. I will eventually be reading the Jo and Laurie book that was published last year about what might have been different if Jo realized she did love Laurie and they actually got together. I will never accept any other ship when it comes to this story.
7. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.
From what I’ve heard, this book takes a long time to get through and I should be prepared to be emotionally drained. I’ve wanted to read one of Tartt’s books for awhile now because I know she’s really well-regarded in the world of literary fiction. I haven’t done much (if any) reading in the literary fiction genre, and this is one of the few books that interests me. I think. I actually don’t really know what this is about.
But somehow, I feel like not knowing anything about it would actually help me as I read this. I know that a lot of people love it and I know that many other people were bored by it. I don’t really know where I will fall on that spectrum, but I do want to give it a try and at least say that I’ve read something by her. I also have The Secret History, but this book has been calling out to me for a long time and I need to do something about that.
6. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins.
Mostly, I just need to get this trilogy over and done with. I read Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door ages ago. It was so long ago, I really only want to read this so I can be done with the books.
There’s not much about it that interests me anymore, except that I know the male love interest in this book, Josh, reminds me a lot of one of my best friends from high school. Who shares the same name. And whom I may have really liked for quite awhile. But that’s besides the point.
I also remember very little about the first two books, so thankfully these are just companion novels. I do think it’ll be interesting to see where Anna and Etienné and Lola and Cricket are now, but really, I just want to read this and be able to give it to someone else who would appreciate it more.
5. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas.
This might come as a surprise to some people, especially considering how much I loved the first two books and the novella bind-up. I stopped reading this series in 2017 because I was so annoyed by Rowan. Yes, he is the reason I stopped reading.
The story itself still interests me a lot, but I have never liked Rowan and I don’t like what happened to the story after he was introduced. I will always stand by the opinion that Maas ruined Chaol’s character in order to bring Rowan in as a love interest, and nothing can change my mind about that. The Chaol that we see in Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows is nothing like the Chaol I know and love from Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight. And I will always be angry about this because I loved Chaol so much.
Am I excited to read about the story again? Yes. Am I excited to read about Rowan? Absolutely not. Will I bear with that so I can finally finish the series? Yes. And I will likely continue to complain about Rowan for the rest of my life. In the future, I might just do a whole blog post or video about why I dislike him and about how much I hate the alpha male trope.
4. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.
This one is kind of cheating because I think I’ll be getting to it quite soon. And it does involve me wanting to read the whole Raven Cycle quartet.
I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this for years and I feel like it would be right up my alley. The covers are stunning. I want to know who the Raven Boys are. I want to understand the jokes. And I want to know why Lala from BooksAndLala does an annual re-read of this for new people to fall in love with the series.
Oh, and since a TV show is supposed to come out at some point, I really want to get on this before that happens.
3. China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan.
I read the first book during Asian Readathon in May and really loved it. It’s also no secret that I love the movie a lot and have seen it several times. This trilogy has been on my list for a really long time, and now that I’ve started it, I want to finish it. Wow, I might actually be trying to read and finish several series this year, something I almost never do because I’m in the middle of so many.
The book reminds me of home a lot. Both Hong Kong and Singapore. Though I never really lived in Singapore, I do miss the food a lot. And this book talks about the food a lot. It’s also just nice to see my home country and the countries I lived in while growing up be represented in a book that is so popular now. It’s nice to see myself represented and have it be done properly and accurately. It’s nice to not be surprised that there are Asian characters and to see them play something more than a sidekick role.
2. Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa.
This is another trilogy that I started this year and need to finish. I read Shadow of the Fox during the Asian Readathon and fell in love with the world entirely. It’s currently still my favorite book of the year. And I loved it so much that I made Maggie read it, lending her my copy so she could experience the world. I’m currently reading this one, so I’m at least checking one of these books of my list.
The world of Japanese mythology made me so happy for a multitude of reasons. I’ve loved Japanese culture since I got into anime, and this taught me so much more about the mythology I’ve only experienced in snippets from anime and random stories. The characters are also so pure and wonderful, I want to protect them at all costs. Yumeko and Tatsumi have my heart entirely and I need to know what happens next. There’s also the element of the Japanese language that is in the book that I love. It tests my knowledge of Japanese language after nearly a decade of watching anime. I love that the language is actually a part of the story and that it’s done in a perfectly natural way because Kagawa is Japanese and this is an own-voices book.
Also, who doesn’t love a slow burn romance? It’s one of my favorite things about these books and I’m excited to see where it’ll go in the sequels.
1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab.
Okay, this one is kind of cheating because the book isn’t even out yet. But I will pre-order it once I have my living situation figured out a little more.
V.E. Schwab has yet to do me wrong with any of her books and I am super excited to read this. She’s been talking about this ever since I started following her on Twitter almost five years ago. It’s a book that has been close to her heart for years as she’s worked toward being a good enough writer to tell it properly and perfectly. For those reasons, this book is close to my heart too. Seeing the announcement that this would finally be published made me super excited and I know I’m going to love it.
This also gives me an excuse to start collecting her other books because I do need to start my Victoria Schwab collection soon if I eventually want to have a whole bookshelf of her books in different editions. Yes, I will be that reader. No one can stop me. I’m an adult.
There are plenty of other books on my shelf that I really need to get to, but these are the ones that stood out to me the most for one reason or another. Now that I’ve put this list out on the Internet, I’m hoping that it’ll also keep me accountable to actually read most, if not all of these books.
I’m curious to know if you’ve read any of these books, if any of them are on your immediate TBRs too, or if you have other books that you really want to get to before the year ends.