TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books I should have read in 2020
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.
There were a lot of books that I meant to read in 2020, so I’ve already done a couple of videos and posts discussing them. Because of that, this list isn’t going to include any of the books I skipped in 2020 or the books I already mentioned in my books I should have read in 2020 video over on my Booktube channel, and I also won’t be mentioning any of the books on my 25 Before 25 list.
That being said I still have plenty of books to talk about, so it’s get on with it!
10. Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus
It wasn’t until I started preparing this post that I realised I still haven’t read Karen M. McManus’s second novel. I was highly anticipating the release of The Cousins after reading and enjoying both One of Us is Lying and One of Us is Next, but somehow managed to skip her second book! At least this means I still have two Karen M. McManus mysteries to read and enjoy, and I’ll definitely be picking up one (if not both) of them in 2021.
9. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
This is going to be a reread for me, which is probably why it slipped through the net. I want to reread the Grisha trilogy before moving on with the Six of Crows duology and (eventually) the King of Scars duology, but I didn’t love the Grisha trilogy first time around so I’m kind of putting it off. I will be rereading these with Sean, and I know for a fact that he’s not going to enjoy them, so I also don’t want to put up with him complaining the whole time! Unfortunately he’s way too interested in Six of Crows and has been warned that you should read the Grisha trilogy first, so he has no choice but to suffer through this series with me.
I am lowkey excited about the upcoming adaptation, particularly as Ben Barnes has been cast as The Darkling and that is superb casting. Hopefully the show will be more engaging and enjoyable than I found the books to be.
8. Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
At the start of 2020 I binged the Raven Cycle series and read Call Down the Hawk, and I found myself determined to finally read more of Maggie Stiefvater’s older novels. Lament is definitely a TBR veteran – I’ve had it for far longer than I should have without reading it – but unfortunately I still haven’t picked it up. This is probably because I have mixed feelings about faerie books and haven’t found one that I’ve loved in quite a long time. Perhaps Lament will change that!
Hopefully I will feel the same excitement for Maggie Stiefvater’s writing after Mister Impossible is released in May, and I will finally get around to reading this duology (and The Scorpio Races, which has also been on my shelf for far too long!).
However, while getting the cover for this novel I’ve just discovered that there was supposed to be a third book and it never got released. Now I’m torn between reading the first two and waiting for the mythical third one (which was supposed to be released in 2013, and is still nowhere to be seen!). Conflicting…
7. The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant
I’ll be honest, I didn’t know a darn thing about The Court of Miracles when I requested a copy on NetGalley. All I knew was that it had a GORGEOUS cover and everyone was raving about how beautiful it was and look – can you blame them? And can you blame me, for getting swept away in the excitement?
Unfortunately, it wasn’t until my NetGalley request had already been accepted that I learnt that The Court of Miracles is a Les Misérables retelling. That wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if I didn’t have such a conflicting relationship with books set throughout French history. Enjoyed Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn, hated Enchantée by Gita Trelease, no idea how I’m going to feel about The Court of Miracles because I’m too scared to pick it up. Oops.
6. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
I thought I enjoyed Red Queen more than I actually did. This is probably because it’s a favourite of one of my very close friends and she was extremely hyped that I was picking it up, so I got carried away by her excitement (noticing a trend?!).
When I finished Red Queen I was determined to pick up Glass Sword straight away… But it’s been nine months now, and I still haven’t read it. I have also successfully forgotten most of the events of Red Queen. I’m a mess.
This is still a series I would like to finish at some point, because I liked Victoria Aveyard’s writing and some of the scenes are still vibrantly alive in my mind, but I’m not sure how long it’s going to take.
5. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
I should have read the first book in the An Ember in the Ashes quartet back in 2015 when it was first published. I had a special edition hardback pre-ordered, my friend ended up gifting me her ARC and my excitement for the start of this series was through the roof.
Unfortunately, I still haven’t started it.
That being said, the last book in the quartet was released in November and I have ordered the Fairyloot special edition set, so I will be reading these as soon as they arrive. It will be nice to be able to binge the series and discover Laia and Elias’s story without needing to wait for each new installment to arrive.
4. Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan
I only read Wicked Saints in October, but I’m excited about carrying on with this series and I wish I’d done it already.
Although I only gave the first book in the series three stars and found it quite predictable, there’s something about this world and these characters that leaves me wanting more.
I’ve even put the third book, Blessed Monsters, on my five star predictions list. If that isn’t proof that I think this series is going to dramatically improve (or that I’m a naive optimist) then I don’t know what is!
3. Carrie by Stephen King
Another reread, Carrie is a book that I read in one sitting when I was younger and really enjoyed. To say that I was surprised when Sean said he hadn’t picked it up yet is an understatement!
We read IT by Stephen King back in October, and I will admit that I didn’t love it. It made me determined to read Carrie to Sean so I could show him my favourite Stephen King novel (so far!), so the next time we saw my mum I borrowed her copy… Which is still sitting on our staircase, neglected. Sorry Mum.
This is definitely a book that we’ll be picking up at some point in 2021.
2. The Waste Lands by Stephen King
Two Stephen King books in a row! In 2020 we started the Dark Tower series and read the first two books, but we have struggled to fit the third installment in the series onto a TBR since.
It doesn’t help that I’m not a huge fan of Stephen King’s writing in these books. They are stuffed to the brim with racial stereotypes, and although I understand that that is because they were written in the 80s it still isn’t something that I can excuse.
I’m hoping that his portrayal of Odetta is going to become more nuanced and that the characters are going to start giving her some respect, because if they don’t I’m going to struggle to get through the rest of this series.
1. The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan
Top of this list had to be The Shadow Rising. We read a book from the Wheel of Time series three months in a row but we postponed reading the fourth one because we had to read IT. Unfortunately, we haven’t got the ball rolling on these chunky boys again quite yet.
I absolutely love the first three books in the Wheel of Time series, and I’m convinced that the rest of the installments are probably going to get five stars. Robert Jordan’s writing is so easy to digest, and I am already so attached to these characters! I wouldn’t be surprised if we finished this series in 2021.
Thank you for reading this week’s Top Ten Tuesday post! If you have read and would recommend any of the books in this post, please leave a comment down below – it might help me finally get around to picking one up.