Top 10 books I want to read in 2021

Blog post where I talk about the ten books I really want to read in 2021.

Hello there lovely reader! It’s time for post numéro two in my end of the year ‘series’. Today I will be listing the 10 books that I really want to get to in 2021. I won’t be including any 2021 releases, because I already made a blog post about those last week. You can find that here, if you’re interested. So no let’s get into the 10 books I need to read in 2021!

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

I honestly don’t really know what it is about this book, but I have such an urge to read it. I haven’t read any other books by Matt Haig but I just need to read this one. Maybe it has to do with the fact that it made so many readers cry?

The Secret History by Donna Tart

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and for ever.

I have fallen in love with every dark academia book I’ve read so far. The Secret History is a classic in that subgenre, so it’s a given that I have to read it soon. I’m always here for a good dark academia.

Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Powers

Ever since Margot was born, it’s been just her and her mother. No answers to Margot’s questions about what came before. No history to hold on to. No relative to speak of. Just the two of them, stuck in their run-down apartment, struggling to get along.

But that’s not enough for Margot. She wants family. She wants a past. And she just found the key she needs to get it: A photograph, pointing her to a town called Phalene. Pointing her home. Only, when Margot gets there, it’s not what she bargained for.

Margot’s mother left for a reason. But was it to hide her past? Or was it to protect Margot from what’s still there?

The only thing Margot knows for sure is there’s poison in their family tree, and their roots are dug so deeply into Phalene that now that she’s there, she might never escape.

Wilder Girls by Rory Powers is one of my favourite books, so I preordered Burn Our Bodies Down from the moment it was announced, but I still haven’t read it. And it’s been almost half a year since it was published. This year Rory Powers is not coming out with another book, so I have time before she releases her newest book in 2022 to read this one.

Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray

Warning: synopsis contains spoilers for the previous books in this series!

After battling a supernatural sleeping sickness that claimed two of their own, the Diviners have had enough lies. They’re more determined than ever to uncover the mystery behind their extraordinary powers, even as they face off against an all-new terror. Out on Ward’s Island, far from the city’s bustle, sits a mental hospital haunted by the lost souls of people long forgotten–ghosts who have unusual and dangerous ties to the man in the stovepipe hat, also known as the King of Crows.

With terrible accounts of murder and possession flooding in from all over and New York City on the verge of panic, the Diviners must band together and brave the sinister ghosts invading the asylum, a fight that will bring them face-to-face with the King of Crows. But as the explosive secrets of the past come to light, loyalties and friendships will be tested, love will hang in the balance, and the Diviners will question all that they’ve ever known. All the while, malevolent forces gather from every corner in a battle for the very soul of a nation–a fight that could claim the Diviners themselves.

I adored the Diviners and Lair of Dreams and tried reading this one in February of this year. However, I fell in a reading slump so I only got around 100 pages in. So it really is time to read this one and then move on to the final book in this quartet, so I can tick off another series of my “currently in the middle of” list.

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences. After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for…

I’m always on the look out for more fantasy books with quite some political and/or religious intrigue, those are my favourites. This book series always pops up in recommendations when I’m looking for those type of books, so I’m really excited to read it!

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

It is the summer of 1940. Nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris arrives in New York with her suitcase and sewing machine, exiled by her despairing parents. Although her quicksilver talents with a needle and commitment to mastering the perfect hair roll have been deemed insufficient for her to pass into her sophomore year of Vassar, she soon finds gainful employment as the self-appointed seamstress at the Lily Playhouse, her unconventional Aunt Peg’s charmingly disreputable Manhattan revue theatre. There, Vivian quickly becomes the toast of the showgirls, transforming the trash and tinsel only fit for the cheap seats into creations for goddesses.

Exile in New York is no exile at all: here in this strange wartime city of girls, Vivian and her girlfriends mean to be free, to get up to no good, to drink the heady highball of life itself to the last drop. And when the legendary English actress Edna Watson comes to the Lily to star in the company’s most ambitious show ever, Vivian is entranced by the magic that follows in the wake of this true, true star.

But there are hard lessons to be learned, and bitterly regrettable mistakes to be made. Vivian learns that to live the life she wants, she must live many lives, ceaselessly and ingeniously making them new.

Multiple readers have compared this book to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. And if you know me, you know that’s my all time favourite book. So naturally I have to read this.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

Once again, I’m always looking for more fantasy series. I don’t think this one has a lot of political intrigue, but what sold me on this series is that the characters really feel the consequenses of their actions. For example when they’re badly hurt, they actually have to recover and you see that happen in the book. Which is something I miss often in fantasy. Sometimes characters are stabbed nearly to dead but they still can walk around two days later like it’s nothing, and stuff like that really bothers me. So I’m curious to see how Samantha Shannon wrote that in this book!

Horrid by Katrina Leno

Following her father’s death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor’s doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone…and more tormented.

As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident “bad seed,” struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane’s mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won’t reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the “storage room” her mom has kept locked isn’t for storage at all–it’s a little girl’s bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears….

Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more…horrid?

This just sounds like such a good, spooky book. And the cover gives me Wilder Girls vibes, so I need to read this! Because good YA horror is something I’m always looking for as well.

People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins

People kill people. Guns just make it easier.

A gun is sold in the classifieds after killing a spouse, bought by a teenager for needed protection. But which was it? Each has the incentive to pick up a gun, to fire it. Was it Rand or Cami, married teenagers with a young son? Was it Silas or Ashlyn, members of a white supremacist youth organization? Daniel, who fears retaliation because of his race, who possessively clings to Grace, the love of his life? Or Noelle, who lost everything after a devastating accident, and has sunk quietly into depression?

One tense week brings all six people into close contact in a town wrought with political and personal tensions. Someone will fire. And someone will die. But who?

Ever since I heard about this book, I’ve been so intrigued by it. However, it’s written in verse, which was not something I had read when I added this to my TBR early 2019. Now I know that I can really love books written in verse, so 2021 will be the year where I finally read this book that has been intriguing me for almost two years now.

The House in the Cerulean Sea

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

If there’s one book I haven’t heard a single bad thing about, it’s this one. Everyone seems to love it. And I have to admit it sounds so amazing, so I’ll have to give it a try in 2021 to see what all the fuss is about.

And those were my ten books I really want to get to in 2021. It’s a mix of books I own, books from the library, audiobooks and books I need to buy. So fingers crossed I’ll get to all of these in 2021!

Don’t forget to also share a book or multiple books you really want to get to in 2021!

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