Updated: Jan 8
I made a list of 20 books I want to read in 2020. I will probably read more than 20 books but because I am a mood reader I don't want to plan out my whole reading year. My goal is to finish some series I started in 2019 (or earlier) and to tackle my tbr stack on my shelves. I own 15 of the 20 chosen books, so that's a good start to tackle that stack!
Here we go:
1. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #1) - Ransom Riggs
Although one of my main goals is to finish series, the first book on my list is the first book of a series...
But I own this book since a few months so my tbr stack will get smaller when I read this one! I really liked the movie and that made me buy this book.
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow-impossible though it seems-they may still be alive. A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
2. The Caged Queen (Iskari #2) - Kristen Cicarelli
I listened to the audiobook of The Last Namsara, the first book in this trilogy. I loved it so much, that I asked the three books in the beautiful Dutch edition for Christmas (check out this edition here).
Once there were two sisters born with a bond so strong that it forged them together forever. Roa and Essie called it the hum. It was a magic they cherished—until the day a terrible accident took Essie’s life and trapped her soul in this world.
Dax—the heir to Firgaard’s throne—was responsible for the accident. Roa swore to hate him forever. But eight years later he returned, begging for her help. He was determined to dethrone his cruel father, under whose oppressive reign Roa’s people had suffered.
Roa made him a deal: she’d give him the army he needed if he made her queen. Only as queen could she save her people from Firgaard’s rule.
Then a chance arises to right every wrong—an opportunity for Roa to rid herself of this enemy king and rescue her beloved sister. During the Relinquishing, when the spirits of the dead are said to return, Roa discovers she can reclaim her sister for good.
All she has to do is kill the king.
3. The Sky Weaver (Iskari #3) - Kristen Cicarelli
So book 3 of the Iskari trilogy is also on this list so I can finish the series this year!
Safire, a soldier, knows her role in this world is to serve the King of Firgaard—helping to maintain the peace in her oft-troubled nation.
Eris, a deadly pirate, has no such conviction. Known as the Death Dancer for her ability to evade even the most determined of pursuers, she possesses a superhuman power to move between worlds.
When one can roam from dimension to dimension, can one ever be home? Can love and loyalty truly exist?
Now Safire and Eris—sworn enemies—find themselves on a common mission: to find Asha, the last Namsara. From the port city of Darmoor to the fabled faraway Star Isles, their search and their stories become woven ever more tightly together as they discover the uncertain fate they’re hurtling towards may just be a shared one. In this world—and the next.
4. Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl is one of the few standalone books on this list. It has been on my tbr list for a couple of years now. But recently I managed to buy this book for a really low price, so now that I own it I really feel the pressure to read it this year!
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan..
But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
5 - 7. The Plains of Passage / The Shelters of Stone / The Land of Painted Caves (Earth Children #4-6) - Jean M. Auel
One of the series I already started 3 years ago and now want to finish is the Earth Children series. It is one of my favorite series, and I keep putting it of to read them because I don't want this series to finish. But this way I don't enjoy it either... so I am putting them on my 2020 tbr list.
Earth's Children is a series of epic historical fiction novels written by Jean M. Auel set circa 30,000 years before present. There are six novels in the series. Auel had previously mentioned in interviews that there would be a seventh novel, but publicity announcements for the sixth confirmed it would be the final book in the sequence.
The series is set in Europe during the Upper Paleolithic era, after the date of the first ceramics discovered, but before the last advance of glaciers. The books focus on the period of co-existence between Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals.
As a whole, the series is a tale of personal discovery: coming-of-age, invention, cultural complexities, and, beginning with the second book, explicit romantic sex. It tells the story of Ayla, an orphaned Cro-Magnon girl who is adopted and raised by a tribe of Neanderthals and who later embarks on a journey to find the Others (her own kind), meeting along the way her romantic interest and supporting co-protagonist, Jondalar.
The story arc in part comprises a travel tale, in which the two lovers journey from the region of Ukraine to Jondalar's home in what is now France, along an indirect route up the Danube River valley. In the third and fourth works, they meet various groups of Cro-Magnons and encounter their culture and technology. The couple finally return to southwestern France and Jondalar's people in the fifth novel. The series includes a highly detailed focus on botany, herbology, herbal medicine, archaeology and anthropology, but it also features substantial amounts of romance, coming-of-age crises, and—employing significant literary license—the attribution of certain advances and inventions to the protagonists.
8. Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) - Jay Kristoff
Another series I want to finish is The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff. Nevernight is one of my favorite fantasy novels!
Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church hierarchy think she's far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she's no closer to ending the men who destroyed her familia; in fact, she's told directly that Consul Scaeva is off limits. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia's suspicions about the Red Church's true motives begin to grow.
9. Darkdown (The Nevernight Chronicle #3) - Jay Kristoff
Of course the third and last book of The Nevernight Chronicle series is also on the list.
A ruthless young assassin's journey for revenge comes to a stunning end in the conclusion of this acclaimed epic fantasy trilogy.
The Republic of Itreya is in chaos. Mia Corvere has assassinated Cardinal Duomo and rumors of Consul Scaeva’s death ripple through the street of Godsgrave like wildfire. But buried beneath those same streets, deep in the ancient city’s bones, lies a secret that will change the Republic forever.
Mia and her brother Jonnen must journey through the depths of the ancient metropolis. Their quest will take them through the Godsgrave underdark, across the Sea of Swords, back to the library of the Quiet Mountain and the poisoned blades of Mia’s old mentors, and at last the fabled Crown of the Moon. There, Mia will at last discover the origins of the darkin, and learn the destiny that lies in store for her and her world. But with the three suns now in descent, and Truedark on the horizon, will she survive?
10. The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy #2) - Katherine Arden
The third trilogy I have only read one book of and I want to finish in 2020 is the Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden.
I really loved the setting, history and mythology in the first book The Bear and the Nightingale.
The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.
Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.
11. The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3) - Katherine Arden
Book eleven on this list is no surprise after book ten.
Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias, the seen and the unseen.
Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny
uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.
12. Dialogue - Robert McKee
The first of two non-fiction books on the list!
I read Story by Robert McKee and his insights helped my writing for both film and book projects. So I immediately added Dialogue to my tbr list after finishing Story.
The long-awaited follow-up to the perennially bestselling writers' guide Story, from the most sought-after expert in the art of storytelling.
Robert McKee's popular writing workshops have earned him an international reputation. The list of alumni with Oscars runs off the page. The cornerstone of his program is his singular book, Story, which has defined how we talk about the art of story creation.
Now, in DIALOGUE, McKee offers the same in-depth analysis for how characters speak on the screen, on the stage, and on the page in believable and engaging ways. From Macbeth to Breaking Bad, McKee deconstructs key scenes to illustrate the strategies and techniques of dialogue. DIALOGUE applies a framework of incisive thinking to instruct the prospective writer on how to craft artful, impactful speech. Famous McKee alumni include Peter Jackson, Jane Campion, Geoffrey Rush, Paul Haggis, the writing team for Pixar, and many others.
13. Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1) - Leigh Bardugo
A series I want to start is The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. I heard so many good things about her books and I want to catch up before the TV-series comes out.
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.
14. Little Women - Louisa M. Alcott
Little Women is the first of two classics on this list. I want to read this book before I watch the new film!
Generations of readers young and old, male and female, have fallen in love with the March sisters of Louisa May Alcott’s most popular and enduring novel, Little Women. Here are talented tomboy and author-to-be Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic, spoiled Amy, united in their devotion to each other and their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War.
It is no secret that Alcott based Little Women on her own early life. While her father, the freethinking reformer and abolitionist Bronson Alcott, hobnobbed with such eminent male authors as Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne, Louisa supported herself and her sisters with "woman’s work,” including sewing, doing laundry, and acting as a domestic servant. But she soon discovered she could make more money writing. Little Women brought her lasting fame and fortune, and far from being the "girl’s book” her publisher requested, it explores such timeless themes as love and death, war and peace, the conflict between personal ambition and family responsibilities, and the clash of cultures between Europe and America.
15. Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables #1) - L.M. Montgomery
The second classic on the list!
As soon as Anne Shirley arrives at the snug white farmhouse called Green Gables, she is sure she wants to stay forever . . . but will the Cuthberts send her back to to the orphanage? Anne knows she's not what they expected—a skinny girl with fiery red hair and a temper to match. If only she can convince them to let her stay, she'll try very hard not to keep rushing headlong into scrapes and blurting out the first thing that comes to her mind. Anne is not like anyone else, the Cuthberts agree; she is special—a girl with an enormous imagination. This orphan girl dreams of the day when she can call herself Anne of Green Gables.
16. The Eye of The World (The Wheel of Time #1) - Robert Jordan
The Wheel of Time series is one of the best rated epic fantasy series. I already read the first two books in this series but it couldn't grab my attention enough to start the third one. However, people keep telling me how amazing this series is, so I'll give it another try. I will reread the first book because I don't remember the story very well.
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.
17. The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
I had the same problem with the Lord of the Rings series as with The Wheel of Time series. It just couldn't grab my attention. The main reason is the writing style. I felt too immature to me. Now I think I might have made the wrong choice to read a translation. I want to give the series another chance in their original language, starting with the Hobbit (which I haven't read yet).
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.
Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent.
18. A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5) - George R.R. Martin
I am a big George R.R. Martin and A Song of Ice and Fire fan. I read all the books in this series, but because the next book in the series might finally come out this year, I want to reread the last published book. Because I watched the TV-series Game of Thrones I don't remember well what happened in the books and what only happened in the TV-series.
A Song of Ice and Fire takes place in a fictional world in which seasons last for years and end unpredictably. Nearly three centuries before the events of the first novel, the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros were united under the Targaryen dynasty by Aegon I and his sister-wives Visenya and Rhaenys, establishing military supremacy through their control of dragons. The Targaryen dynasty ruled for three hundred years, although civil war and infighting among the Targaryens was frequent. Due to being held and bred in captivity, their dragons became ever smaller until they finally went extinct. At the beginning of A Game of Thrones, 15 peaceful years have passed since the rebellion led by Lord Robert Baratheon that deposed and killed the last Targaryen king, Aerys II "the Mad King", and proclaimed Robert king of the Seven Kingdoms, with a nine-year-long summer coming to an end.
The principal story chronicles the power struggle for the Iron Throne among the great Houses of Westeros following the death of King Robert in A Game of Thrones. Robert's heir apparent, the 13-year-old Joffrey, is immediately proclaimed king through the machinations of his mother, Queen Cersei Lannister. When Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark, Robert's closest friend and chief advisor, discovers that Joffrey and his siblings are the product of incest between Cersei and her twin brother Ser Jaime "The Kingslayer" Lannister, Eddard attempts to unseat Joffrey, but is betrayed and executed for treason. In response, Robert's brothers Stannis and Renly both lay separate claims to the throne. During this period of instability, two of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros attempt to become independent from the Iron Throne: Eddard's eldest son Robb is proclaimed King in the North, while Lord Balon Greyjoy desires to recover the sovereignty of his region, the Iron Islands.
19. The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1) - Brandon Sanderson
I want to start another series by one of the best rated fantasy authors: The Stormlight Archive series.
I long for the days before the Last Desolation.
The age before the Heralds abandoned us and the Knights Radiant turned against us. A time when there was still magic in the world and honor in the hearts of men.
The world became ours, and yet we lost it. Victory proved to be the greatest test of all. Or was that victory illusory? Did our enemies come to recognize that the harder they fought, the fiercer our resistance? Fire and hammer will forge steel into a weapon, but if you abandon your sword, it eventually rusts away.
There are four whom we watch. The first is the surgeon, forced to forsake healing to fight in the most brutal war of our time. The second is the assassin, a murderer who weeps as he kills. The third is the liar, a young woman who wears a scholar's mantle over the heart of a thief. The last is the prince, a warlord whose eyes have opened to the ancient past as his thirst for battle wanes.
The world can change. Surgebinding and Shardwielding can return; the magics of ancient days become ours again. These four people are key.
One of them may redeem us. And one of them will destroy us.
From Brandon Sanderson-who completed Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time-comes The Stormlight Archive, an ambitious new fantasy epic in a unique, richly imagined setting. Roshar is a world relentlessly blasted by awesome tempests, where emotions take on physical form, and terrible secrets hide deep beneath the rocky landscape.
Speak again the ancient oaths Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination. and return to men the Shards they once bore. The Knights Radiant must stand again!
20. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs - Steve Brusatte
Last but not least, the second non-fiction book on the list: The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs.
I don't read a lot of non-fiction books but I try to read one once in a while because it makes me feel smarter...
Brusatte traces the evolution of dinosaurs from their inauspicious start as small shadow dwellers—themselves the beneficiaries of a mass extinction caused by volcanic eruptions at the beginning of the Triassic period—into the dominant array of species every wide-eyed child memorizes today, T. rex, Triceratops, Brontosaurus, and more. This gifted scientist and writer re-creates the dinosaurs’ peak during the Jurassic and Cretaceous, when thousands of species thrived, and winged and feathered dinosaurs, the prehistoric ancestors of modern birds, emerged. The story continues to the end of the Cretaceous period, when a giant asteroid or comet struck the planet and nearly every dinosaur species (but not all) died out, in the most extraordinary extinction event in earth’s history, one full of lessons for today as we confront a “sixth extinction.”
Brusatte also recalls compelling stories from his globe-trotting expeditions during one of the most exciting eras in dinosaur research—which he calls “a new golden age of discovery”—and offers thrilling accounts of some of the remarkable findings he and his colleagues have made, including primitive human-sized tyrannosaurs; monstrous carnivores even larger than T. rex; and paradigm-shifting feathered raptors from China.
To those who noticed the book SPQR in the photo: I replaced it last minute with Little Women...
That's it! Have you read any of these books? What did you think?
Let's come back to this list at the end of the year and see which books I actually read!