One of my reading troubles in 2016 was that, at any given moment, I didn’t have a clear list of my most important books to get to. This problem prompted me to sit back, look at all the books I own, and come up with a list of the ones I want to prioritize this year. I’m not one of those people who will beat herself up over not getting to all of them, but I think it helps to have a clear list of top books to read. Here they are!
1. The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson — This series has been recommended to me in person several times and by many Booktubers over the past few years. I’ve heard the world-building and magic system in this high fantasy series are both fantastic. I’ve never read anything by Brandon Sanderson besides a bit of The Rithmatist, so I’m curious whether I’ll fall in love with Sanderson’s books and writing style like so many others have. My goal is to read the first book The Final Empire and decide whether to immediately continue on or wait. This is a definite must-start series!
2. At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails by Sarah Bakewell — For Christmas ’16, my dad researched and ordered for me a tall stack of well-rated books. Because he found just them for me, I want to read at least one of them this year. This non-fiction book is about Existentialism and features several key Existentialist philosophers. I’ve read and enjoyed Simone de Beauvoir, so I’m looking forward to reading more about her and the other philosophers. And yay to reading more non-fiction!
3. Getting There: A Book of Memoirs by Gillian Zoe Segal — This is a non-fiction book I’ve mentioned before that a counselor recommended to me and (surprise!) I still haven’t started it. It compiles experience and advice from thirty diverse figures, such as Anderson Cooper and Hans Zimmer, on their roads to success. Maybe I can gather some words of wisdom and inspiration from their stories. It’s been known to happen.
4. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath — I think I’ve related to every quote by Plath I’ve ever read, including many from The Bell Jar. Like this one: “If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I’m neurotic as hell. I’ll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days.” As with a few other books, maybe it’s the fear of relating too much that’s keeping me away? 2017 may be the perfect year to finally read it.
5. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling — This is purely for fun and one of those “why haven’t I already read this?” books. I own it, it’s by JK Rowling, I love the parts I’ve read/seen in the HP series, and it’s really short. There’s truly no reason not to read it.
6. Cress by Marissa Meyer — This is the third book in the sci-fi, fairytale-retelling series called The Lunar Chronicles. I read the first two books a couple years ago but haven’t finished the series because, if you’ll recall, I have a weird thing about finishing series/things in general. I’ve pretty much only heard positive things about the rest of the series, so this would be a good one to continue/finish in 2017. (I haven’t decided whether to read Fairest after Cress, so if anyone has strong opinions about it either way, let me know!)
7. Rebecca by Daphne de Murier — One of my close friends recommended this to me, and she’s had a good track record of recommending books that I’ve enjoyed. (Like the Parasol Protectorate series, an entire series I’ve actually finished! Crazy.) I’d like to see how I enjoy the Gothic Romance genre, since I think I’ve read only one other in the genre, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. And we can all use some more literary romance in our lives, right?
8. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz — I’ve heard nothing but good things about this YA contemporary. I’d love to include more diversity into what I read; this story includes racial minorities, as well as an LGBTQ+ romance, and I’m here for it. And the handful of literary rewards all over the book’s cover has got to mean something!
9. The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III — As someone who loves both graphic novels and Neil Gaiman, this is one I’ve been wondering about for quite a long time. It looks weird and fantastical and possibly disturbing. Overall, I know very little about it, which is often a good thing, but I’ll be sure to report back with my thoughts!
10. The Silkworm by JK Rowling — This is the second of Rowling’s Cormoran Strike mystery series, and after thoroughly enjoying the first book The Cuckoo’s Calling last year, I would like to continue the series this year. Mystery has been one of my most-read genres over the past year, and I will always support anything JK Rowling does because she is an absolute gem.
11. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë — Oh hey, another Gothic Romance novel! This is another classic I’ve heard great things about and I’m entire convinced I’ll enjoy it. And out of the three Brontë sisters, I’ve only read Wuthering Heights by Emily, so I’d love to see how Charlotte’s writing style compares! AND it’s in one of the beautiful clothbound classic editions, so for purely aesthetic reasons I’d love to crack this one open.
Those are my top books to read in 2017! What do you guys think of my list? Are any of these on your TBR? I’d love to hear!
Here’s to a fantastic reading year filled with fantastic books!
xx bits of prose and whimsy