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Every year, I like to make a list of books I want to read in the upcoming year because I feel like there are books that I always wanted to read but I never get around reading them. 📚
I like to read about 100 books a year and that’s why I make a priority list to ensure I read the books I’ve always wanted to read!
You can read my top 20 books of 2020 here.
This list of books covers many genres: personal finance and non-fiction, fiction, young adult, children books, some sequels, a graphic novel, a memoir, horror, and etc.
The only kinds of books not included in this list are 1) poetry collections and 2) classics. Why? Because I aim to read one poetry book and one classic book a month and therefore, I have added those onto two other lists.
Here are the 21 books I want to read in 2021!
1. “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion
“The Year of Magical Thinking” is an autobiography of well-known American writer Joan Didion. This book discusses the good and the bad of life as well as touches on topics of death, grief, marriage, love, and family.
This book has been so highly acclaimed and well-loved by other writers, and, I am both thrilled and afraid to read it because I don’t know if I have the emotional capacity of reading such a raw book.
2. “Revolutionary Road” by Richard Yates
I’ll admit that I really want to read “Revolutionary Road” in order to be able to watch the 2008 movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
This book is said to be a great portrayal of American suburban life. It focuses on a talented couple Frank and April Wheeler as they betray each other and themselves for the pursue of greatness in this desolate suburban life.
3. “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng
“Little Fires Everywhere” is another book that follows American suburban life, in Cleveland.
A mother-daughter pair, the mother being Mia Warren – enter this tight knit suburban town. Mia rents a house from the tightly ordered Richardsons.
One day, family friends of the Richardsons come over (these friends are in the process of adopting a child) and suddenly Mrs Richardson wants to uncover newcomer Mia Warren’s past at all cost.
In this matter, this book deeply explores the thematic of motherhood.
This book has also been adapted into screen as a TV series. It seems super mysterious and I can’t wait to read the book and watch the show.
4. “My Dark Vanessa” by Kate Elizabeth Russell
“My Dark Vanessa” is a deep psychological book dealing with a heavy topic. When Vanessa was a teen she got involved in an affair with her professor.
Fast forward a few years, and this same professor is facing allegations for sexual abuse. A former student of this professor reaches out to Vanessa and the story starts to unravel from there.
Vanessa needs to confront her past and revisit her memories in order to decide if she should remain silent or come forth with her story.
And just maybe the events of her past were not as they once seemed to be.
5. “The Hating Game” by Sally Thorne
I already briefly started “The Hating Game” as it is a quick and fun office romance.
It follows Lucy Hutton who hates her coworker Joshua. She finds him frustrating and participates in this game of one-upping him as much as she can.
But suddenly, things take a weird turn when she starts having hot, inappropriate dreams about him. And it gets more complicated when he kisses her in the elevator.
SEE ALSO: 15 Romance Books for Valentine’s Day
6. “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel
“Station Eleven” is a post-pandemic like book and is very relevant to our times.
This apocalyptic book follows a traveling theatre group called the Traveling Symphony as they navigate the remains of society.
“Station Eleven” is apparently very hopeful as it highlights the resilience of people towards catastrophe.
7. “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt
“The Goldfinch” follows a boy named Theo who loses his mother during an accident that he survives. He clings to a piece of art that reminds him of his mother as he is abandoned by his father to live with a wealthy family friend.
The story then follows Theo in his adulthood in which he finds himself in dangerous circles revolving around art and antiques.
I absolutely loved “The Secret History” the first book I ever read by Donna Tartt and now I need to read all of her books; there aren’t many (only three 😢) but I need to read them all. And absorb them all.
Additionally, “The Goldfinch” has also been adapted into a movie.
SEE ALSO: Top 20 Books I Read in 2020
8. “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara
“A Little Life” follows four college classmates that are friends. They move to New York in search for fame and success.
But the story follows one character primarily – Jude – who is reserved by unspeakable childhood trauma.
This book is said to be really heartbreaking. It is a very large book but other readers seem to fly through this one. And end the book as a sobbing mess. (Hence, my aversion to the emotional pain.)
9. “Magic for Liars” by Sarah Gailey
I want to read “Magic for Liars” because I am trying to read every Dark Academia like book in the coming year in preparation for the novel I want to write.
The story follows Ivy Gamble who’s a private investigator. She doesn’t want to do anything concerning magic but then a murder happens at the private academy of Tabitha, who is a very magically gifted professor. And it is up to Ivy to solve the mystery revolving her estranged sister’s academy.
10. “All About Love” by bell hooks
In “All About Love,” bell hooks explores the many facets and meanings surrounding ‘love’ as she presents feminist undertones and a new lens towards this topic. She also focuses a lot on community and exploring cultural paradigms when discussing all about love.
11. “Push” by Sapphire
“Push” follows the harrowing story of Precious Jones who is an illiterate sixteen-year-old. She is severely mistreated by both of her parents but it is rendered invisible towards the authorities who just sees her as one more Harlem teen. But then Precious meets a radical teacher and she learns through this new education how to write about her life. And consequently, to transform her own life.
12. “Daisy Jones & The Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid
“Daisy Jones & The Six” is a book about a made-up iconic 1970s rock group. This book explores the group’s process to fame as well as their eventual break-up. The book also explores the L.A. lifestyle of the 70s highlight of sex, drugs, and rock & roll.
It is a deep character study of the members of this fictional group through interviews.
13. “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham
“The Intelligent Investor” is a very daunting read to me but I am excited for the challenge due to its acclaim. I am starting investing in 2021 and would love any tips and guidelines from the best.
This one is referred as the bible of the Stock Market.
I am embarking in my own personal finance educational journey, which will help me towards my financial freedom journey.
14. “The 4-Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferriss
“The 4-Hour Workweek” is another personal finance book talking about how to escape the 9 to 5 and how to live anywhere through working for yourself. Basically, it is the blueprint book on how to escape the rat-race and how to earn a high income with little to zero management, hence, the 4-hour workweek.
15 “Talking to Strangers” by Malcom Gladwell
“Talking to Strangers” is a book exploring how we do not know how to talk and understand strangers because we have the wrong tools and resources for communication. Through a multiplicity of interviews, Gladwell presents what we don’t know about the people we don’t understand.
I read and loved “Outliers” in 2020 and want to read everything by Gladwell!
16. “The Shining” by Stephen King
“The Shining” is a movie and book I have fairly managed to evade until the day I could read the book without too many preconceived ideas and/or spoilers.
It follows Jack Torrance who takes a new job as a caretaker of the Overlook Hotel. He goes to live at this hotel with his son and wife. But while Jack tries to finish his novel at the hotel, some troubling events happen. Simultaneously, his 5 year old son, Danny Torrance, proves to be a gifted kid.
I honestly would love to read “Misery” by Stephen King as well if I can get around to it.
17. “Doctor Sleep” by Stephen King
18. “Find Me” by André Aciman
“Find Me” is the sequel to “Call Me by Your Name” by André Aciman. Without giving too many spoilers, this book is also supposedly to be a deep exploration of the self and the relationships we have with others.
The sequel still follows our main character Elio – but we also see more of Elio’s father Samuel – as well as Oliver. However, the story takes place many years later.
SEE ALSO: 15 Romance Books for Valentine’s Day
19. “Whichwood” by Tahereh Mafi
This book follows Laylee who has to wash and prepare the bodies of the dead for the afterlife.
But simultaneously, she is mourning the good days when her mother was alive and her father wasn’t overcome with grief.
Haunted by loneliness and fear, her life changes when she encounters magic and forms new friendships.
20. “Akata Warrior” by Nnedi Okorafor
The first book follows Sunny – an American-born girl Nigerian albino girl – as she unravels the world of magic. Sunny forms a group of friends and goes about solving the mystery of the man kidnapping and maiming children.
In the second book, Sunny continues her adventure in the Leopard Society in which with her friends – she has to now save humanity.
21. “Are you My Mother?” By Alison Bechdel
Both graphic novels are tragicomedies. The first one followed her father and it made me laugh and cry, a lot. This second book follows her mother.
Her parents marriage was full of strain and secrecy in which Alison Bechdel spent her later years unpacking as she lives her own life, discovers, and uncovers her own truth from her upbringing in and out of her family home.
Let me know which books you want to read in 2021! Do you have any book recommendations? Would you like to see me one of your favourite books and share my thoughts? Drop a comment and let me know! 📖
If you prefer poetry books, you can read my Top 12 Poetry Collections I Want to Read in 2021 post!
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