Bookish List · TBR

21 Books I Want To Read In 2021

I rarely create myself concrete to-read lists, because – as a mood reader – I like to pick up whatever I’m in the mood for at that moment and I dislike following a pre-decided list. I think I have only one positive experience when I was able to complete a to-read list I set for myself; every other attempt ended in failure.

But recently, as I was taking a meaningful look at my to-read shelf, I realized that there are way too many books I’ve been wanting to read for ages. After reading one of Sabrina’s recent posts – 25 Sequels She Wants To Read Before She’s 25 – I was inspired to create my own list, featuring 21 books I need to read in 2021. Some of these books have been on my to-read list for ages, others are more recent additions, but nonetheless, all of these are books are ones that I have reasonably high expectations for, but am intimidated by for some reason.

I’m hoping to come back to this list at the end of the year and see how many of them I was able to read, so um.. root for me?

2020 Releases

GIRL, SERPENT, THORN: I loved the author’s debut novel – it’s actually one of my favorite retellings – so I have very high hopes for this one, especially after seeing quite a bit of praise for it.

The Duke Who Didn’t: Courtney Milan is a self-described slow-writer, so I’ve been waiting for something new by her for a while.. which is exactly why I’m ashamed I haven’t yet read this diverse historical romance. I will though, and soon.

Today Tonight Tomorrow: I don’t think I’ve seen even one negative review for this YA Contemporary? In fact, all the bloggers I know raved about this enemies to lovers novel. I can’t wait!


The Count of Monte Cristo: Ah, this is a chunky classic, which is why I haven’t yet read it, but it’s also a book that I’ve heard fantastic things about. Basically, anyone I know that has read this enjoyed it.

1984: I started this back in 2016, right before Trump won the election. I’m not American, but that hit me in a way that I immediately put this highly political novel down and I haven’t managed to pick it back up again. I do want to, though, especially because I have high hopes for it, as I loved Animal Farm.

I’d Die for You: And Other Lost Stories: I bought this because (1) I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by Fitzgerald (Gatsby and some short stories), and (2) because I love its cover. I have high expectations for this one, so I hope it won’t disappoint.

Books by Authors I Already Love

A Curious Beginning: Originally, I didn’t read this because wanted to wait with this series until the couple has gotten together.. I’m pretty sure that has happened now, though, and yet, I still haven’t started this series. Not sure why, as Deanna Raybourn is a terrific author, so I’m quite sure she won’t disappoint this time around either.

Going Bovine: I’ve read and enjoyed everything Libba Bray published, with the exception of Going Bovine, which is a book I’ve owned for years at this point. It’s high time I get to this, as well.

The Buried Giant: The two books I’ve read by Ishiguro – Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day – are two of my all time favorite books, so I should really dive into his other works.

Hyped Books That Have Been on My TBR For Ages

The Nightingale: I’ve heard so many fantastic things about The Nightingale, but I don’t really read war books, so I’m INTIMIDATED. Tell me, friends, is this sad? And if so, how sad?

Dark Matter: I’m not a massive fan of science fiction, so even though Dark Matter also has mystery elements, I’m really scared of picking it up. Sabrina loved it, though, so that’s a good sign at least, as our tastes are pretty similar.

The Winter Sea: I’ve owned this book for the longest time, and I’m so damn interested, but the issue is that it is quite long and thus intimidating. *sighs*


When Villains Rise: Market of Monsters is one of my favorite series – I love how vicious and morally gray the characters are and I’m excited for the conclusion. Even so, I’m also scared and more than that, I just haven’t been in the mood for sequels recently… which is why there are so many sequels on this list.

Iron Heart: Crier’s War is one of my favorite novels this year – I read it twice, the second time in preparation for Iron Heart, which is why it’s so shameful that I still haven’t read this.

The Brightest Night: This series is so damn addictive and so fun! I love it so much and I can’t wait to buddy-read The Brightest Night with Sabrina as soon as her library gets a hold of a copy.

The Stone Sky: I love this series to the moon and back, but it’s such a complex, dense fantasy that I need to mentally prepare myself before each novel. I’m getting there, though, and I’m planning on reading it before my next semester starts.

The Burning God: I read and loved the first two novels in the series, and even though I was eagerly awaiting the release of The Burning God, I still haven’t picked it up. I’m scared of being underwhelmed – though most people loved this! – and of course, I know I should expect heart-wrenching moments. (Update: I’m actually currently reading this!)

Sapphire Flames: I binged the first three books in the series, but stopped when Nevada’s story was wrapped up. I’m so interested in Catalina, but I’m not good with cliffhangers. The third novel that concentrates on Catalina is coming at the beginning of 2022, so I’m hoping I’ll read the first two of her books in 2021.

China Rich Girlfriend: Even though Crazy Rich Asians was a relaxing, fun rom-com, I’ve been reluctant to continue the series, simply because I’m intimidated by the books’ length. *hides*

Courting Darkness: Ah, the reason why I haven’t read this is easy – I’m scared of this not living up to the original trilogy, especially because I’ve seen some mixed reviews. Still, I’ve already bought it and I’m interested, so I plan to give it a chance this year.

The Darkest Legacy: This is one book that I should 1000% read as soon as possible, as it’s the last one I need to read before I can post the wrap up to my five star predictions. Fingers crossed I’ll be in the mood soon.

Let’s chat!

So, these are 21 books I want to read in 2021! What books do you want to prioritize this year? Do you have a hard time following a set tbr list? Have you read any of my picks? What did you think of them?

47 thoughts on “21 Books I Want To Read In 2021

  1. I love both The Winter Sea and China Rich Girlfriend, despite the length, I just flew through the books! China Rich Girlfriend was just a whirlwind of shenanigans while The Winter Sea captures me with the history, plot and atmosphere. I need to read more of Susanna Kersley books!

    I have The Buried Giant on my TBR for a while now, I hope I can read it this year too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, I’m glad you told me that! I’m intimidated by their length, but I’ve heard really incredibly things, so hopefully they’ll work for me, too. The Buried Giant is another intimidating one for me. Hope we’ll both get to it this year and enjoy it. πŸ˜€


  2. Oh gosh, I WEPT reading The Nightingale. Like, ugly cry wept but I am a pretty emotional reader. Hannah just has a way of twisting up my emotions and basically magnifying all my feels πŸ˜‚ I absolutely loved it though! I’ve also got plans to finish TPW series and finally read The Count of Monte Cristo this year. Hope you enjoy all of these reads πŸ˜ƒ

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ohh, that sounds very promising! I don’t tend to cry on books but I do tear up on them and I love when something makes me that emotional, haha. I really enjoyed the final TPW book, and ah, hope we’ll both love Monte Cristo! Its length is SO INTIMIDATING.


  3. So many good ones on this list. ☺️ I think I’ll tackle Count as well this year, I’ve also heard great things. I avoid the “big book intimidation” by reading digitally a lot xD so sometimes I have no idea until I’m like “I’ve read this for six hours already and I’m only a third of the way through??” 🀣

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Look, when you need to feel happy-warm-and-fuzzy, read Today Tonight and Tomorrow, There is no way it won’t at least make you smile. Have many tissues at the ready for The Nightingale. It was a truly moving story. Though my family is not Jewish, they lived in a country where the war was being fought during WWII, and I know they were starving and afraid, and I think that made me feel this story on an even deeper level. I liked the Crazy Rich Asians series. It was OTT fun. I hope you get to read all of these (and liked them)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds so promising about Today Tonight and Tomorrow, I love happy books.. but then, who doesn’t? I’m really looking forward to The Nightingale, but I’m so intimidated by it too because I don’t do well with sad books. Maybe I’ll have Today Tonight and Tomorrow or China Rich Girlfriend prepared to read after it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nightingale is very emotional, but I was so inspired by the way it showcased the resilience of the human spirit. It made me think of my relatives who were living in Europe during WWII as well. Lots of emotions!


  5. I feel you, there are so many books I’ve been wanting to read for ages! Good luck with your TBR! ❀ I’ve also been hearing such fantastic things about Today Tonight Tomorrow, I’ve been so tempted to pick it up! πŸ₯° I also haven’t read Courting Darkness because I’m a bit nervous πŸ₯Ί I might need to reread the original trilogy as it has been so long 😱

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Ah same, I had to quickly switch one of the books because I ended up reading it before I published the post, and let me tell you, it wasn’t hard at all to fill that spot, haha. Just in the comments here, multiple people told me to read Today Tonight Tomorrow if I want something happy, so I’m excited! I should reread the trilogy, too. You should let me know if you want to buddy read the whole trilogy or just Courting Darkness. But it’s also fine if you don’t want to. πŸ₯°

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve read almost none of the books on this list, but I’m excited that you’re excited about them! πŸ˜€ Today Tonight Tomorrow and The Nightingale are on my TBR as well, so I’m eager to see what you think of them. I thought the Broken Earth trilogy was absolutely brilliant, and The Darkest Legacy managed to exceed my expectations and is possibly?? my favorite book in that series??? Best of luck with this TBR, and I hope you love all of these books!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am honestly terrible as following a set TBR list as I’m totally a “mood” reader.

    I will also chime in to say that the Count of Monte Cristo IS really good. It is a chunky book, but also less dense I feel than a lot of other classics? The writing style I feel like is easier to get through than like Dickens or Victor Hugo.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I hope you are able to read all of these books. I always finding making a TBR quite stressful as there are always too many books, haha. I’m also really excited about girl, serpent, thorn and today, tonight, tomorrow. I’ve heard really good things for them both so I need to read them. Hopefully we will both enjoy them.
    I am also hoping to check out The Winter Sea this year so hopefully it will be a good one.
    I heard about the Market of Monsters series from you and ever since I have been so eager to get to it so I’m sad that I haven’t been able to yet. I hope the conclusion is everything you want it to be.
    Happy reading !! πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So excited for girl, serpent, thorn and today, tonight, tomorrow and multiple people hyped them up in the comments, so that’s promising. πŸ˜€ Hope we’ll love them both!
      So excited for The Winter Sea, too! I’ve been seeing the author’s name around quite a bit, so I’m hoping this will not disappoint. Ahh, hope you’ll love Market of Monsters! It’s so damn underrated and it deserves a lot more attention. Thank you! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I hope you’ll be able to read all of these books and will love them! I read and really enjoyed Girl, Serpent, Thorn, even if I prefered the author’s debut. Today Tonight Tomorrow is one of my favorite books. I just love Rachel Lynn Solomon and the characters and romance here were wonderful 😍

    Liked by 1 person

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