Notice my word choice in the title?
Admittedly, I am one of those people that are excited to have a large TBR on my bookshelves, imagining all the reading I will be doing. Plus, it’s not like they are going to get up and walk away any time soon.
On the flip side to that, there are some books at home on my TBR for longer than they should have been. Such as, books where I read and enjoyed the previous novel in the series like a year or two ago, then never got around to reading the sequel for whatever reason. That’s the case for the majority of the books on this list.
Those books are:
A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi
The companion novel to The Star-Touched Queen, A Crown of Wishes follows Gauri, the younger half-sister of the protagonist in the previous novel, who is a political prisoner to her kingdom’s enemy. With nothing left to lose, she teams up with Vikram, a prince from another rival land, to join the Tournament of Wishes, a deadly competition in which the Lord of Wealth grants the victor any wish they want. Except they will soon learn nothing is more dangerous than what you most desire.
I read The Star-Touched Queen last year, though I enjoyed it more than loved it. However, people have said more positive things about A Crown of Wishes and I do like Roshani Chokshi’s writing style.
Windwitch by Susan Dennard
Like many of the books on this list, Windwitch is one I am shocked I have not read yet. The first novel in the series, Truthwitch, was in my top favorite books of last year. At this point in time, I still stand by what I said: I liked the characters of Truthwitch more than I like the majority of Sarah J. Maas’s characters in both of her published series. Windwitch refers to Prince Merik, my new book beau, who was disfigured after the events of Truthwitch and now fighting for the oppressed in the royal capital. There is also a bunch of other stuff going on with the characters that, again, make me ask myself why I waited so long to read it.
Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
I have no excuses for this one. I really don’t. I read This Savage Song two years ago when I got it in the Owlcrate Good vs. Evil box July 2016. It was one of my favorite books of that year with its morally gray characters and dark, gritty world filled with monsters. Our Dark Duet is the sequel as well as the final novel in the duology.
Seriously, I need to read this.
Now I Rise by Kiersten White
Now I Rise is the second novel in The Conqueror’s Saga, the first being And I Darken. Again, I read the first novel two years ago and intended to read Now I Rise almost as soon as I bought it. I enjoyed And I Darken, probably a lot more than a lot of other people seemed to. As far as I am concerned, it is an underrated trilogy.
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
I don’t really have much of an explanation for why I have not read A Court of Wings and Ruin. I have been spoiled for quite a number of big things that happened in this alleged “finale” but I don’t really care. We all know why we actually read any of Sarah J. Maas’s books….
Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
Like I said, not so much an explanation for Tower of Dawn, either. However, I am more hopeful for this one, as the reviews for the Chaol novel have been surprisingly very positive.
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
When I read Lady Midnight last year, I already owned Lord of Shadows and I wanted to read it immediately. Then, I started hearing words like “major character deaths” and “emotionally draining” and “the last three pages killed me.” With Queen of Air and Darkness coming out in December, maybe it was wise I waited towards the end of 2018 to pick up Lord of Shadows….
Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller
I put Daughter of the Siren Queen on the list because I genuinely liked the first book Daughter of the Pirate King and I want to finish the duology this year. Truthfully, though, it is not a priority as some of the others. I won’t be too hard on myself if I don’t get to read Daughter of the Siren Queen before the end of 2018.
Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh
Smoke in the Sun is the sequel to Flame in the Mist and the final book in the duology. I read Flame in the Mist earlier this year and learned I enjoyed it more than the majority of other people that have read it. While I won’t say I loved it as much as Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath & the Dawn duology, I do like Flame in the Mist for the qualities it does have. So, I am still hopeful for Smoke in the Sun.
I also realized recently I have been failing on one of my main reading goals for 2018, which is read more classics. In 2017, I barely read anything older than five years. As an English major, that was embarrassing. So far this year, I’ve read three classics out of ten I aimed for (although I’m debating on whether I want to count the one that turned out to be a horrible reread).
The classics I want to read are:
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
When most people think of Jane Austen, they think Pride and Prejudice or Emma or Sense and Sensibility. Mansfield Park is one, I think, hardly anyone besides diehard Austen fans really talk about. It follows Fanny Price, who is sent to live with her rich cousins in Mansfield Park. Having grown up in poverty, she is looked down upon by her relatives save for her cousin Edmund. Then, the Crawford siblings Mary and Henry show up, bringing with them London glamour her cousins are drawn to. But only Fanny is suspicious to their true motives.
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
One of my Women & Gender Studies professors actually recommended I read Northanger Abbey for its satire of the popular Gothic novel of Jane Austen’s time period. He said there was one chapter Jane actually sounds like she is yelling at women to not be so naïve. From my knowledge, it is basically about a young woman in a spooky mansion and it turns the tropes of the era on their heads.
The Professor by Charlotte Bronte
Like Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte is mainly known for her most popular novel, Jane Eyre. In her frequent biographies, it is mentioned that, in boarding school, Charlotte had a crush on her older and married male professor. Obviously, the feelings were not reciprocated. The Professor is inspired by that girlhood crush, told through the eyes of a young male professor at an all-girls’ school and his complicated relationship with some of the women that work there, as well as one with a student.
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
I read Anne Bronte’s other novel, Agnes Grey, in 2016 and, in my opinion, she is the underrated Bronte sister. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is another book on social commentary, this one focusing on marriage and women’s roles in Victorian society. After watching her husband succumb to alcoholism, a woman flees to another town with her young son to escape her husband’s influence and changes her name, hoping to rebuild her life as a painter. Then, she catches the eye of her landlord, putting her secrets at risk of being exposed and, when her husband finds them, losing her son.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde’s only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray is about a vain young man that makes a wish for his portrait to age while he remains youthful and handsome. The novel takes a harsh look at the decadence of London society and deep moral corruption in that era. Besides having loved Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest, my expectations are already high for The Picture of Dorian Gray because some of my friends who are not big readers liked this one, too.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
I’m pretty sure I saw Wishbone the dog do a segment on The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as a child, where Wishbone plays the lawyer friend of Dr. Jekyll that narrates the story. Not to mention the frequent retellings and references within the media. Still, I never read the source material, or anything by Robert Louis Stevenson.
In case you don’t know, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a novella following an ambitious doctor who creates a medicine supposed to rid people of their negative qualities. Only it backfires and at night he becomes his morally corrupt alter ego Mr. Hyde.
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
One of the books I mentioned I wanted to reread, The Age of Innocence was one of my favorite books I read for sophomore year English class in high school. It is set in during the Golden Age of “old” New York City, where a simple rumor could destroy everything. Newland Archer is engaged to May Welland, but he falls head over heels for Countess Ellen Olenska, who has fled her abusive husband and returned home to New York. Except no one really cares about that. Archer is put into a compromising position: fulfill his duty or follow his heart and be ruined by scandal.
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
The Phantom of the Opera is yet another classic novel Wishbone the dog spoiled for me as a little kid, if told in a more kid-friendly version. I’m sure there is more to it than a beautiful young opera singer falling in love with a guy wearing a mask that hangs out in the theater basement. I also read a retelling, RoseBlood by A.G. Howard, earlier this summer and, unfortunately, didn’t like it as much as I wanted to. But since the movie adaption of The Phantom of the Opera became available on Netflix, I am refusing to let myself watch it until I read the original work.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
I read The Scarlet Letter back in high school and it was another of my favorites. Hester Prynne is a woman ahead of her time, facing her sin of adultery in quiet dignity and raising her daughter Pearl on her own while outcast by an entire community. It takes a look at the hypocrisy of religion and gender roles. Plus, I am fully convinced Nathaniel Hawthorne was a feminist because of the opinions he wove into The Scarlet Letter.
The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The interesting thing about Nathaniel Hawthorne, regarding some of his short stories, what feels like a horror is more like commentary on society. The House of Seven Gables seems to follow the same method. It centers on two families, the Maule and the Pyncheon, and over two centuries of history inside a presumably cursed house haunted by tragedy. That’s all I need to know going into The House of Seven Gables.
With five months left in the year, the reading crunch is on!
What books do you need to read before the end of 2018?