Japanese word for
the bookworm’s art: collecting
untouched books like dust
Avid readers have a habit of buying books faster than they can read them. As a result, we often end up with long to-be-read lists and shelves of spines left un-cracked. With every passing year, the books get shuffled around, and new books end up on top and in front. We unconsciously hide books from ourselves so that a story we were once excited to read ends up forgotten.
One of my major reading goals for 2021 is to make a decent dent in my TBR list. I thought it’d be fun to share with ya’ll some of the books at the top of my list, and I hope you’ll share some of your long-awaited to-be-read books in the comments. Happy reading!
My 2021 Reading List
1: Fahrenheit 451
As an English major who enjoys speculative fiction, I had many classmates and professors who were shocked that I’d never read this book. I promised to add it to my list. I planned to read it over one of my summer breaks. Almost two years after graduating, I still haven’t read Fahrenheit 451, and I’m determined that this will be the year.
One of the few Jane Austen books I haven’t read yet. After reading this one, I’ll have to do a search for movie adaptations. (Jane Austen is my version Hallmark, and I’m slightly addicted to Pride and Prejudice films).
3. The Beaten Path
Last summer I went on a pilgrimage-book kick and bought this. I thought it’d be fun to read about a trail so close to where I live, rather than way off in England. Didn’t get a chance to read it then, which may have been a good thing. If I end up packing a bag and getting lost in the wilderness, you’ll know why.
4. Jack Frost: The End Becomes the Beginning
This is the final book in William Joyce’s The Guardians series. I fell in love with the first book during high school, and finally got around to buying the rest of the series recently. Jack Frost is the only book I have left, and I admit, I’ve been procrastinating on it. I’m not quite ready to finish this fantastic series. (Beautiful language, illustrations full of wonder and magic, and a meaningful story that touches the heart. I highly recommend checking it out.)
5: The Silmarillion
Ah, The Silmarillion. I started this book last January, read a good chunk of it, and then made a mistake. I decided to take a break from it so I could read a library book that was due soon, and I never got back to it. Second time’s the charm, right?
6. The Implied Spider
This is another book that I’ve read snippets of. Doniger’s work compares myths and religions of different cultures and finds common themes throughout. When I do finish it, you can expect a long blog post on my takeaways. I’m sure there will be many.
7. No Man is an Island
This one was recommended to me by one of my favorite professors. I bought a copy a week after he mentioned it to me, and there it sat on my shelf, neglected. It’s a collection of essays on human spirituality, which I think is appropriate for a time when the world is crazy and sometimes you just need to focus on faith.
8. The Phantom Tollbooth
All I really know about this book is that it’s quirky and humorous, and has a watchdog that is part clock. There’s an island of conclusions that you get to by jumping, and a magic tollbooth that appears in a child’s room randomly. Really, what more do I need to know?
9. The School of Good and Evil
This book’s been on my reading list for a while, mostly because I lost it in storage. Now, it’s finally found it’s way back to my shelf where it rightly belongs. I’m a little obsessed with retellings of fairytales and reversals of fairy-tale tropes. The School of Good and Evil fits my taste perfectly with two main characters whose destinies are the exact opposite of what they would have guessed.
10. The Far Pavilions
A coworker of mine recommended The Far Pavilions to me, mentioning that it’s beautifully written and has a wonderful storyline. It’s an epic set in India, following an impossible love story. I’ve heard several people recommend M.M. Kaye, so I’m excited to read this one. (It’s about 800 pages or so, so wish me luck.)
While there’s a great many more books on my reading list (and I’m sure I’ll be adding others as the year progresses), these 10 felt like a good place to start.
What books are you planning to read this year? Which are you most excited about?
(P.S. If you’re interested in doing a reading challenge this year, I recommend checking out the Popsugar reaidng challenge. Your own list of TBR books make up 10 of their prompts for the challenge! My work uses Popsugar’s prompts for our staff reading contest, and it’s a lot of fun.)