Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read In 2020 but Didn’t Get To

Happy Tuesday, all! I am happy to have a little bit of time tonight to focus on me, and I decided to contemplate my next steps. One really cool bookish meme I have been seeing is Top Ten Tuesday, and this week seems perfect. Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This weeks topic is all about those books that I missed out on reading in 2021.


  • Grave War, by Kalayna Price
  • Synopsis: Grave witch Alex Craft has forged an uneasy truce with the world of Faerie, but she’s still been trying to maintain at least some semblance of a normal life in the human world. So it’s safe to say that stepping up as the lead investigator for the Fae Investigation Bureau was not a career path she ever anticipated taking. When an explosion at the Eternal Bloom threatens to upend the fae who make their home in our world, Alex finds herself in charge of the most far reaching investigation she’s ever tackled. And it’s only her first week on the job. With the threats mounting and cut off from half her allies, Alex can’t wait on the sidelines and hope the fae’s conflicts stay contained within their borders.
  • Why I’m Excited: I literally love this series so much, and this has been a long time coming.

  • The Queen’s Bargain, by Anne Bishop
  • Synopsis: After a youthful mistake, Lord Dillon’s reputation is in tatters, leaving him vulnerable to aristo girls looking for a bit of fun. To restore his reputation and honor, he needs a handfast—a one-year contract of marriage. He sets his sights on Jillian, a young Eyrien witch from Ebon Rih, who he believes has only a flimsy connection to the noble society that spurned him. Unfortunately for Dillon, he is unaware of Jillian’s true connections until he finds himself facing Lucivar Yaslana, the volatile Warlord Prince of Ebon Rih. Meanwhile, Surreal SaDiablo’s marriage is crumbling. Daemon Sadi, the Warlord Prince of Dhemlan, recognizes there is something wrong between him and Surreal, but he doesn’t realize that his attempt to suppress his own nature in order to spare his wife is causing his mind to splinter. To save Daemon, and the Realm of Kaeleer if he breaks, help must be sought from someone who no longer exists in any of the Realms—the only Queen powerful enough to control Daemon Sadi. The Queen known as Witch. As Jillian rides the winds of first love with Dillon, Daemon and Surreal struggle to survive the wounds of a marriage turned stormy—and Lucivar has to find a way to keep everyone in his family safe…even from each other.
  • Why I’m excited: A little apprehensive, in fact. I literally love the Dark Jewels Trilogy and most of the surrounding stories, but I am afraid of hating this one and of missing some characters too much. BUT, I also have the ARC for book 2, so now I have to read it!

  • The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, by Grady Hendrix
  • Synopsis: Patricia Campbell had always planned for a big life, but after giving up her career as a nurse to marry an ambitious doctor and become a mother, Patricia’s life has never felt smaller. The days are long, her kids are ungrateful, her husband is distant, and her to-do list is never really done. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a group of Charleston mothers united only by their love for true-crime and suspenseful fiction. In these meetings, they’re more likely to discuss the FBI’s recent siege of Waco as much as the ups and downs of marriage and motherhood. But when an artistic and sensitive stranger moves into the neighborhood, the book club’s meetings turn into speculation about the newcomer. Patricia is initially attracted to him, but when some local children go missing, she starts to suspect the newcomer is involved. She begins her own investigation, assuming that he’s a Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. What she uncovers is far more terrifying, and soon she—and her book club—are the only people standing between the monster they’ve invited into their homes and their unsuspecting community.
  • Why I’m excited: This looks so ridiculously good! I don’t own it, but can’t wait to get off the waitlist from the library.

  • Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Synopsis: After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region. Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom. Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness. And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.
  • Why I’m excited: I was so excited about this, and received it in my BOTM box, but haven’t had the chance to read it. Can’t wait, I haven’t heard anything but positive things.

  • The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig
  • Synopsis: Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better? In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place. 
  • Why I’m excited: I preordered this forever ago and received it, and now I just need to find the time to read it! I am a sucker for books with books in them.

  • Magic Lessons, by Alice Hoffman
  • Synopsis: Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Nameless Arts.” Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back. When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.
  • Why I’m excited: I am literally obsessed with Practical Magic. The movie influenced my own spiritual path. So when this came out, I immediately got it in my BOTM box.

  • A Deadly Education, by Naomi Novik
  • Synopsis: A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets. There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere. El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.
  • Why I’m excited: Naomi Novik is one of those authors who can’t do wrong in my book, so this is one of my top TBRs.

  • Idols and Enemies, by Meghan Ciana Doidge
  • Synopsis: I knew that opening the letter from the sorcerer Azar would have deadly consequences. So we had prepared. We’d planned. We knew we might have to defend ourselves, our freedom. And that I might finally get a chance to exact the revenge I kept telling myself I wasn’t interested in exacting. What we didn’t know was that we’d find ourselves hosting a dysfunctional family reunion — the kind where everyone tries to kill someone at least once over dinner. Sorcerers and witches. With me in the middle. Mediating. I could wipe a small city from the face of the earth. I could vanquish a horde of demons with only two shortswords. I could infiltrate a magically fortified compound without detection, stand against black witches, and defy even those capable of manipulating minds. What I couldn’t do was mediate a family squabble that stretched back decades, replete with kidnapping, magical coercion, and rape. Or I couldn’t mediate with words, at least. Thankfully, though, draining everyone of their magic was always an option.
  • Why I’m excited: Meghan Ciana Doidge is one of the most underrated UF authors out right now. Her worldbuild is awe-inspiring, and this book I have no doubt will be just as good.

  • The Gilded Wolves, by Roshani Chokshi
  • Synopsis: It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance. To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood. Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history–but only if they can stay alive.
  • Why I’m excited: I am always down for a good “band of thieves” fantasy, and this sounds like it fits the genre like a glove.

  • The Lions of Fifth Avenue, by Fiona Davis
  • Synopsis: It’s 1913, and on the surface, Laura Lyons couldn’t ask for more out of life–her husband is the superintendent of the New York Public Library, allowing their family to live in an apartment within the grand building, and they are blessed with two children. But headstrong, passionate Laura wants more, and when she takes a leap of faith and applies to the Columbia Journalism School, her world is cracked wide open. As her studies take her all over the city, she finds herself drawn to Greenwich Village’s new bohemia, where she discovers the Heterodoxy Club–a radical, all-female group in which women are encouraged to loudly share their opinions on suffrage, birth control, and women’s rights. Soon, Laura finds herself questioning her traditional role as wife and mother. But when valuable books are stolen back at the library, threatening the home and institution she loves, she’s forced to confront her shifting priorities head on . . . and may just lose everything in the process. Eighty years later, in 1993, Sadie Donovan struggles with the legacy of her grandmother, the famous essayist Laura Lyons, especially after she’s wrangled her dream job as a curator at the New York Public Library. But the job quickly becomes a nightmare when rare manuscripts, notes, and books for the exhibit Sadie’s running begin disappearing from the library’s famous Berg Collection. Determined to save both the exhibit and her career, the typically risk-adverse Sadie teams up with a private security expert to uncover the culprit. However, things unexpectedly become personal when the investigation leads Sadie to some unwelcome truths about her own family heritage–truths that shed new light on the biggest tragedy in the library’s history. 
  • Why I’m excited: Historical fiction isn’t my normal genre, but I love Fiona Davis’s style, and everything to do with libraries. As a Young Lion, I have a vested interest in learning as much as possible about the NYPL.

Conclusion:

That’s all from me! What’s on your TBR held over from last year? Leave me a comment!

8 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read In 2020 but Didn’t Get To

  1. I desperately wanted to read The Midnight Library last year but didn’t get to it 😭 Both Mexican Goth and The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires has been on my radar to need to get to these soon as well!

    Liked by 1 person

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