12 Books I Need to Read in 2020

It’s January which means it’s a list month extravaganza so here’s another list for you – this time on the books that I want to read in 2020. Every year I make a list of my priority reads for the year, every year the year ends with me not having read most of the books on it. This year though I am determined to read all of these – don’t rain on my parade. Each cover links to its goodreads page.

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It is not okay that I still haven’t read An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon. It’s been on my TBR for years! I own a copy of the book! I’ve even been on a panel with Rivers! They are a lovely human and I want to read their book very much. An Unkindness of Ghosts has received excellent reviews from some of my friends and I want to prioritize it as a book to read in the next few months. I also have another of Rivers’ books included further down this list!





Everfair by Nisi Shawl is another book that has been on my TBR (both virtually and bookshelf wise) for far too long. It’s often featured on my ‘books I need to read this year’ lists and I keep putting it off because I know it’s going to be good and so… keep depriving myself of it? I know, it makes no sense! Another one I would like to read in the next few months.


american cosmic

I have been highly anticipating American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology by D.W Pasulka since I stumbled on it by completed chance on Edelweiss at the end of last year and literally couldn’t get it out of my head. Thankfully, someone bought me a copy of it for Christmas so I finally have access to the actual book and can’t wait to read it. I anticipate it being both incredibly interesting and also relevant to my own research.



the dragon republic

I bought The Dragon Republic by R.F Kuang at YALC last year, having learned from my major freaking error of not buying a hardback of The Poppy War at YALC the previous year. I’ve not read it yet for two reasons: firstly because I haven’t had as much time for leisurely reading and secondly because it’s a bit of a beast of a book and has been quietly intimidating me from the bookshelf. I cannot wait to read this though because I continually hear such excellent things about it.



the ascent to godhood


The Ascent to Godhood by JY Yang is definitely on my “most anticipated and therefore need to read ASAP” list. I adore JY Yang’s work and inhaled the entire Tensorate series when a friend donated them to me a couple of years back. I am so thankful to them for introducing me to this novella series because it is incredible and I am 100% ready for the latest offering.



alien ocean

Alien Ocean: Anthropological Voyages in Microbial Seas by Stefan Helmreich is an incredible ethnography that my partner bought for me a few years ago after I finished my dissertation. I tried reading it back then but it’s a pretty beefy academic text and I don’t think I was quite ready for it. My supervisor recommended I introduce myself to Helmreich’s work for my PhD and, ta-da, I already had this book so I think now is definitely the right time to take the plunge with it.



other minds

The wonderful Lauren at Northern Plunder bought me a copy of Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life by Peter Godfrey-Smith a couple of years ago but I never got round to it (the mantra of a book bloggers life). Having recently finished Children of Ruin though, which I believe was partly inspired by this book, reignited my motivation to read this. I just need to get on and actually read it!





Ajsksksks. I read Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman, which is the first part of this companion series of YA western’s, a few months ago and absolutely loved it. It completely took me by surprise and offered such a refreshing setting for a YA book. I really want to read Retribution Rails, which is the companion to the first book, ASAP because I think I’ll love it just as much as Vengeance Road!




I cannot wait to pick up a copy of The Deep by Rivers Solomon and really want to make time for it this year. I’ve heard exceptional things about this novella from its focus on the theme of slavery to Rivers’ beautiful writing. It sounds like an excellent example of a novella which is short but packs a punch within its 166 pages.





The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickenson hasn’t been on my TBR for very long, only since April 2019, but it’s a book whose premise I’m very excited by and want to read it ASAP, especially as I find myself frequently thinking about it which is always a good sign! It’s another book on my TBR which I’ve heard really exceptional things about so can’t wait to be blown away!



Know My Name by Chanel Miller is the incredible memoir where Chanel writes about her experience as ‘Emily Doe’ in the Stanford campus sexual assault case and revealing herself publicly as the face behind the anonymous name. This is must-read for everyone (provided that you are able to deal with the topic and practice self-care whilst reading it) and is something which is even more important for me to read given my job as a facilitator who educates fellow students about sexual violence.




I have been lusting after The Electric State since I first saw it in Waterstones last year. Every time I went in a Waterstones, I would immediately seek out a copy of it to look at because it looked so beautiful and I loved the set up of a science fiction story alongside the art, which reminded me of video game concept art. My mum bought me a copy of it for Christmas and you can bet that I’m going to be reading it as soon as I get these few current reads out of the way!

Let's Chat! (1)

Of course, there are tonnes of books that I would love to read this year but these are my 12 priority books I want to ensure I make time for. I’ve learned from previous years though that if I don’t prioritize the books I include in these lists within the first few months I often forget about them and/or lose motivation as the months march on. However, one good sign is that there were originally 14 books on this list when I first wrote it at the beginning of the month but I have since finished 1 book (They Drew as They Pleased) and am currently reading another one (Worlds Seen in Passing) so hopefully this will set a good trend for the rest of the year.

❄️ What books are on your ‘need to read’ list for 2020? 
❄️ Have you read any of the books on my list, what did you think?

EST. 2015 (1)



5 thoughts on “12 Books I Need to Read in 2020

  1. Omg Avery, I CAN’T WAIT to see what you make of Traitor Baru!! It’s one of my favourites of all time. So heartbreaking but oh so good. And I’m hoping to get to Dragon Republic this year, too! Fingers crossed for some good things for Rin, because Poppy War was just…oof.

    Happy 2020, friend! Hope these books all work out for you! ❤ (And I'm loving the unintentional blue & gold theme the covers have :D)


  2. I have been wanting to read Rivers Solomon’s book for a long while now! The premise and themes of their books sound so good. I don’t own the books, so I’ll have to wait 😀 I also have The Dragon Republic on my TBR. I want to re-read The Poppy War first though!

    I hope you’re able to finish all these books!


  3. Hey, happy new year! I also really want to read The Dragon Republic this year – unfortunately I’ve forgotten 98% of what happened in The Poppy War… curse my forgetful brain!!


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