10 Books I Want to Read Before the End of the Year

Usually I’m terrible at sticking to TBRs…

…especially year-end ones like this. But that’s not going to stop me from making another one!! I’m honestly very excited about all of the books on this TBR, and I’m hoping that this time I will defy my low expectations of myself and actually read these all.

With 44 books left to read in less than 3 months that are not going to get any less hectic for me, I’m very much doubting my ability to reach my usual 100-book yearly reading goal. So! I’m trying to focus more on what books I’ll read before the end of the year rather than how many. I’m also trying to direct my energy towards my other major reading goal—to expand what types of books I read—which played a big role in my decision for what books I’d put on this TBR!

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12 BOOKS, 12 FRIENDS

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I set a challenge for myself last year to read 12(ish) books that 12(ish) friends recommended, one for each month of 2021, and unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be able to read them all. I’m trying not to force myself to read anything I’m not in the mood for and I don’t think I’m going to be in the mood for some of them!!

I’m still going to aim for three books in the last three months of the year, though. I’m thinking I’ll Be the One because I need some light, easy-to-read YA contemporaries sometimes, Patron Saints of Nothing because I’ve wanted to read this for an embarrassingly long amount of time, and An Ember in the Ashes because I need to see what all the hype’s about. So we’ll see how I do!

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Book CoverGODS OF JADE AND SHADOW

I’ve been planning to read this for months now and yet here it is, still on my TBR! I actually did attempt to read it a few months ago, to give myself some credit, but I didn’t make it past 30 pages so not sure how much credit I can give… I already love Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s writing though, so it’s only a matter of waiting until I’m in the mood for the book. 

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Book CoverA MEMORY CALLED EMPIRE

I think one of the reasons I’ve been putting this book off for so long is that I’m so confident I’ll love it that I’m afraid of how I’d feel if I happened to not love it. But I randomly picked it up a few weeks ago and read the first page, and it already captivated me to the point that I’m convinced I really have to read it soon. And I feel like I haven’t read a good sapphic romance in a while (or maybe I just haven’t read many books in general lately…), and I know this one will deliver!

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Book CoverNO LONGER HUMAN

Like I mentioned, I’ve been aiming to expand what types of books I read this year, so I want to make sure I get at least one translated book read before the end of 2021. I thought I’d go with this book because 1) it’s quite famous and I am not immune to nosiness, and 2) it’s very sad and I love sad books! (And because of Bungou Stray Dogs. Just kidding.) I read the prologue and I’m already intrigued, so I’m excited to read the rest!!

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GIOVANNI’S ROOMBook Cover

I have always been averse to classics, but I’m truly trying to change and give them a try! I actually bought this one, so that means I expect to adore it (and also that my attention span is so bad with classics that I need a physical copy). I’m really hoping to read more classics after starting out with the ones that actually interest me, like this one with its exploration of internalized homophobia. On that note, if you have any recommendations, let me know!

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Book CoverTHE ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINE

I’ve been reading more nonfiction this year, and one nonfiction book I’ve been meaning to read for a while now and absolutely have to read by the end of 2021 is this one! I think I’ll save it for when I’m out of school and not worrying about deadlines as much, since I’d hate to read a book on such an important topic with a half-present mind, if that makes sense. 

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FIRE WITH FIREBook Cover

I haven’t read nearly as many sapphic or Latine books this year as I’d wanted to, so I thought why not combine them and read a sapphic Latine book! I’ve been super excited for this book after absolutely adoring the author’s previous book Beneath the Citadel. I’m always on the lookout for more books featuring sibling relationships (especially fantasy!) so I’m sure I’ll love this one for the sisters it features. So many of YA fantasies have been disappointing for me, so I’m hoping this will break that streak…

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Book CoverSPLIT TOOTH

My summer creative writing program instructor recommended this book to me, and I added it to Goodreads and promptly forgot about it. I stumbled upon it again recently and realized that a podcast episode I’d listened to for school this year was by this author! So I think it was fate telling me that I have to read this book. Again fitting into my goal of reading more genres, this is a book of poetry, and the audiobook features the author’s throat singing too. It sounds heartbreaking, which is always my favorite kind of my poetry to read.


shall we chat

what books are you planning to read before 2021 ends? how are your reading goals? have any recommendations for me or thoughts on any of these books?

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35 thoughts on “10 Books I Want to Read Before the End of the Year

  1. I probably say this a lot everywhere I can 😅, but hey… An Ember in the Ashes is totally AMAZING and I personally feel like it’s a series that gets better and better all the time, has of my favorite characters ever without a doubt 😍, so I hope you love it once you read it. I would love to know your thoughts ❤️ ❤️

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  2. I’m already dreading having to detail my failure at sticking to my reading goals and reading lists in my end of the year wrap up post. I made a list of 10 books that I wanted to read this year, and then ended up unhauling a whole bunch of them without even attempting to read them, so obviously I did a great job at gauging my interest earlier this year.

    However, I do still have some books I’d like to read and one just so happens to be Patron Saints of Nothing! So if you’re in the mood of a buddy read with the world’s moodiest mood reader, I could use the extra push to actually prioritize that book before 2021 ends!

    Also, I’m the same way about reading non-fiction during the school year. I just can’t. The only time my brain is able to process non-fiction for fun is when I don’t have any textbooks on similar topics that I need to read for my classes hovering nearby and making me feel guilty for my pleasure reading.

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    1. dude literally me 😭 i always usually hit my 100 book goal so i feel even more disappointed that i can’t reach it this year aahh but lmao at unhauling the books you thought you’d read for sure in 2021! i feel like i always do that and make must-read books lists for the year and never get to them…

      ooh yes i’d love to buddy read patron saints!!! i honestly have zero idea when i’ll be able to get around to it but maybe sometime next month? 👁 feel free to just dm me on insta to talk about it there!

      i wish i could read more nonfic during the school year because it really limits how much nonfic i can read during a year but my brain is just not built for that 🥲

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  3. AHH love seeing I’ll Be the One, PSON, and AEITA here!! I have a nonfiction rec: Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists – A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for Their Rights. It is absolutely my favorite nonfic historical book of all time. I’ve read some other nonfic historical books, such as The Soul for America by John Meacham, but I love AAA because it’s super inclusive and by two women of color. I’m hoping to re-read Small Town Hearts, A Sky Beyond the Storm, and She Who Became the Sun before the end of 2021.

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    1. ooh thank you so much for the nonfic rec!! i’ve been wanting to read more graphic novels so that’s actually perfect, i’ll have to check it out 👁 swbts is an excellent pick to reread before the end of the year! i haven’t reread a lot of books this year so i’ll have to see what i can squeeze in…

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  4. Right now, I haven’t even read a single one of my start of the year TBRs. NONE. That’s genuinely embarrassing but I also don’t think I could (or want to) read all of them before the year is over. Do I suck at sticking to TBRs? Yes. Am I probably also going to make a “books to read before the year is over” TBR? Also yes.😂

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    1. there were definitely some books i put on my “must reads for 2021” that i haven’t glanced at once this year… sometimes our tastes change though and that’s totally fine! and yess join me in knowing ourselves well but ignoring that anyway <3

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  5. Good luck with your End of the Year TBR, May! ❤ I haven’t read any of the books, but I really want to read I’ll Be the One because the cover gives off such positive vibes 😊 I’m mainly trying to read books from my physical/Kindle TBR and series I have been meaning to finish towards the end of the year 😄

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    1. thank you caro!! i’ll be the one truly does seem like the perfect light and positive book to read <3 i honestly need to read more from my physical/kindle tbr too, i'm usually not a big book buyer but i've bought more books recently and haven't read most of them 🥲 good luck on getting around to those books though!!

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  6. Ahh good luck with your TBR, May! I’m curious to hear your thoughts about An Ember in the Ashes, it’s SO popular and so many people love it. I really liked it, as well! I hope you will too :) Happy reading <3

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  7. I really need to organize my TBR! It has grown since I started working at a publishing house (and I have access to their e-books lol) and it’s a bit out of control. I honestly have no idea ~what~ books I want to read until the end of the year, but I do wanna work on it! Your post was a great reminder to do just that :P

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    1. omg!! so cool that you’re working at a publishing house now!! unfortunate that your tbr has grown because of it though haha. whatever books you want to read by the end of the year, i hope you get around to them & love them!!

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  8. there are a lot of books I want to read by the end of the year, but some at the top of my list are Firekeeper’s Daughter, The Keeper of the Night, and A Darker Shade of Magic!! I also really want to read Gods of Jade and Shadow; it seems amazing!! Good luck with getting to all of these books, and I hope you like them 💕💕

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