Top 10 Tuesdays: Books I Meant to Read in 2020 But Didn’t

This week’s prompt was actually pretty well-timed, since it comes very shortly after I posted my list of goals for the year. One of my goals was to read some of the books that I seem to keep putting off. Now that I’m designing my reading challenges as a two-year process, it’s inevitable there will be quite a few books that I won’t be able to get to, but there are also several that I’ve put off more than once by now. When I posted my goals, I decided I didn’t want to set a specific list of books I’d been putting off because I already had quite a few lists for other goals, and didn’t want to be overwhelmed. I did have a handful of books in mind that I’d had in my challenge plans (sometimes more than once!) but didn’t get to. With several of these books, it’s getting to the point where it is ridiculous that I haven’t read them yet considering how many times I’ve included them on my lists, and I want to make sure to prioritize them this year.

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.

1) The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson


Of all the books that I didn’t get to last year, this was the one that I was most upset about. It’s a book that I’ve been meaning to read since 2015 and assumed that I’d easily be able to find a copy to buy. I guess it’s really my own fault since I decided I specifically wanted the hardcover version, and that one was either out of stock or too expensive for the majority of the year. By the time I finally received a copy for my birthday, I had too many other books remaining for my main challenges to get to this one, which I’d had down for a lower priority challenge. This book is about a man who jokes to a stranger on his flight about wanting to kill his wife, and he is shocked when she offers to help. I have purposely avoided looking into the synopsis of this one in too much detail, but I’ve heard that it is amazing. I’ve only read one other Peter Swanson book so far, which I loved, so I’m really looking forward to reading this one too. Now that I finally have a copy (and in the version that I want!), I have no excuse not to get to it, especially considering how much I’ve been anticipating it.

2) Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon


This is definitely one of those books where it feels like it’s absolutely ridiculous that I haven’t read it by now. It has also been on my TBR since 2015, and I’ve included it in challenge plans several times before. I had it on my Spring TBR for 2020, and also mentioned it as a book that I’d be likely to read soon….in June 2019, when I did a TBR Benchwarmers post. I even picked this book as a 5 star prediction for this year as an extra push to read it, and I’ll be pretty annoyed if I don’t end up reading it this year either! It is about a father who realizes his son Jake is the only student missing after a school shooting, and begins to question how well he really knows his son. I’ve loved several other books that have a similar kind of premise, and I’ve been very excited to read this one ever since I first saw it on Goodreads. I don’t know why I keep putting it off, but I’m especially motivated to finally pick it up this year, and ideally within the first quarter of the year! It’s not a particularly long book either, so there is really no reason not to finally pick it up.

3) Don’t Try to Find Me by Holly Brown


Fun fact: I added this one to my TBR originally one day after Finding Jake, and both of these were added about two weeks after The Kind Worth Killing. It’s safe to say that they have all been on my TBR for way too long, considering how interested I am in reading them! It was another book I brought up in my aforementioned Spring TBR post, with the comment that being stuck at home with no library access due to the pandemic would be the perfect chance to finally pick this one up, but somehow I didn’t end up following through. It is about a young teenage girl who has run away from home, leaving her parents a note telling them not to try to find her. Frustrated with the lack of help from the police, her parents turn to social media to help find her, and find themselves under scrutiny after an interview that goes badly. This book sounds like exactly the kind of thriller that I tend to love, and has been compared to several other thrillers that I’ve also really enjoyed. I remember adding it to my challenge plans for 2020 as a specific push to finally pick it up, yet I still somehow managed to miss it. I hope that’s not the case again this year!

4) Geekerella by Ashley Poston


Actually, I would count the first two books in this series as books that I really need to read soon. Both were on my list for 2019, and were even mentioned specifically as books that were on my summer TBR for 2019. I have been hearing about these books for so long, and they sound like so much fun! I don’t think there was any specific reason that I put them off aside from there just being other books that I was more interested in trying first. This book is about a girl named Elle who is a huge fan of the sci-fi series Starfield, and enters a cosplay contest for the upcoming movie in hopes of winning a chance to meet the actor slated to play the Federation Prince. It kind of worked to my advantage to wait to read these two books in the end, since I can now read all three in the series in a row, or at least within the same year. I’ve even set these as one of my priority series for the year in hopes that it will force me to remember to pick them up, although as I’ve learned from previous challenges, my goal lists are no guarantee!

5) The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir

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I added this book to my TBR as soon as I saw it on Goodreads back in 2018, and I’ve had it on my challenge plan lists every year since then. Hopefully, this year will finally be the year that I read it! This book is about a teenage girl named Essie whose family are part of a reality TV series along the lines of 19 Kids and Counting. When her mother discovers that Essie is pregnant, she is forced to consult the show’s producers to figure out what to do next. Meanwhile, Essie has paired herself off with a classmate and enlists the help of a reporter to cover their relationship so they can both hide their secrets. While I’m not usually that interested in books that deal with fame, this one sounds very interesting. I’ve really enjoyed other books I’ve read about characters trying to come to terms with growing up in highly religious households when they are questioning whether they really agree with their family’s beliefs. If nothing else, I want to finally read this one because I’ve been actively meaning to pick it up for 3 years already, and it would be a bit ridiculous not to pick it up for a fourth time in a row.

6) The Exit by Helen Fitzgerald


I bought this book from Book Outlet toward the end of 2018, and haven’t picked it up yet! I put it onto my plans for my reading challenges in both 2019 and 2020, and somehow managed not to read it either time. To be fair, I had a reason why I didn’t pick it up in 2020. The book is about a young woman named Catherine who takes a job at a care home after her mother forces her to get a job. While there, she notices that one of the elderly residents seems convinced that there is something sinister happening, but no one will believe her fears that her life is in danger because she has dementia. As Catherine starts to dig a bit deeper into the woman’s claims, she starts to uncover more about what’s really happening at the care home. Given how hard most seniors residences were, and still are, hit during the pandemic, I somehow got it into my head that it would be a bit inappropriate to read or post about this one given that it deals with seniors and potentially death, even though the circumstances are presumably completely different. I still really want to try this book though, and I’m hoping to pick it up very soon.

7) The Game of Love & Death by Martha Brockenbrough


I think this is the first book mentioned here that was not specifically on my challenge plans for two years in a row, aside from The Kind Worth Killing. I’ve had this book on my TBR since 2016 and had mostly forgotten about it until last year, while I was looking for books to fit a specific challenge prompt. I didn’t end up getting to it, but it’s another book that I’ve owned for quite a while and decided it was about time to actually read it. To be honest, part of the reason I’ve never been the most motivated to pick this one up is because I’ve always been a little confused about what it’s actually about. From what I can gather, it is about Love and Death, who select people to be “players” in their game, where they either end up together or else one of them will die. I’m definitely intrigued by the creativity of the premise, and I’d love to finally be able to say that I tried it, after having it on my TBR for nearly 5 years.

8) Just Like Other Daughters by Colleen Faulkner


I don’t have much of an excuse for why I haven’t picked this one up yet — it’s quite short (under 300 pages) and it’s a topic that I’m pretty confident I will love. It’s another book that is now on my challenge plans for the third year in a row because I somehow never end up reading it. This book is about a mother named Alicia whose daughter Chloe is born with Down syndrome. At 25, Chloe comes home from her day program announcing to her mother that she has met a boy, Thomas, and they are in love. Alicia never expected this for her daughter, and has to work to see past her own misgivings and figure out what is best for Chloe. As someone who works in a day program for adults with disabilities, including some who have Down syndrome, I’m very interested in this one. Navigating relationships and possibilities such as marriage or children is a very complex topic, and one that is often a worry for the families who are caregivers for an individual with Down syndrome or other disabilities. I’m very interested to see which direction the author goes with this one.

9) The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan


I could have sworn I had this one on my challenge plans twice in a row already, but looking back at my 2019 plans, it seems like it wasn’t included there. Maybe I’d strongly considered it as an option but never ended up writing it down or switched it out for something else that I wanted to read more. This book is about a teenage girl named Rukhsana whose conservative Muslim parents send her away to Bangladesh for an arranged marriage after they catch her kissing her girlfriend. While in Bangladesh, she also discovers her grandmother’s old diary, which helps her gain a bit more perspective on her family and their views. I’ve seen some very mixed reviews for this book, which has made me a bit more hesitant to pick it up, but it still generally seems like something that would interest me. I’ve also seen several reviews warning that this book is a lot darker than it seems to be advertised, so it’s probably good to go into it forewarned. I don’t know why I feel like this book has been on my TBR for much longer than it actually has been, but that’s probably a good indication that I should pick it up sooner rather than later.

10) The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti


I’ve had this book on my challenge plans for two years in a row too, but always for lower-priority challenges so I’m not that surprised that I never got around to it. I found it while randomly browsing Book Outlet back in 2018, and decided to add it to my TBR. At the time, I mentioned it in a Stacking the Shelves post (all the way back in July 2018!) where I commented that I had three books by this author on my TBR so it was about time I finally tried one. Three years later, and I still haven’t read any. I’d planned to read this one last year around Halloween, but got a bit overwhelmed by how many Halloween-themed books I had in mind to read, and this one went on the backburner. This book is about a town where thousands of dead birds fall onto a high school baseball field, setting off a strange chain of events. A reporter covering the story of the fallen birds sees the baseball coach hugging a student in front of a motel, and the student soon claims that they are having an affair. Shortly after making this claim, the student disappears and it falls to her teacher to figure out what really happened to her. The synopsis does seem a bit confusing, but it also sounds very interesting and I’m hoping this year will finally be when I give this book a try.


One thought on “Top 10 Tuesdays: Books I Meant to Read in 2020 But Didn’t

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Tuesdays: Spring Cleaning Freebie | Abyssal Librarian

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