It’s 2020 and I am 28. I don’t know what exactly happened, but I’ve gotten much better at narrowing down the type of books I want to read. Spoiler: they involve animals and girl power.
When I was a teenager, I had a collection of like 800+ unread books stacked all over my room that I had snagged from roadside boxes, yard sales, and used book stores. It took me reading Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up to realize that maybe I wasn’t a bibliophile, but a book hoarder. The problem was that those books were books of opportunity. They didn’t actually sing to my heartsong. They were more like “eh, it’s $1, and people have said this is good–maybe I should buy it,” and thus the room was filled with books I didn’t ever really imagine myself reading.
When you have finite time in the world, it’s important to be selective. (If only I could also learn to put books down after the first hundred pages when I don’t love them instead of hate-reading them to the end.)
These are the books that currently sing to my heart song. I haven’t read them yet, but they look very exciting! List is ordered by pub date in 2020, and then in reverse chronological order.
Pages & CO: The Bookwanderers, February 2020
Inkheart was one of my favorite books as a child, so Pages & Co seems like it will be fun, though perhaps not as dark and fairy-tale like.
The Magnificent Monsters of Cedar Street, February 2020
Any book that allows a character to have a hoard of cute animals is going to get my attention, supernatural or no.
Magical Midlife Madness, February 2020
I feel like there aren’t enough stories where older people get magic bestowed upon them, so I was intrigued by this premise, which has a 40-yo inheriting a magic house. (I also love magical houses.)
When We Were Magic, March 2020
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants but with magic? Count me in. And I’d love to study how she manages a six-character cast.
Separation Anxiety: A Novel, March 2020
I know nothing of this book except that the main character carries around a dog in a baby sling. Sold.
Seekers of the Wild Realm, July 7th
Dragons? Magical girls? Possibilities for more animals? Yes.
Eva Evergreen: Semi-Magical Witch, August 4th
This cover brings to mind Kiki’s Delivery Service, Little Witch Academia, and The Worst Witch. Those titles are ALL favorites of mine. I also love stories where the protagonist has to use their wits to make up for lacking in other areas. Not to mention it features an animal friend!
Star Daughter, August 11th
Shveta pitched this to me herself like three years ago at Sirens, and I’ve been wanting to read the book ever since.
The Once and Future Witches, October 13th
I enjoyed the prose of The Ten Thousand Doors of January so I’m interested in Harrow’s next witchy installment.
Writing a cozy, fun mystery with a pinch of magic is on my list of things to do, and I think Strange Magic will make for good research into how it’s done.
Rings of Anubis
I’m always on the lookout for books with adventurous, globe-trotting, and artifact-hunting leads. I loved The Jackie Chan Adventures when I was a kid, and would like to find something that pleased me as much as that.
The Princess Curse
I’m one of those people who’s a sucker for fairytale reimaginings, especially when they combine elements from multiple fairytales.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making
This one comes highly recommended by nearly everyone and with a girl protagonist with a dragon friend, what could go wrong?
The Cloud Roads
I loved All Systems Red. This will certainly be different, but I’m hoping that Wells lends her charm to this one as well.
Dragon of the Lost Sea
I normally wouldn’t pick up a book from so long ago, but this one came on recommendation from a child, who said that they were writing LGBT romance fanfiction for the series. If the world of the story can inspire a child, I have no doubt that it will inspire me, too.
So did you notice a few similarities between the books? I definitely have a type: Magic, girly, and full of dragons. Are there any I missed? What are you reading this year?
Hopefully some of these titles are new to you and have inspired you to seek them out at your local independent bookshop! Maybe we can read them together.