Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that currently resides at The Artsy Reader Girl and features bloggers sharing lists on various book topics. For this latest Top Ten Tuesday participants are supposed to list the Top Ten Book Titles that Would Make Great Song Titles. However, I am going to do something a little different today and I am instead going to list the Top Ten novels I want to read before the end of 2020.
This is a bit of a continuation of a list I did this time last year when I realised that there were only 50 days left in the year and I was freaking out about all the books I still wanted to read. Well, as crazy as it sounds, this year has nearly come to an end and there are currently only just over 50 days left in it. While I for one will not be sorry to see the backend of 2020, I am very mindful of the big pile of novels from this year currently sitting on my table (my editor/wife Alex wants to point out that it is actually tables, plural, plus a couple of bookshelves). So with that in mind I thought I would do another version of this list to inspire me to read these books and knock them out before this year from hell comes to an end.
For this list I have had a decent look through my many book piles to work out which novels I really need to finish off before the year ends. In order to focus this list on books that are cluttering up the house a little, I decided to exclude novels that I do not currently have copies of (such as Call of the Bone Ships by R. J. Barker, which is hopefully on its way). I also decided to exclude novels that I am definitely going to read before the end of the year because I am planning to review them for a Canberra Weekly Christmas column (for example, Hollow Empire by Sam Hawke or The Emperor’s Exile by Simon Scarrow). Using these parameters, I was able to come up with a list of 10 books (with some honourable mentions), that I would really like to read before the year ends. This list includes an interesting range of novels, from some of the top releases of 2020 to some novels that came in a little under the radar. However, all 10 sound really good and I cannot wait to try and read them all.
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
Top Ten List:
I am honestly surprised and a little ashamed that I have not made time to read this awesome-sounding novel yet. The Obsidian Tower is the latest book from rising fantasy star Melissa Caruso and it is set in the same universe as her Swords and Fire trilogy. I am a major fan of the Sword and Fire books (made up of The Tethered Mage, The Defiant Heir and The Unbound Empire) and this is the book I will try the hardest to make time for in the coming weeks.
Another book I am very much berating myself for not making time for. The Devil and the Dark Water is the second novel from Stuart Turton, who wowed me so much in 2018 with his debut novel, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. I have a lot of love for Turton’s previous release and I am sure that this new book is going to be just as awesome.
Either Side of Midnight is an intriguing-sounding Australian crime fiction novel that I am really looking forward to reading. The sequel to Stevenson’s debut novel, Greenlight, Either Side of Midnight follows a fascinating and complex murder scenario following an apparent suicide on live television. This should make for a fun read, and I cannot wait to check out this awesome sounding book.
The Wolf of Oren-Yara by K. S. Villoso
This exciting and action-packed fantasy novel caught my eye earlier in the year, and I have been curious to check it out ever since. I have heard some good things about The Wolf of Oren-Yara, which serves as the first book in the fantastically titled Chronicles of the Bitch Queen series, and I think I am really going to enjoy this impressive sounding novel.
Acclaimed historical fiction author Harry Sidebottom has been on a real roll over the last couple of years, producing two unique and enjoyable Roman historical fiction novels (The Last Hour and The Lost Ten) that each had the characteristics of a particular genre of thriller/crime fiction. The Return apparently contains some elements of Scandi-noir fiction, and I look forward to seeing how this distinctive murder mystery style blends with a classic Roman historical fiction story.
I had an absolute blast reading Tieryas’s previous novel in the United States of Japan series, Mecha Samurai Empire, and have been really looking forward to reading Cyber Shogun Revolution ever since it was announced. This new United States of Japan novel should be another incredible and distinctive novel and I need to make a real effort to check it out soon.
The Bluffs by Kyle Perry
The Bluffs is another Australian crime fiction novel that I am quite keen to read before the end of the year. The Bluffs is the debut novel of Kyle Perry and it sounds like quite an intriguing novel set deep within the wilds of the Tasmanian bush. I have heard some good things about The Bluffs from some fellow reviewers and I am quite keen to read it in the next few weeks.
The Sandman by Neil Gaiman and Dirk Maggs
I am a major comic book fan, but I have to admit that I have never had the opportunity to read Neil Gaiman’s iconic The Sandman comics. Luckily, an audio drama adaptation of this classic comic was released earlier this year featuring a first-rate voice cast and helmed by radio production stalwart Dirk Maggs, and I am looking forward to seeing how this audio depiction of the comic turns out.
The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
The Bone Shard Daughter is an impressive-sounding fantasy debut that came out a little while ago. This is another novel that I have heard some really good things about and it should hopefully turn out to be a first-rate book.
The last entry on this list is War Lord by Bernard Cornwell. War Lord is the final book in Cornwell’s long-running The Last Kingdom series. I am a major fan of The Last Kingdom novels and I am extremely curious to see how this outstanding historical fiction series finally comes to an end.
That’s the end of this week’s Top Ten list. I am extremely happy with how this list turned out as I am really keen to read each and every one of the novels listed above. All of them have an amazing amount of potential and I think several could end up being some of my favourite books of 2020. Make sure to check back in a few weeks to see if I have managed to get around to reading any of them yet. In the meantime, let me know which books you really want to read before the end of 2020 and best of luck getting through them.