OKAY, so since I did not really set any goals for 2021 (besides a backlist TBR, and I actually read 10 out of 12, LOOK AT ME GO), I have no goals to reflect on, and I don’t want to set any goals this year either. HOWEVER, I am losing the usual backlist TBR, because they always end up SUCKING, so this year, we’re doing recommendations instead. I chose 12 books that were at some point recommended to me – either by someone I know, or someone online whose opinion I trust. Since I had a lot of books to choose from, I choose books that either really sounded like my type of book, or were already on my TBR. So this is essentially a better curated backlist TBR. So I thought I’d share that TBR with you, and we’ll touch base at the end of the year to see how I did and whether other people are better at choosing my reads than me (the answer is probably YES).
1. Little Eyes by Samantha Schewblin
This book has been on my TBR for ages, so I think it’s finally time to get around to it. This is giving voyeuristic Furbies energy and we are here for it. Basically, Little Eyes are little mechanical toys that become wildly popular, and that are basically controlled by strangers, and they can see everything going on in your home. Sounds like a nightmare, so WE ARE HERE for it. Thank you to Jill for recommending it.
2. Constellations by Sinéad Gleeson
This is one that wasn’t on my radar, but Rachel recommended it so now I am obligated to read it and see whether it’s one of the books me and Rachel agree on or is our friendship getting cancelled again. This is a collection of essays on art, illness, and grief, but it’s also a memoir, so it’s giving Blueberries vibes, which is one of my favorite books of 2021, so I am really looking forward to checking this one out.
3. The Lightkeepers by Abby Geni
Another one that wasn’t on my TBR previously, but the premise is so intriguing. It’s giving Migrations vibes mixed with a really isolated and insular mystery. This one was recommended by Callum, so already an iconic pick.
4. This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
This is like a Sci-Fi mulitverse romance novel following two agents from rival factions who start exchanging letters. I was recommended this one time and time again, and I really want to get to it this year.
5. The King of Infinite Space by Lyndsay Faye
This is such an exciting pick – it’s a queer, feminist retelling of Hamlet and we just have to stan. This also looks like it’s super character focused, and emotional and heartfelt so it has all the potential to be a new favorite. Fatma loved it and recommended it, so I have high hopes.
6. Asylum Road by Olivia Sudjic
This one sounds like a perfect me book. It follows a couple whose relationship is on precarious ground, but on a drive, they end up getting engaged. The woman, Anya, escaped from Sarajevo when she was a child, and the wedding planning starts sort of dredging up the past. This sounds really unsettling, and I think it delves into themes of memory and identity, which I always enjoy.
7. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
I really want to read more LeGuin, since I loved The Dispossessed so much back when I read it. This is one of my dad’s favorite books and I really want to get to it. And like, is this the year I finally get into Sci-Fi? STAY TUNED.
8. A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske
This is the only book on this list that isn’t actually recommended to me, it’s just that I meant to get to it last year and did not sadly. But the reviews I have seen are not only positive, but just testify to the fact that I will probably ADORE this one. So I am reading it. It’s pitched as Red, White and Royal Blue meets Johnatan Strange and Mr. Norrell and the vibes are immaculate.
9. Pond by Claire-Louise Bennet
I feel like at one point, everyone who talks about books online that I follow was talking about this book. Unnamed female narrator moving through the world, probably depressed. We just love that here.
10. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
I cannot believe that I still haven’t read this one, that is legitimately insane. It’s happening in 2022.
11. The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang
Of course I need a big Fantasy novel on this list. I really do not know anything about the actual set up of the novel, and I prefer doing that with Fantasy. All I know that a lot of people loved this one, and recommended it to me, so I am super excited to get to it this year.
12. The Employees by Olga Ravn
This is actually my pick for January! This was on the Booker International short list and it’s a dystopian, Sci-Fi, literary novel exploring the horrors of late-stage capitalism hopefully. Looking forward to it, I know a lot of my friends loved it.
I desperately want to hear from you – do you have a TBR set up for 2022? Are there any books that you are particularly excited to get to? Let me know!
In the meantime, happy reading
Come hang out with me: