Top Ten Tuesday: 2020 books I need to read

Text only: top ten TUESDAY

Top Ten Tuesday is was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s all about books, lists and sharing the love we have of both with our bookish friends. Today we’re looking at 2020 releases we mean to make time to catch up on.

Only a quarter of my reading in 2020 was focused on new releases, which means I missed a lot of good books. So what do I most regret missing out on?

The Obsidian Tower – Melissa Caruso

Caruso won my heart with Swords and Fire, but I have been putting off returning to Eruvia for no particularly sensible reason. There was always something I had to read for a deadline, so this book – which is pure pleasure – kept slipping down the list. I’m reading it right now and it’s exactly what I need: a good-hearted heroine trying to make the best of awkward circumstances rapidly escalating out of all proportion. I love the way Caruso delivers fast-paced plot and with sly jabs to the feelings.

Call of the Bone Ships – RJ Barker

The Bone Ships was my favourite fantasy of 2019, but the sequel came out during SciFiMonth so it hasn’t quite made my reading rotation yet (soooooon). I’m on board with this one for the meticulous world-building and I can’t wait to see what RJ has in store for the crew of the Tide Child. There are a lot of wrongs to right in this world, but how much can one renegade ship of the dead do, even one captained by Lucky Meas?

The Once and Future Witches – Alix E Harrow

I loved Harrow’s debut, but it took a while for me to fall under the spell of The Once and Future Witches. The blurb sounded like a good read, but not an irresistible one – and as it too came out during a busy patch, I didn’t even try for an ARC. Then the reviews came out and flickering interest became a burning desire to read it. This will likely be on my Wyrd and Wonder TBR.

Nophek Gloss – Essa Hansen

I’m almost ashamed to admit I initially dismissed Essa Hansen’s space opera debut – men with vendettas are near the bottom of my list of interests – as it swept the board during SciFiMonth, the crew singing its praises from one end of the month to the other. There’s no arguing with that – I have grabbed myself a copy and will read it before next SciFiMonth (when the sequel is due out).

Seven Devils – Laura Lam & Elizabeth May

If men with vendettas rarely intrigue me, queer women rebelling in space get me every time. Seven Devils promises a high octane diversion that I need to make time for. Found family, conflicting loyalties and putting the galaxy to rights with snark… it says a lot about how 2020 went that I haven’t read this already. I suspect it will be my focus during #AllSystemsRead.

The Phlebotomist – Chris Panatier

Panatier’s debut passed me by completely, but after stellar reviews from Tammy and Maddalena, it has hurtled onto my list of books I don’t want to miss out on. A post-apocalyptic dystopia where blood donations are essential to the survival of all; a grandmother as the protagonist (let’s hear it for older folk, yas!) and hints of hideous truths to be revealed. I don’t actually have a copy yet, but I shall be remedying that in short order.

Summerwater – Sarah Moss

Sarah Moss is my favourite author outside of genre; she invariably puts difficult women front and centre in stories that make my heart ache. Summerwater explores social tensions across 24 hours as an isolated, claustrophobic community of holidaymakers head towards tragedy in a simmering literary horror.

Sword of Fire – Katharine Kerr

The first Deverry book in years – a fresh point of entry, set centuries later and focusing on social changes – should have been top of my reading list. I chose to reread the first four Deverry books instead, so I still have this new adventure to look forward to. Kerr’s Celtic fantasy world has been a favourite for over 30 years; I’m intrigued to see how she develops this new era.

A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians – HG Parry | The Story of Silence – Alex Myers | The First Sister – Linden A Lewis | The Bone Shard Daughter – Andrea Stewart |Ashes of the Sun – Django Wexler | The Stone Knife – Anna Stephens

Last but not least, I need to settle in and enjoy the titles sent to me as a member of the Goldsboro SF Fellowship. Three of these count as some of my most-anticipated 2020 releases; two are intriguing debuts; one is an author I’ve been meaning to try. I ended up pausing my membership for a couple of months at the end of the year – so I’d like to read at least one of these before February’s title arrives. Will I manage? We’ll see…

These titles are only the tip of the iceberg, of course. I want to finish The Poppy War trilogy (I haven’t read The Dragon Republic yet, let alone The Burning God). I need to get my hands on Repo Virtual – not only because I loved Corey J White’s Voidwitch novellas, but because JonBob’s review makes it clear White is writing cyberpunk I can get excited about. I really need to read The Unspoken Name before the sequel comes out. I’d like to get up to date with Baru Cormorant and PC Grant. The list goes on. And on. And on: the perennial problem of a bookworm without a time turner. There is no catching up; there is only the books you read, and the ones that get away (for now)…

What books do you most wish you’d got to from 2020?