50 Books to Read Before You Die

This is a post I’ve been thinking about for a little while. My sister has a bookmark pinned up in her bedroom of 50 books to read before you die (of which, I just checked, I have read 19) and, in all honesty, it’s kind of a boring list. It’s mostly classics (some of which I had to force myself through) and very white and straight. None of these observations are at all new, I know.

But it made me think: what 50 books would I put on a personal “books to read before you die” list? And hence, this post.

Before we get to the list itself though, a few notes:

  • It’s not exactly 50 books, of course, because I actually let myself pick books or series (where series counted as a single entry).
  • I forced myself to keep to one book per author, else we all know this list would have been 20% Melina Marchetta.
  • There are books that aren’t yet out on here, which I’ve been lucky enough to read ARCs of, but I have tried to limit that to only a few.
  • This was really hard and just because a book I loved didn’t make it, doesn’t mean I wouldn’t wholeheartedly rec it. The way I chose for here was asking myself under what circumstances would I rec a book, i.e. would I take into account what I know of a person’s reading taste vs. my own, or not. If I went with not, the book made this list.
  • This list is wholly made up of fiction (and I am including plays and graphic novels in that). That was just so it’d be easier to cut it down, really.
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Wrap-up: January 2021

For the most part, I had an excellent reading month in January. Besides that single one-star book — which, if I could have rated lower than one star, I really would have been tempted — everything else, for the most part, I enjoyed. So, I know I said that I would maybe… chill on the reading front a bit, but I still got through 54 books in January (and, really, when I said chill, it was more about not forcing myself to finish books in a single sitting. Which I have started doing).

I watched a bit less this month than last (although I did binge a whole series about the history of swear words with my mum…in a single sitting). As for music? Well… probably the less said about that the better.

The key:
🐝 = favourite
🕊ī¸ = reread/rewatch/relisten
☀ī¸ = 4 or 5 stars, highly recommend
☁ī¸ = 3 or 4 stars, enjoyed/had fun reading
🌧ī¸ = 2 or 3 stars, was alright/not for me but someone else might enjoy
🌩ī¸ = 1 or 2 stars, bored out of my mind/it was awful

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Wrap-up: December 2020

It’s a new year so I figured, why not shake things up a bit with my wrap-up style. So here we are! Instead of just having my favourite books on here, you get everything I read (a mistake on my part because I read a lot last month), everything I watched, and the music I listened to. Hopefully, this is a bit of a nicer post for you to read then.

A little key:
🐝 = favourite
🕊ī¸ = reread/rewatch/relisten
☀ī¸ = 4 or 5 stars, highly recommend
☁ī¸ = 3 or 4 stars, enjoyed/had fun reading
🌧ī¸ = 2 or 3 stars, was alright/not for me but someone else might enjoy
🌩ī¸ = 1 or 2 stars, bored out of my mind/it was awful

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Best of: November 2020

It’s finally December (which feels like it shouldn’t exist this year? I don’t know), so it’s time for a wrap up post. This is probably the last of the ones I’ll do in this style because it’s getting a little boring, to be perfectly honest. Plus I figure it’s better if you actually get a bit more than a list of books…

But, anyway. This month I once again had no concept of time and couldn’t even remember I read half of these in November. It’s starting to become a theme.

Total books: 56

Novels: 38
Nonfiction: 4
Novellas: 5
Graphic novels: 5
Poetry: 1
Classics: 2
Short story collections: 1

Continue reading “Best of: November 2020”

Best of: October 2020

Full disclosure: I don’t actually remember reading a lot of these books in October. Like, I went through my list like was it really only this month I read these ones? Yes. Yes it was only this month.

Really though, I had a kind of meh month of it. I don’t think I rated many books (that weren’t rereads) 5 full stars (This is What it Feels Like was the only one I think, though there were a few 4.5s, again a couple of them rereads).

Then again, I did also read enough that I will happily rec over* half of the books I read in total, so was it really that bad?

*Some of what I’d rec I still wouldn’t say was the best of what I read. If that makes sense.

Total books: 55

Novels: 39
Nonfiction: 1
Novellas: 10
Poetry: 4
Short story collections: 1

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Best of: September 2020

In September, I took part in #SapphicSeptember, and I am excited to say I actually succeeded in reading all the books on my TBR (summary perhaps to come, but don’t hold me to it)! So that was fun. I also read uh…nearly 50 other books as well, so yeah.

Busy month. Of a sort.

Of those 63 books I read, I would probably only rec about 15 of them (those 15 you see here), which is meh, but sums up my reading month really. A fair few meh books, dotted with some great ones. At least there was nothing much truly terrible…

Total books: 63

Novels: 45
Nonfiction: 3
Graphic novels: 3
Classics: 1
Novellas: 7
Plays: 1
Poetry: 2
Short story collections: 1

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Best of: August 2020

Somehow, August feels as though it has lasted forever. And yet, here we are, already in September. This month, I challenged myself (with Michelle) to finish all the unread ARCs I had. And guess what? I actually succeeded in it! As of right now, I have 100% feedback on Netgalley and no ARCs to review on Edelweiss.

It feels a bit strange, to be honest.

In September, I’m going to be doing #SapphicSeptember, so watch out for my TBR post, going up soon!

But anyway. August. As ever, swings and roundabouts, but I also did a lot of rereading. I mean, until this year, I would have said I very rarely reread books. And then 2020 came along and I seem to be rereading more often than not. Seven of the 20 books I’d recommend here are rereads so… (Though, please, do not talk to me about that one romance I’ve read 3 times so far this year.)

Total books: 49

Novels: 35
Nonfiction: 1
Classics: 1
Novellas: 4
Plays: 1
Poetry: 6
Short story collections: 1

Continue reading “Best of: August 2020”

Best of: July 2020

July was a… mixed month, I think. I swung wildly between books I loved and books I hated a lot – there was not much going on in between. As such, I have a lot to rec you from what I read.

And, yes, I did go on a binge of one particular author’s backlist. I’m sure it’s quite obvious who…

Total books: 50

Novels: 34
Nonfiction: 2
Classics: 2
Novellas: 8
Plays: 3
Short story collections: 1

Continue reading “Best of: July 2020”

Best of: May 2020

May was a very mixed reading month for me. I read some amazing books in the first half, and then some really really shit ones, and then more recently, back to the good stuff.

But thankfully I read enough that was very good to have 19 books (that you should read!) in this post.

Total books: 54

Novels: 35
Novellas: 7
Poetry: 12

P.S. before we go any further, undoubtedly you have heard about the Black Lives Matter marches currently occurring around the globe. Please consider donating/signing petitions/educating yourself, resources for all of which you can find here.

Continue reading “Best of: May 2020”