Friday, January 15, 2021

5 Books I Want to Read in 2021

Wow, I have never been so excited for the new year. 2020 flew by at a breakneck pace while also seeming to last a hundred years. We were all thrown through loops nearly every single day, so here's hoping that this year will bring some much needed peace and quiet. For me, reading allows me to escape the current moment and dive into a world of fiction. This hobby has been a lifesaver for many lately. So, as usual, I have a list of books in mind that I would like to read in 2021.

howl's moving castle by diana wynne jones

I am a huge fan of Studio Ghibli movies and one of my favorites is the classic Howl's Moving Castle. Yes, my childhood self did indeed have a giant crush on emo Howl. Besides that infatuation and my general love for Ghibli, I enjoy the whimsical world of the film. Somehow, I did not realize until recently that the movie is based on a book. Now, I have set my sights on reading the novel, which follows the same general plot: the evil Witch of the Waste curses young, innocent Sophie. The spell transforms her into an old lady and forces her to approach the mercurial, fantastical wizard named Howl. In Howl's enchanted moving castle, Sophie hopes to find the cure to her curse by striking a deal with his fire demon, Calcifer. However, she soon comes to realize that a lot more is at stake than her life and that Howl is kinder than she first assumed. 

small spaces
by katherine arden

Here are two things I love: the horror genre and Katherine Arden's writing style, as seen in her Winternight trilogy. Small Spaces combines both of those aspects into one creepy middle grade novel. The protagonist, Ollie, loves books--particularly one she stole that features a story with the sinister smiling man, a fictional specter than can grant a wish for a high price. On a school field trip to a local farming town, Ollie finds the graves of the characters from that novel. This revelation causes her to wonder: is the story about the smiling man true? When the bus breaks down on the return trip, the driver warns the students to get out before nighttime and to avoid large spaces. Sounds deliciously spooky, no?

piranesi by susanna clarke

I am a fan of strange, magical tales full of twists and turns. When I stumbled upon Susanna Clarke's novel, Piranesi, in the bookstore, I knew it would fit that preference perfectly. Add in a comparison to Neil Gaiman and Madeline Miller, two of my favorite authors, and I was sold. The book is set in Piranesi's house: an infinite building with a labyrinth of corridors and rooms that contain an ocean. Piranesi fearlessly roams the house, knowing each tide and pattern by heart. Only one other resides there, a man called The Other. But Piranesi soon begins to discover evidence of another, causing long unexplained mysteries to unravel. What are the secrets of this labyrinth's existence? Is there another world outside the house? 

down comes the night by allison saft

Sorting through the shelves at a bookstore and finding little gems of books is my favorite way to discover new favorites. Down Come the Night sounds to be a dark, magical tale of love and secrets. Sinister forces are at work in Southerland's kingdom. After her reckless abandon and forbidden use of magic, the Queen banishes her from her Guard. Southerland accepts a request to visit eerie, cold Colwick Hall in a desperate attempt to redeem herself and return to her love. But the "servant" the lord of Colwick Hall asked her to cure from his mysterious illness is none other than her kingdom's greatest enemy. He is known as the Reaper, and while he may be considered evil, he has similar goals to Southerland. Both want to save their respective kingdoms, but will the secrets and dangers of Colwick Hall lead them to their dooms before they can achieve that goal?

peril at end house by agatha christie

Agatha Christie is one of my favorite authors and my all-time favorite mystery novelist. However, a long time has passed since I have read one of her books, so I figured this was the perfect time to dive back in. Peril at End House is another Hercule Poirot installment, this time set on the Cornish coast. The detective meets Nick, the young mistress of End House who has recently escaped a series of life-threatening accidents. Poirot, of course, does not believe these events to be mere accidents--no, something peculiar is afoot. He begins the chase, attempting to discover who is trying to kill Nick before she winds up dead. There is nothing better than a good mystery, especially one set in Cornwall. 

What books do you want to read in 2021?


  1. Oh my, I've just added Howl's Moving Castle to my tbr as well! I'm so excited for it; it looks so delightfully whimsical. I've also just bought Susanna Clarke's other book, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Have you read it?

    Beyond those, some other books I'd like to read in 2021 are Oliver Twist and Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens, The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne by Jonathan Stroud, and The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green.

    - Eleanor

    1. Me too! I love a whimsical book with wizards and magic. I have heard great things about Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell but I have not read it myself. Let me know what you think of it. Is that John Green book a new release? I haven't heard of it before.

  2. Piranesi sounds super cool, and I can sense some Greek mythology themes. Definitely my cup of tea!

  3. Howl's Moving Castle was on my TBR for the longest time. I've heard that the book and the movie are incredibly different, something the author wasn't so happy with when she saw the movie's direction... I hope you enjoy all the books on this list!

    1. Oh, really? I had no clue. I can understand her not liking it if it is not loyal to her original material, but I also love the movie so much.

  4. Ooh Small Spaces is amazing! Katherine Arden's writing just always work for me too!

    Tasya // The Literary Huntress

    1. She is incredible--definitely the kind of author I want to be someday. I can't wait to read Small Spaces!