Top Ten Tuesday · weekly features

Top Ten Tuesday // Books on my backlist I need to read in 2020

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week’s theme is:

February 4: Books On My TBR I Predict Will Be 5-Star Reads

I actually have a post scheduled this week that’s identical to this theme, so instead I’m going to share books on my backlist that I want to read this year.

I’ve included my ‘thoughts’ on each one and why I haven’t read them/when I hope to pick them up.

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In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.

When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home.

There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

Kate’s thoughts: I’ve had a hardback of this since it came out and I still haven’t read it, despite glowing reviews. This year has to be the year and I feel like it might be an autumn type of book.

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The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

Kate’s thoughts: So many of my friends have recommended this book and told me I NEED to read it, so I’ve added it to my TBR jar for this year and hopefully I’ll pick it out in the coming months. Especially since I’ve now got a copy of The Mime Order too.

42613907. sy475 Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.
Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she’s struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn’t easy, not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real. When her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she’s truly safe.

Kate’s thoughts: Yes, I know. A V. E. Schwab book I haven’t read??? I’m shook too. But I’ve sort of been saving this one for a period when she doesn’t have anything new coming out, because I’ve read all her other books. 2020 is going to be the time.

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She’s sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. Unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she’ll lose everything: not only her role as Keeper, but her memories – and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?

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Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.

Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.

The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student.

The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.

Kate’s thoughts: This is actually on my TBR for February because it’s one of Hollie’s favourite books! So hopefully I’ll finally get to it this month. 

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Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Kate’s thoughts: This is also on my February TBR! I’m hoping to read it as part of the F/F February reading challenge that I’m taking part in. 

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Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

Kate’s thoughts: This has accidentally slipped onto my backlist because I didn’t get to it last year like I planned. I have a feeling I won’t pick this up until much later in 2020 because 1. time, 2. it feels like an autumn/winter kind of book.

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Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death.

When Laia’s grandparents are brutally murdered and her brother arrested for treason by the empire, the only people she has left to turn to are the rebels.

But in exchange for their help in saving her brother, they demand that Laia spy on the ruthless Commandant of Blackcliff, the Empire’s greatest military academy. Should she fail it’s more than her brother’s freedom at risk . . . Laia’s very life is at stake.

There, she meets Elias, the academy’s finest soldier. But Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined – and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Kate’s thoughts: This has been on my TBR for SO LONG. I have a physical copy, too, so I’m not sure why I keep putting it off. I just need to pick it up for myself and find out if it’s worth the hype.


Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland.

Kate’s thoughts: I’d had this on my Goodreads TBR for a while, and then I finally bought a copy in autumn of 2018, but I still haven’t picked it up. It’s not on my TBR for F/F Feb, but I’m secretly hoping I might still get to it.

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In a city far away, bombs and assassinations shatter lives every day. Yet, even here, hope renews itself, welling up through the rubble. Somewhere in this city, two young people are smiling, hesitating, sharing cheap cigarettes, speaking softly then boldly, falling in love.

As the violence worsens and escape feels ever more necessary, they hear rumour of mysterious black doors appearing all over the city, all over the world. To walk through a door is to find a new life – perhaps in Greece, in London, in California – and to lose the old one for ever . . .

What does it mean to leave your only home behind? Can you belong to many places at once? And when the hour comes and the door stands open before you – will you go?

Kate’s thoughts: This book is pretty short, so I could probably read it in a day one weekend, and yet. I haven’t. Hopefully I’ll get to it in summer.

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Sana Khan is a cheerleader and a straight A student. She’s the classic (somewhat obnoxious) overachiever determined to win.

Rachel Recht is a wannabe director who’s obsessed with movies and ready to make her own masterpiece. As she’s casting her senior film project, she knows she’s found the perfect lead – Sana.

There’s only one problem. Rachel hates Sana. Rachel was the first girl Sana ever asked out, but Rachel thought it was a cruel prank and has detested Sana ever since.

Told in alternative viewpoints and inspired by classic romantic comedies, this engaging and edgy YA novel follows two strong-willed young women falling for each other despite themselves.

Kate’s thoughts: I just need to bite the bullet and get myself a copy of this one because it sounds so amazing and I’ve been desperate to pick it up since before it released. 

Which books from your backlist are you hoping to get to in 2020? Have you read any of these (and would you recommend them)?

Until next time,KateNEW

8 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday // Books on my backlist I need to read in 2020

  1. Great list! Ninth House, Labyrinth Lost and Nevernight are all books I’d like to read this year. 🙂 I loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Circe! Circe would be a really good summer read – the Greek setting made me yearn for the beach. I hope you enjoy all of these!

  2. You definitely have to get to Nevernight. That book was deadly, bloody, and brilliant, even if I found the footnotes distracting haha. I am very surprised that you’ve not yet read the dark vault, but I appreciate your strategic reasoning behind it haha. I am determined to conquer Circe this year as well.

  3. Circe was one of my FAVORITE reads of 2018!!! So, yes, I’m highly recommending ❤

    I think I only have 2 more books (??) until I'm caught up with all of Schwab's books, so hopefully we catch up in time before her next release!

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