“Top 5 Wednesday” is a weekly meme currently hosted on Goodreads by Sam of Thoughts on Tomes, where you list your top 5 for the week’s chosen topic. This week’s theme is: Books you want to read before the end of the year, which I’m interpreting as, “already-released books I want to read before the end of the year.”
1. Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive 3) by Brandon Sanderson
I’ve been debating whether or not I should reread the first two Stormlight books before starting this one, and this debate has been raging in my brain for roughly…oh, eight months? So I figure I should just swat myself over the head at some point and make a decision. Plus my friend’s been wailing at me every other week, “I just I found this Oathbringer thing I need to show you but I can’t because you haven’t read it yet,” and I should probably put him out of his misery.
2. Vicious by V.E. Schwab
I wasn’t a fan of Schwab’s Shades of Magic books, so I’ve been somewhat avoiding this one. But then the other day I read Meghan‘s awesome review where she breaks down the anti-hero qualities of the characters and now I’m thoroughly intrigued. Despicable characters that make you love them despite and because of their despicable ways? Hell yes.
3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I’ve been living under a rock for the last year and a half apparently, because I still have yet to pick this one up. I’ll read it before the movie drops. Maybe.
4. The Last of the Wine by Mary Renault
Renault’s Alexander the Great trilogy serves as one of the best examples of what historical fiction can and should be–well-researched and informative, but still brimming with imagination. I’m fairly sure she was a time traveler of some sort, because no modern person be able to describe an ancient culture with that much confidence and intimate detail.
The Last of the Wine is another very Greek, very queer Renault classic and I’m very excited.
5. The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman
When I was in middle school, The Dark Materials series rocked the foundation of my world. I wrote Pullman a long gushing (possibly incoherent) letter on how much I loved the books and received a written version of “Mr. Pullman can’t come to the phone right now as he’s busy with movie deals and being a superstar author. But he sure does appreciate all your calls!” And I didn’t even care because, holy shit, the letter had his signature on it.
So why oh why have I not read The Book of Dust yet? It’s hard feeling to describe but the phrase “paralyzed with anticipation” comes to mind. This book was a long time coming and I both dread and crave what lies inside (if that makes any kind of sense). Basically, it’s another case of me needing to kick myself into making a decision.
I am right there with you about Oathbringer (except I don’t even own a copy yet!). I really feel like I need to read the others again before I read that one, but those are some massive books to reread. Yet I also don’t want to miss out on something important simply because I can’t remember what’s going on. So I understand your pain, absolutely.
I’m a huge fan of Vicious, which I loved more than her Shades of Magic series, so definitely read it! I’m also trying to fit in The Book of Dust but I’ve read only middling reviews so I’m not sure…
I’ll definitely be picking up Vicious! 😀 And I was hoping The Book of Dust would be an immediate sequel to the previous trilogy, so I *was* a tad disappointed to hear it would start with Lyra as a baby.
I definitely also want to read Vicious, it sounds really great.
I’d love to continue that series by Brandon Sanderson. I’ve read just the first one but I am dying to go on with that!!!!
I haven’t read The Hate that you give yet either but that Mary Renault series sounds amazing!
I can’t believe I’ve never read the Dark Materials series. Now that the Book of Dust is out, I feel the urge to get to that series so I can buy the prequel and stare at its incredible cover until the end of time!! Mary Renault’s books sound amazing as well! Also, thanks for the link to my review!
It *is* absolutely gorgeous! I adore both the UK and the US version. <3 And I wholly recommend Dark Materials. It deals with string theory, authoritarianism, sexuality, and religion (just to name a few), which seems utterly ridiculous for a "children's" series, but the author somehow pulls it off.
And ahhh, I just realized I left off the "h" in your name–many apologies!! I've been terrible with names lately!
No worries about that, it happens all the time! Now I’m even more intrigued about Dark materials, I’m adding this series to my never-ending TBR right this moment!:)
ADSOM was an okay book for me too, but I ended up loving Vicious more than what I was expected! It’s just amazing!
AHH that’s awesome to know! I’m super excited! 😀
Oathbringer was soo good that I started rereading it immediately after I finished because I couldn’t get enough of it! And because I know I missed a lot of the more subtle points.
I’ve never heard of The Last of the Wine, but it sounds awesome!
I heard from my friend that the cinematic audiobook version of Oathbringer is fantastic and I’m looking forward to trying that for my reread in the future! Now I just need to get through the first read…:P
😱 I didn’t know that existed! I’m going to have to check it out. Thanks!
Even though I love the Shades of Magic series, I think Vicious is probably my favorite V.E. Schwab book. It’s just on a different level than the Shades of Magic series. I’m really looking forward to the sequel but it’s been a while since I’ve read Vicious so I’m planning to re-read it before Vengeful comes out. Hope you enjoy it!
You’ve just made me even more eager to start Vicious. That’s awesome to know–thank you!
I really want to read more V.E. Schwab before the end of the year. I really want to get to A Gathering of Shadows, but Vicious sounds interesting too! I hope you love The Book of Dust 😊
Thanks, Aurora, I hope I do too! <3 And fingers crossed you'll get to Gathering of Shadows!
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Ohh I’ve read some of these, but first I like that you added Oathbringer because I haven’t even read The Way of Kings lol. Vicious was much better than The Shades of Magic Trilogy for exactly what you said. I felt really weird rooting for the characters because I liked their evilness lol. I read The Hate U Give after taking a class on the psychology of prejudice with an emphasis on racisim, and it literally covered everything we learned about in class. I even gave a copy with my tabs in it to that professor but she said she’d already read and was impressed by it!
Ahaha at this rate, you’ll be finished with all three books before I even get started on Oathbringer. And ooh, that’s so cool of your prof! I’m guessing (hoping?) schools will start to include the book in their curriculum, especially now that the movie’s coming out.
And I always love it when books make me root for evil characters 😀 (I have no idea what that says about me).
True! Though I’m from Cali so it’s pretty blue over here near SF lol. And lol! Tell me why I just said that to someone in one of the book groups I’m in
I am so with you!! I did not like A Darker Shade of Magic (at all) but I’m actually interested in reading Vicious. I’m definitely going to read the review you linked to. I hope you love all these books!!
Thank you! And my main problem with Shade of Magic was that I found the characters rather bland and just…pleasant? (with the exception of Lila) So I feel like Vicious would be the perfect antidote. 😀
Haha, for sure. I really did not like the characters in ADSoM at all!!
I also need to read Vicious! Preferably before the next one comes out. And I’ve been meaning to pick up Mary Renault’s books on Alexander the Great for a while now!
Alexander books are really great, especially the second one! And I’m trying to get my brain to ignore the pressure of the fact that Vengeful’s coming out in a just few months. 😀
Where did you get them? I tried getting the first one on Kindle and it said it wasn’t available 😢
To avoid the pressure you could go the other way: “I can’t read Viscous until Vengeful comes out, or I’ll have to wait for MONTHS”😉
Aww no! 🙁 Maybe try Kobo for the ebook? I got mine as paperbacks from Amazon Canada (Bookdepository also has the physical copies). Is this the one you couldn’t get?
Yeah 😥 Amazon failed me. I’ll try book depository I think..
I wasn’t a fan of A Darker Shade of Magic when I read it last year either but I am still debating giving Vicious a try as who doesn’t LOVE anti-heroes?! I’m just not sure I’m up for another book that may plunge me into a reading slump! Decisions, decisions… ❤️ Happy reading Kathy!
I love your list Kathy. I have not read anything V.E. Schwab has written so far but really, really want to. 🙂 Also, I am seriously tempted by the Renault’s Alexander the Great trilogy. So many great books to choose from. 🙂
I haven’t read any of those books on your list but as said, am tempted to read them. 🙂 I think The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock is what I really want to read next (and definitely before the end of the year). 🙂
I’m so super tempted to request The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock ARC (as it’s not out here yet), but I have a mountain of not-read ARCs that are scowling at me so I think I’ll try it a little closer to the release date. 😂 It looks super good though! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it!
I totally understand! 😊 Good luck with those ARCs.🍀😊
Tor has a great recap of the first 2 Stormlight books that I read before going into Oathbringer and it was all good. I highly suggest reading that first and also “Edgedancer” since it’s about Lyft 🙂 Oathbringer is awesome!
OMG I’ll need to check that out. Thank you so much! <3
You’re welcome 🙂
Ah The Hate U Give… that one has been starting at me accusingly from the shelf since forever. I really want to read it, but i’m also worried that it will make me overly sad or something like that, and nowadays just want to read something light-ish or my usual thrillers cuz i know i’m safe with those 😀
You know, sometimes i just want to stay away from heavy feelings… 😀
Oh, I definitely try to save the gloomy and serious stuff for the SFF/thriller/horror books and the fun ones for the contemporaries, because holy hell, real life right now is kind of a flaming mess–definitely don’t need that with my contemporary fiction as well. 😛
I need to crack on with V.E Schwab as I’m seeing her name crop up everywhere! I always feel like I’m late to the party.
I really enjoyed The Hate U Give and five starred it. It wasn’t what I was expecting it to be but it didn’t matter because it was good! Oddly not as heavy or hard hitting as it could have been so it didn’t feel ‘too much.’
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Good luck with your reading goals for the rest of the year! I really need to read Vicious too, as I’m so not caught up on all the Schwab books 😀