tbr | 21 before 21

June 2020, I’m turning 21. It’s a fairly big birthday for me, for a lot of reasons.

Mostly it makes me want to start the new decade directing my energy towards reading. I’m 21, and I want to feel like my reading reflects that. I don’t want to get to June and have all of these books still on my shelves, unread!

I see a lot of people doing this sort of thing, and I just think it’s a great concept. I’ve tried to sort the books into groups, some of them are reaches, but I won’t tolerate slander!


My first three picks are Shakespeare plays. I’m trying to read all of Shakespeare’s major works by the time I’m 25, and I kind of want to get through some of the ones I’ve been avoiding thus far. So: Richard III; Troilus and Cressida; and The Winter’s Tale. I’m very excited for The Winter’s Tale, genre-wise I’m not sure where it falls but it seems most up my alley.


Vague, I know! Choices 4 and 5 are Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens and Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. I’m over 250 pages in to Oliver already, and Northanger Abbey seems most likely to appeal to me as it has gothic elements, something I love in classics. I’m a BIG Pride and Prejudice fan, so I’m hoping I don’t get let down.


6 and 7 are literary fiction titles. The End of Loneliness by Benedict Wells was translated from the German by Charlotte Collins, and it focuses on grief and estranged siblings, which are two of my buzzwords. Kappa Quartet by Daryl Qilin Yam was recommended to me by my best friend! I’m not entirely sure what it’s about, but I’m still excited to read it. I’ve never read anything by a Singaporean author before (other than my friend’s work), so it’s exciting.

8-11: OTHER……. FICTION????

Yeah. I’m realising now the categories are super messed up. Book 8 is Nietzsche and the Burbs by Lars Iyer, which is being released in January. Surprisingly, it’s exactly what the title suggests: a modern story where Nietzsche is a teenage boy living in the suburbs. Autumn by Ali Smith is VERY relevant, and I want to read at least one Ali Smith before I turn 21.

There’s also A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard, who I own multiple books by and want to finally get to to figure out if she’s my kind of author. And then book 11, Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, which I’ll end up listening to the audiobook of. I’m a massive fan of music and stories relating to musicians, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed I like this one.


Book 12 and 13. Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton is one I started in September 2019 and put down for a bit, but I’ve got back into non-fiction so I’m going to pick this one up so I feel inspired before I go back to university. Fleabag: The Scriptures is the script for the TV show Fleabag which, while that show is made up of fictional events, the script obviously takes you out of that and helps you pick up on the layers more, so– NON-FICTION!

14-18: uh…… SCI-FI/FANTASY

*Jazz hands*

Book 14 is The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman; I just want to read it, okay, and apparently it’s fantasy? Willful Machines by Tim Floreen, because I read Tattoo Atlas in 2017, which means this has been on my shelf since TWENTY SEVENTEEN. World War Z by Max Brooks, it’s an iconic piece of zombie literature, I want to feel successful. 

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers, which has been on my shelf since 2016. I know, I hate myself too. And then book 18, Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, because I’ve loved this series but I know I can put things off forever so putting it on this list holds me accountable!

19-21: MANGA

19, One Piece Volume 12-20 by Eiichiro Oda. If I can read 10 volumes of this every half a year, I might be able to catch up by, like, 2025. Then there’s Haikyuu!! Volume 6-10 by Haruichi Furudate, everyone’s favourite volleyball manga. And 21, The Gods Lie by Kaori Ozaki, just because it looks neat!

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2 thoughts on “tbr | 21 before 21

  1. Pingback: March TBR – seasonsofwords

  2. Pingback: Spring TBR – seasonsofwords

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