Have you ever taken an opportunity to look at your Goodreads “want to read” shelf? Have you ever reverse sorted it by date added, and looked at all the books that you wanted to read way back in the day and never got around to? Well, that’s precisely the exercise which I decide to undertake for this blog post. I created my Goodreads account back in 2016, and have been adding books to my TBR ever since, rarely actually reading the books I added. Now, in an attempt to resurface them and maybe find some old books that I do, in fact, want to read in 2022, I’m going to share all of those books with you.
There are some books on my TBR that ended up there because I read half of them and stopped, so I’m going to ignore those for this list. Below is 100% of the books that I added to my TBR at some point in 2016 or 2017 but never read, with one caveat. In the process of making this list, I came across a couple of problematic authors (who I didn’t realize were problematic at the time I added the book) and I removed them from my TBR without including them on this list. If I missed any problematic people, feel free to let me know and I won’t read them!
Honestly, I thought this was going to be about 25 books, but it ended up being 73 which is INSANE! Because of that, I only wrote about / added photos to the ones that I vividly remember right now, since writing about all 73 would take over 6 hours that I don’t have today. I clearly have to start reading from my back catalog, but it’s fairly difficult when there’s so many new and exciting books that I want to read. If you see any books on this list that you think I should for sure prioritize (or for sure NOT) let me know in the comments section below! Happy Thursday!
My 2016-17 TBR
- A is For Alibi by Sue Grafton
- One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
- A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
- The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
As you guys know, I am Liane Moriarty’s biggest fan. I’ve been told this is one of her better books, and I’m fairly certain it’s also one of her oldest, but for some reason I’ve just never gotten around to reading it. This is definitely one that has been on my TBR forever but I genuinely want to read. Nine Perfect Strangers may have been a bit of a disappointment, but I’m ready to get back into the Moriarty game.
I read Crank and loved it so much that it made my list of books that changed me last week. For some reason, I never got around to reading any other books by Hopkins, and that has to change. I was actually just talking to a friend who said that all of her books are equally amazing, and he’d read 12 of them. That has given me more confidence that I won’t be let down by reading another of her books.
- Keep Sweet by Michele Dominguez Greene
- A Word for Love by Emily Robbins
- Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
For some reason, I could just never get myself to read another Veronica Roth book after the Divergent series. I was worried it would be a letdown so I didn’t request an early review copy, and then I heard from a few reviewers that it was… bad. I remember it being vaguely triggering for a lot of people, but I don’t remember what the reasoning is. If you’re someone with triggers you should probably look that up before reading this book. I still want to read it at some point, but I had to get sufficiently far away from my Divergent connotations first.
- After the Fall by Kate Hart
- My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
- The Kept Woman by Karen Slaughter
Karen Slaughter supposedly writes SUCH good books, but I haven’t ever read them. As a psycho thriller fan, it seems like they’d be the perfect books for me, and I hear this is one of the better ones, so I want to read it at some point. This is a “Will Trent” novel. From my understanding, Slaughter writes many semi-unconnected books with the same detective. I’m not a huge fan of detective books, but I know that my mother felt the same way and really enjoyed this one, so that’s at least one +1 in that column.
- American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
- I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
- The Girl At the Bar by Nicholas Nash
- All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
- Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
I was highly amused when I saw this book on the list, because while I did end up reading a book by Octavia Butler, it was NOT Parable of the Sower, it was Dawn, the first book in the Xenogenesis series. I can’t say enough good things about Dawn, and so I will eventually have to get around to reading Parable of the Sower. The problem with Butler’s books is that they are all series, and I have a hard time getting around to reading the subsequent books of any series I ever read.
- The Program by Suzanne Young
- Candy by Kevin Brooks
- The Awakened by Sara Elizabeth Santana
- Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
- Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian
- The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See
I heard so many amazing things about this book, and have heard nothing but good things since it’s been added. This is one of those books that I constantly want to read, but for some reason never do. Most of the books on this list have been added and forgotten about, but this one has been added and thought about and just not executed on. It’s a bit of a coming of age novel, and a bit of an abandon tradition and travel the country on your own novel, both of which are deeply appealing to me.
- The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck
- The Cutaway by Christina Kovac
- The Fever Code by James Dashner
- Soulmated by Shaila Patel
- The Last Queen by CW Gortner
- My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood
- The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
- Stolen Beauty by Laurie Lico Albanese
- We Can’t Be Broken by Hannah K Christie
- Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin
I added this book to the list in a time when I was reading almost exclusively about communist China. I go through historical “phases”, where I become obsessed with a place and time and need to know all about it, and then once I feel like I truly understand the history, I grow bored and avoid it entirely for the next year at least. That’s what happened to this book, lost in the shuffle of books about Mao that weren’t quite good enough to be read. Now that I’ve had sufficient distance, I could probably go back to it and enjoy it.
- Lose Me. by MC Frank
- The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
- The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
- The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown
- The Host by Stephenie Meyer
I actually think I started this book at some point and then decided not to read it, but I didn’t even get far enough in to add it to my “DNF” shelf. That’s probably not a good sign for Stephanie Meyer, and I honestly think it was caused by the fact that The Host is a LONG book, so when I didn’t enjoy the first few pages I couldn’t bring myself to read the next 600.
I did a lot of promotion work for this book on this very blog, but somehow never got around to reading the book, which is vaguely appalling. I love Carrie Ann DiRisio and the Twitter account that she runs for this character, so at some point I’ll have to buy the book. The problem is that I really want to own this book in a physical copy, since I think it’s one of those books that needs to be in the flesh for you to fully enjoy. That held me back when I was doing promo work in high school, since I didn’t want to explain to my mother why I needed access to her credit cards. Now, though, I should totally buy it.
- Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
- The Secrets of Eden by Brandon Goode
- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
- The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
Leigh Bardugo with the double appearance! I met her at the Boston Teen Book Festival one year, and she was very cool, plus I hear great things about her books, so one day I will actually read them. I will try to prioritize to start with Six of Crows, but honestly who knows.
- Cold Summer by Gwen Cole
- The Selection by Kiera Cass
- The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord
- Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
I read the book by his brother (?) at some point, and so also added this one to the list. I heard this one was actually better than his brother’s but I felt like I didn’t want to read them back to back in case there was repeat information, and now that I’m so far removed I just don’t feel a desire to read it at all. A Catch 22 if I’ve ever seen one.
- The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles
- Resistance is Futile by Jenny T Colgan
- The Beauty by Aliya Whiteley
- The Unlikelies by Carrie Firestone
- The Circus by Olivia Levez
- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Austen may be my favorite classic novelist, but it will take more than that to convince me to read a classic novel of my own free will. I need to go back to the days where my mother would force me to read a classic book once a month, so that I am forced to open Sense and Sensibility and become shocked by the fact that I actually like it. Right now, even though I know I’ll like it, I just can’t breach the mental barrier I have up around reading a classic.
- Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
- 27 Hours by Tristina Wright
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
I really enjoy memoirs, and I think Trevor Noah is a cool person, but I’m always nervous about celebrity memoirs. In my experience, they’re either bad, or definitely ghost written. From the looks of this book, it appears to have taken more of the ghost writing route, which gives me hope for reading it. Noah’s life is fairly unconventional for a celebrity, especially one who has become as famous as him, so I think reading this would be super interesting.
- Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance
- Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harai
- Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
- The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari
- Far From You by Tess Sharpe
- He Said / She Said by Erin Kelly
- The Color Project by Sierra Abrams
- Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
- The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke
- The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Hellig
- Hunted by Meagan Spooner
- Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo
- Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
This book has the most beautifully pink cover in the whole world that I want to own it and put it on display. Because of that, I never requested it at the library, and probably never will. The irony is, that was also my explanation for having it on my TBR at all back in 2017 when I was very much not out of the closet but still wanted to add Queens of Geek to my very much public Goodreads. Full circle, almost.
Like I said earlier, I have a hard time reading the subsequent books in series. I absolutely adored Strange the Dreamer, and think that Taylor’s writing style if beautiful. In fact, I loved the book so much that I forced everyone in my life to also read it. But when Muse of Nightmares finally came out, I never got around to reading it, and odds are I probably never will.