50 Books I Want to Read Before 2019


Mid-year, July offers a turning point for many. For students, the month represents the middle of summer, a couple weeks closer to another school year. For those in the workforce, July can promise a vacation or time to reflect. And for us bookworms? July is a time to evaluate reading progress for the year so far and set some goals for the remaining months ahead.

When I created my reading goals for this year, I ambitiously challenged myself to read 100 books. Schoolwork and extracurricular activities have deterred my progress (40 books behind, according to Goodreads *cringes*), but I am still determined to read and enjoy as many great stories as I can before 2018 ends. With that said, here are 50 books I am hoping to read this year.

General Fiction

1. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan / I must have borrowed this book at least four times from the library during the school year, and I never got to reading it! I've finally picked it up and I'm excited to compare it to the film adaptation in August (yay for Asian rep)!

2. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee / Alex of the Book's Buzz recommended this story in my 2017 favorite books recap. It's another book I've wanted to read for a long time but never had the chance to. Pachinko follows the struggles of Korean immigrants residing in Japan during conflict. Recognizing that some of my mother's stories of her ancestors share Pachinko's historical roots, I'm especially looking forward to this one.  

3. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

4. Ready Player One
by Ernest Cline

5. The Handmaid's Tale
by Margaret Atwood / I remember trying to read this book in seventh grade and putting it down after the first three chapters. But, after receiving a free copy at an English seminar, I figured it's time for another try.

6. Little Fires Everywhere
 by Celeste Ng

7. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
by Kathleen Rooney / I am a sucker for historical fiction. I'll be honest; initially, this book's cover caught my eye, but after reading the synopsis, I'm excited to read about the main character's reflections on life from an older New York City.

8. The Joy Luck Club
by Amy Tan

9. Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Young adult

10. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson / I love mystery and thriller novels, and this is another one I've borrowed from the library multiple times but have not yet had the chance to read.

11. A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena

12. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green / A lot of my friends have recommended Green's latest to me. I think what particularly fascinates me about this story is how the main character describes his thoughts as "thought spirals".

13. Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han / I started this adorable series last year and I'm looking forward to finishing it.

14. Mosquitoland by David Arnold / The summary caught my eye when I noticed the main character had to experience moving. Growing up, I moved often due to my dad's occupation. I've been looking for a young adult novel that tackled the subject.

15. Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke

16. The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

17. Simon v. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli / I've heard so many great things about this novel and even its movie adaptation!

18. A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman
Middle grade

In elementary school, Rick Riordan and Trenton Lee Stewart became two of my favorite authors. As I've grown older, I can still find the same childish curiosity and investment in their stories as I once did. So, I endeavor to keep up with their new series (although I must admit, I'm behind).

19. The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan

20. The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan

21. The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart
22. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow / This book inspired a certain musical.

23. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly / When I saw the movie, I didn't realize the story had appeared in a book first. I love reading about history, social issues, and science, so this book seems to be the perfect combination.

24. The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan / My mom read this for a book club a couple years ago and loved it.

25. Packing for Mars by Mary Roach

26.  Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond / In my sophomore human geography class, Jared Diamond represented a well-respected and almost idolized figure. Many of his ideas, at their core, constituted the basis of the course (for example, that geography and agriculture played a major role in countries' development).

27. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman / To me, thinking about how we think is fascinating.

28. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

29. 1776 by David McCullough

30. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot / While covering genes in biology, I remember discussing Henrietta Lacks. Researchers, noticing that Lacks's cells seemed to be more durable than others', preserved her cancer cells without her consent for study. Scientists have used the HeLa cell line, named for its unaware donor, for extensive research and breakthroughs, including the polio vaccine. However, the use of HeLa cells raises significant questions about the morality of using a person's cells without their consent.

31. Milk!: A 10,000 Year Food Fracas by Mark Kurlansky

This summer, my senior English class has tasked me with reading and notating these four books.

32. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

33. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

34. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

35. Oedipus the King by Sophocles

Childhood favorites, each of these collections offered something unique to my development and remain a source of joy, even years later. I haven't re-read any of these series in a couple years, at least.

36-42. The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

43-47. The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

48-50. The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart
Read any great books lately? I would love to hear your recommendations and thoughts on any of the books on this list!


  1. Woo-hoo, I'm super-pumped to see that you're back + I love this post idea. I really need to read The Handmaid's Tale, and then get started on the tv show. I haven't read anything by Celeste Ng yet, but I'm really interested in her works, and will try to tackle at least one of her novels this year. I looove Pride & Prejudice - though I read it quite some time ago - and I want to read more by Austen this summer. Omg, Simon vs. is the most precious and fantastic novel ever, hope you'll love it - btw, The Upside of Unrequited is another good one by the author. I enjoyed A Streetcar Named Desire, and I want to read Their Eyes Were Watching God. Good luck on your 2018 reading goals! :)

    Veronika @ The Regal Critiques

    1. Thanks Veronika! I forgot that The Handmaid's Tale now has a TV series. I always try to read the book before seeing the adaptation, so there's another reason for me to get on it. Pride and Prejudice is another book I tried to read in middle school, and I was immediately annoyed with the mother. I stopped after the first few chapters, but I think maybe as an older reader I can appreciate the story more :) I've just started A Streetcar Named Desire, and while I felt Scene One was slow, things are picking up in Scene Four!

      claire @ clairefy

  2. You have so many great books on here! The Handmaid’s Tale is so good, I’m obsessed with the tv show but the book is where it all started and it really is something special. Pride and Prejudice is also a favourite classic of mine, very easy to follow and with a lot of great hidden meaning! And Always and Forever Lara Jean is such a perfect summer read! It was a great ending to the series and gave me such feels. Hope you enjoy these, and others, Claire!

    1. Thanks, Emily! I hope that I can get into Pride and Prejudice this time around. Since my failed attempt at reading it in the seventh grade, my mom has insisted that it's a story worth reading. I'm looking forward to that story this time around, along with finishing the Lara Jean series!

  3. Good luck! Harry Potter and The Handmaid’s Tale are some of my favorite books ever. I hope you get a chance to read all these!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Thank you AJ! The Harry Potter series are some of my favorites, too.

  4. I really want to read Crazy Rich Asians as well - that book sounds great and I have heard only GREAT things about it so far.
    I loved Turtles All The Way Down, it was such a great (but intense!) read. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did. Same goes for Simon vs., that book made me smile so, very much.
    I am also hoping to read Jane Sinner before the end of the year, that one sounds fantastic!
    Happy reading and best of luck for your little challenge :D

    1. Thanks Marie! I just finished Crazy Rich Asians! Personally I am not a fan of drama and gossip in books, so I found some parts to be slow-moving, but I did enjoy the characters and some of the subplots, especially Astrid's.


    xx Kenzie | www.paperpizzablog.com

  6. Okay I spy so many amazing titles here, some I've read and others are still in my tbr. I love Crazy Rich Asians and plan to finish the series this summer as it's been years since I read the first book. Little Fires Everywhere is a pleasantly surprising book for me, it's really good! And Immortal Lives of Henrietta Lacks is AMAZING! It just pulls you in and make you think and I just love love LOVE it so much. It's 100000% the best nonfiction book I've read.

    Tasya // The Literary Huntress

    1. I'm glad to hear that! I'm trying to read more nonfiction books to stretch myself out of my reading comfort zone a little bit, The Immortal Lives of Henrietta Lacks caught my eye after class. I just read Crazy Rich Asians (one book off the list!) and I do plan to continue the series, hopefully this summer.

  7. I just found out about your blog and I adore it! It's really beautiful and every post is so well written. I hope you'll be able to read all those books - some are truly amazing! x

  8. You have so many great books on this list! I hope you get to The Handmaid's Tale and Little Fires Everywhere :) I also loved Chernow's Hamilton biography. It's quite dense but he really manages to tell a story, rather than regurgitate a detailed timeline. We had to read Guns, Germs, and Steel for my AP World History Class in high school—I hated it! Diamond was just very repetitive and much of what he wrote seemed like...common sense, almost? I hope you enjoy it more, and good luck on your reading goals for the rest of the year! ♥

    1. Thanks JJ! I'm sorry Diamond was a disappointment for you. My AP human geography class loves him😂. I read The Handmaid's Tale and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it!

  9. I hope you like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I thought it was an excellent read.

  10. What an amazing list Claire! Almost all of these books are on my TBR. I want to buy and read Crazy Rich Asians before the movie comes out but it is so costly. I recently got Pachinko on my Birthday and I can't wait to read it :D The Handmaid's Tale is on my TBR for so long. I am going to read The Joy Luck Club next week for my classic book club :)

    Pride and Prejudice? Well, I keep dreaming of reading Jane Austen but haven't got chance yet. Same for A Girl Like That. Turtles All the Way Down was my favourite book of the last year and I can't recommend it enough. And SImon vs. is one of my favourites if this year. It is so cute. Nice Try, Jane Sinner and The Way You Make Me Feel are also on my TBR.

    I really hope we get to read all these books before the year end :P

    1. I hope you enjoy Pachinko! I read The Handmaid's Tale and Nice Try, Jane Sinner recently and I really liked them. Happy reading!

  11. I have so many thoughts that I don't know where to begin! So Hidden Figures was the W&M Common Book for incoming freshmen this summer. I just finished it last week and I really enjoyed it! Also, The Devil in the White City is the best non-fiction book that I've ever read. Also, I'm super behind, too and have yet to read The Ship of the Dead. Also, I recommend reading both 1984 and Brave New World before college--they really open up your mind.

    1. Oh wow, that's awesome! I read 1984 a couple months ago and THE ENDING left me rethinking it for days.

  12. Lots of great books here, some of my favorites! Hope you are doing well on it - best of luck!