Now.. I know what you’re thinking…
“Zoe, it’s the end of February. It’s a little late for this, don’t you think?”
To answer: Yes, I know we’re already two months into 2020, but my seasonal depression is just now starting to wear off. So, as they say, there’s no better time like the present!
Ever since graduating in December, I haven’t really read much of anything. After spending almost two years consecutively binge-reading books assigned by my professors, I decided I deserved a well-deserved break from reading.
However, that break has lasted two months, and I’m ready to start finally reading some books again!
So, without further ado, I present a list of 20 reads and re-reads that I want to get to in the 2020 year.
To begin, I thought I’d share which books I want to re-read. These re-reads mainly consist of classic literature that were previously assigned for my classes, as well as some old favorites.
1. The Divine Comedy – Dante Alighieri
Even though The Divine Comedy technically consists of 3 epic poems (Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso), but when combined, they truly stand as one cohesive narrative and story. Plus, since they’re poems, they’re pretty quick reads.
After taking the best Dante course in college (shoutout to Dr. Reid), I completely fell in love with Dante and his incredible story of literally dragging himself out of his own hell and finding acceptance and love within himself.
Since our class was assigned to read The Divine Comedy twice, this will be my 3rd re-read of this epic poem. Every time I read it, I feel like I’m taking a new journey and still finding things buried within Dante’s masterpiece, and I’m really excited to see what I discover this next time around!
2. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles was the first Victorian classic, and perhaps the first classic ever, that I read. This novel really paved the way for my love of Victorian literature, such as the Brontë’s and the infamous Jane Austen, as well as my entire literature endeavors.
Of course, I’ve always loved reading ever since I first learned how to read, but as my life started getting busier with cheerleading practices and jobs in high school, I didn’t have as much time to read. I first went to college thinking I was going to be a veterianarian, but complicated chemistry classes and THIS BOOK helped me decide to change my entire future.
Because Hardy’s book holds a sentimental value close to my heart, I’m really excited to pick it up again and see if it still holds up!
3. Fifty Shades of Grey – E. L. James
I’m sure everyone will judge me for this re-read, but hear me out.
There’s obviously a lot of controversy surrounding this series, but I completely fell in love with it when I first read it. I’m still a pretty big Fifty Shades stan (I’ve watched all of the movies too many times to count), but I’ve only read the books once. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED these books, but I am interested to see if I’ll still be rave about them the way that I do.
James’ book is sentimental to me much like the way Twilight is. A guilty pleasure, if you will. It is also how I found out about Tess of the D’Urbervilles in the first place, as well as the publishing world. So, even if I don’t end up liking it, I can still thank the Fifty Shades series for helping me find my love of literature.
4. Paradise Lost – John Milton
Honestly, I’m only putting this on here to try and hold myself accountable for re-reading this soon.
I was lucky enough to have an amazing professor that assigned and taught our class Milton’s entire epic poem recalling The Fall of Satan, as well as Adam and Eve.
However, with 18 credit hours and tasked to help organize and campaign for the 2018 Milton Marathon, I didn’t exactly have the time to “fully grasp” (aka not finish) the entirety of this poem.
Basically, I want to re-read it just so I can say that I read it all.
Now here’s a list of books I’ve been dying to get to, but keep pushing them to the side.
5. Various Plays – William Shakespeare
I’m a hoe for Shakespeare. Let’s just get that out now.
My first college English course was Shakespeare, and I was literally obsessed with anything Shakespeare for months (especially Richard III). To be honest, I miss that feeling.
In all honesty, I would love to finish all of his plays by the end of the year, but let’s just say “various” in case that doesn’t happen so I can feel better about myself.
6. Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
I actually start this novel a few weeks ago and just never picked it back up.
Even though this is one of the most famous Victorian classics, I have no idea what it is about, and I’d like to keep it that way.
I have a feeling this one will be another favorite!
7. 11/22/63 – Stephen King
Yet another book I started a few weeks ago and sadly put down (are you seeing the pattern yet?).
I have yet to read a Stephen King book, and I refuse to stay that way this year. I’ve definitely spoiled myself by already finishing the Hulu series adaptation of this novel, but I couldn’t stop myself from watching it. James Franco in the 1960’s? Yes, please.
I’ve only finished one chapter of this so far, and I’m already enjoying it so much. I know when I pick it up again, I’m not going to be able to put it down. But who ever complained about that?
8. Astrophil and Stella – Sir Philip Sidney
Another classic set of poems that I have yet to dive into. As a lover of complex and difficult romantic relationships, I’m really excited to get into this juicy love affair.
Other than the love affair, I’m not very familiar with what Astrophil and Stella is about, but it’s just one of those classics that you know is incredible.
9. Doctor Faustus – Christopher Marlow
Fun Fact: I thoroughly enjoy exploring adaptations of Satan. No, I’m not satanic.
But I do love when writers create “Satan” figures that are deep, complex, and resonate a lot with what it means to be human, evil, etc.
I could go on forever about my research on Satan as a fictional character, but we’ll save that for another time.
10. Various Poems and Prose – John Milton
Somehow, I took a 3 month course all about John Milton and his works, yet I feel like I’ve only begun to crack open the interesting character that is Mr. Milton.
As I stated earlier, I would like to try to get a re-read in of Milton’s Paradise Lost, but I’d also like to explore his work even more. This man took 6 years off to “study” (basically reading a lot), so he must have quite a lot of influences.
Milton always stated he was destined for greatness, so let’s see what his other works are all about.
11. City of Ashes – Cassandra Clare
Again, ANOTHER book I put down and never picked up. Why do I do this to myself?
My friend Matthew swears by The Mortal Instruments series, and, apparently, so does the majority of the BookTube community.
I know a lot people read these growing up, much like Harry Potter, but I guess I was too infatuated with Edward Cullen at that time to really broaden my horizons.
I flew through City of Bones, so I’m sure I’ll finish City of Ashes super quick once I finally pick it back up again.
12. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – J. K. Rowling
Again, I know what you’re thinking.
“Zoe, shouldn’t this be in your re-read section? Everyone has read the Harry Potter series.”
I wasn’t interested in anything Harry Potter until around 2016. Of course, I’ve watched all the movies now, and I’ve even been to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando a couple of times. However, I’ve never read the books.
I do remember “reading” through the first book a few years ago, but I can hardly remember anything about it. So, here’s to a thorough read through.
13. Various Poems – John Donne
I’ve always heard John Donne being compared to Fifty Shades and other erotic ideas, and I’m honestly here for it. Surprisingly enough, I’ve never read any of his poems, even though I love Fifty Shades.
I have no idea what to expect, but I’m ready for the raunch.
14. Wilder Girls – Rory Power
I remember when this book came out last year, and everyone created all this hype around it. I always tried to start it, but classes and family kept getting in the way.
Apparently, Wilder Girls has a similar premise to Lord of the Flies, which I still haven’t read, but I believe it has something to do with being stranded/quarantined. I’ve also heard there’s body horror in this book, which really isn’t my thing, but I want to be invested in the hype, if there is any hype to be had.
15. Animal Farm – George Orwell
George Orwell’s 1984 completely changed my life. Naturally, I’m ready to pick up more of his works as fast as I can.
I love how Orwell tackles the issues of social classes and inequality, so I’m super pumped to finally get to another one of his well-known works. From what I’ve heard about Animal Farm, it seems like it might compete with my love for 1984.
And the list goes on
To be quite frank, I originally planned on making this post 20 books instead of 15, but I didn’t realize how little my TBR truly is (at the moment, anyway). However, as we all know, the TBR list is constantly evolving and basically endless. There are always books, both old and new, that are always popping up on my radar.
Will I get to all of these books? Probably not.
Would I like to try to get to all of them? Hell yeah!
Apparently, this year seems to be a catch-up on all of the classics I have yet to read, as well as a few modern books here and there. I hope you found some new books, poems, or plays from this list to add to your own 2020 TBR!