Top 5 Wednesday – Books You Want to Read Before the End of the Year

“Top 5 Wednesday” is a weekly meme currently hosted on Goodreads byย 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

The Hate U Give

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

The Last of the Wine

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

The Book of Dust

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.


And that’s it for me! Have you read any of these? And what books are you looking to get to before the end of the year?

42 thoughts on “Top 5 Wednesday – Books You Want to Read Before the End of the Year

  1. Nicole Evans says:

    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.


  2. Tammy says:

    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…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Meghan H. says:

    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!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kathy @Pages Below the Vaulted Sky says:

      It *is* absolutely gorgeous! I adore both the UK and the US version. โค 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!


      • Meghan H. says:

        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!:)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Nadine - todaysechoes says:

    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!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lourdes @ Unbound Books says:

    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!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. auroralibrialis says:

    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 ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Justine says:

    Ohh Iโ€™ve read some of these, but first I like that you added Oathbringer because I havenโ€™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 sheโ€™d already read and was impressed by it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kathy @Pages Below the Vaulted Sky says:

      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 ๐Ÿ˜€ (I have no idea what that says about me).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Justine says:

        True! Though Iโ€™m from Cali so itโ€™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 Iโ€™m in

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer says:

    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… โค๏ธ Happy reading Kathy!


  9. Vera says:

    I love your list Kathy. I have not read anything V.E. Schwab has written so far but really, really want to. ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, I am seriously tempted by the Renaultโ€™s Alexander the Great trilogy. So many great books to choose from. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I haven’t read any of those books on your list but as said, am tempted to read them. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock is what I really want to read next (and definitely before the end of the year). ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  10. MetalPhantasmReads says:

    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 ๐Ÿ™‚ Oathbringer is awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Norrie says:

    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 ๐Ÿ˜€
    You know, sometimes i just want to stay away from heavy feelings… ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Gerry@TheBookNookUK says:

    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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