My First Ever Anticipated Books List

My 2021 anticipated books list

Skip the story and get to the list

Once upon a time, I was a little girl who never had to beg her mother too hard to take her to the bookstore. Once upon a time, a TBR was completely unheard of, a string of 3 letters that had no meaning. Once upon a time, I didn’t know to anticipate the publication of some books, only to anticipate the next trip to the bookstore so I could roam the shelves, hunting down the next perfect read.

I remember so clearly how I used to find my next reads. I would save for weeks, months, to be able to afford 3-4 books. While my mom strolled through the shelves, browsing here and there, I stalked through the fantasy and sci-fi section on repeat. It would take two or three rounds before I would start to pick out the books that screamed at me. It would be another two to three rounds during which I tipped paperbacks out of their slots to peruse the back cover, front matter, first pages, a couple of middle pages, and a page near the end. If all went well, I’d take it with me, otherwise it was slipped back into it’s waiting place. Over and over until I had 3-4 books cradled in my arms. I could spend hours doing that, perusing, studying, flipping, considering. That’s how I found my next reads.

This was years before Goodreads was even launched, maybe even before publishers’ catalogs were published online for people to peruse and pick out anticipated reads. The books I had had back matter, pages and pages of advertisements for other books, of lists of books that could be ordered by tearing out the page and mailing it in. Mailing it in. There weren’t many books that hadn’t yet been published mentioned in the back matter. At least, not in the books I had.

Anticipated reads is still something new to me even though I’ve been kind of, sort of, calling myself a book blogger for a couple of years now. I have a strong attachment to the way I used to pick out my books. I always made sure that, if I was picking out the first book in a series, the next books were already published in paperback (thick hardback fantasies were hard to carry around at school when I had so many textbooks as well). That way I also knew a couple of books I was automatically going to pluck from the shelves the next time I went to the bookstore. Being able to peruse books so thoroughly almost always meant I was never disappointed by my reads, which makes me feel sad now because I don’t have the luxury of doing that anymore and reading ARCs means I can’t peruse books the way I want so I have to be more open to disappointment and wasted time.

There was always a list of books I wanted to read, but I hardly ever followed through with many of them, just the series that became absolute must reads, but the next book was usually already published. It was just a matter of how soon I could get back to the bookstore.

Another thing I miss? Being within walking distance of a bookstore.

Anyways, I’m slowly getting into the groove of being a book blogger, of slowly letting go of the way I chose my books with such care. Now it almost feels like a free for all. A “let’s see if I like this one” kind of deal. It’s great for always having a book on hand, of always having something to read, but it also means there are more questionable reads thrown into the mix, and that just makes me yearn for the days I could peruse bookshelves for hours and flip through books. I mean, I still could if I wanted to (just have to check if my local bookstore is open for in-store perusal and ensure The Husband has the kids firmly in hand, though they’ll still be getting unruly after about 10 minutes). But they won’t have books that haven’t yet been published.

So, almost 700 hundred words later, I’m finally getting to the point of this post. I never had an anticipated books list before because I never anticipated any in terms of books that haven’t yet been published, but I do now! A short one, but I’m still excited that it’s my very first and now I’m kind of starting to feel a bit more like a book blogger. Just don’t count on this being a recurring feature.

My First Ever Anticipated Books List

Honey Roasted by Cleo Coyle

Honey Roasted by Cleo Coyle is number 19 in the Coffeehouse Mysteries series. I’ve been reading this series for over 15 years, since I was 18, so it’s gone through all of my (legally speaking) adult years with me. This series has seen me through college, marriage, grad school, and motherhood. I used to collect the paperbacks, then the ebooks, and now the hardbacks. This next book isn’t set to be published until December 7, 2021 (I stalk Cleo Coyle’s social media and Amazon until I see the listing for the next book. Then my husband knows whether to get it for me for my birthday or Christmas). For the longest time, the next book in this series has literally been my only anticipated book.

Sophie Valroux's Paris Stars by Samantha Verant

Sophie Valroux’s Paris Stars by Samantha Verant is the second book following The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux and is set for October 19, 2021. This is the book that made me think I might actually have something of an anticipated books list going this year. I adored the first book so much. It was almost exactly what I’ve been looking for in a women’s fiction novel, and the cooking, recipes, and France were just the icing on the cake. I started stalking Samantha Verant’s website, waiting to hear about her next novel, whether or not it continued to follow Sophie, because I loved the first book so much. I’ll probably read any fiction she puts out now.

The Liar’s Knot by M.A. Carrick is the next book in the Rook & Rose trilogy following The Mask of Mirrors. Currently, it’s slated to come out sometime in November, so there’s no cover yet, but I’m really hoping it does come out in November. Yes, the first half of the first book confused the living daylights out of me, but, once I hit the second half, I could not stop reading. I was so angry when it ended and immediately started following M.A. Carrick’s blog so I could find out right away when the next book was coming out. November of this year!

And why is it that all the books I want to read now aren’t coming out until the fall????

Headlines & Hydras by Rebecca Chastain

Headlines & Hydras by Rebecca Chastain is the second book in the Terra Haven Chronicles series and comes out May 18, 2021 (finally not a fall release date!). I had the pleasure of reviewing the first book last year and enjoyed everything about it, from the friendship journalist Kylie has with her gargoyle companion to her not-so-little crush on a certain Captain to the reckless fun Kylie always lands herself in as she chases a story, so I’m really looking forward to the next book!

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri is the first book in a new epic fantasy series. So far, I’ve only read her Realm of Ash, which is the second book in The Books of Ambha series, but I fell in love with her writing so much. One day I’ll read the first book, Empire of Sand, but, for now I’ll just be anticipating this one, which comes out June 8, 2021.

Well, five books seems like a really good start for me. Most of them are sequels, but I really like a good series. That way I always know I have a surefire read. There are a number of other series I really enjoy, but there might not yet be an announced next book. And standalones and first books in new series aren’t really catching my eye much, or at least not to the point where I’m breathlessly anticipating them. Most of them are a “if I get to it, I get to it and, if not, oh well, maybe another time” kind of deal. The five here, though? I have to read them. I have to read them.

What books are you anticipating this year?

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5 thoughts on “My First Ever Anticipated Books List

  1. Your tale of searching shelves for your next book is so similar to my own experience as a youngster. Every special occasion would result in book tokens and my mum would take us down to the local independent bookshop in the town centre. It was in this old Victorian building and the mg/ya section was up these rickety, uneven stairs (like something out of a novel in itself).
    We would emerge into a huge room with every wall covered in shelves packed with books, every wall but the one coated in windows. There were also shelves in the middle of the room but none taller than a child’s head (or my mum’s waist).
    In front of the windows was a desk with the resident expert on mg/ya books sat behind it like some kind of mystical librarian who could direct you to the best books for your preferences. She knew us by name and face pretty quickly with how often we went in.
    I would peruse the shelves, searching for just the right book, pulling different ones out and putting them back and asking my mum — who hovered in the corner talking with the mystical lady or perused books herself, or very occasionally disappeared downstairs to look for a book of her own — for help figuring out how many books I could afford with my token. The floorboards would creak as I stepped over them, making it feel like the floor would give way under you and next think you knew you would be in fairyland because this place was obviously a portal to another dimension.
    Once the books were chosen we headed back downstairs to pay and my brother would always go first. They wrapped the books in brown paper and string (this was late 90s early 2000s) and handed them over for us to carry home, although most of the time my mum would hold out her reusable shopping bag for us to put them in as soon as we were outside while we did all the other things we’d come to town for or while we trekked back to the car.
    Those books were always my most anticipated reads because I could never wait to get home and unwrap them from their special packaging like a gift I’d picked out for myself, and read them, usually devouring each one in mere days.


    1. I’m so jealous; that sounds like such an incredibly magical experience. Now I wish my local bookstore had wrapped books like little presents, too. It’s so wonderful to have memories of wandering bookstores for just the perfect reads when so much shopping is done online, scrolling mindlessly through countless pages, these days. I love your conceptualization of an anticipated read. The reading of them is definitely very anticipated!


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