2020 TBR: Branching Out in a New Decade (#branchout2020)

I’ve been debating this one for awhile, and almost chickened out several times. I grew up reading mostly horror & a bit of sci-fi almost exclusively, but added some fantasy in when I was a teen. In the last couple of years, I’ve really enjoyed nonfiction – well, some of it anyway. I’ve tried doing a little branching out since becoming more active in the bookish community online, but my home and heart will always be with the genre that got me into reading to begin with: horror.

Since 2020 starts a new decade, I wanted to try to get a little more variety into my reading regimen. I’m obviously going to still read mostly horror, with some science fiction and fantasy thrown in, but there are lots of other genres that I don’t typically read – and maybe I’ll like them! I figured that the start of a decade is a great place to give them a shot!

I’ve broken this TBR into sections by genre, and you’ll notice that they each only have a couple of books per. This is because I’ll be doing this reading alongside my normal reading/reviewing, so I didn’t want to overwhelm myself by adding too much that’s outside my ‘comfort zone’.

If you’d like to join me in this, I’d love to have company! Do you find yourself reading a primary genre (or few), while avoiding some others? Are you curious about whether your avoidance of some other genres is warranted, or whether things may have changed? Use the hashtag #branchout2020 in your posts or TBR stacks so I can follow with you!

Reading in our favorite genres is wonderful, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with reading in a preferred genre only if that’s what you’d like! So to be clear, no shade to anyone that sticks to a single genre, and that’s not at all what this challenge is about! I’d just personally like to read a bit more variety in this upcoming year, as I’ve seen some books from friends that sound interesting but aren’t in my ‘niche’, so to speak. Just wanted to clarify this first, to avoid any bad feelings from any direction! 🙂





As mentioned above, I do read more nonfiction now than I used to! But I still want to focus on upping that amount from 2019 ’cause it was lower than I’d have liked. These books are ones I’ve had on my TBR, but had been putting off for one reason or another. 2020 is time!


🌈 AMERICAN PREDATOR: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by Maureen Callahan (Goodreads)

🌈 IN THE DREAM HOUSE by Carmen Maria Machado (Goodreads)

🌈 DEAR GIRLSIntimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice for Living Your Best Life by Ali Wong (Goodreads)



If I’m being honest, I’m most nervous about this one. I always say I don’t really like romance, but I can’t remember actively ever reading and disliking the genre, so maybe I’ve been avoiding it unnecessarily? We’ll see! These were recommended by my friend Destiny who has her own blog over at Howling Libraries. Destiny is amazing and reads all kinds of genres!


🌈 RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE by Casey McQuiston (Goodreads)

🌈 A GIRL LIKE HER by Talia Hibbert (Goodreads)

🌈 THE KISS QUOTIENT by Helen Hoang (Goodreads)



I haven’t read nearly as much of this genre as I did when I was a bit younger, and I miss the magic and kingdoms and world building so much!


🌈 THE STARLESS SEA by Erin Morgenstern (Goodreads)

🌈 ALL THE EVER AFTERS by Danielle Teller (Goodreads)

🌈 THE CRUEL PRINCE by Holly Black (Goodreads)



I do read a bit of contemporary every now and then, but I want to focus on doing it intentionally rather than ’cause I chose it during a Book of the Month pick or something. These are a few from my own TBR that I’m pushing up on the list!


🌈 BIG LITTLE LIES by Liane Moriarty (Goodreads)

🌈 LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE by Celeste Ng (Goodreads)

🌈 NORMAL PEOPLE by Sally Rooney (Goodreads)



I’m going to be slightly lenient with this one since I have a ‘nonfiction’ section, and choose a nonfiction book I’ve had on my TBR for awhile, but also one that’s more in the “historical fiction” section!


🌈 THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Goordreads)

🌈 THE RADIUM GIRLS: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore (Goodreads)

🌈 MARIE ANTOINETTE: An Intimate History by Melanie Clegg (Goodreads)



I have a decently sized collection of books relating to my Paganism, but am behind on reading some of my digital copies – so I thought this would be a good opportunity to catch up!


🌈 THE MODERN WITCHCRAFT GUIDE TO MAGICKAL HERBS: Your Complete Guide to the Hidden Powers of Herbs by Judy Ann Nock (Goodreads)

🌈 THE MODERN GUIDE TO WITCHCRAFT: Your Complete Guide to Witches, Coven, and Spells by Skye Alexander (Goodreads)

🌈 THE WITCH’S BOOK OF SELF-CARE: Magical Ways to Pamper, Soothe, and Care for Your Body and Spirit by Arin Murphy-Hiscock (Goodreads)


Do you have any recommendations for books to read in the genres above for me? I’d be totally open to checking them out, so comment and let me know if you have any!

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9 thoughts on “2020 TBR: Branching Out in a New Decade (#branchout2020)

  1. You’ve got some amazing books on this list! Red, White, & Royal Blue was so great! Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was a big one for me when I read it. I love this challenge. I’ve stopped focusing on genres or categories, and instead I’m just focusing on what I’m interested in, no labels attached. I find it helps my anxiety and leaves me freer to choice. 🙂 I can’t wait to see how this goes for you.

  2. For ONCE I’m on my laptop when reading one of your posts and I’m actually able to type out a decent reply so here goes!

    I love this idea! I won’t actively participate because.. Let’s just say I’m the worst when it comes to using hashtags and updating challenges and all that. But I do branch out every year thanks to the Popsugar Reading Challenge. Those prompts make me pick up books I usually wouldn’t, every single time!

    [Funny fact: Horror is the genre I avoid most of all, haha!]

  3. I really loved Dear Girls – non fiction is occasionally my jam, so… some that I’m going to be reading this year are
    The Lady from the Black Lagoon by Mallory O’Meara
    Cat Call by Kristen J. Sollee (her last, Witches, Sluts, Feminists I did read and it was fantastic)
    Monster, She Wrote by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson
    The Science of Women in Horror by Meg Hafdahl and Kelly Florence.

  4. Oooh, Cassie, I LOVE this post and I am very enthused about joining in as well as cheering you on with some of these. In terms of my comfort zone, it is definitely science fiction and non-fiction although since I started blogging in 2017 I’ve noticed that my fantasy and contemporary collections have been steadily growing which has been nice.

    One genre that I don’t yet read though, which I am very intrigued by like you, is romance! I feel like there’s a lot of stigma attached to reading romance and I have this certain image of it in my head which I know I need to challenge. Seeing bloggers like Destiny talking about romance has made me definitely want to give it a try – maybe we could read some together? Another genre I’m perhaps interested in reading a little bit more of as well is YA/diverse Western. I NEVER thought I would ever be interested in Western/Western inspired books but adored the American Hippo duology by Sarah Gailey and Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman so I am curious about dipping my toe in a bit more.

    I can definitely be here to cheer you on for non-fiction and historical as well. I *love* non-fiction, though I don’t get to read much of it at the moment because of uni, and I also loved Radium Girls!

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