Readathons & Challenges TBRs

“35 by 35”: books I want to read before I turn 35!

October 17, 2022

Today’s post is a bit different from my normal “reading goals” list:

35 books I want to read by 35!

I got the idea for this post from Annemieke at A Dance With Books! They just posted their “40 before 40” list for their 35th birthday, and I loved the idea so much, I had to do it! (We even have a few books in common on our lists!)

My 30th birthday was yesterday (woohoo!), so I decided to pick 35 books that I want to prioritize reading before my 35th birthday. (I’ve already been doing this blog for 6 years, so I’m hoping that in 5 years, I’m still blogging to post an update to this list!)

I went with a mix of classics, favorite authors, recommendations, and books on my TBR for way too long!


1. Dracula // Bram Stoker
2. Rebecca // Daphne du Maurier
3. Carmilla // J. Sheridan Le Fanu
4. Frankenstein // Mary Shelley

favorite authors:

5. Craven Manor // Darcy Coates
6. King of Scars // Leigh Bardugo
7. Into the Drowning Deep // Mira Grant
8. Rosemary and Rue // Seanan McGuire
9. This Savage Song // V.E. Schwab


10. Elatsoe // Darcie Little Badger (recommended by Malli)
11. The Shadow of What Was Lost // James Islington (recommended by my spouse, Terry)
12. I Am Malala // Malala Yousafzai (recommended by Terry)
13. The Name of the Wind // Patrick Rothfuss (recommended by Terry)

on my TBR too long already:

14. Brother // Ania Ahlborn
15. The Way of Kings // Brandon Sanderson
16. Books of Blood: Volume One // Clive Barker
17.  Shutter // Courtney Alameda
18. Howl’s Moving Castle // Diana Wynne Jones
19. The Alchemists of Loom // Elise Kova
20. The Queen of the Tearling // Erika Johansen

21. Jade City // Fonda Lee
22. From Blood and Ash // Jennifer L. Armentrout
23. Pretty Girls // Karin Slaughter
24. Strange the Dreamer // Laini Taylor
25. The Song of Achilles // Madeline Miller
26. Coraline // Neil Gaiman
27. The Troop // Nick Cutter

28. Exquisite Corpse // Poppy Z. Brite
29. The Poppy War // R.F. Kuang
30. The Bone Witch // Rin Chupeco
31. The Death of Mrs. Westaway // Ruth Ware
32. The City of Brass // S.A. Chakraborty
33. Mexican Gothic // Silvia Moreno-Garcia
34. Hex // Thomas Olde Heuvelt
35. Betty // Tiffany McDaniel

Which books from this list do you think I should read first?


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  • Reply mehsi October 17, 2022 at 9:49 am

    Happy belated birthday! And I hope you enjoy your books + are able to read them all! Good luck!

  • Reply Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books October 17, 2022 at 10:47 am

    Happy belated birthday! You have some real gems on here. I really think you’re going to love Mexican Gothic!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 7, 2022 at 11:38 am

      Thank you! I’m hoping to get to Mexican Gothic this month and I’m really excited!

  • Reply Mani October 17, 2022 at 2:22 pm

    Happy belated birthday!! Some great books on the list, hope you enjoy them!! ❤️

  • Reply Tammy October 17, 2022 at 10:33 pm

    Such a great idea (but it’s too late for me😭) lol. I love seeing Betty on your list, I hope you get to it!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 7, 2022 at 11:39 am

      Thank you! You’re one of the people who has made me the most curious about Betty and I managed to get an ebook on sale not too long ago, so I’m excited about it! 😀

  • Reply Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense October 17, 2022 at 10:51 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I absolutely love the idea for this list and I hope you are able to tackle all of these. I am completely bias, but I highly recommend Mexican Gothic! It’s phenomenal.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 7, 2022 at 11:39 am

      Thank you, Alicia! I’m so eager to read Mexican Gothic, it’s one of my top priorities from the list! 😀

  • Reply Kristina October 17, 2022 at 11:55 pm

    Happy birthday lovely ❤️❤️
    While I do love the concept.. man idk what i’d put on mine xD

    Happy reading, hope you get to them soon & enjoy them xx
    Definately LOVED The death of Mrs westaway, especially the inclusion of Tarot (and the main twist.. that I won’t spoil) — the only one i’ve read in your bunch ahah

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 7, 2022 at 11:39 am

      Haha thank you so much! 😀 It was quite a tough choice for narrowing the list down, because I was going through books I owned that I’ve wanted to read for a while and there were SO many! 😅

  • Reply dinipandareads October 18, 2022 at 7:43 am

    There are so many books on here that I also want to read and many that I’ve enjoyed too 😍 I’m kind of tempted to do a 35 by 35 post as well but I’m 35 in May next year so maybe that’s way too ambitious, haha! Maybe 40 by 40 would be ideal. I hope you do get around to reading these books and enjoying them too, Destiny!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 7, 2022 at 11:40 am

      Hey, 40 by 40 sounds awesome! 😀 I’ll be looking forward to seeing what makes it onto your list if you do end up making one, and since your birthday is still a few months off, you’d have lots of time to make the ✨perfect✨ list! 😂🥰 Thank you, friend!

  • Reply Marie October 18, 2022 at 2:54 pm

    Ahh happy belated birthday! Such a fantastic idea for a post, I love it. I’d say… Read this Savage Song, I’d love to hear what you think of it! 🙂

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 7, 2022 at 11:42 am

      Thank you so much! This Savage Song sounds so good, and I just got the collector’s edition of it, which is making it even more tempting on my shelf! 🥰

  • Reply Kit @ Metaphors and Moonlight October 18, 2022 at 8:33 pm

    I’ve actually read eight of these! Which is more than usual when I come across lists like this lol. Most recently, I read Howl’s Moving Castle, it was cute! Happy belated birthday!

  • Reply Jordyn @ Birdie's Book Nook October 19, 2022 at 10:20 am

    Happy birthday (again!) my friend. You’ve got some really, really great books on this list. A few I need to get to, too. If you’re ever interested in buddy reading In the Drowning Deep let me know! I already have a copy, I just need to get around to reading it.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 7, 2022 at 12:19 pm

      Thank you! I would love to buddy read Into the Drowning Deep, just let me know when works for you! 😀

  • Reply mistysbookspace October 19, 2022 at 2:56 pm

    I’m currently in the middle of buddy reading Dracula with a friend and we plan to read Frankenstein after that. I’ve read Rebecca and really enjoyed it.

    I own both King of Scars and This Savage Song but haven’t read either of them yet.

    Coraline is the other one that I’ve read from this list and I really enjoyed it.

    I love this post idea but it’s way to late for me to do a 35 by 35 maybe when I turn 35 next year I will do a 40 by 40 although that makes it seem a lot more intimidating lol.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 7, 2022 at 12:20 pm

      A 40 by 40 list sounds so cool! Though you’re right, it does sound intimidating! What if you cut it in half and did “20 by 40”? Though that doesn’t have the same ring to it. 😂 I’m glad you liked Rebecca, and let me know if you would like to buddy read This Savage Song and/or King of Scars!!

      • Reply mistysbookspace November 7, 2022 at 12:24 pm

        Yeah it doesn’t have the same ring to it lol. Yeah I would love to buddy read either of them or both of them.

        • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 7, 2022 at 12:35 pm

          Awesome! I’m really wanting to get to This Savage Song soon, would you by any chance wanna read it in December? Or January if December is too busy for you, I know a lot of people stay busy that month.

          • mistysbookspace November 7, 2022 at 1:10 pm

            December is fine with me!!

          • mistysbookspace November 12, 2022 at 4:03 pm

            Hey so I’m going to be reading King of Scars soon because it fits for one of my prompts for Tropeathon. You can still read it with me if you want but I know it’s short notice so if that doesn’t work for you we can just buddy read This Savage Song in December.

  • Reply Caro @ bookcheshirecat October 20, 2022 at 12:56 pm

    Love this idea! ❤️ I really enjoyed King of Scars, but I still need to read Rule of Wolves! I also loved The Alchemists of Loom and I need to continue the series, as I somehow never picked it up again 😅

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 7, 2022 at 12:23 pm

      Haha I feel you on somehow never continuing series, story of my life 😂😭 but I’m so glad you liked King of Scars AND Alchemists of Loom!

  • Reply laina1312 October 21, 2022 at 1:29 pm

    I’d really like to read Rebecca and a friend and I are reading Carmilla later this year!

    Coraline is one of my favourite books and I’d highly recommend it, as is Mexican Gothic.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 7, 2022 at 12:23 pm

      I hope you like Carmilla! 😀 I feel like I’ve missed out on so many horror classics and I really would like to fix that. And I’m really happy you liked Coraline and Mexican Gothic so much!

  • Reply Annemieke October 22, 2022 at 2:03 am

    Oh so many good ones on here. I loved Mexican Gothic, Howl’s Moving Castle and Shutter. And Hex is quite creepy. But I haven’t read the translated version (they changed the setting and ending I heard).

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 7, 2022 at 12:25 pm

      Ooooh, I had no idea that Hex was changed when it was translated! I’ll have to poke you when I read it and see how it differed from the ending you read, that would be so cool to compare the two! 😀

  • Reply Malka @ Paper Procrastinators October 23, 2022 at 1:42 pm

    Happy birthday Destiny! I hope it was a great one! I’ve heard search great things about most of the books on this list, so I can’t wait to hear what you think of them! I know that Frankenstein and Elatsoe are on my TBR as well, and I might even try reading one of them in the next few weeks!

  • Reply Sumedha @ the wordy habitat October 24, 2022 at 5:13 am

    Happy birthday! This is a lost with many good books but..
    The Poppy War, City of Brass and A Song of Achilles! Do pick these up soon! They’re some of my favs 🙂

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 7, 2022 at 12:28 pm

      Thank you so much! 😀 I’m very excited to read all 3 of those so I’m happy to hear you love them so much! ♥

  • Reply Jenna @ Falling Letters November 1, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    Happy belated birthday! 🥳 My vote is for CORALINE.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries November 7, 2022 at 12:32 pm

      Thank you, Jenna! 😀 Coraline is one of the books on this list I’m the most excited about, so that’s great to hear!

    Say hello! ♥

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