Beat the Backlist Challenge

As someone who has always struggled with controlling their TBR pile and controlling their impulse to buy new books any time they enter a bookstore, it’s unsurprising that about 40% of the books that I own remain unread. One of my resolutions for this year was to read more of these titles, so what better way to do so than by entering a reading challenge (entering halfway through the year is better than not at all, right)?

The Beat the Backlist Challenge is hosted by Novel Knight and challenges readers to tackle books that were published before 2018. I’m aiming to read at least 42 backlist titles this year to make a nice dent in my TBR pile, with at least 12 published prior to 2016. I’ll also link my progress below and provide monthly updates – the more accountable I am to this, the better.

Here are the backlist titles I’ve read so far this year:

  1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (pub: 1962)
  2. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin (pub: 1969)
  3. All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater (pub: 2017)
  4. History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera (pub: 2017)
  5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (pub: 2017)
  6. The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord (pub: 2017)
  7. Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray (pub: 2017; my review)
  8. This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp (pub: 2016)
  9. That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston (pub: 2017)
  10. Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han (pub: 2017)
  11. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield (pub: 2013)
  12. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (pub: 2017)
  13. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (pub: 2017; my review)
  14. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (pub: 2017)
  15. The Graces by Laure Eve (pub: 2016)
  16. Mosquitoland by David Arnold (pub: 2015)
  17. Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (pub: 2017)
  18. The Memory Trees by Kali Wallace (pub: 2017)
  19. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (pub: 2007; my review)
  20. The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee (pub: 2016)
  21. La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman (pub: 2017; my review)
  22. The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano (pub: 2017)
  23. The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo (pub: 2017; my review)
  24. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (pub: 2012)
  25. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (pub: 2013; my review)
  26. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (pub: 2014; my review)
  27. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (pub: 2016)
  28. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (pub: 2007; my review)
  29. American Gods by Neil Gaiman (pub: 2001)
  30. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (pub: 1995; my review)
  31. The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman (pub: 1997; my review)
  32. Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi (pub: 2016; my review)
  33. Romancing the Throne by Nadine Jolie Courtney (pub: 2017; my review)
  34. When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (pub: 2016; my review)
  35. Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown (pub: 2016; my review)
  36. Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi (pub: 2017; my review)
  37. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (pub: 2017; my review)
  38. Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky (pub: 2016; my review)
  39. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (pub: 2016; my review)
  40. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst (pub: 2016; my review)
  41. Uprooted by Naomi Novik (pub: 2015; my review)
  42. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (pub: 2017; my review)
  43. Vicious by V.E. Schwab (pub: 2015; my review)
  44. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (pub: 2013)
  45. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore (pub: 2015; my review)
  46. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (pub: 2017; my review)
  47. The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill (pub: 2017; my review)
  48. China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan (pub: 2015)
  49. Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan (pub: 2017)
  50. What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton (pub: 2017)
  51. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay (pub: 2017)
  52. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (pub: 2015)
  53. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab (pub: 2016)
  54. A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab (pub: 2017)

Are you participating in any reading challenges this year? How often do you read backlist titles as opposed to newly published books? Let me know in the comments below.

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    • You definitely should! Don’t worry, though, I did the exact same thing – I had the library copy come up on hold at least three times before I finally found the time to read it.

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