Beat the Backlist 2019

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There’s a constant joke about avid readers and how our “to be read” pile is never ending. Or how they have a million unread books on their shelves and yet they can’t resist going into a bookstore or a library to pick up even more.

I am absolutely not exempt from this joke. In fact, there are days I wonder if it was inspired by me and my life because the amount of books I have sitting at home, and on my Kindle, is not only full - but it’s getting to be embarrassing. I have over 20 unread physical books that I own then on my Kindle… well… let’s say it’s in the 3-digits.

I told you it was embarrassing.

Particularly with ebooks it’s just so easy! You see one that’s only $.99 and you’re all “I’d be a fool to not get it! Only a dollar!” Then before you know it you have a huge list of unread books sitting there untouched. It’s so bad, my friends. SO BAD.

Then when Barnes and Noble sends you coupons all of the time…

I know.

It’s no excuse.

I have a serious, serious, problem, and I’m sorry.


A friend of mine decided she wanted to have all of the books she owned to be read by the time she turned 30. Her birthday is coming up and it’s kind of incredible how far she’s gotten. While it’s been stressful, I’m also slightly envious that in a couple of weeks she’ll no longer have a backlist of books sitting around the house.

Then, a couple months ago, another friend of mine told me about Beat the Baklist hosted by NovelKnight. (You can read all of the details by clicking here!) Apparently, this book blogger/Bookstagramer hosts this challenge every year and people use it to get through all of the books which have been published in previous years that they haven’t gotten to yet. It could be books that they own that they haven’t read yet (like me) or simply books they’ve been meaning to pick up but haven’t gotten around to it.

The only rule is that your books need to be published before the current year. (So for 2019, all of the books for the challenge need to be from 2018 or prior.)

People (like my friend) do their own challenges like this all of the time. But, there’s something about a more organized challenge like this one which helps me with the whole accountability thing. You can sign up, join a Hogwarts House if you want, join in on the Instagram challenge, and even fill out Bingo cards! (All of this is optional of course. Again - you can check out the details on her website here!) It seems like an answer to my problem!

To officially sign up, you need to have somewhere on the Internet your TBR for the Beat the Backlist Challenge then share it on the links provided on her blog. (In case you missed it before… click here!) This TBR doesn’t have to be the one you’ll ABSOLUTELY STICK TO NO MATTER WHAT. Just something to get started. You also can post it anywhere on social media. I just chose my blog because it’s my “main hub.”

My main focus is going to be my physical books. Yes, I’ll absolutely be reading the ones on my Kindle as well, but since that list is so overwhelming, I think I’ll feel much more of a sense of accomplishment with my physical TBR.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to get through all of them, but I’m going to try as much as I can! If I can read at leas 2-3 of them a month all year, I’ll be in good shape.

So… without much further ado, here’s at least part of my TBR for Beat the Backlist! (If you want to see all of them, you can check out my shelves on Goodreads.)

Consider this the official book-shaming of me.

Rose Under Fire (Verity #2) by Elizabeth Wein

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  • Genre: YA Historical

  • Published: 2014

  • Format: Paperback

This is most likely the book that has been sitting on my shelf the longest and I have zero excuses for not having read it yet. It’s WW2 which is one of my favorite time periods, it’s all girl power, and I loved Code Name Verity . I picked this book up not long after I finished it…. around when it was published… almost 5 years ago.

I know. I know.


I think what’s been stopping me is that the first book made me cry a lot and had ALL THE FEELS and I’ve been told this one is even worse. But… you’d think after five years I’d be prepared for it by now.

Alana: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness #1) by Tamora Pierce

  • Genre: YA/MG Fantasy

  • Published: 2010

  • Format: Paperback

I’m fairly sure I’m one of the last people ever to read this series. So many people love Tamora Pierce and I haven’t read a single one of her books. NONE of them. I can almost feel every single one of her fans groaning and judging me right now. I’M SORRY. This book was given to me a couple of years ago by a fellow Booktuber and I was so excited because I finally had no reason to not read it!

Did that happen?


Six Gun Snow White by Cathrynne M Valente

  • Genre: Adult Historical Fantasy

  • Published: 2013

  • Format: Paperback

I won this book a couple of years ago in a giveaway through Booktube and I was so happy! It’s a Snow White retelling! Look at that beautiful woman of color on the cover! It’s short! It looks like a unique take on the classic fairy tale! It looks amazing!

And yet… here it is.

Scarlet (Scarlet #1) By AC Gaughen

  • Genre: YA Historical Fantasy

  • Published: 2012

  • Format: Paperback

This was another book I got as a gift, I want to say a year ago now. It’s a Robin Hood retelling about a girl in his band of merry men who happens to be posing as a guy.

Sounds amazing, right?

I need to get on it.

This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis

  • Genre: YA Thriller

  • Published: 2017

  • Format: Hardcover

Yet another gift… and I love Mindy McGinnis! This book was on my wish list! I knew I wanted to read it! When I got it as a gift in the mail I was SO HAPPY!

Then it sat on my shelf for months.

The Outlaw Knight (FitzWaren #2) by Elizabeth Chadwick

  • Genre: Adult Historical

  • Published: 2013

  • Format: Paperback

Elizabeth Chadwick is one of my favorite authors! Every single one of her books I’ve read so far I’ve completely loved. The first book in this duology was fantastic. Naturally, I picked up the next one.

I guess I just haven’t been in the mood for a more dense historical fiction? Who. Even. Knows.

Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2) by Laini Taylor

  • Genre: YA Fantasy

  • Published: 2018

  • Format: Hardcover

Now, this one isn’t quite so embarrassing in the sense that it was was released back in October of 2018. Only three months ago!

However… this was one of my most anticipated of 2018. Strange the Dreamer was one of my FAVORITE books last year. It was AMAZING and the way it ended I needed the next one immediately! I went out to the store the day it was released and almost had a heart attack when they said my pre-order hadn’t arrived yet! When it did arrive it was one of the happiest days!

It’s just… so many books came out in October my friends. SO MANY. I couldn’t keep up with all of the new releases and this one for some reason just fell to the side and just…

I’m sorry.

The Ghost Rebellion (The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #5) by Pip Ballentine and Tee Morris

  • Genre: Adult Steampunk

  • Published: 2016

  • Format: ARC

I really love this opposites attract fun steampunk series. It’s witty and charming and funny and full of adventure! When the authors switched to self-publishing I signed up to donate to them so they could complete the series and in exchange I got an ARC for the next book.

Well… the book after this (which is the final one) was already released and I have a copy of that one too. But have I read this ARC? NOPE.

This is why I don’t request ARCs often.

Renegades (Renegades #1) by Marissa Meyer

  • Genre: YA Sci-Fi

  • Published: 2017

  • Format: Hardcover

I picked up this book at the start of last year because I LOVE LOVE LOVE The Lunar Chronicles by this author, and I enjoyed Heartless by her as well. But then… I don’t know. It never called to me since then and has been collecting dust.

Your time is coming, Renegades!

Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo

  • Genre: YA Fantasy

  • Published: 2015

  • Format: ebook

I know. I know. I know. I’m WAY LATE to the party on this one. I was to reading The Grisha Trilogy too. I read The Grisha Trilogy last year and it was good. I enjoyed it. But I also wasn’t all OMG BEST BOOKS EVER the way other people were. So, I’ve been dragging my feet with Six of Crows. I know I’ll read it and probably enjoy it. Everyone says it’s even better than The Grisha Trilogy but just… sigh. At this point I feel like it’s been hyped up SO MUCH that there’s no way it’s going to live up to it and I’m just going to have the same reaction I did with the others. It’s good, but not amazing.

But, it was on sale a few months ago for Kindle and I decided to just download it so I had less of an excuse to not read it. I know I said I was going to focus on my physical TBR, but since this one is SO POPULAR and one I know I should get to and Netflix now is making these books a movie or a TV show or whatever… I decided I need to get it done this year.


Okay… enough humiliation for one blog post, don’t you think? This is only the tip of the iceberg though!

I have finished one book so far. It wasn’t one I’d purchased and kept forever, but I had been meaning to start which is Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. It’s the first book in her Dark Artifices trilogy and the final book came out at the end of 2018. I thought it was a good time to just binge the whole thing.

Then, I’ve started the audiobook for Lethal White, the fourth book in the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling). I bought the book last year and I started it, but it went so slow. I’d read two of the others in the series via audio book so I thought I’d give it a shot. So far, it’s much better!

So… at least I’ve made a little progress?

Please bring me some comfort and tell me your backlist is as long as mine! What embarrassing stories do you have to tell about books which have been sitting on your shelves or your e-reader for far longer than any book should? Are you joining the Beat the Backlist Challenge too? Again… in case you missed it… click here for info!

Like what you read? Consider buying me a coffee.