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2023 Beat the Backlist Reading Challenge….

It’s fair to say my backlist didn’t fair too well last year.

The majority of my 2022 reads were new releases or books I’d bought. 

I didn’t even attempt to set a target to knock a few off, meaning there are a few books that have been lingering on my TBR list for months, if not years, so it’s time for a check in.

For the purposes of this, I’m concentrating on my Kindle – I simply haven’t got the inclination to go looking for where I’ve squirreled away various physical books and then work out which I’ve read.

Here’s the state of my Kindle TBR at the start of 2023…

READ – 196


That is better than I’d anticipated. I didn’t think my unread books would be down to double figures. My aim for this year is to keep the backlist in double figures and of course to lower that number….even if it’s just by one.

There’s a few I’ve picked out, books I’m determined to get around to reading at some point in the next 12 months….

The one that’s been on there for years…

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. Every time I’ve done TBR post, this book has been on there.

I’ve had this and the follow up My Friend Leonard for years. I’m going to say 5 years at least.

It sounds like a book that I’d enjoy; I’m intrigued by the controversy around it. I’ve avoided it because I heard an interview with James Frey on a podcast and I didn’t like him. However, I’m determined to get around to it this year, I’m determined to give it a chance.

The one that’s a sequel….

A Life Without Flowers by Marci Bolden. I really enjoyed A Life Without Water when I read it in 2020, my review of it is one of my most read posts of all time.

It’s a bloody tearjerker which is probably why I haven’t completed the series.

I do want to know what happens to Carol next.

The one I didn’t get around to in 2022….

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez. In all honesty, I added this towards the end of the year, I was briefly in the mood for a non-fiction read and then wasn’t. Plus reading the blurb of this book, I assume when I do read it, I’ll be angry.

Imagine a world where your phone is too big for your hand, where your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body, where in a car accident you are 47% more likely to be seriously injured, where every week the countless hours of work you do are not recognised or valued.

If any of this sounds familiar, chances are that you’re a woman.

Invisible Women shows us how, in a world largely built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half the population. 

The one that had an intriguing title…

The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas.

I don’t even remember buying this. I have no idea what it’s about. I like the title and the cover. I’m pretty sure that’s why I bought it, I don’t think I even read the blurb because looking at it now, I’d have read it straight away.

In 1967, four female scientists worked together to build the world’s first-time machine. But just as they are about to debut their creation, one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project—and future of time travel—in jeopardy. To protect their invention, one member is exiled from the team—erasing her contributions from history.

Fifty years later, time travel is a big business. Twenty-something Ruby Rebello knows her beloved grandmother, Granny Bee, was one of the pioneers, though no one will tell her more. But when Bee receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Ruby becomes obsessed: could it be Bee? Who would want her dead? And most importantly of all: can her murder be stopped?

I love a dual timeline; I love a bit of mystery and I love books that explore different genres. 

The one from one of my favourite authors…

The Marble Collector by Cecelia Ahern.

I have two of her books waiting to be read, The Marble Collector and Postscript.

I love Cecelia Ahern’s books, I love how she, more often than not, she brings seemingly everyday stories to life with a sprinkling of magic. 

Her books are beautiful, they’re incredibly heart-warming. Cecelia Ahern is one of my favourite authors, however, I’ve never felt the need to read them immediately (perfectly illustrated by the fact this one was released in 2015) I like to save them and then tear through them in a single sitting.

The series….

Beartown by Fredrik Backman.

I don’t read too many series, but as regular readers of this blog will know, I have become a huge Fredrik Backman fan over the past year. 

Since reading A Man Called Ove, I’ve been working my way through his backlist and have loved spending time with his characters. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into this series at some point this year.

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest; it is slowly losing ground to the ever-encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

The one by an author whose books you haven’t read for ages….

Wish You Were Here/The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult.

I actually have three Jodi Picoult books on my Kindle and a few physical books lying around, I will knock at least one of them over the next year. The two I’ve named are the most recent, I think.

I’m not sure why I stopped reading her books to be honest. I have read quite a few of Jodi Picoult’s books over the years. I find them thought-provoking, I enjoy them, but they can be a bit issue heavy at times.

The one by an author who is new to you….

Honour Elif Shafak.

Again, a book I bought years ago and then promptly never picked up and forgot about.

I haven’t read any of Elif Shafak’s books. I plan to rectify that this year. I can guarantee once I’ve read this book, I’ll go on a backlist buying spree.

Pembe and Adem Toprak leave Turkey for London. There they make new lives for their family. Yet the traditions and beliefs of their home come with them – carried in the blood of their children, Iskender and Esma. Trapped by past mistakes, the Toprak children find their lives torn apart and transformed by a brutal and chilling crime.

Set in Turkey and London in the 1970s, Honour explores pain and loss, loyalty and betrayal, the clash of tradition and modernity, as well as the love and heartbreak that can tear any family apart.

I think I can commit to knocking a good few of the above off my TBR list over the next year.

This has been a fun exercise. Some of these books I couldn’t for the life of me remember what they were about, having read the blurbs of these books, I can see exactly why I bought them in the first place. 

Part of the problem with relying on a Kindle is that it’s very easy to buy books (and it has encouraged me to read a wider variety of genres), it isn’t as easy to see what books you have and crucially, what they’re about.

Perhaps one of my reading goals for the year, is to spend a bit more time looking at what I have before deciding what to read.

I’d love to hear if you’ve read any of these books and what your thoughts are….

radiosarahc View All

Journalist, writer, traveller, music lover, collector of hats, news addict, bookworm

8 thoughts on “2023 Beat the Backlist Reading Challenge…. Leave a comment

  1. I hope you manage to read the books. I brought another book at the weekend. But my to be read pile isn’t too big. But I want to get through all the books I own this year. Thank you for sharing.

    Happy New Year!

    Lauren – bournemouthgirl


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