Or, why wouldn’t I keep doing this to myself?
I mean, it’s officially 2021, and in the spirit of beginning as I mean to go on, I figured I might as well dive into another round of #BeatTheBacklist! I mean, yes, I read less than I expected to of last year’s list (though I did read far more in number than the 52 I planned to – just… very few of the SPECIFIC 52 I planned to, and not nearly enough of my physical TBR), but having a list did at least remind me of what I hoped to accomplish reading-wise.
So how many am I hoping to read? 100 physical backlist books. That’s uh… definitely more than last year (read almost double except that 100 is just a much nicer round number than 104 lol), but considering I managed to read 80 books in the dumpster fire that was 2020, it seems like it might be possible? It’s just barely less than 2 books a week, which normally I could definitely do with my reading speed, and it seems like a nice challenge. PLUS the larger number to choose from might actually help keep me to this specific list since I won’t feel quite so constrained by the limited number of books. Possibly. Maybe? I don’t even know, y’all. I’m still working on this whole gaming my own brain strategy lol.
And really, in the end all of this is arbitrary, so what the hell. As long as I’ve read more physical books by the end of the year than when I started, I’ll consider 2021 a reading success even if I don’t read the full 100. And if I manage to read and pass on more books than I receive, that will just be a bonus, right? Right.
As always, I am working with a bingo card because they are ridiculously motivating, and I am starting off my overall list with a couple I have in progress, followed by hopefully the ARCs on the pile (marked with italics) since I know those will be for sure mostly passed on and given away, as opposed to the finished copies which I am much more likely to keep if I like the book. When I enjoy ARCs, I inevitably buy a finished copy down the line. So… OK yeah, it won’t help the overall in house totals that much, but at least it’ll FEEL like I own less books at the time LOL.
Like last year, I’m going to try to keep track of how many books I read by authors of color (marked with an asterisks and underline) as well, though if I go off the list like I did, I may not manage to read the minimum 50 like I hope, especially as I’m not sure I own that many at the moment as I’m working through the backlist. But that’s the goal at least: that half of this list is by authors of color and that I actually READ them instead of them continuing to pile up on the monster TBR mountain. Oof.
1. 84 Charing Cross Road - 1/11/21 - "Book you forgot you had"
2. Skip Beat! Omnibus 14 * - 1/11/21 - "person on the cover"
3. Wild Beauty * - 1/30/21 - "Caused a major book hangover"
4. Hungry Hearts * - 2/11/11 - "Has a map"
5. Carols and Chaos - 2/15/21 - "Multiple points of view"
6. Dear Jane Austen - 2/23/21 - [DNF] - "First line is less than 10 words"
7. The Diviners - 3/16/21 - "Purple cover"
8. Dying with Her Cheer Pants On - 3/18/21 - "Set in Autumn"
9. Ill Wind - 03/24/21 - "Non-human character"
10. Wicked Fox * - 4/04/21 - "Set in a major city"
11. Lawless Lands * - 4/12/21 - "Multiple authors"
12. Crooked Kingdom - 4/27/21 - "Second book in a duology"
13. The Apprentice Witch - 4/28/21 - "Book where the woods/forest are important"
14. The Language of Thorns - 4/28/21 - "A book with illustrations"
15. Cotillion - 6/01/21 - "Standalone"
16. Emerald Blaze - 6/07/21 - "Author has a book releasing in 2021"
17. All Out * - 6/23/21 - "Historical with a twist"
18. The Ocean at the End of the Lane - 6/24/21 - "Book you're giving another chance" - DNF
19. Library of the Unwritten - 8/29/21 - "Black and White"
20. Final Girls - 10/15/21 - "Novella"
21. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown - 10/24/21 - "Chapter title page has art"
22. Nocturna *
23. We Hunt the Flame *
24. The Storm Crow
25. Beasts Made of Night *
26. Crown of Thunder *
27. Where Dreams Descend *
28. Out Now *
29. Are You Listening
30. Anna Dressed in Blood *
31. Girl of Nightmares *
32. The Belles *
33. The House in the Cerulean Sea
34. The Disasters
35. Empress of a Thousand Skies *
36. An Unkindness of Ghosts *
37. The City We Became *
38. Cinderella is Dead *
39. Ash *
40. The Girl with the Red Balloon *
41. We Set the Dark on Fire *
42. Rebelwing *
43. The Sound of Stars *
44. Beyond the Red *
45. With the Fire on High *
46. Three Dark Crowns *
50. The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in this One
51. Catherine House *
52. Manga Classics – The Stories of Edgar Allen Poe
53. Manga Classics – Hamlet
54. Valor and Vanity
55. Of Noble Family
56. Tarnished are the Stars
58. Ignite the Stars *
60. As Old as Time
61. The Walls Around Us
62. The Rest of Us Just Live Here
64. An Unkindness of Magicians
65. Devils Unto Dust
66. Ghost Wood Song
67. This Splintered Silence
68. Song of the Current
69. Gideon the Ninth
70. Once and Future
71. The Sword in the Stars
72. Lady of Quality
73. The Passage
74. Loosed Upon the World *
75. The Ravens *
76. The Secret Ingredient of Wishes
77. Honor Bound
78. Honor Lost
79. Of Fire and Stars
80. The Last Namsara
81. A Secret History of Witches
Welp there is the list, or the approximate list I suppose? After a quick (well it took a couple hours to be honest, but we’ll call it quick just for the sake of my sanity LOL) audit of EVERY single solitary unread fiction book on my bookshelves (I pulled out any lifestyle, self-help, and writing craft book since those I tend to read single chapters of over time instead of reading as a whole “book” so to speak), I had a whopping 169 to choose from. If I read even a majority of those above, that will knock my stack down SIGNIFICANTLY.
And if I don’t, oh well. I’m just excited to get even a few of these read. There’s a ton on here that I’ve super looked forward to but that just got buried as other things came in. I think I also managed a good mix of genres and formats from graphic novels and short story collections to novels and poetry collections. Plus there are lots of different lengths, so if I do get bogged down, I have several quicker reads I can use to help get caught up or just slide back into my reading “zone” so to speak.
But yeah, wish me luck and lots of enjoyable reads!
Bonus Books! AKA All Those I Read that Aren't Part of the Above List
2.1 The Animals at Lockwood Manor - 1/19/21 - audiobook - first read of non-list backlist book
5.1 A Universe of Wishes - 2/16/21 - audiobook - first read of non-list backlist book
5.2 The Body is Not an Apology - 2/23/21 - audiobook - first read of non-list backlist book
6.1 Smoky Dreams: A Pride and Prejudice Variation - 3/03/21 - ebook - first read of non-list backlist book
6.2 Found in the Snow: A Pride and Prejudice Variation - 3/04/21 - ebook - first read of non-list backlist book
6.3 Iron and Magic - 3/08/21 - audiobook - reread of non-list backlist book
6.4 Blood Heir - 3/09/21 - audiobook - first read of 2021 release
6.5 The Book of Life - 3/09/21 - [DNF] - audiobook - first read of non-list backlist book
8.1 His Majesty's Dragon - 3/19/21 - audiobook - first read of non-list backlist book
9.1 The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter - 3/29/21 - audiobook - first read of non-list backlist book
10.1 Spindle's End - 4/05/21 - audiobook - reread of non-list backlist book
10.2 The Sun Down Motel - 4/05/21 - audiobook - first read of non-list backlist book
10.3 The Serpent's Shadow - 4/07/21 - audiobook - reread of non-list backlist book
11.1 Sunshine - 4/12/21 - audiobook - reread of non-list backlist book
11.2 European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman - 4/17/21 - audiobook - first read of non-list backlist book
11.3 The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl - 4/21/21 - audiobook - first read of non-list backlist book
11.4 Six of Crows - 4/26/21 - audiobook - reread of non-list backlist book
14.1 The Outlaws of Sherwood - 5/15/21 - audiobook - reread of non-list backlist book
14.2 Ladycastle - 6/01/21 - graphic novel - first read of non-list backlist book
15.1 The Battle of Blood and Ink - 6/01/21 - graphic novel - first read of non-list backlist book
15.2 Lady Fortescue Steps Out - 6/03/21 - audiobook - first read of non-list backlist book
15.3 Sapphire Flames - 6/05/21 - ebook - reread of non-list backlist book
16.1 Diamond Fire - 6/07/21 - ebook - reread of non-list backlist book
16.2 Burn for me - 6/08/21 - reread of non-list backlist book
16.3 White Hot - 6/08/21 - reread of non-list backlist book
16.4 Wildfire - 6/09/21 - reread of non-list backlist book
16.5 Miss Tonks Turns to Crime - 6/09/21 - reread of non-list backlist book
18.1 Legacy - 7/14/21 - ebook - first read of 2021 release
18.2 Joust - 7/14/21 - ebook - reread of non-list backlist book
18.3 Alta - 7/15/21 - ebook - reread of non-list backlist book
18.4 Sanctuary - 7/18/21 - ebook - reread of non-list backlist book
18.5 Aerie - 7/21/21 - ebook - reread of non-list backlist book
19.1 The Autobiography of Katherine Janeway - 9/11/21 - audiobook - first read of non-list backlist book
19.2 The Fairy Godmother - 9/25/21 - audiobook - reread of non-list backlist book
19.3 When Sorrows Come - 9/29/21 - ebook - first read of 2021 release
20.1 Sparrowhill Road - 10/17/21 - audiobook - reread of non-list backlist book