Hello #BeattheBacklist 2021 and a Goal of 100 Books Read!

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) 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. 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. Nocturna *

13. We Hunt the Flame *

14. The Storm Crow

15. Furthermore *

16. Beasts Made of Night *

17. Crown of Thunder *

18. Where Dreams Descend *

19. Shadow Weaver

20. The Queen Underneath

21. The Apprentice Witch

22. The Lie Tree

23. A Drop of Night

24. Zeroes

25. The Skylighter

26. The Storyspinner

27. The Girl from Everywhere *

28. All Out *

29. Out Now *

30. Are You Listening

31. These Ruthless Deeds (re-read Vicious Masks first) *

32. Shadow of the Fox *

33. Anna Dressed in Blood *

34. Girl of Nightmares *

35. Wintersong *

36. Crooked Kingdom (re-read Six of Crows first)

37. The Belles *

38. The House in the Cerulean Sea

39. The Disasters

40. Empress of a Thousand Skies *

41. Mirage *

42. The Wrath and the Dawn *

43. Akata Witch *

44. Children of Blood and Bone *

45. An Unkindness of Ghosts *

46. The City We Became *

47. Cinderella is Dead *

48. Ash *

49. The Girl with the Red Balloon *

50. We Set the Dark on Fire *

51. Rebelwing *

52. The Sound of Stars *

53. Shatter Me *

54. Stealing Snow *

55. Beyond the Red *

56. With the Fire on High *

57. Pride *

58. Temper *

59. Three Dark Crowns *

60. From Twinkle, With Love *

61. Sabriel

62. Lirael

63. Abhorsen

64. The Ocean at the End of the Lane

65. The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in this One

66. To Make Monsters Out of Girls

67. The Language of Thorns

68. Manga Classics – The Stories of Edgar Allen Poe

69. Manga Classics – Hamlet

70. Valor and Vanity

71. Of Noble Family

72. Tarnished are the Stars

73. The Girl in the Green Silk Dress

74. Uprooted

75. Grrls on the Side

76. Fiendish

77. As Old as Time

78. Library of the Unwritten

79. The Walls Around Us

80. The Rest of Us Just Live Here

81. Emerald Blaze

82. Sekret

83. An Unkindness of Magicians

84. Devils Unto Dust

85. Ghost Wood Song

86. This Splintered Silence

87. Song of the Current

88. Gideon the Ninth

89. Once and Future

90. The Sword in the Stars

91. Midnight Never Come

92. The Eterna Files

93. Cotillion

94. Lady of Quality

95. The Passage

96. Loosed Upon the World *

97. Shallow Graves

98. The Secret Ingredient of Wishes

99. Honor Bound

100. Honor Lost


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

All content © 2015 by C.L. McCollum unless otherwise noted.

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