10 Backlist Books I Want to Read in 2019 (+Poll!)

by - 2:10 PM

Hey guys! Many of you have heard of the Beat the Backlist Challenge, hosted by Austine @ Novel Night. This year, I'm finally joining in! (I'll also be participating in the Hogwarts mini-challenge on the Ravenclaw team.) The purpose of Beat the Backlist is to get you to read books published before 2019. Often, we get caught up in the most recent releases and forget to knock older books off our TBRs. Here's a quick list of 10 backlist books I KNOW I want to read in 2019 -- although, of course, I'm sure I'll read more.

Melting Stones and The Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce - I am so close to finally finishing the Emelan universe books. Just two more, and they're not that long.

Towers of Midnight and A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson - Listen to me. Listen very, very carefully. I have been making my way through this 14-book monstrosity of a series since seventh grade. And I will finish it before I go to college if it kills me.

A Secret Vice by J.R.R. Tolkien - I know, the title sounds kinda shady, but it's just a very long lecture Tolkien once gave about linguistics and language creation. Which I'm super interested in, from both an academic and storytelling perspective. And I'm always looking for work of his I haven't yet read.

The Penderwicks in Spring and The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall - I loved the Penderwick books as a kid, but only the first two had come out when I read them. I foolishly assumed there were no more, but behold! There are! And I will read them now. Thanks.

Sightwitch by Susan Dennard - I don't care what any of you say I will fight for the Witchlands series until my death. And with Bloodwitch coming out soon, I definitely need to catch up on the most recent installment.

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman - Can you believe I, a gay, have not yet read this iconic gay book. No? That makes two of us.


But wait! There's more!

The amount of backlist books I want to read is overwhelming, even when I prioritize the above list. To help me narrow down what I'm going to read, vote in the poll below! I've listed some books I'm kicking myself for not having read yet; but if you have any others you think I absolutely must prioritize, feel free to put them in the "other" slot!

Which Backlist Books Should I Read This Year? (Pick as many as you want!)

Vicious by V.E. Schwab
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Legendary by Stephanie Garber
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Please Specify:

Let's chat! What backlist books do you think I should prioritize? Which ones are you planning on reading this year? Do you typically do reading challenges? Comment below, and have a lovely day. <3


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  1. I definitely voted for all the V.E. Schwab books! Good luck with reading all your backlist books. I'm going to *attempt* to tackle that this year, too. My boyfriend has been making his way through the Wheel of Time series this year, too, and now I really want to read them...but there's just SO many. Is it worth it??? Happy new year, Ellie!

    1. there are . . . sO mANY. *flops down* It's exhausting. I would not recommend it for people who aren't big fans of high fantasy, but given your Brandon Sanderson consumption, I think you'd enjoy it. (Also I rather selfishly would like to have someone to discuss them with in the blogosphere, haha.) The trick is to not sit down and read them all in a row. Your mind will go numb. (Also, be prepared for "the slog," the common term for books 7-10, where everything is very slow.) But all that being said, I do think you should try it!! There's a reason I've kept reading it all these years :)

  2. Obviously voting for the Schwab titles because her books are aMAZing, and also Legendary because that series is LIFE!

    So happy to see some Tamora Pierce books on your TBR! She's one of my all time fave authors!

    Thanks for joining BTB and happy reading!

    1. I CAN'T BELIEVE I HAVEN'T READ THEM YET ?? yesss, mine too! Good to finally find someone else who reads her :)

  3. Ahhh I was so excited to see Robert Jordan + Brandon Sanderson on your list. I LOVE their books. And yes, I agree, they can be rather daunting in length. :D
    I voted for Scythe by Neal Shusterman! I read it earlier this year and it was an exciting read. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on it!
    Good luck on conquering your TBR list!

    1. I'm in the middle of The Gathering Storm, their first (I think) collab now, and I'm really loving what Sanderson has brought to the series. I think I'll read more of his books after I finish Wheel of Time. Do you have any recs?

  4. Good luck with Beat the Backlist! I'm also super excited for this challenge! I voted for both V.E. Schwab books, too, lol. Loved them both!

  5. ::Throws Scythe at you:: Seriously READ IT. I also voted for They Both Die (because it;s really good) and Legendary (because I too must read it ASAP hah). I also really want to read An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, because I have heard really good things. Good luck with this, and also, read Scythe 😂

    1. *catches it* AHHH I WILL. If I'm being realistic with myself, I could very well end up having a Grisha trilogy situation with Caraval . . . where I read the first book and then didn't finish the trilogy for two years. So have I! I actually wasn't expecting the reviews to be all that good, but they really have. I'm doubly curious now :) happy reading!

  6. The only book I've read from your list is AART (I suck so hard at reading fantasy), but I loved it, and it ended up on my list of 2018 favorites! I voted for ADSOM and They Both Die at the End, because I adore both of those stories!

    1. Haha, it's fine, I'm like that with contemporary! I hope I'll like it that much! I was pretty skeptical at first, since I've always thought of Hank as a scientist + businessman and not an author. But all the great reviews have gotten me really excited!

  7. I'm glad to see that Schwab's books are leading your poll! I highly recommend them. I also really enjoyed Scythe. Happy reading, Eleanor!


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