Reading Challenge

2017 Beat the Backlist Challenge

Over the last few months, I’ve found that I’ve been neglecting my own books in favour of review copies that I’ve been sent.  As a result, I have an ever-increasing stack of books that I’ve bought / been given as gifts that I really want to read, but haven’t had chance to get to.  In order to address the balance, I’ve decided to take part in the Beat the Backlist Challenge.


I first became aware of this challenge via Janel at Keeper of Pages, and I thought it sounded interesting.  After some umming and ahhing, I’ve decided to join in.  It’s hosted by Austine at novelknight, and runs from 1 January to 31 December.  It’s quite straightforward, and there is only one rule:

  1. Books must have been published prior to 2017

However, as my goal is to read through the books that have been hanging around for a little while, I’m adding a couple of extra rules in my case:

  1. Review copies are not eligible
  2. Books must have acquired prior to 2017

My TBR pile currently stands at 56 books, but 9 of these are review copies, so my target is 47 books.

I’ll aim to provide monthly (ish) updates on my progress, but here are the 47 books that qualify for the challenge, listed in order of acquisition:

# Title Author
1 After Me Comes the Flood Sarah Perry
2 Snakewood Adrian Selby
3 Long Dark Dusk J. P. Smythe
4 Nod Adrian Barnes
5 Wake Elizabeth Knox
6 The Bickford Fuse Andrey Kurkov
7 The Long Earth Terry Pratchett / Stephen Baxter
8 The Sudden Appearance of Hope Claire North
9 The Mandibles: A Family, 2029 – 2047 Lionel Shriver
10 The Story of My Teeth Valeria Luiselli
11 The Transmigration of Bodies Yuri Herrera
12 Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain Barney Norris
13 The Lost Time Accidents John Wray
14 Wolf Winter Cecilia Ekback
15 13 Minutes Sarah Pinborough
16 Bodies of Water V. H. Leslie
17 Thirst Benjamin Warner
18 101 Detectives Ivan Vladislavic
19 What is Not Yours is Not Yours Helen Oyeyemi
20 Dark Matter Blake Crouch
21 Hag-Seed Margaret Atwood
22 Wood Green Sean Rabin
23 Dark Made Dawn J. P. Smythe
24 A Kind of Intimacy Jenn Ashworth
25 Even the Dogs Jon McGregor
26 Tall Oaks Chris Whitaker
27 The Mountain in my Shoe Louise Beech
28 Star-Shot Mary-Ann Constantine
29 Desire for Chocolate Care Santos
30 A Lovely Way to Burn Louise Welsh
31 The Sunlight Pilgrims Jenni Fagan
32 The Kind Worth Killing Peter Swanson
33 Enduring Love Ian McEwan
34 Pendulum Adam Handy
35 Doorways Robert Enright
36 The Wolf Road Beth Lewis
37 The Magpie Murders Anthony Horowitz
38 The Sellout Paul Beatty
39 Robocopout Damon Wakes
40 This Savage Song V. E. Schwab
41 Snowblind Ragnar Jonasson
42 The Trouble With Goats and Sheep Joanna Cannon
43 The Loney Andrew Michael Hurley
44 The Eleventh Letter Tom Tomaszewski
45 I, Robot Isaac Asimov
46 The Power Naomi Alderman
47 The Other World, It Whispers Stephanie Victoire


    1. Thanks! there are so many books that I’ve bought off the back of seeing great reviews, and I never get to read them! Hopefully that’s about to change though!

  1. Ooh, I tore through Dark Matter, it was so great. I also loved Sunlight Pilgrims, though that one was slower to read. GOOD LUCK!! My backlist is way too long to make a dent in this month. But I’ve banned myself from getting any more – for review or purchased – until I’ve put a major dent in my list. 2017 will be for catching up!

    1. I’ve heard such good things about Dark Matter, I can’t wait to read it. I think it will take me all year to get through these books, along with all the lovely new ones I’ll pick up along the way. Determined to read more books that I’ve chosen this year though 😃

  2. I’m so glad I’m not the only one that hasn’t read Dark Matter yet 😅 I’ll be reading it this year too. And omg you’ve got some great titles coming up, namely The Wolf Road and The Kind Worth Killing. I’m 300 pages into Pendulum, and aaahhh I’m loving it.
    So glad your doing this challenge, now I’ve got a partner in crime for the challenge, I’m more likely to stick to it, so thanks!

    1. Ha ha! I thought I was the only one! 😂 There are so many books that I can’t wait to get to! We’ll have to keep each other on this one – I’ll undoubtedly get distracted my new titles! x

  3. I thoroughly recommend Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain which only narrowly missed out on being in my Top Ten for 2016! Great choices and that should certainly keep you busy. I’m doing a similar challenge on Goodreads to read any books bought before 31 December 2016 (again I’m not including review copies) I have so many good looking books that I really want to read and it will keep me motivated in avoiding too many new books, well that’s the theory!

    1. Good luck with your challenge! There are a lot of new books that I’m looking forward to as well, so will need to try and get a better balance of new and old this year. Looking forward to tackling the backlist though – there are so many that I’ve bought from seeing wonderful blogger reviews that I’m really excited to get to.

    1. Thank you! Yes – I’m hoping to get a better balance between my own books and review books this year, and will be trying not to buy too many to replace the ones I’ve read 😃

    1. That’s true. I love getting review copies and being able to read books before they’re published, I just want to be able to balance these out with some of my own books. We’ll see how it goes!

  4. You’ve got some great reads coming up Jo! Dark Matter, Tall Oaks and The Kind Worth Killings are fantastic:)

    1. There are so many on that list that I’m really looking forward to! We’ll see how it goes!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: