Category Archives: Reading Challenge

Beat the Backlist Challenge Update


Another month gone, and the weather has turned decidedly autumnal which, if nothing else, gives us even more of an excuse to hide away with a book and a hot beverage.

Between reading through this year’s Booker shortlist and review copies, I haven’t managed to read any of my backlist titles for Novel Knight’s BTB Challenge this month! 😥

I am hoping to make a bit of a dint in my backlist this month, however, as I’m taking part in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon.  This is an event I’ve done before (see here), and even though I don’t think I’ll be able to read for the full 24 hours (I like sleep way too much for that!) I’m hoping that I can get through five or six titles over the weekend, and I’m going to try to focus predominantly on older titles that I’ve had for a while.

TBW Watch

Whilst I haven’t read any of my older books, I did decide to have a bit of a cull of my TBR, and I’ve removed a few books that I just don’t think I’ll ever get around to reading.  Some of these went to friends, others to the charity shop.  Either way, I hope that they’ll find good homes!

So, my TBR now looks something like this:

TBR 1 Oct 17


Beat the Backlist Challenge Update


This is my first post in around ten days, as I’ve been on holiday!  Go on, admit it – you didn’t even notice that I wasn’t here, did you? 😀

This month I’ve managed to read two of my backlist titles from Novel Knight’s BTB Challenge, and it’s getting to the point now where I don’t think that I’ll be able to read all of my backlist before the end of the year. 😳

  • This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab – regular readers of my blog will know that I love Schwab’s novels, and this one was no exception
  • The Loney by Michael Andrew Hurley – I was a little sceptical about this one as it’s had quite mixed reviews, but I really liked it

I’ll be doing mini reviews of the books I read whilst I was away, including the two mentioned above, in the next few days.

TBR Watch

You won’t believe this but I DIDN’T BUY ANY BOOKS IN AUGUST! (And yes, that is worth shouting about!)  I received a few books to review, but haven’t purchased anything.  This won’t last, as I have Godsgrave on pre-order so I’ll be getting at least one book this month.  Because of this incredible restraint, by TBR is continuing it’s slow but steady downward trend:

TBR 1 Sep 17

Beat the Backlist Challenge Update


Another month gone, and I’m still woefully behind in Novel Knight’s BTB Challenge, although I did manage to tick off three titles from my backlist this month:

  • Way Down Dark and Dark Made Dawn by J. P. Smythe which I enjoyed but didn’t get chance to review
  • The Mandibles: A Family, 2029 – 2047 – which I started, but wasn’t really enjoying so I gave up on it ☹ (it had great potential, but there was so much focus on the economics that I just couldn’t get into it)

TBR Watch

I was doing really well this month, and I only bought two books – History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund and Exit West by Mohsin Hamid following the Booker Prize longlist announcement.

But I received two books to review, and three other books arrived:

  • Out of Bounds by Val McDermid from Susan at Books from Dusk Till Dawn
  • The Fourth Monkey by J. D. Barker from Zuky at Book Bum
  • House of Fiction by Phyllis Richardson – a book I backed through Unbound which explores the houses that inspired various works of fiction

So, my TBR hasn’t gone down quite as much as I’d hoped, but it has gone down!

TBR 1 Aug 17

Beat the Backlist Challenge Update


We’re halfway through the year (seriously, where does the time go?!), and it’s time to take a look at my progress in Novel Knight’s BTB Challenge.

I set my self a target of reading 47 backlist titles, which is all the titles I’d bought prior to 2017.  So far, I’ve read 19 of them.  It’s progress, although maybe not quite as much as I’d hoped.

Here are my outstanding titles:

# Title Author
1 Long Dark Dusk J. P. Smythe
2 Wake Elizabeth Knox
3 The Bickford Fuse Andrey Kurkov
4 The Mandibles: A Family, 2029 – 2047 Lionel Shriver
5 The Transmigration of Bodies Yuri Herrera
6 Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain Barney Norris
7 The Lost Time Accidents John Wray
8 Wolf Winter Cecilia Ekback
9 Bodies of Water V. H. Leslie
10 101 Detectives Ivan Vladislavic
11 What is Not Yours is Not Yours Helen Oyeyemi
12 Hag-Seed Margaret Atwood
13 Wood Green Sean Rabin
14 Dark Made Dawn J. P. Smythe
15 Even the Dogs Jon McGregor
16 The Mountain in my Shoe Louise Beech
17 Star-Shot Mary-Ann Constantine
18 Desire for Chocolate Care Santos
19 A Lovely Way to Burn Louise Welsh
20 The Sunlight Pilgrims Jenni Fagan
21 The Kind Worth Killing Peter Swanson
22 Doorways Robert Enright
23 The Wolf Road Beth Lewis
24 This Savage Song V. E. Schwab
25 The Loney Andrew Michael Hurley
26 The Eleventh Letter Tom Tomaszewski
27 I, Robot Isaac Asimov
28 The Power Naomi Alderman

There are some great sounding books in there – I just need to make a bit of space to get to them!

TBR Watch

Last month’s pledge to buy no new books fell by the wayside pretty early on, but whilst I didn’t keep to it, I did read more than I bought, so there has been a slight reduction in my TBR.  And by slight, I mean it’s gone down by two.  But it has gone down!

TBR 1 Jul 17

Beat the Backlist Challenge Update


This will be a relatively brief post as, after making great progress in Novel Knight’s BTB Challenge in April, I’ve not read a single title from my backlist this month! 😦

This means that my backlist still numbers 30 titles.

TBR Watch

To make matters worse, I bought a phenomenal number of books in May, meaning that my TBR has taken a turn for the worse (or better, depending on your perspective 😉 )

TBR 1 Jun 17

So, no new books for me for a while!

Beat the Backlist Challenge Update


Hi everyone!

It’s been a quiet week on Jo’s Book Blog as I’ve been on holiday.  Whilst I’ve not been blogging, I have at least been reading, and I’ve made a fairly significant dent in Novel Knight’s BTB Challenge!

The backlist titles I read on holiday were:

  • Thirst by Benjamin Warner
  • Snowblind by Ragnar Jonasson
  • The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North
  • Tall Oaks by Chris Whitaker
  • 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough

I also read The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon shortly before going away, which means that I’ve ticked six books off the backlist in the last month!

I probably won’t do full reviews for all of these titles, but I will try to do mini reviews at some point to share my thoughts on the books I read while I was away.

TBR Watch

And, my holiday means that I’ve actually managed to reduce my TBR a little!  And by a little, I mean four.  But I’ll take it!

TBR 1 May 17

I’m likely to undo this progress next month, however, as I’ll be going to the Hay Festival, and I fully intend to buy all the books while I’m there!

Beat the Backlist Challenge Update


My participation in Novel Knight’s Beat the Backlist Challenge was aided significantly this month by the BTB Readathon, and I managed to read four books over the 3 day period:

  • Nod by Adrian Barnes – a unique tale in which the majority of people stop sleeping, causing wide-spread psychosis and a rapid deterioration in civilisation
  • A Kind of Intimacy by Jenn Ashworth – a dark and gripping story about obsession – I thoroughly enjoyed Ashworth’s debut
  • The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Steven Baxter – for me, this was a somewhat disappointing tale about the discovery of a series of parallel earths
  • The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli – humorous and a little odd, I can honestly say that I’ve not read anything quite like it…

I now have 36 backlist titles to read by the end of the year, and it feels as though I’ve made slow but steady progress.

TBR Watch

Whilst I can’t honestly say that my TBR has decreased this month, I can at least say that it hasn’t increased either, and I’m counting that as progress! 😃

TBR 1 Apr 17

This isn’t due to any kind of restraint on my part, however – I’ve just managed to read more than I usually do!  I’d make some kind of promise about requesting and buying fewer books this month, but to be honest, I wouldn’t believe it, and neither should you.

Happy reading!