The Backlist Reader Challenge 2016

January 7, 2016 Challenges 10

When I went looking for a TBR list challenge for this year, all I could find were TBR pile challenges. Each of them required that I read only books I already owned. While I do own a lot of unread books, there are plenty of others I don’t own, but also want to read. So I decided to create my own challenge.

Put simply, The Backlist Reader (TBR) Challenge is all about reading the books I’ve been wanting to read for a while, but haven’t gotten around to yet.



In order to qualify for the challenge, each book

1. has to have been published before Jan. 1, 2016. (Older ARCs or review copies are fine as long as the book was published before 2016.)

2. has to fit at least one of the following requirements:

  • It’s on my Goodreads “to-read” or “someday” lists.
  • It’s on my shelves or in my Kindle.
  • It’s by an author whose backlist I want to read, and/or in a series I’ve already started.


My Goals, and possible titles/authors:

My goal is to read at least 25 qualifying books before Dec. 31, 2016. That’s just over 2 books per month. I’m not committing to specific titles, as I did last year with my Top of the Hoard challenge (and failed.) Instead, I’ll let my choices be guided by my reading mood at the time. Heaven knows, I have enough books, authors, and series to choose from!

Below are just a few of the books and series I’ve wanted to read over the last few years, but haven’t gotten around to. The list is heavy on fantasy because I haven’t been reading as much fantasy recently, and right now I’m craving it. If I made a list 3 months from now, it might be heavier on some other genre. (Which is one good reason not to commit to specific books — my genre interests fluctuate!) As you can see, there are far more books even on this abbreviated list than I will have time for this year.


  • Kristen Britain’s “Green Rider” series (continue)
  • Jim Butcher’s “Dresden Files” series (start)
  • Gail Carriger’s “Soulless” series (start)
  • Kristin Cashore’s “Graceling” series (start)
  • Kevin Hearne’s “Iron Druid” series (continue/catch up)
  • Shannon Hale’s “Bayern” series (start)
  • Jim C. Hines, Unbound
  • Mary Robinette Kowal’s “Glamourist Histories” series (start)
  • Juliet Marillier’s “Blackthorn and Grim” series (continue)
  • Juliet Marillier’s “Sevenwaters” series (restart & finish)
  • Seanan McGuire’s “October Daye” series (start)
  • Naomi Novik’s “Temeraire” series (catch up)
  • Tamora Pierce’s “Circle” series (continue/catch up)
  • Patrick Rothfuss, The Slow Regard of Silent Things
  • Megan Whalen Turner’s “Thief of Attolia” series (start)
  • Catherynne M. Valente’s “Fairyland” series (start)
  • Scott Westerfeld’s “Leviathan” trilogy (start & finish)


  • Tasha Alexander’s “Lady Emily” series (continue/catch up)
  • Rhys Bowen’s “Molly Murphy” series (catch up)
  • Deborah Crombie’s “Kincaid & James” series (continue/catch up)
  • Charles Finch’s “Charles Lenox” series (continue/catch up)
  • Deanna Raybourn’s “Lady Julia” series ( restart & finish)
  • Rebecca Tope’s “Cotswolds” series (try)

General and Historical Fiction

  • Susanna Kearsley’s books (I’ve only read 2)
  • Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl
  • Helene Wecker, The Golem and the Jinni


  • Tessa Dare’s backlist (I’ve read some but missed others)
  • Sarah Maclean’s backlist (I’ve only read 2)


What do you think?

Is this something you would want to participate in? I’m perfectly happy to keep it as a personal challenge, but if enough people are interested, I’ll try to set up a linky and open the challenge up to other readers. You wouldn’t need to have a blog in order to participate, just the ability to post a review on Goodreads, LibraryThing, or some other review forum.


10 Responses to “The Backlist Reader Challenge 2016”

  1. Literary Feline

    This sounds like a great idea. I would love to read backlist books, but I am not sure this is the year I want to commit to it. If I read more books than I do in a year and if I didn’t have so many NetGalley/Edelweiss books to catch up on . . . Of course, a lot of those were published before 2016, so . . . Hmm.
    Literary Feline recently posted…Beyond the Books: My InspirationMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      So that’s a “maybe”? 😉

      I do understand. This idea — reading books that aren’t new and current anymore, but that I’ve wanted read for a while — has been simmering in my mind for a few years now, and I finally decided it’s time for me to concentrate on it. I’m not going to give up new books, just picking fewer of them to make room for these other books I’ve been putting off because I didn’t leave myself time to read them. But that’s not for everyone, and as you say, it may not be for you right now, and that’s just fine. (Hey, someone needs to read the shiny new books and tell me about them so I know which ones I really want to read!)

  2. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

    I am interested in doing this sort of thing, if maybe not as a formal challenge…I will mull over my list. A big vote from me for the Graceling series and the Thief series! I think you will like the Glamourist books too, although they’re not my favorites.
    Lory @ Emerald City Book Review recently posted…A New Blogging YearMy Profile

  3. Beth Kagan

    I have thousands of books on my kindle that I have not read. Love the idea of this challenge.