Backlist Books Challenge Update


A Year of Backlist Books

This year I challenged myself to read only backlist books.

After 2020, I knew that I needed a challenge to get my reading life back on track. I work better with goals, and so I started working on finding a goal for 2021.

I wanted a goal that did not have super strict rules. I wanted a challenge that didn’t put me in a box of specific books I had to read or a specific amount of books.

I have always loved backlist books. Some of my favorite books are the older, often forgotten about books. I want to find more of those hidden gems, and I want to help you find them as well. Having a year where I focus on backlist books will help me find some of the older books that have been forgotten.

My rules for this challenge are simple. Any book that I read in 2021 has to be published before 2021.

A book published in 2020 is not exactly what some would consider a backlist book, but it is not really a new release either. So books published in 2020 are allowed.

Backlist Book Challenge 1

Backlist Books Reading Update

Today I am sharing my first backlist book reading update for my backlist book challenge. I know that it is only the second week of January, but so far I am loving my backlist book challenge.

I have picked up two books that have been in my to be read pile for a long time, and I loved them both!

So far I have finished four books and have a couple more books that I am currently reading.

Backlist Book Challenge Week 1

Are you joining my backlist books 2021 challenge?

I have had several readers say that they are also challenging themselves to read more backlist books and more books from their TBR list. I would love to hear what books you have been reading! Please leave a comment sharing what backlist books you have been reading!

What I Have Been Reading

Maisie Dobbs book review

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear has been in my TBR pile for years. It was published in 2003. I own it in both the paperback and the Kindle version. I don’t remember where I first heard about this series, but I love to read mysteries that are not super graphic. I am more of a cozy mystery reader.

This book was just what I needed to start 2021. Maisie Dobbs is set in England after WWI. Maisie was a nurse during WWI. After the war, she opened up her own private investigation agency. This is the first book in the series, and it introduces the main characters and what they went through during the war.

I loved this book! Maisie Dobbs was a great mystery that wasn’t overly graphic or full or gory details. I have already ordered several more books in the series.

Frontier Follies book review

Frontier Follies by Ree Drummond was published in 2020. I bought this last fall shortly after it came out. This book was so much fun to read. It was easy to pick up and down because each chapter was written in an essay style.

In Frontier Follies Ree Drummond shares stories about kids, ranching, living in the country, and life with snakes and skunks, and more. It really did remind me of her old blog posts that were about her family and life on the ranch. A few of the stories were ones I remember from her site, but most of them were new stories.

Murder On the Orient Express book review

Murder On the Orient Express by Agatha Christie was published in 1934, so it is definitely a backlist book. I have said for years that I wanted to read an Agatha Christie book, but I always picked up other mystery books instead. I decided this year would be the year I finally read one.

I started Murder On the Orient Express because Grace said I would enjoy it. I started it late last week, and I finished it Sunday. I loved it! I can’t wait to read more of the books in the Hercule Poirot series.

Everyday Faithfulness book review

Everyday Faithfulness by Glenna Marchall is a Christian book that was published in 2020. I enjoyed this book. It is exactly what the subtitle says. It is about the beauty of ordinary perseverance in a demanding world.

This book was a good basic book on being faithful every day in small and big ways. I liked this book but did feel that it could have gone deeper. I felt like this book skimmed the surface, and I was left wanting a little more.

Testament of Youth book review

Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain is a memoir of WWI. It was first published in 1933. I am currently reading this and am really enjoying it. I love memoirs, but most of the memoirs that I have read are modern memoirs. I don’t think this was called a memoir when it was written, but that is exactly what it is.

The author, Vera Brittain, was a nurse during WWI. After the war, she wrote about her experiences. I heard about this book years ago and finally picked it up a couple of months ago. I love this book, but it has been a slow read for me.

Testament of Youth is over 600 pages. It is a serious book about war. I have picked it up and down many times over the last couple of months, and I am still not finished with it. Because of the subject of the book and the fact that the last year has not been easy, this isn’t a book that I can read for hours at a time. It is a book I pick up and read for 20 or 30 minutes and then put down for a day or two. However, I think this will probably make my list of all time favorite memoirs. It is that good.

A Way with Words book review

A Way with Words by Daniel Darling is a book that I just started on Sunday. I read multiple books at a time and like to always have a Christian book going. This book was published in 2020. I bought this book last summer shortly after it came out. It is by the same author that wrote The Characters of Christmas that I read and enjoyed last year.

I am only a few chapters into this book. I am enjoying it but will wait to give it a full review until I read more of it. I do feel like it is a very timely book for right now, and it is one that more people probably need to read.

What have you been reading? 

6 thoughts on “Backlist Books Challenge Update”

  1. I love the idea of this challenge! I’ve been doing my own Clear Your Shelves challenge the last few years, where I commit to a number of books I already own. I looks like it would count toward your challenge, too.

    Isn’t Poirot wonderful? CURTAIN is his best. ROGER ACKROYD is great, too.

    • A Clear Your Shelves challenge is a great challenge too. I think most people that love to read probably own plenty of books to keep busy reading their shelves. I can’t wait to read more Agatha Christie books. I have Roger Ackroyd and hope to read it soon. And I love your website. I just looked around it and told my daughter who loves to write about it. She loves reading about authors, their books, and their writing process.

    • Maisie is such a cute name. I love it. And yes if your daughter has the name it means you must read it. 🙂 I am reading the second Maisie Dobbs book now and am enjoying it so far.

  2. I really liked The Character of Christmas, so I should look into Darling’s newest book. I really liked Murder on the Orient Express too! And then There Were None is probably my favorite Agatha Christie mystery. I am hoping to read more this year. I am adding Testament of Youth to my TBR. I am a nurse and I love historical fiction, so I think it will be a good pick for me. Thanks for the head’s up about it being long and how you read it in short chunks. I think I will try that too!
    I am linking my 2020 favorites, if interested!

    • I enjoyed The Characters of Christmas too. I can’t wait to read more Agatha Christie books. I can’t believe that it has taken me this long to read one of her books! I just finished The Testament of Youth yesterday. It has three parts. Before the war, during the war, and after. The second part, during WWI was my favorite. It has the most detail and was really interesting. I haven’t read a lot of books about WWI so it thought it was fascinating. The third part of the book was a lot of personal and political details on the years after WWI. It was my least favorite part of the book and was a slower section to read for me. If you are a nurse I think you will probably really enjoy all the details about serving during the war.


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