Back in January, I decided to participate in two backlist reading challenges. The first is the TBR Knockout and the second is this Beat the Backlist reading challenge. This challenge has multiple options as there is: counting the backlist titles, following either a 24 or 52 prompt list, following either a 24 or 52 prompt BINGO, or a mix of everything.
Austine Decker created the original post and although this is my first year participating, this challenge is in its 6th year!
The guidelines are simple:
- The book must be published in the previous year or earlier (for the 2022 challenge, anything published in 2021 or earlier counts).
- You have to start and finish the book in 2022.
- Any format, any genre. Re-reads count, and you don’t have to own the book. It’s open for the entire year so whenever you feel like jumping in, you can!
- And that’s it!
I did not start with a TBR list or ideas about which novels would fit the prompts, but I did originally plan on going with the 24-prompt version of either just the list or BINGO. While some of my backlist novels over this last year just naturally ended up fitting the prompts, others, like a “mushroom on the cover” needed some work to find a book that would fit.
After going through my titles, I discovered that I actually fully completed the 52-prompt list!
Here are all the prompts and which novels I used for each:
(1) 2+ people on the cover (2 or more people, either models or character art, on the cover)
(2) 6+ words in the title (6 or more words in the title, can include “the,” “and,” etc.)
(3) a book about books (a book that’s centered around books in some way)
(4) a book in a genre you never/rarely read (a genre you pick up very infrequently, or have never tried)
(5) a book set in the season you read it in (for example, reading a book primarily set in winter during the winter season)
(6) about food or food in the title (either the book’s plot is centered around food in some way or there’s a type of food in the title)
(7) about or inspired by a historical event (a book that’s either about an event in history or heavily inspired by one)
(8) an unusual or unexpected pet (a character has a pet that’s either unusual or something you wouldn’t expect)
(9) author has a first, middle, and last name on the cover (no initials) (i.e. 3+ names on the cover, so Karen Marie Moning would count, Jennifer L. Armentrout would not)
(10) author has an active podcast or youtube channel (author with a podcast or youtube channel that’s had an episode/video posted in the last 6 months)
(11) book about siblings (the plot is strongly focused on siblings in some way)
(12) book featuring time travel (we’re going back… back… back…)
(13) book with chapter names (no “Chapter One” here, these chapter titles have something interesting to say)
(14) book written for an age group you don’t belong to (for example, an adult reading young adult or vice versa)
(15) classic novel (pick a classic, any classic)
(16) co-authored (book is by 2 or more authors)
(17) debut novel (this was the first published book by this author)
(18) discovered via social media (because social media is rough on our TBRs)
(19) everyone has read it but you (it feels like everyone else has read this book except you)
(20) features royalty (I know I left that crown somewhere…)
- Published January 2nd 2016
- Link to my review (Read October 26, 2022)
- Links to Goodreads / Amazon
This entire series features royalty from connected kingdoms where their stories have some characters that tie the novels together. The Princess Companion (The Four Kingdoms #1) is the first novel that got me into the series.
(21) finish a series (reading this book means you’re finishing the series)
- Published November 16, 2021
- Link to my review (Read April 30, 2022)
- Links to Goodreads / Amazon
The Singles Table (Marriage Game #3) is actually the first novel of the series I discovered. Since I like reading series in order, when I can, I started with the first novel and finished the series with this one.
(22) first in a series you’ve been putting off (this is a callout so get to that series!)
(23) forgotten on your shelf or eReader (a book you forgot you had until recently)
(24) graphic novel, manga, or web comic (a book that fits one of these categories)
(25) indie or self published (the book was published by the author or an independent press)
(26) involves family secrets (this plot is very suspicious… secrets abound!)
(27) longer than 500 pages (tackle that tome!)
(28) murder, mystery, or both! (take your pick! murder, mystery, or something with both!)
(29) mushroom on the cover (find the ‘shroom…)
(30) new-to-you author (you’ve never read anything by this author, and maybe you never heard of them until recently)
(31) non-fiction (your pick of topic but make sure it’s based on facts)
(32) novella (often around 200 pages or less, a shorter work that either stands alone or is a novel companion)
(33) number in the title (as simple as it sounds)
(34) one word title (only one word allowed)
(35) picked by a celebrity book club (any book selected in the past by a celebrity for their book club)
(36) poetry or anthology (your choice of a book of poetry or book of short stories)
(37) protagonist has a profession that twists the truth (the main character’s job involves twisting the truth or lying often)
(38) published in the month you were born (book was released the same month you were born)
(39) reading for research, reference, or general interest (pick something that interests you!)
(40) second or fourth book in a series (you’re getting through those series this year!)
(41) set in space OR on/in the ocean (sea of stars, sea of fish, your choice)
(42) set in the mountains (the story primarily takes place in the mountains)
(43) set on an island (the story primarily takes place on an island)
(44) story centered around a real or fictional holiday (the story is focused around a holiday from our world or a holiday in the world of the book)
(45) superheroes/villains OR character in disguise (a story about superheroes/villains or one that features a character in disguise)
(46) the title is an alliteration (the title features at least 2 words starting with the same letter back to back (excluding words like “the,” “and,” etc.) such as Silence of the Soleri)
(47) translated into your native language (the book was originally written in a different language and translated into your native language)
(48) “wolf” or “star” in the title (one of those words appears in the title)
(49) women in the (fictional) sciences (a book featuring women in science, either from our world or fictional)
(50) you watched the show or movie first (a book turned into a movie/show that you watched before reading)
(51) your favorite animal (real or fictional) on the cover (simple as it sounds!)
(52) your favorite trope on the page (your favorite character or plot trope is in the book)
I can’t believe that I completed all 52 prompts! The fun part about these is that my list will be completely different from others in the same challenge. Some of them were very straightforward and made matching them to a novel easy while others took a little interpreting. This challenge definitely lived up to its name as it took some work to figure out 52 backlist reads that fit. I am thrilled though that I completed more backlist novels and will have to check out this challenge again in 2023.