Happy Wednesday everyone! A little while ago, the wonderful Kelly did a post called Why I Love Reading Backlist Novels and it really got me thinking about all the books on my shelves that I still haven’t read. Whether they’re from used book stores, impulsive purchases or even gifts, there’s so much that’s been sitting on my shelves for some time. Many of them are beloved series or authors that many people enjoy. Yet I’ve still to experience them. So today when I looked on my shelves, I picked out my honest top 10 back list titles that I still need to read. The order of these books doesn’t matter, but I do hope to finish these in the first half of this year. I’ve been seeing a lot of stuff in the book community this year about trying to read more well rounded and focusing a bit less on the new stuff. While I do love reading ARCs and boosting upcoming stuff, I know that many of my favorite books are back list titles. So without further ado, here’s the ten books that I hope to find to read this year and find new favorites.
1. Graceling Realm Trilogy by Kristin Cashore
I bought all 3 of this beloved trilogy at a used bookstore a few years back. I had seen quite a few Booktubers rave about this series and I decided to just get the whole series. Since then, my husband has read all three books before me and a couple co-workers keep telling me to try the series. But I do want to see what all the hype was about with these books set in a world where people are “graces” and have different magical abilities. I plan to pick up Graceling in the next month or two so here’s to hoping that I like at least one of the books if not the whole trilogy.
2. The Falconer #1 by Elizabeth May
This is a Scottish fantasy trilogy where the protagonist is a fae hunter. I hear there’s a good romance in there, plenty of action and that all three books are great. That’s all I know about the trilogy so I picked up the first one since my library didn’t have a copy of it. Plus, I do like that this first book is shorter than most of the books on this list, so I expect an action packed first book that delivers. Some people it gives off Buffy vibes and that better be true lol
3. Gullstruck Island by Frances Hardinge
This was an impulse buy later last year (I think?) after seeing the cool cover and the very odd but alluring synopsis. It’s set on an island where there’s magical elements and a huge mystery to uncover and that’s the best way I can put it. Frances Hardinge is also a popular UK author and many of her books are praised by many people in the book community and I want to see if I will also be a fan.
4. Born of Illusion #1 by Teri Brown
I saw this book on a used bookstore shelf and saw that one blurb said that it was for fans of Libba Bray’s The Diviners series and since I had only read the first book and loved it, I immediately bought this historical fiction book. It’s set in the 1920’s and focuses on the supposed illegitimate daughter of Harry Houdini! I almost started this book before I started blogging, but then other life things got in the way and I still haven’t picked it up. But I haven’t heard anyone talk about this duology and sometimes, that’s something that can help me enjoy a book: having a practically clean slate as far as any hype surrounding it. So here’s to a hopefully solid historical fiction book.
5. Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera #1) by Jim Butcher
Since I am a HUGE Dresden Files fan, I’m still shocked that I haven’t read this other series by him yet! This is a 6 book series that’s been done for a while. It’s a fantasy series about a lost Roman legion that somehow ended up in a different world. Thousands of years later, we follow Tavi when he’s young and all his adventures. I hear such great things about this series from people who also love Dresden. So it’s a goal to read the whole series by the end of the year 🙂
6. The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2) by Samantha Shannon
The first book in this series was my very first book review on this blog 2 years ago! How crazy is that? I loved The Bone Season when I read it 2 years ago and I own books two and three. They’ve been sitting on my shelves for a long time and with the release of her Priory of the Orange Tree tome, it’s made me remember that I need to get back into this series. I will say that I hope we hear news about a possible release date for book 4 to come out this year, since it’s been a while since book 3 was out. I may wait a bit longer until later in the year (just in case), but I also might go back and re-read the first book to get a refresher. This world of clairvoyant powers and blending genres is complex and cool and I think it would it’ll be awesome diving back in. Many of you have even read all three and tell me that the series still goes strong so that’s assuring for me.
7. Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
After loving her short story in The Radical Element anthology, I knew that I needed to read more Stacey Lee! She’s one of the authors I think about when it comes to historical fiction. She’s also an author who has written a few books now that are very highly regarded. Out of her three novels that are out now, I want to read her debut novel the most. Under a Painted Sky follows a Chinese-American girl and an African-American in 1849 who run away and disguise themselves as boys. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book, so I want to finally read a complete novel of hers before her new one comes out in the fall!
8. Iron Cast by Destiny Soria
I also bought this years ago at Barnes & Noble after reading the inside jacket. It’s set in 1919 and is about two friends who work at a jazz club during the Prohibition era and I think they both have magical abilities. Plus the cover is unique and beautiful. I have seen no one I know talk about or review this book, so maybe this could be another hidden gem? I always love historical settings (apparently set in the 1910’s and 1920’s) with magical elements.
9. Passenger duology by Alexandra Bracken
I know Alexandra Bracken is a very popular YA author, but I have heard mixed things about her books. But a friend in real life told me that she liked this duology about a girl who finds herself suddenly time traveling. She meets a guy and they go to track down an artifact through time. I did read approximately 100 pages of the first book and I think the writing was solid. I’m not sure what caused me to put the book down for a while, but I do want to give it another chance. While I’ve heard this series is very slow, I can take that with a grain of salt. I do want to find a favorite time travel book/series, since it’s a trope I haven’t read much of.
10. Legend series by Marie Lu
When Marie Lu suddenly announced the fourth book to this series earlier this year, everyone flipped their lid and I saw this news everywhere. I’ll admit that I didn’t hear about this series until my husband bought the box set and he liked all three books. I can say that dystopian is a hit or miss for me personally (especially when it’s a series) but I feel like I need to experience a series that made an impact in YA books. I really didn’t like Warcross by her (I DNF’d it after 100 pages) but I do want to see what I think of at minimum the first book. I’m hesitant just because of the nostalgia it has for so many people, but maybe a mood read will make it fun? We shall see!
There you have it! These are the 10 back list books I seriously want to read this year. If it’s a series, I plan to do at least the first two books if there’s more than that in that particular series. Please tell me which of these are your favorite and that I should prioritize over the other ones. Let me know in the comments 🙂