Beat The Backlist 2021


A new year, a new TBR pile, and a new set of readers tackling their backlist!

Welcome to Beat the Backlist (the 2021 edition)!
The Beat the Backlist reading challenge is designed to help you tackle all the books you keep meaning to read and still haven’t. Head over to Novelknight for full details.


The guidelines are simple:

The book must be published in the previous year or earlier (for the 2021 challenge, anything published in 2020 or earlier counts).

You have to start and finish the book in 2021.

And that’s it!

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!


It’s back! I enjoyed Beat the Backlist Reading Bingo last year, and for 2021 Bingo is back, with a card packed full of reading prompts. This year, there are two bingo cards available and you can find both over at Novelknight.

It’s an additional element to the challenge and finding books to meet each category is fun. I’ll mainly be using the 24-prompt card, but some of the prompts on the 52-prompt list are just irresistible, so this year I’ll be adding that list to my challenge post as well. There’s no way I’ll reach the target, I didn’t read that many books in total last year, but I want to add it for reference, just to see how many prompts I can complete. My main focus will still be the 24-prompt card.

Potential Reads

2021 marks my fifth time participating in Beat the Backlist. As I did last year, I’ll set an initial target of 10 books to read, but hopefully will be able to manage more. My TBR pile is HUGE so there’s no shortage of books to choose from! Here is just a short selection of potential reads for this challenge…

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
The Dark Tower series by Stephen King
The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton
Stoker’s Wilde West by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin
The Book of Koli by M. R. Carey
The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman
Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

There are so many more books I could have mentioned above, so I look forward to seeing how many books I manage to read for Beat the Backlist.

Monthly Progress


The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow


NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1) by Stephen King


OpenSeason DrawingoftheThree

Open Season (Joe Pickett #1) by C. J. Box

The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower #2) by Stephen King

Beat The Backlist Bingo Progress

This year Bingo is back with a great collection of prompts.  While my main focus is the 24-prompt card I may choose a few from the 52-prompt list as well.  Here is a collection of covers that fulfill a prompt on either of the lists featured above:

OpenSeason        DrawingoftheThree

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow – Standalone

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill – A book with illustrations

The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1) by Stephen King – Kept you up late reading

Open Season (Joe Pickett #1) by C. J. Box – Genre you never/rarely read

The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower #2) by Stephen King – Author has a book releasing in 2021

17 thoughts on “Beat The Backlist 2021

  1. @lynnsbooks says:

    Good luck with your backlist challenge. I’m also trying to catch up with some backlist books this year but I’m going to keep it loose – less chance of me dropping the ball completely that way.
    Lynn 😀


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