Beat The Backlist 2023



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

Welcome to Beat the Backlist (the 2023 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 for full details.


The guidelines are simple:

The book must be published in the previous year or earlier (for the 2023 challenge, anything published in 2022 or earlier counts).

You have to start and finish the book in 2023.

And that’s it!

The challenge runs from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023

Any format, any genre.

Re-reads count, and you don’t have to own the book.

It’s open for the entire year so you can join in at any time.


Bingo is back! I enjoyed this last year, and for 2023 Bingo is back, with new cards packed full of reading prompts. This year, there are two bingo cards available. You can find both at
Bingo is an additional element to the challenge and finding books to meet each category is fun. I’m attempting both the 24 and 52 prompt cards and so have included both in my challenge post for reference. I doubt I’ll manage to read 52 books over the whole year, but I’d like to see how many prompts I can complete.



Potential Reads

2023 marks my seventh 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 manage more. My TBR pile is still HUGE so there’s no shortage of books to choose from! Here is a short selection of potential reads for this challenge…

The Dark Tower series by Stephen King
The Robert Hunter series by Chris Carter
The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley
The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub
Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
Dark Matter or Recursion by Blake Crouch
The Poirot series by Agatha Christie

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

Monthly Progress



The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings #1) by J. R. R. Tolkien



Fairy Tale by Stephen King


JigsawMan SixDeathsoftheSaint CardsontheTable

The Jigsaw Man (Inspector Anjelica Henley #1) by Nadine Matheson
The Six Deaths of the Saint (Into Shadow #3) by Alix E. Harrow
Cards on the Table (Hercule Poirot #15) by Agatha Christie

Beat The Backlist Bingo Progress

This year Bingo is back with a great collection of 24 and 52 prompts.  Here is a collection of covers that fulfil a prompt on either of the lists featured:

FellowshipofRing FairyTale JigsawMan
SixDeathsoftheSaint CardsontheTable

The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings #1) by J. R. R. Tolkien – First in a trilogy
Fairy Tale by Stephen King – Protagonist has a pet
The Jigsaw Man (Inspector Anjelica Henley #1) by Nadine Matheson – Point-of-view character is an adult
The Six Deaths of the Saint (Into Shadow #3) by Alix E. Harrow – Less than 170 pages
Cards on the Table (Hercule Poirot #15) by Agatha Christie – Meant to read it last year


18 thoughts on “Beat The Backlist 2023

  1. Tammy says:

    I’m so tempted to try this. I usually fail big time at challenges, though, lol. Ooh, Red Dragon is so good! And Recursion is my favorite Crouch book. I’d also love to read Piranesi😁


  2. Ola G says:

    I’m at the same time tempted and repulsed by King’s Dark Tower series 😉 Heard some good things about it, but nothing mind-blowing, and it is a huuge time commitment. Good luck with your list!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. piotrek says:

    Quite a serious challenge, I don’t think I’m ready for it, but I already started reading books that have been seating on my shelves for far too long… I hope some will qualify to be sold or donated after reading, I want to clear some shelf space 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elyse LeMieux says:

    I’m doing a couple of Shrink the Shelf challenges in Instagram and I think if I buckle down a bit more, they will go nicely with this challenge. We’ll see! lol. Good luck!


  5. bkfrgr says:

    Oooooo – I haven’t come across this challenge before, but it’s so pretty!! I may have to play along (despite promising myself I wouldn’t do loads of challenges this year …) 🙂
    Good luck with yours – and thank you for putting this on my radar! ❤


    • pagesandtea says:

      I love this challenge. I have such a massive backlist of books that this encourages me to actually read at least a few of them (and some of the 2022 releases I had my eye on will count towards it now as well :D).

      Liked by 1 person

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