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Beat The Backlist 2024 - Announcement & TBR

Happy Saturday everyone!  Today, I'm sharing my potential TBR for the 2024 Beat The Backlist reading challenge.  I took part in this challenge ages ago - way back in 2018 and 2019 actually - and I decided that since my want to read list is as out of control as always that I ought to participate in Austine Decker's year long challenge.  The rules for the challenge are really easy - read books published in 2023 or earlier and read them during 2024.  Also, any format, genre, rereads, and stacking it with other challenges all count for this challenge.  You can either choose to read any amount or anything at all, or you can opt to follow the either 24 or 52 book prompt list which require you to select only one book per prompt.  As you can probably guess, I've decided to attempt the 52 book prompt list and all of my choices are books that I own and haven't read before.  If you're interested, here is the Twitter account for the challenge and if you share your progress on social media, you should use #BeatTheBacklist.  Without further ado, let's get to my challenge TBR:

1. fae or aliens

My choice: Windswept (Windswept #1) by Adam Rakunas - I put found this at a used bookstore awhile ago and it looks like fun to me.

2. 2023 debut novel

My choice: Assistant to the Villain (Assistant to the Villain #1) by Hannah Nicole Maehrer - I got this as a gift and it sounds like something I'd like.  I mean, it's described as Once Upon a Time meets The Office after all.

3. we have so much in common

My choice: Crazy Time by Kate Wilhelm - The main character has the same first name as me.  I don't see that often, so how cool is that!

4. that's not my name

My choice: Blackheart Knights (Blackheart Knights #1) by Laure Eve - My interpretation of this prompt is in the closeness of the author first name to my own.  Plus, just look how cool that cover looks!

5. good vibes only

My choice: Sal and Gabi Break the Universe (Sal and Gabi #1) by Carlos Hernandez - This just looks delightful and I've heard only great things about this.

6. on your TBR 5+ years

My choice: First Lord's Fury (Codex Alera #6) by Jim Butcher - This series has been amazing and I can't believe I'm up the finale.

7. name that tune

My choice: The Song of All (The Legacy of Heavens #1) by Tina LeCount Myers - I won this ages ago and it's time I finally try it.

8. 4-word title

My choice: Skin Deep, Blood Red (Wesley Farrell #1) by Robert Skinner - I found this at a library book sale and it sounds like my kind of noir.

9. writing about writing


My choice: 

10. an unexpected inheritance

My choice: The Animals of Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey - This historical mystery sounds like it has a lot of potential.

11. second chances

My choice: Code of Honor by Alan Gratz - I've really enjoyed what I've read from this author so far.  

12. anything but monarchy

My choice: Blood For Blood (Wolf By Wolf #2) by Ryan Graudin - This sequel/ duology finale sounds excellent.  Plus, it's set during an alternate history where the other side won WWII.

13. neon colored cover

My choice: Toil & Trouble by Augusten Burroughs - I'd say the green on the cover of this memoir qualifies as neon.

14. sibling showdown

My choice: The Testament of Loki (Loki #2) by Joanne M. Harris - The first book in this series was awesome.  Obviously I'm reading this for Thor and Loki - after season 2 of Loki I need this.

15. space - the final frontier

My choice: Diving into the Wreck (Diving Universe #1) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch - I found a copy of this at a thrift store and it sounds really cool. 

16. author last name starts with "v"

My choice: Notorious Sorcerer (The Burnished City #1) by Davinia Evans - Since I'm focusing on books I own, this was as close as I could find - last name second letter is a v and the author's first name even has a v in it too.

17. 3+ points of view

My choice: The Stardust Thief (The Sandsea Trilogy #1) by Chelsea Abdullah - I've been told this is a must read if you're a fan of The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi and I loved that.

18. retelling of a classic

My choice: Straight on Till Morning by Liz Braswell - After reading Peter Darling, I decided I need to try more Peter Pan retellings. 

19. recommended via a newsletter or podcast

My choice: Threads That Bind (Threads That Bind #1) by Kita Hatzopoulou - I've seen this recommended so many places and I can't wait to try it.

20. share the love

My choice: 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard - I found this at a thrift store and it sounds like an interesting mystery thriller.  It definitely sounds like it fits the category.

21. anthology or omnibus edition

My choice: Strange Weather: Four Short Stories by Joe Hill - I've been meaning to get to this collection for so long.

22. door on the cover

My choice: The Black Prism (Lightbringer #1) by Brent Weeks - I'd say that looks like a door, wouldn't you?

23. STEM stan

My choice: The Mummy Congress: Science, Obsession, and the Everlasting Dead by Heather Pringle - This sounds like it could be a perfect choice for this prompt.

24. we all scream (for ice cream?)

My choice: Reviver (Reviver Trilogy #1) by Seth Patrick - I was hoping to read this for Halloween, but I ran out of time.

25. written by or about a (fictional) celebrity

My choice: Angel: Close to the Ground (Buffyverse Novels #49) by Jeff Mariotte - This season 1 set tie-in novel sounds like it fits this prompt perfectly as Angel and the team have to guard the daughter of an important Hollywood studio head.

26. published 100+ years ago

My choice: The First Crossing of Greenland by Fridtjof Nansen - The newer paperback copy I have of this is like a scan of one old 1890s copies.  It even has old notes and signatures of the original owners of it and everything.

27. queer AF

My choice: This Delicious Death by Kayla Cottingham - This YA horror sounds like a lot of fun.

28. first in an unfinished series

My choice: Silver in the Bone (Silver in the Bone #1) by Alexandra Bracken - I can't resist an Arthurian retelling and the second book in this series will be released this coming July.

29. let's circle back to this

My choice: Shadowbred (Forgotten Realms: The Twilight War #1) by Paul S. Kemp - After watching Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, it reminded me of how much I used to enjoy reading these books.  I tied the prompt into the cover art for the novel.  Unfortunately, the image available on Goodreads isn't the best.

30. title contains a body of water

My choice: Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan - It's going to be so much fun to read this standalone.

31. bird is the word

My choice: Fall; or Dodge in Hell (Crypto #3) by Neal Stephenson - It's been far too long since I've read this author.

32. between 300 and 400 pages

My choice: The Haunting of Leigh Harker by Darcy Coates - I've really enjoyed what I've read from this author so far and I can't wait to read more.  This book has 354 pages.

33. dance the night away

My choice: The Big Bands, 4th Edition by George T. Simon - This sounds really cool.  I have no idea if there's actually dancing this history book, but with the type of music that it focuses on I assume that it will at least get mentioned.

34. these woods hold secrets

My choice: First Rider's Call (Green Rider #2) by Kristen Britain - I really enjoyed the first book in this YA fantasy series and I can't wait to see what's next.  I can't believe I never got around to this series when it was new.

35. coauthored or illustrated

My choice: The Woodland Indians of the Western Great Lakes by Robert E. Ritzenthaler and Pat Ritzenthaler - I spotted this at a local used bookstore a while ago and thought I'd give this short history book a try.

36. popular throwback

My choice: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus - One of my friends gave me this and it's been recommended to me several times.  I hope I enjoy it.

37. travel by ship

My choice: Icebreaker (The Hidden #1) by Lian Tanner - This MG dystopia sounds really cool - and so does the cover.

38. live in infamy

My choice: A Cat with No Regrets (Alice Nestleton Mystery #8) by Lydia Adamson - I totally picked this book for the cover - just look at that cat!

39. sweet or spicy 

My choice: Seduced by Crimson (Crimson City #5) by Jade Lee - I know this is the fifth book in a series I haven't read any of the other books, but I've been told it should make sense so I guess I'll find out.  Plus, each book in the series is by a different author.  This sounds like it might be fairly spicy?  I guess, I'll find out!

40. prominently features a desert

My choice: The Company of Glass (Everien #1) by Leith Valery - This doesn't have the best ratings or reviews but it sounds intriguing enough to try.

41. blurbed by a fave author

My choice: Bring Me Your Midnight by Rachel Griffin - This has been blurbed by several favorites on the back cover including Kerri Maniscalco.  

42. hotel, mansion, or castle

My choice: Doon (Doon #1) by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon - This is based on the Broadway musical Brigadoon which was also adapted into the 1954 movie of the same name starring Gene Kelly, Van Johnson, and Cyd Charisse.  That movie adaptation, while not a favorite Gene Kelly movie, is still pretty fun.  I'm looking forward to seeing what this book adaptation does with the story.

43. I was framed!

My choice: Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World's Most Famous Detective Writer by Margalit Fox - This history book sounds absolutely fascinating.

44. walk through history

My choice: A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union of WWII by Elizabeth Wein - This nonfiction history book sounds fascinating.  It's always interesting to read about women during times of war and I'm also interested in women in aviation history as well.  Plus, I've loved Wein's novels in the past.

45. it's the end of the world as we know it

My choice: The Black Veins (Dead Magic #1) by Ashia Monet - This YA fantasy series opener sounds like it's going to be amazing.

46. coffeehouse reads

My choice: Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now - As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It by Craig Taylor - I've actually seen someone read this in a local place and I live in Ohio.

47. small town vs. big city

My choice: Low Town (Low Town #1) by Daniel Polansky - This urban fantasy series opener sounds like it could be exactly what I'm looking for.

48. tickles your funny bone

My choice: Night School (Terror Academy #7) by Nicholas Pine - I've never read any of the other books in this series to know what to expect of this YA horror from 1994, but that cover is something else! Looks like Dracula's peeking through the door!

49. character name is a color

My choice: Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda edited by Jesse J. Holland - This collection of short stories has some great authors involved.

50. creature feature

My choice: A Dowry of Blood (A Dowry of Blood #1) by S.T. Gibson - This sounds like it could be perfect!

51. released the 13th of any month

My choice: Chaucer's Tale: 1386 and the Road to Canterbury by Paul Strohm - This microhistory/ biography sounds fascinating.  This was originally released on November 13th, 2014.

52. author and character share an initial

My choice: Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin - I've never read anything aside from A Song of Ice and Fire from this author, but this sounds intriguing.  The main character's name is Abner Marsh, so that's the same last initial.


Have you read any of these books?  Which should I read first?  Are you participating in this challenge?  Congrats for making it this far and as always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

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