Beat the Backlist 2021

Hosted by austinedecker

241 participants, 5549 books added

Starts: Friday, 01 January 2021

Ends: Friday, 31 December 2021


Started in 2017, Beat the Backlist is an annual reading challenge hosted by NovelKnight that's designed to help you tackle all the books you keep meaning to read and still haven’t. It's intended for books that have already been published at the start of the new year. Read more on the challenge website by clicking here!


  1. The book must be published in the previous year or earlier (for the 2021 challenge, anything published in 2020 or earlier counts).
  2. You have to start and finish the book in 2021.
  3. And that’s it!

There are optional reading prompts you can take part in if you would like but they are intended to be just for fun. Don't feel like you have to complete any of them. If you're using the prompts, each book only counts for ONE prompt!

YOU set your own TBR/goal. 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! 

Challenge prompts

more than one author (110 books added)

 a book written by at least 2 authors; not an anthology 

dragons OR lizards (110 books added)

 a book featuring one or the other, or both! 

it's on a ship! (106 books added)

 a book that takes place on a ship, the type of ship is up to you 

purple cover (115 books added)

 bring on the purple! 

set in a major city (166 books added)

 this can be any major city around the globe 

book you forgot you had (97 books added)

 don’t lie, you know there’s at least one… well, maybe you don’t know… yet 

caused a major book hangover (84 books added)

 the book was so good that you just don’t think you can start a new one just yet 

multiple points of view (226 books added)

 there are at least two different character perspectives 

book you're giving another chance (86 books added)

 you tried it before and it just wasn’t working, but maybe this time… 

quest to find lost/hidden object (115 books added)

 this can be a search for any lost and/or hidden object so get creative!