Beat the Backlist 2021

Hosted by austinedecker

186 participants, 1185 books added

Starts: Friday, 01 January 2021

Ends: Friday, 31 December 2021

ABOUT

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!

GUIDELINES

  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

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more than one author (40 books added)


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

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dragons OR lizards (34 books added)


 a book featuring one or the other, or both! 

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it's on a ship! (21 books added)


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

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purple cover (32 books added)


 bring on the purple! 

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set in a major city (39 books added)


 this can be any major city around the globe 

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book you forgot you had (24 books added)


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

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caused a major book hangover (18 books added)


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

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multiple points of view (44 books added)


 there are at least two different character perspectives 

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book you're giving another chance (26 books added)


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

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quest to find lost/hidden object (29 books added)


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

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chapter title page has art (20 books added)


 the pages that mark the beginning of a new chapter feature some sort of artwork or design 

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kept you up late reading (34 books added)


 definitely not a book you can easily put down 

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picked by a friend/trusted reviewer (26 books added)


 whether a friend decided it or a reviewer online you trust recommended it, either is fair game 

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non-human character (39 books added)


 a prominent character in the story is not human 

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first line is less than 10 words (29 books added)


 that’s right, count ’em! 

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banned book (10 books added)


 need ideas? check out this list! 

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cover features your favorite color prominently (27 books added)


 make sure that color dominates the book cover 

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all about music (14 books added)


 a story where music is a strong focus in some way 

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character lets out a breath they didn’t realize they were holding (21 books added)


 if you’ve seen a line like this is a book, that’s what we’re looking for here 

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genre you never/rarely pick up (33 books added)


 there has to be at least one genre you don’t usually pick up 

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standalone (48 books added)


 allll byyy itself… 

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lost royalty (17 books added)


lost in time, lost to the world, don’t know who they are, interpret “lost” as you see fit 

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cover with your country's flag colors (13 books added)


 ideally the main colors of the cover but you may have to get creative 

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written in letters or diary entries (14 books added)


 yes, we mean books told through letters or diary entries, the word is “epistolary” if you were looking for it 

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book centered around politics (24 books added)


 everything from court intrigue to presidential elections! 

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features a carnival or circus (7 books added)


 doesn’t have to be the main story, just part of it 

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snake on the cover (13 books added)


 we bet you can think of a few… 

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historical with a twist (20 books added)


 stories set in history that didn’t quite happen that way 

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character has a dream scene (29 books added)


 if the protagonist details a dream then wakes up, you’ve got a dream scene 

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set in autumn (8 books added)


 at least part of the story 

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based on non-Greek/Roman mythology (15 books added)


 literally any other mythology works here 

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non-binary protagonist (8 books added)


 the book’s protagonist identifies as non-binary 

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a book with illustrations (25 books added)


 anything from graphic novels and manga to small illustrations throughout an otherwise text-heavy novel 

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WTF plot twist (18 books added)


 those twists that make you wonder WTF, whether it’s in a good way… or bad 

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second book in a duology (16 books added)


 time to get to that duology you started but haven’t finished yet 

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non-fairytale re-telling (19 books added)


 any spin on something that isn’t a classic fairytale 

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from your 2020 backlist TBR (52 books added)


 a backlist book you planned to read last year… and didn’t 

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book where the woods/forest are important (23 books added)


 exactly like it sounds, the woods are forest are an important part of the story in some way 

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black and white (14 books added)


 interpret as you wish 

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novella (21 books added)


 generally under 200 pages 

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person on the cover (57 books added)


 character art or models count! 

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anthology (10 books added)


 here is where you can play the anthology card, short stories generally around a theme with one or more editors 

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has a map (18 books added)


 any kind of map will do! 

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book about bones OR “bone” in the title (14 books added)


 take your pick, a book featuring bones prominently or one that has the word “bone” in the title 

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good book, bad cover (8 books added)


 another one exactly as it sounds, you liked the book but the cover is… not good 

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brings out the geek in you (20 books added)


 whether it’s a fandom dream or you’re just really into rocks and this book talks about rocks, whatever makes you geek out! 

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bought it for the cover (14 books added)


 we’re sure you’ve done it at least once 

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book written in verse (9 books added)


 a novel told through poetry 

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includes a 2nd person point of view (15 books added)


 at least one character narrates the story as “you walk” or “you go” vs “I walk/They walk” 

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author has a book releasing in 2021 (31 books added)


 let’s support authors’ backlists! if they have a new book coming out, count any of their previous books published in 2020 or earlier 

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mentions a pineapple (12 books added)


yes we're serious

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on the Indie Bestseller list in 2020 or earlier (13 books added)


 you can find the list archive by clicking here