Also known as books I want to read this year that have already been published! Backlist is, essentially, anything that is already out. It’s technically something more than 1 season old. Everything published from September to December is still technically frontlist (if I’m remembering correctly), but for these purposes, I’m treating it as anything pre-2023! First up, the upcoming book club books!
Circe by Madeline Miller
Madeline is a close acquaintance to the owner of the bookstore I work at and I’m sad to say that I haven’t yet read her works. I have a signed ARC sitting on my shelf at home (I have a former coworker who was obsessed with her pre-TikTok who got it signed for me, she also lives locally), and it’s been shaming me for years now that I haven’t actually read it yet. So I made it a book club book and will read it in February!
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
I can see the disbelief coming from that near audible eye roll, but yes, I never finished Beartown when it first came out and so now it’s finally time to get back to it now that the trilogy is complete. I am now finally on the side of the people who prefer to wait until a whole series is out to read it. The overall enjoyment level is higher because you don’t forget what happened in each previous book if you can read the next one right away. But this is another one I’ve had since the ARC-stage so here’s to getting it read in March for book club.
Atomic Anna by Rachel Barenbaum
Another book club selection, another ARC sitting on the shelf. This time-travel Chernobyl mother-daughter story sounded absolutely fascinating but I just didn’t get to it before it came out. Enter book club, this one is our April selection.
The Correspondents by Judith Mackrell
I adore a book about female journalists and I begged and pleaded with our sales rep for a copy of this book in advance, but there were no ARCs and it came out right before the holidays in 2021, so no surprise there that I didn’t get to it. The paperback is out soon so here’s another one we’re doing for book club.
Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree
The first non-book club book on the list, one of my friends asked me to get them a copy when it was still in self published stage before Tor bought it, so I got a copy for myself because I was intrigued. It sounds like a perfect winter cozy book so hopefully it will be one that I get to sooner rather than later.
Better Luck Next Time by Julia Claiborne Johnson
Here begins the “blurb books,” books that I read the first 50 pages of or so in order to write a blurb for the publisher. I always intended to come back to them, but haven’t gotten the chance to yet. These are the ones I sell at the store having pretended to have read them and I’m starting to feel guilty. I loved Julia’s Be Frank with Me, so it seems only fitting that I finish her sophomore novel too.
Fortune Favors the Dead by Stephen Spotswood
I’m still not a huge mystery reader but this one caught my attention. I gave a copy to my mom for Christmas one year and I don’t know if she actually got to it. The covers have now changed for the series from the originals and I don’t like them as much, but I love the Sherlock-Watson feminist vibe, so I’ll definitely be getting back to this one.
Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki
Faustian pact with music and an alien family that runs a donut shop? Uh, yes. Why didn’t I finish this one? I don’t know. I probably wasn’t really getting into it, it was the holidays, who knows, but it’s back on the list and I can’t wait to finally sit down and enjoy it.
Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead
I started this one at a time when I desperately needed a distraction, but then I got distracted and didn’t pick it back up. I then made Laura read it and she’s been very patiently waiting for me to get back to it so we can finally talk about it.
Sign Here by Claudia Lux
These next two are ones that I couldn’t really shut up about, despite not having read a word of them. I just find the idea of them very pleasing for some reason. Here we have another pact with the devil that promises wit and sarcasm so I will report back when I’ve actually read it.
The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal
I got the ARC for this one shortly after my grandmother died. Much as I wanted to read it then, I didn’t really have the heart to get into it, it felt like it’d be hitting some places that I just wasn’t ready for. But hopefully, now 4 years later, I’ll be able to get into when I give it another go.
The Women with Silver Wings by Katherine Sharp Landdeck
Laura wrote her Masters thesis about women who served in World War II, partially inspired by my obsession with female aviators, thank you Mom for a childhood book on Amelia Earhart. Fascinated and terrified at the same time. But this one has been sitting on my shelf for years and I haven’t gotten to it yet. So here’s to this year finally being the year.
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
I have yet to read anything by Emily Henry, a fact that my sister and fellow booksellers find very, very hard to believe, but it’s true. I tend to shy away from bestsellers and by the time one sounded like I really wanted to read it, there was no doubt it was going to be a bestseller. But anyway, here we are, shortly before the launch of what promises to be her best book yet (Happy Place in April), and I’m just now, hopefully, getting around to reading one.
If you’ve read any of these, please let me know!