Book Lists: Backlists Books I’m Getting to This Year

I am back from my hiatus and am still very much making unrealistic reading plans for myself. I am sincerely hoping that all my unearned confidence will not result in me crashing and burning before at least getting to some of these books. For this list I am highlighting five (it was originally ten before I talked myself out of it) backlist books I am determined to get to this year. These are books that I’ve had on my shelf for far too long and hopefully making this post will finally get me to pick them up. Covers are linked to Goodreads.


1. The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

Confession: I’ve had The Astonishing Color of After on my shelf since its release way back in 2018! I avoided it because I knew it dealt with grief and I tend to put off heavier books.

“Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.

Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.

Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.”

2. Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Confession: This one isn’t as bad. It’s been on my shelf since 2020. I did preorder it, so I had every intention of reading it when it came out. I think I have really high expectations for it because of how much I loved Trail of Lightning and that had me putting it off.

The first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic.

A god will return
When the earth and sky converge
Under the black sun

In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world.

Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.”


3. The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

Confession: I’m just going to blame this one on the pandemic. It’s only been a year since I’ve had this one, but it has felt like longer. It was originally going to be released in 2020 and when the publishing date was pushed back, my excitement was pushed back as well. I’m still excited, I just need to recapture that excitement.

“Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.”

4. Nevermoor: The Trial of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Confession: Yikes, I bought this one way back in 2019 and I was so stoked too! I’ve been hearing good things about this one for years from the blogging community. I think I am subconsciously avoiding it because of all the hype.

A breathtaking, enchanting new series by debut author Jessica Townsend, about a cursed girl who escapes death and finds herself in a magical world–but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination.

Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.

But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.

It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart–an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests–or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.”

5. The True Queen by Zen Cho

Confession: Another 2019 release I haven’t read! I even bought the UK edition of this one because it was so unbelievably beautiful. The problem is I loved Sorcerer to the Crown so much and I’m afraid this sequel won’t live up to it. I must overcome my fear.

“When sisters Muna and Sakti wake up on the peaceful beach of the island of Janda Baik, they can’t remember anything, except that they are bound as only sisters can be. They have been cursed by an unknown enchanter, and slowly Sakti starts to fade away. The only hope of saving her is to go to distant Britain, where the Sorceress Royal has established an academy to train women in magic.

If Muna is to save her sister, she must learn to navigate high society, and trick the English magicians into believing she is a magical prodigy. As she’s drawn into their intrigues, she must uncover the secrets of her past, and journey into a world with more magic than she had ever dreamed.”

Have you read any of these? Which backlist books are you hoping to cross off your TBR this year? Let’s discuss in the comments!

27 thoughts on “Book Lists: Backlists Books I’m Getting to This Year

  1. You have a great plan to finally tackle books you’ve been putting off. I find if I put my word down on [virtual] paper I am much more likely to follow through. I bet you actually get these books crossed off your list in no time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. i’m in the exact same corner as you with the astonishing color of after—i’ve had it since 2018 too and even read some of it, but i just couldn’t deal with the heavy content and haven’t picked it up since then 😭 hope we can both get around to it soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know it’s going to wreck me emotionally and volunteering myself for such a thing has proven really difficult with this book in particular. I have no doubt we’ll both love it. It will wreck us, but we’ll probably praise through all the tears.


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