Best of the Backlist | Eight Books That Are Not New To Add to Your TBR List

By now, you know that I’m a new release junkie. I listen to a ton of book podcasts and and get a fair amount of books sent to me, so it’s easy to focus on the new and upcoming. I did make my way to some backlist books-books that were not published this year. These were my favorites!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo | Taylor Jenkins Reid | Published in 2017

This book has a lot of hype surrounding it- and it lives up to it! World famous actress Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to spill everything. She selects an unknown journalist, Monique Grant, and refuses to tell her story to anyone but her. We find out about her fight to fame and finally get the answer to who was the love of her life. Don’t be fooled- this isn’t a cheesy love story. It’s got depth.

Dark Matter | Blake Crouch | Published in 2016

I’d feel comfortable calling this book one of my all time favorites. Dark Matter blew my mind. It’s a story that weaves physics, philosophy, psychology into a love story. Jason Desson gets abducted and his assailant demands to know if he’s happy with his life. This is a book that will have you questioning the choices you made in your life and have you feeling grateful for the good decisions that you’ve made. This is a book I’d like to see on screen.

In a Dark, Dark Wood | Ruth Ware | Published in 2016

I found Ruth Ware’s debut to be her best work. In a Dark Dark Wood takes a familiar setting- a bachelorette party- and turns it into the worst night ever. Pure entertainment- in a murderino kind of way.

Kindred | Octavia Butler | Published in 1979

I have no idea what mad me grab this one, but I’m happy I did. Kindred is often said to be the first science fiction book to be published by a black woman. Dana is a modern day black woman who inexplicably gets sucked back in time to the Antebellum South. It appears that one of her white ancestors, Rufus, has the ability to call her back in time when he’s in trouble. Seeing that it’s the 1800s, they believe her to be a slave and she has to do what she can to keep her sense of self and get back to the present.

The Dry | Jane Harper | Published in 1976

For readers that like crime fiction set in an evocative location with a detective you can root for. This isn’t a cozy though- it’s pretty brutal. But well written!

Bluebird, Bluebird | Attica Locke | Published in 2017

Bluebird, Bluebird is a complex mystery with Texas Ranger Darren Matthews at its center. There’s small town gossip, racism, and family drama will a well paced plot.

Just Mercy | Bryan Stevenson | Published in 2014

Really, a must read to understand the flaws in the criminal justice system in the United States.

A Head Full of Ghosts | Paul Tremblay | Published in 2015

I haven’t been this freaked out by a book since Pet Semetary. Kathleen Barber’s Are You Sleeping meets The Exorcist.

Ok, so a lot of these were published last year. One of my reading resolutions for next year is to read even more off of the backlist and to focus on quality, not quantity. How do you keep track of backlist books you’d like to read? Do you pay attention?

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Book Tour | I'd Rather Be Reading | Anne Bogel

Book Tour | Id Rather Be Reading | TBR Etc.

Publication Date: September 4th, 2018

Publisher: Baker Books

Page Count: 160 

Why I Picked It Up: I'm on the book tour! Many thanks to the I'd Rather Be Reading Launch Team for giving me early access to a free copy of the book! 

Synopsis: From Amazon-

For so many people, reading isn't just a hobby or a way to pass the time--it's a lifestyle. Our books shape us, define us, enchant us, and even sometimes infuriate us. Our books are a part of who we are as people, and we can't imagine life without them.

I'd Rather Be Reading is the perfect literary companion for everyone who feels that way. In this collection of charming and relatable reflections on the reading life, beloved blogger and author Anne Bogel leads readers to remember the book that first hooked them, the place where they first fell in love with reading, and all of the moments afterward that helped make them the reader they are today. Known as a reading tastemaker through her popular podcast What Should I Read Next?, Bogel invites book lovers into a community of like-minded people to discover new ways to approach literature, learn fascinating new things about books and publishing, and reflect on the role reading plays in their lives.

The perfect gift for the bibliophile in everyone's life, I'd Rather Be Reading will command an honored place on the overstuffed bookshelves of any book lover.

Opening Sentence: "'Can you recommend a great book?'"

My Thoughts: This was a delight. Full disclosure though- at this point, I'm going to pick up anything Anne Bogel writes because I'm such a fan of her blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy. (I also love to support bloggers who branch out into other forms of media). I'll admit when I first read the premise I was skeptical- how in the world can you write a book about reading? 

Happily, now I know. I'd Rather Be Reading is a love letter to books and reading in the form of essays. It's a slim book with a gorgeous cover- it's a watercolor of Anne's actual home library- and it touches on Anne's own reading life, problems only bookworms can relate to, formative years of reading, and what it means to be a reader. One of my favorite chapters focuses specifically on the acknowledgement page in books, the authors' words that come after the story is finished. In the acknowledgements, authors thank any number of people for their help in creating the book. These words are often thoughtful, funny, heartfelt, and inspirational, yet they're also often skipped! That part made me want to take to my own shelves and see what I have been missing.

Another section that made me want to take to my shelves was the chapter on "How to Organize Your Bookshelf". Believe it or not, bookshelf organization is a hot topic among the book blogger and bookstagram community. (Rainbow shelves forever!) 

Rainbow bookshelves | TBR Etc.

Because the book is relatively short, I thought I would fly through this. And you certainly could. But part of the fun of reading this, for me, was how nostalgic it made me. It made me think about my early reading life, those weekly trips to the library with my mom, browsing the stacks and the thrill I felt when completing my summer reading log to get the free ticket to Six Flags Great America, and all of those authors I grew up on. (Sweet Valley High, Babysitters Club, and Goosebumps, anyone?) I found myself savoring and being inspired by these chapters. 

Most of all, this book made me appreciate how privileged I am to be able to enjoy reading. Being a voracious reader is a part of my identity and I'm thankful that I grew up in a household that emphasized reading and that I had access to books. Reading this made me think about why it is I love reading so much, and made me want to continue my plans to read more widely and with purpose. 

All in all, this book made me feel seen. Theres are stories that readers will "get", and to be honest it's unlike anything I've read before. It brought a smile to my face and it's something that can be read in one sitting or in little bits. 

So why read a book about reading? Because it's nice to think back upon the characters and stories that helped shape the person I am today. 

Just don't forget to read the acknowledgement. 

Favorite Quote: (from the Bookworm Problems chapter): "Your pile on the stack in your passenger seat, and your car yells at you because it thinks you have an unbuckled passenger."

I'd Rather Be Reading Book Tour | TBR Etc.

TL:DR: This will make the book obsessed feel seen and understood, and it will make any reader want to reminiscence about their own reading history. It would also make a wonderful gift! 

There is still time to preorder! If you order before September 4th, you will get some exclusive preorder goodies. You can purchase the book from anywhere- Amazon, your local indie, Book Depository- and still get the bonuses! Bonuses include a free digital download of the audiobook, access to Anne's class "7 ways to get more out of your reading life", and digital artwork from the book. If you order two or more, you also get a signed book plate, bookmark, postcard print from the book, and bookish stickers. Details about the extras and ordering here!

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