“Why should [new releases] get to stomp around like a giant, while the rest of us try not to get smushed under his big feet? What’s so great about [new releases]? Hm? [backlist books are] just as cute as [new releases]. [Backlist books are] just as smart as [new releases]. (starts talking quickly) People totally like [backlist] just as much as they like [new releases]. And when did it become okay for one person to be the boss of everybody, huh? Because that’s not what [bookstagram] is about. We should totally just STAB [new releases]!” – Gretchen Weiners, Mean Girls
Can you tell I am feeling goofy today?
Anyway… let’s talk about some of my favorite backlist titles, friends. 😉
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Love the idea of a cranky but lovable bookstore owner with a story that will warm your heart? This book is a sip of hot chocolate on a cold day.
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
Fantasy at its finest and most unique, this book is the first in a beloved fantasy series that is a huge favorite among bookworms everywhere!
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
The fact that Reese Witherspoon is starring in an upcoming adaptation of this book MAY have something to do with the fact that it is at the top of my mind for this list! Family drama that transcends the idea of the “perfect American family” and kicks your heartstrings in the ass is in store for you in this read, so buckle up!
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
If you are a fan of historical fiction (or even if you aren’t), you NEED to read this book. As a lot of historical fiction novels do, this book takes place during WW2, but the characters (two sisters who are polar opposites) and their coming together and falling apart kept me hooked and wanting to keep exploring.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
With so much constant hype surrounding the TV show, it’s hard to believe that the books the show is based on first hit shelves almost 30 years ago (the first book, Outlander, was published in 1991). Heed this warning, though: If you easily fall in love with hot Scottish gentleman, you WILL become obsessed with Jamie Fraser.
Whiskey & Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith
This book is overlooked FAR too much despite is beautiful prose and heartwarming premise. I highly recommend this book to those who love books about love, but are also not afraid to cry a little (lot) while they read.
The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
If you’re looking for a story that will unsettle you and creep you the hell out, I highly recommend you give this book a try.
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
The Bill Hodges trilogy’s gripping and stomach-hurt inducing genesis is one of my favorite books I have ever read. This book isn’t King’s typical “straight up scary horror” type of novel, but it will give you the creeps. Also, if you have been loving the new show The Outsider on HBO, this series is the “prequel” to the novel that The Outsider is based on! You’ll even recognize some familiar characters from the show in this series. If you like thrillers/mysteries/books that make you cringe, pick this book as your next read!
Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
Easily one of my favorite romance novels of all time, this book brings the best of the best when it comes to “teen love gone awry to second chance at love as adults.” I LOVE stories that have “second chance romance” vibes to them so much. Something about the idea of the power of love defying the odds is so cozy and inspiring to me. Love love love this book!
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
If you ask me what my favorite book of all time is, I may just end up telling you it’s this one. I credit this book for helping me to fall deeply in love with high fantasy, and for that, I will be forever grateful. Yes, it is long as hell, but TRUST me when I tell you that the journey is so so so SO worth it.
As an avid backlist reader, I know there are other favorites I am missing, but I hope that these add just a few more titles to your TBR (which I am SO sure you needed lol…).
What are your favorite backlist titles? Do you try to prioritize reading backlist books or do you mostly stick to new releases?