Winter 2024 Backlist Check-in

Winter 2024 Backlist Check-in

Last year, I started doing a seasonal backlist reading check-in so I could share a little bit about some of the backlist titles I’d been reading. I prioritize frontlist reviews since I often get copies of those from publishers, so putting them up is more time-sensitive. But there are always titles I didn’t get to when they came out that I manage to fit in afterward– often as audiobooks.

As you can see, I’ve been busy since my Fall Backlist reading update, so this is going to be a long list. Several of these books are graphic novels that I got for Christmas for somewhat unselfish reasons. (I wanted to read them and also to offer them to my nephew and niece to read.)

I’m pretty happy with my progress tackling backlist books so far this year. Some of these will appear on my Beat the Backlist and Read Harder challenge pages, too.

Winter 2024 Backlist Reading

Strike the Zither (Kingdom of Three #1) by Joan He

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

My thoughts: DESCENDANT OF THE CRANE was one of my favorite books I read last year, so I’ve had this one on my list since I first heard it was coming out. I love the way this author crafts large-scale political conflicts and complicated relationships. This one went in some directions I didn’t predict, and I’m eager for book two in the series.

Published October 25, 2022 | Review to Come

Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor

Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

My thoughts: I have been wanting to read this since another reviewer called it one of her top favorites for 2022. It reminded me a bit of THE SPLENDOR by Breeana Shields or CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber. Sisters. Lush magical setting filled with danger and secrets. Forbidden love. All the good stuff.

Published April 5, 2022 | Review to Come

Frida Kahlo: Her Life, Her Work, Her Home by Fransisco de la Mora

Frida Kahlo: Her Life, Her Work, Her Home by Fransisco de la Mora

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

My thoughts: This is the first biography of Frida Kahlo that I’ve ever read, and it left me wanting to read more about her life. I enjoyed the details about her life and her work and afterward spent some time looking up images of her paintings and where I might be able to see them someday.

Published April 11, 2023 | Review to Come

Salt Magic by Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock cover shows a twelve-year-old girl in a white dress riding a dark gray horse. A woman's face appears in the background as if she's part of the clouds.

Salt Magic by Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

My thoughts: I got this book for Christmas and had been interested in this author’s work for a while. I love the way the illustrator uses color palettes to set moods and show tension. I really enjoyed the story– it’s a quick read.

Published October 12, 2021 | Review to Come

Northranger by Rey Terciero and Bre Indigo

Northranger by Rey Tierciero and Bre Indigo

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

My thoughts: Northanger Abbey isn’t a story I’m very familiar with, but the author includes a lovely note in this book explaining the connection between this graphic novel and Austen’s novel. I thought the romance was super sweet and the use of horror movie references and suspense added a lot of fun to the book.

Published June 6, 2023 | Review to Come

Hooky by Miriam Bonastre Tur

Hooky (Hooky #1) by Míriam Bonastre Tur

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

My thoughts: I keep seeing this book everywhere, and the story (two twin witches who go on the run) sounded cute. Some of the chapters felt a bit episodic, but considering this story began as a webcomic, I suppose that’s to be expected. I enjoyed the quirky characters and fun elements.

Published September 7, 2021 | Review to Come

This Woven Kingdom by Tahereh Mafi

This Woven Kingdom (This Woven Kingdom #1) by Tahereh Mafi

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

My thoughts: I recently discovered that a friend reads a lot and she highly recommended this series, so I figured I better check it out. So far, I am entranced by the powerful writing and slow-burn forbidden love. I finished the first book and started the second on the same day.

Published February 1, 2022 | Review to Come

Nimona by ND Stevenson

Nimona by ND Stevenson

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

My thoughts: I’ve been seeing this book everywhere, never more than now that there’s a Netflix movie. I decided it was definitely time to read it, and I’m so glad I did. This is like Dr. Horrible’s cooler, more sophisticated older sibling, and yet it’s charming and fun all in its own right. Definitely a must-read for fantasy fans.

Published May 12, 2015 | Review to Come

Letter From Birmingham Jail by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Letter from a Birmingham Jail by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

My thoughts: I’ve listened to an audio version of this book before, but it’s been at least ten years. I wanted to revisit the work to help keep Dr. King’s messages in the context that he issued them. In this letter, he responds specifically to the white Christian leadership who have asked him to stop protesting and “work within the system” instead. Powerful words and a message that still rings out as timely today.

Published February 22, 2018

Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe

Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

My thoughts: I’ve seen this graphic memoir on book ban lists a lot in the last few years, so I wanted to check it out. I think the author writes with so much courage and desperately needed frankness. These are topics that a lot of people have questions about and aren’t sure how to get answers. I really appreciated having a roadmap through someone’s personal experience that can help orient me as an ally to what those experiences might be like.

Published May 28, 2019 | Review to Come

Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit by Jesse Q. Sutano cover shows a boy reaching for a glowing birdcage. A fox with two tails sits on his shoulder.

Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit (Theo Tan #1)

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

My thoughts: I enjoyed the second book in this series, and I had the first one already (from a publisher), so I’d been meaning to circle back and read it. I think I actually enjoyed this one more than the second one. I really enjoyed Kai’s asides and footnotes, and Theo’s devotion to his brother melts my heart.

Published May 31 2022 | Review

These Infinite Threads by Tahereh Mafi

These Infinite Threads (This Woven Kingdom #2) by Tahereh Mafi

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

My thoughts: I started this sequel within hours of finishing the first book in the series, and I’m so hooked. I love that one of my favorite minor characters from the first book has a bigger role in this one.

Published February 7, 2023 | Review to Come

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

My thoughts: This is technically a reread, since I read this in high school. All I remembered about it is that I did not like it, but since I’m planning to read WHAT SOULS ARE MADE OF, which is a remix of the story, I wanted the original to be fresher in my brain. I still did not like this book. I don’t know. What am I missing? This seems like a tale of people treating each other miserably (if not abusively) and suffering for it?

Published February 7, 2023 (Orig 1847) | Review to Come

The Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher

A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

My thoughts: This is such a fun middle grade fantasy novel. I think fans of HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON will enjoy the quirky voice of the narrator and the playfulness of the story. This is the first book I’ve read by T. Kingfisher, and it’s an absolute win.

Published July 21, 2020 | Review to Come

Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

My thoughts: I listened to this one as an audiobook, read by Jason Reynolds. It felt like having someone sit with you over coffee and explain the history of racism and how it has impacted American life and politics. It made me realize how little I’ve read of important Black writers like bell hooks, and how little I know about the lives of people like Malcolm X and Angela Davis. Something I’d like to change.

Published March 10, 2020 | Review to Come

Eagle Drums by Nasugraq Rainey Hopson

Eagle Drums by Nasuġraq Rainey Hopson

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

My thoughts: This reads like an easily relatable folk tale or origin story, if that makes sense? I enjoyed the straightforward yet somehow lyrical writing style and the vivid descriptions of life in Alaska.

Published September 12, 2023 | Review to Come

Balto and Togo by Helen Moss

Balto and Togo: Hero Dogs of Alaska by Helen Moss

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

My thoughts: The weirdest part of reading this book is, as a kid who grew up watching the movie Balto, how many times I would read facts about what actually happened and have to process my split-second denial. I’d kind of rear back and immediately think, that’s not what happened in the movie! Which…. well, duh? It was a cartoon? Anyway, I loved getting a chance to learn the real story of these brave mushers and their dogs who helped stop a diphtheria outbreak.

Published November 28, 2023 | Review to Come

Have you read any backlist titles lately?

If you’re participating in a backlist reading challenge this year, please let me know! If you have a page or post where you list the books you’ve read, please feel free to put a link to it in my comments. I’d love to check it out.

Have you read any of the books on my list? Let me know what you think about them if so.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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