Book Review

Reading Goals 2020

Happy New Year, fellow readers!

Like many readers, I have an ever-growing list of books I want to read, and an ever-growing stack of books I intend to read but just haven’t gotten around to yet. These are books I picked up or inherited, and that somehow ended up getting lost in the shuffle of connecting with other titles and getting busy with life in general. I skipped goal making and reading logs in 2019 and I had a delightful reading year, but missed the satisfaction of the end-of-year reading wrap-ups that come with participating in online book challenges.

After seeing fun and inspiring reading challenge posts from my reading friends this holiday season, I was excited to make a list of titles I’d like to dive into this year. While I began making this fresh To Read list with anticipation, each title I added to the list made me think guiltily of the unread books gathering dust on my shelf. The weight of my unread purchases combined with the new titles I was adding started to make my reading list feel like work. I decided to clear out all my lists, take a fresh look at the titles I hadn’t gotten around to yet, and reset my reading expectations.

Around the same time I was wondering if I should just skip the goals and challenges again this year, I saw a friend’s post about The Backlist Reader Challenge that sparked my interest and caused me to look at my To Read stack in a different light. Instead of amassing an even larger list of things to read, what if I started with the books I’ve already got sitting in my house, waiting to be explored? Genius!

I’m “all in” on The Backlist Reader Challenge for 2020. After reviewing and clearing out my extensive list of Want to Read titles on Goodreads, I’ve chosen fifteen titles for this challenge (listed below), which leaves me plenty of time for exploring other works–new and old–throughout the year.

Happy reading everyone!

Kate’s Backlist Reader Challenge

  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • All the Lives We Never Lived by Anuradha Roy
  • Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats and Joyce by Colm Tóibín
  • The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams
  • Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan
  • Power by Linda Hogan
  • Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress by Steven Pinker
  • Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
  • Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith
  • Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
  • Pushing the Bear by Diane Glancy
  • Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

The Backlist Reader Challenge 

The following rules are from The Backlist Reader Challenge. More detail regarding each rule can be found at the home of the challenge, The Bookwyrms Hoard website, and accessed by clicking on the title above.


Rule #1: To count for the challenge, books have to be published before 2018 AND already be on your TBR list or pile.

Rule #2: Create a goals or sign-up post on your blog.

Rule #3 (optional.)Review the books you read, and post the links on the review linky.

Rule #4 (optional): Before Jan 5, create and link a wrap-up post