Reading My Own Damn Books: 2018 Challenge

It’s a tale as old as time: bookshelves crammed with stories you were planning on reading…but never got around to. When will the madness stop? To combat the backlist backlog, I’m vowing to read my own damn books. Or at least some of them.

Here are my top 12 backlist books, one for each month of 2018!

Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey

This appears on pretty much every “best fantasy ever” list, and I’ve had it for at least three years. Add in the fact that I loved Carey’s Miranda and Caliban last year and I really don’t know why I’ve put this one off for so long.

Magic of Blood and Sea by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Magic of Blood and Sea is a bind-up of the Assassin’s Curse duology, which sounds fun and right up my alley…yet it’s remained unread. Cassandra Rose Clarke has been getting lots of buzz in the SFF community lately too, and I want to join in!

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

I really don’t know what to say about this one. I adored the twisty, witty The Lies of Locke Lamora and I’m sure I’ll love this one too, since my boy Jean Tannen features prominently.

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

Another book that I’ve had on my shelves for years, Ancillary Justice is a bug deal sci-fi novel and it’s one of the few that actually appeals to me. I mean, sentient spaceships? Hell yes.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwabb

Everyone on instagram would be ashamed of me if they saw this, but I have yet to read ADSOM. The hype kinda freaked me out, and then all the love/hate reactions to Lila Bard scared me off. But I vow to finally read this in 2018!

Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier

There are lots of excuses I could use as to why I haven’t read Son of the Shadows yet, but we all know the truth: it’s because Marillier makes me feel pain unlike any other writer out there. This book is going to destroy me, but I’m certain I’ll love every minute of it. Just gotta mentally prepare myself first.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

My guy is going to kill me when he sees this, but I just don’t “get” Brandon Sanderson. So far his books have mostly underwhelmed me? I don’t know. The Way of Kings intrigues me though, and it has been sitting on my shelves since 2010…

Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews

There’s no excuse for Sweep in Peace! Y’all know that I love Ilona Andrews, and I had a blast reading the first book in this urban fantasy meets sci-fi series about the keeper of a sentient inn. Another book I’ve had since its publication date.

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Oh Robin Hobb, how I hear thee praised hither and yon. I own five of her books and I haven’t read a single one of them. As the most famous of her books, Assassin’s Apprentice will be my jumping-off point with her work.

The Golem and the Jinni by Helen Wrexler

Historical fantasy…set in New York City…romance…y’all. The Golem and the Jinni has all the necessary ingredients to become one of my favourite books, I’ve had it since high school, and I still haven’t read it! What is wrong with me?!

End of Days by Susan Ee

I’ll be honest: I bought this on release day but put off reading End of Days because I’ve heard some sketchy things about it. Hearing that the series doesn’t end on a high point had me bummed, but my need to know how it all ends has finally outweighed my reservations.

Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler

Finally, we have Parable of the Talents, the sequel to one of my favourite books of all time. I’ve had it since 2015 and I haven’t read it for…reasons. Reasons that definitely make perfect sense (I don’t know why I haven’t read this yet).

There we have it, my top 12 backlist books! Have you read any of these? What backlist books are you hoping to read this year? Let me know in the comments!

39 thoughts on “Reading My Own Damn Books: 2018 Challenge

  1. Can’t wait to read your review for Red Seas Under Red Skies! I’ve really enjoyed every book in that series.

    This is a bit along different lines, but I really want to try making another bread recipe out of Flour Water Salt Yeast some time this year. I’ve had that book for a while, and while I’ve religiously read the chapters on baking techniques, I’ve only made a single recipe from it (albeit a dozen or so times).

    1. I adored the first book, so I’m pretty confident I’ll love RSURS too. Oooohhh, that’s a great point! I have a few cookbooks but thankfully I use a lot of the recipes in them…but challenging myself to try new recipes from them is a great idea.

  2. Ah, yes, being constantly distracted by other titles is a “sin” we commit every day…
    But why should we resist to temptation? 😀

  3. I’ve read the Darker Shade of Magic but did not enjoy it, although I loved the book Vicious by her. The End of Days Series is really addicting, so you’ll enjoy that too!! I need to make my own list and stick to it!

    1. See, this is what I’m talking about! So many mixed reviews for ADSOM. I’m quite intrigued by how polarizing it is. The End of Days series has been super fun so far so I’ve got high hopes for the final book!

  4. Ooh fun list. JAcqueline Carery is a local author and I’ve been wanting to try her stuff, but just haven’t. Maybe this year (I probably said that last year lol).

    I hope you like Assassin’s Apprentice. I did but it’s been a few years, and I wonder now how I’d feel re- reading it? Oh and the Fool is the best. 🙂

    1. Thanks Greg! Whoa, JC is a local author for you? That’s very cool. HA, I’ve got lots of authors whose books I swear I’ll read and then don’t, so I get ya. 😉

      Eeee I’m so excited! I’ll keep an eye out for the Fool and let you know what I think of the story.

      1. Yeah apparently she lives in the area although I don’t know if she’s FROM here per se. But I saw something in one of the local bookstores…

        the Fool is awesome! Hew starts out with a somewhat minor role and it grows until in later books he’s a pretty big deal!

  5. I want to read Kushiel’s Dart, so I look forward to seeing your thoughts! I’ve always loved the cover of Magic of Blood and Sea. I’m glad you just reminded me of The Golem and the Jinni because I’ve always been vaguely interested, but lately I’ve gotten more into a certain kind of book that I don’t really have a word for? Lol but I think this book might fit perfectly. So I’m going to have to read it too!

    1. Would you be interested in a buddy read at all, Kristen? Because @afoolsingenuity:disqus and I are thinking of doing one for Kushiel’s Dart at some point! And yes, I’m dying to read The Golem and the Jinni. I rarely see people talking about it but whenever they do, it’s to rave about it.

  6. The “Read My Own Damn Books” Challenge, I love it! I REALLY need to do this. Incidentally I think there’s a Top Ten Tuesday coming up featuring the books that have been on your TBR the longest, and I think I’m going to have to find a way to combine that theme with this challenge.

  7. I cannot lie, I giggle when I saw the name of your challenge. I am so guilty of not reading my own books. I have tons, yet last year shelf books were 25/352 of the books I read (dismal!). Good luck!

    1. Haha, mission accomplished then. 😉 Honestly I’ve been too scared to even count up the unread books that I own…especially since I started buying ebooks. I’m sure it’s a brutal number though. We got this covered!!!

  8. Good luck! Reading my own damn books is an aim of mine too! If you want to buddy read let me know as I have Kushiel’s Dart and Son of the Shadows sat on my shelf waiting to be read and I am putting off reading them for no apparent reason. I haven’t read any of the Innkeeper book by Ilona Andrews and I don’t know why but I am going to get there eventually. I enjoyed Ancillary Justice a lot so I hope you like it and End of Days wasn’t bad (from what I remember, I enjoyed it). I can’t believe you’ve not read A Darker Shade of Magic, I mean, I still need to finish the series but I have read the first one. I need to reread and just binge the whole series I think.

    You can totally read these books. 12 is a reasonable number of books and I wish you luck.

    1. Thanks, Becky! It seems like a lot of bloggers need to get cracking on their own books…shocker. Oh my goodness, yes! Buddy reads for Son of Shadows and Kushiel’s Dart would be a ton of fun. The first Innkeeper book was so much fun! Classic Ilona Andrews right there. UGH I KNOW! I have got to read ADSOM. I really like Schwab but I haven’t actually read any of her adult stuff yet. Who have I become???

      It is a reasonable number, isn’t it? Thank god, because otherwise there’s no way I’d be able to complete this! 😂

      1. Let me know, I need all the help I can get to face Kushiel’s Dart because that book! I don’t want to read because I know it will be heavy to cart around with me. Why do big books scare me so much?

  9. I have heard some mixed reviews about End of Days too but I read it and throughly enjoyed it! The first two will always be my favourite two but the last one doesn’t come far behind so I’d definitely still read it if I were you…. Also shhhhh, I haven’t read A Darker Shade of Magic either! I really must do that because I really do want to read it, I just haven’t had a chance

    1. Oh that’s such a relief to hear! I adored the first book and enjoyed the second so I’m hoping the series will end well for me. LOL well I’m glad I’m not the only person who hasn’t read ADSOM yet. It seems like that series is everywhere!

  10. I need to do this too! There were a ton of 2017 books that I got for review but haven’t read yet. WHOMP. It happens, I guess? I liked End of Days and ADSOM/AGOS! I recently got ACOL which I still need to read – maybe soon. 😊 Happy reading and best of luck, Danya!

    Have a lovely weekend. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. It does happen! I’ve barely caught up on my review books and trying to stay caught up. I’m happy to hear that you liked End of Days and the first two Shades of Magic books; I hoping that I’ll read ’em soon. Thanks Alyssa, have a great week! 😃

  11. This is a silent goal of mine for this year. I run to the bookstore–or online for these books, because I just have to have them. Then they sit somewhere collecting dust as I collect yet more books. It must stop–I am definitely reading most if not all of the books sitting on my shelf. I am so with you this!

    1. I am the exact same way, Jazmen! Even with books that I’ve preordered, I still leave them sitting on the shelves for months at a time. We’ve got this covered, controlling the backlist 2018 is off to a good start. 😁

  12. Happy 2018 Danya! This is definitely a goal I can relate too! After what seems like forever, my husband and I have built custom book shelves and I love them but also realized just how many series I need to finish. I can’t wait to see you thoughts on ADSOM!! Good luck!

    1. Thanks Kim, Happy 2018 to you too! Oh wow, congrats on your custom shelves. That’s one of my goals for my personal library at some point in the future. I’m with ya on all those unfinished series; I own a bunch of complete trilogies where I’ve only read the first, sadly. I’m hoping I’ll love ADSOM!

    1. Oh my god, I’ve been the same way with ebooks lately! It’s been ages since I actually read a print book. The upside of that is that I also have a ton of ebooks I need to read, haha. I believe in us, Nereyda. We got this!

  13. Everything by Octavia Butler is on my Forever TBR which I feel bad about. I keep forgetting to add Golemn and Jinn to it as well, I feel like I haven’t seen too many reviews for that. ALSO PLEASE READ ADSOM. And I remember reading Juliet Marrilier forever ago (like 15 years ago?) and I really loved her stuff!

  14. I haven’t read any of these, but I hope you love them when you get to them! Good luck with your challenge to read your own books! I know I have so many books on my shelves that I just haven’t read yet. It’s quite sad how many there are. 😛

  15. This was also my goal this year. I’m failing pretty hardcore, but, it’s only one month in. I still got time. Lol The Golem and the Jinni has been on my TBR for ages too… and a few others. I’m also trying to use the library more and purchase less so at least that has been a success. Good luck with your goal. 🙂

  16. Yeah, quite a few on here that I also need to read. I’ve still not read Schwab and I have to read the Susan Ee book too.
    I should make a list of 12 of my own books to complete too.
    Lynn 😀

  17. Well what an awesome challenge title. 😀 I love it. And yes, I also have quite an awful Backlist Backlog… That’s a part of what I will be concentrating on this year.

    I also own Kushiel’s Dart but haven’t read it!! It’s a pretty big undertaking I guess.

    I loved Shades of Magic so I hope that you’ll also enjoy that one!

    Robin Hobb – yup, I’m there with you… Oops.

    Best of luck with the challenge and I hope we both succeed at least hitting off a little bit of our backlist – you know, before this year’s new releases join the fray! 😀

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