20 Backlist Titles I Want to Read in 2020

Earlier this week I posted about 15 new releases I want to read in 2020 – but I definitely have a long list of backlist titles I want to get to, as well. New releases can be fun, especially when they’re super hyped online, but backlist titles also hold a lot of merit and I think it’s important to keep up with a mix of old and new titles. Below are 20 books released BEFORE 2020 that I want to make a priority to get to next year!

Contemporaries

Boomer1 – Daniel Torday – 2018

Undead Girl Gang – Lily Anderson – 2018

Love, Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli – 2007

Dress Codes for Small Towns – Courtney C. Stevens – 2017

How to Walk Away – Katherine Center – 2018

Beartown – Fredrik Backman – 2017

November 9 – Colleen Hoover – 2015

Eliza and Her Monsters – Francesca Zappia – 2017

The Nowhere Girls – Amy Reed – 2017

Birthday – Meredith Russo – 2019

Red White, and Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston – 2019

Autoboyography – Christina Lauren – 2017

Nonfictions

Men Explain Things to Me – Rebecca Solnit – 2014

The Radium Girls – Kate Moore – 2017

The 4-Hour Workweek – Timothy Ferriss – 2007

Historical Fiction

City of Girls – Elizabeth Gilbert – 2019

Science Fiction

Middlegame – Seanan McGuire – 2019

Thrillers

Neverworld Wake – Marisha Pessl – 2018

The Cabin at the End of the World – Paul Tremblay – 2018

Sawkill Girls – Claire Legrand – 2018


Have you read any of these books? Have I been missing out having not read them yet, or could I skip them to make way for 2020 new releases?


2020 Owned TBR

Here’s a fun (read: discouraging) activity: go through your entire owned TBR list and count just how many books you thought you would have read by now but haven’t. I don’t consider my book collection huge by any means, but I was astounded to find that I have 56 books currently sitting on my shelves that I had every intention of reading this year. Although I will be carrying them into 2020, I’m declaring now that any books on this list that I haven’t read by the end of 2020 will be donated. In my opinion, there’s no reason to hoard stacks and stacks of books that remain unread year after year, so in order to keep my number of unread books low, I made the list below.

See the below list for all of the books I currently own and have not read – and plan to read within the next year. This list does not contain the 12 books I plan to read in December (read that post here), but it does contain all of the others.

Classics (8)

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

Hatchet – Gary Paulson

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

The Metamorphasis – Franz Kafka

The Road – Cormac McCarthy

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee

Contemporaries (9)

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

It Ends With Us – Colleen Hoover

Peak – Roland Smith

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants – Ann Brashares

The Second Summer of the Sisterhood – Ann Brashares

Girls in Pants – Ann Brashares

Forever in Blue – Ann Brashares

Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty

Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom

Dystopias (1)

The Limit – Kristen Landon

Fantasies (1)

Carry On – Rainbow Rowell

Historical Fictions (3)

Phantoms in the Snow – Kathleen Benner Duble

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens

Mystery/Thrillers (10)

All the Missing Girls – Megan Miranda

Good as Gone – Amy Gentry

Pictures in the Dark – Gillian Cross

The Casual Vacancy – J.K. Rowling

The Crossing Places – Elly Griffiths

The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith

The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson

The Lying Game – Ruth Ware

The Silent Wife – A.S.A. Harrison

Nonfictions (6)

Attached – Amir Levine and Rachel Heller

Blue Like Jazz – Donald Miller

Good to Great – Jim Collins

The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands – Dr. Laura Schlessinger

The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell

Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

Poetry (1)

Where the Sidewalk Ends – Shel Silverstein

Science Fiction (1)

Do You Dream of Terra-Two? – Temi Oh

Sports (16)

A Coach’s Life – Dean Smith

Beyond Basketball – Mike Krzyzewski

Cubs Essential – Lew Freedman

Gold Dust – Chris Lynch

Hate Mail From Cheerleaders – Rick Reilly

Million Dollar Throw – Mike Lupica

One Yard Short – Les Steckel and Rob Suggs

Our Boys – Joe Drape

QB1 – Mike Lupica

Quiet Strength – Tony Dungy

The 33-Year-Old Rookie – Chris Coste

The Boy Who Saved Baseball – John H. Ritter

The Jordan Rules – Sam Smith

The Power of Negative Thinking – Bob Knight

Toughness – Jay Bilas

Travel Team – Mike Lupica


I would love input as to which of these books I should prioritize and read right away in 2020. Let me know if you have read any of them and your thoughts! If not, what are the top books you own and want to get to at some point in 2020?


2020 Anticipated Book Releases

2019 was such an amazing reading year for me – I completed over 100 books, found some new all-time favorite authors, and really honed in on my personal reading tastes for the first time. Looking forward to 2020, I have already become aware of a number of books to be released that I’m excited to try for one reason or another. Some are by authors that I already know I love, some are by authors that I want to give a second chance, and a some are authors completely unknown to me but have such an interesting premise that I want to check them out as soon as possible.

Below are 15 of my most anticipated releases for 2020 along with a short blurb on why I’m excited to read the book as soon as it comes out. Please let me know if any of these are on your radar for next year or if there are any other books you have your eye on!

Books by Favorite Authors

The Dilemma by B.A. Paris
Anticipated Release: January 2020

B.A. Paris has quickly become one of my favorite thriller authors – two of her books, Behind Closed Doors and Bring Me Back, were both 5-star reads from me. I have very high hopes for this new one, which I actually was lucky enough to receive as an e-ARC from NetGalley and will be getting to read very soon!

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
Anticipated Release: July 2020

Riley Sager is an author I discovered this year, and after reading his debut novel Final Girls, I immediately had to read his subsequent books The Last Time I Lied and Lock Every Door. Every single one has been either 4 or 5 stars because of his extremely atmospheric writing, so I’m expecting nothing less from his upcoming thriller!

Be Not Far From Me by Mindy McGinnis
Anticipated Release: March 2020

I actually have only read one book by Mindy McGinnis, The Female of the Species, but I absolutely loved it. Kind of a mix between a thriller and a contemporary, it completely stood out from all of the other books that I read this year and makes me very interested to read more from her to see if the vibe is the same throughout. In addition to this 2020 release that I want to try as soon as it comes out, I also have Heroine on my shelves already after being released this year – I plan to get to BOTH of them early in 2020!

Untitled by Ruth Ware
Anticipated Release: July 2020

Another author that I only had to read one book from to fall in love with – Ruth Ware’s The Turn of the Key was released this year and quickly became a favorite of not only mine but so many people on the Bookternet. As I try to get to all of her backlist titles as well, I definitely am planning on keeping up with her future releases as they come.

Lucky Caller by Emma Mills
Anticipated Release: January 2020

Foolish Hearts was my first exposure to Emma Mills, which I read this year and loved despite it being a young-adult contemporary-romance, not typically my favorite genre. Something about it really tugged at my heartstrings and actually made me feel quite nostalgic for the books that I read as a teen. If any of her other books are the same way, I do not want to miss out, which is why I’ll be keeping up with her future releases along with chipping away at her backlist when I can!

Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power
Anticipated Release: July 2020

Rory Power’s debut novel, Wilder Girls, was released just recently and I decided to try it out right away because of the hype I was seeing about it online. What I loved about it was the creepy premise and atmospheric writing, and although I wanted more from the plot, I could tell that Rory Power’s writing was something I connected with and really could fall in love with if the right story came along. I’m hoping that’s Burn Our Bodies Down!

Authors I Want to Give a Second Chance

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Anticipated Release: March 2020

I have only read one of this duo’s books, An Anonymous Girl. I unfortunately did not like the story itself and grew bored of the characters and the mystery. However, many readers of this book shared similar feelings as me and claim that their first book, The Wife Between Us, was much better. I hope to try that one out as well as their 2020 release to see if it was just the story I didn’t connect with, or if this writing duo just doesn’t do it for me so that I can know for future years.

The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren
Anticipated Release: March 2020

Ironically, this is another writing duo that I have only read one book from and am skeptical about my connection with. The Unhoneymooners was a huge contemporary romance released this year that I read and actually REALLY disliked. Something about the characters rubbed me the wrong way, and the fact that this book was so beloved in the online community makes me think that maybe Christina Lauren books are just not for me – but I am willing to give them one more chance before writing them off completely.

Loveless by Alice Oseman
Anticipated Release: April 2020

The firt and only book I have read by Alice Oseman is Radio Silence, another book very beloved by the online book community. Although I didn’t hate it, I didn’t connect with the story as much as so many other readers seemed to. It may be because of the young-adult focus or for some other reason, but I think one more chance is warranted for Alice Oseman before I decide not to read any of her future releases.

He Started It by Samantha Downing
Anticipated Release: April 2020

When I read My Lovely Wife this year, a super-hyped thriller, I was really disappointed in how much I disliked the story, which followed a married couple of serial killers. I do, however, think that it was completely plot-based and have some hopes that I could enjoy future Samantha Downing thrillers with a different premise.

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
Anticipated Release: March 2020

I am actually currently halfway through my first book from this author, Station Eleven. My thoughts are still very much undecided – on one hand, the post-apocolypic premise should be something I absolutely love, but I’m feeling a little underwhelmed and confused by the execution so far. But, I’m wanting to give it its fair chance to come together in the end, and with this author’s next release already announced I’m sure I will give it a chance regardless of whether I end up loving this current read or not.

Authors Unknown to Me

Strange Exit by Parker Peevyhouse
Anticipated Release: January 2020

I have not read anything by Parker Peevyhouse before, but I have become intrigued in trying one of his books because of Booktuber Booksandlala. For the most part, if Lala enjoys a book (especially sci fis and thrillers), then I will too. Why not test this theory with Peevyhouse’s newest release in January?

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson
Anticipated Release: March 2020

Peter Swanson is a thriller writer that I had not heard of before but became aware of as I was planning my Goodreads Thriller Predictions. Although his book didn’t end up on the 2019 nominee list, I still think that I would like to try one of his thrillers in the future in hopes that I connect and find a new favorite thriller author!

The Other People by C.J. Tudor
Anticipated Release: Feburary 2020

C.J. Tudor’s The Chalk Man was released in 2018, yet I have continued to see rave reviews about it well into this year. I definitely plan to get to it sometime in the future, but want to be one of the first to read his upcoming 2020 release as well so that I can be in-the-know if it turns out to be another favorite of the online book community!

Beach Read by Emily Henry
Anticipated Release: May 2020

I saw mixed reviews of Emily Henry’s When the Sky Fell on Splendor after its release this year. Although I don’t think I will go back and read that one, this 2020 release sounds to have a very different premise (contemporary instead of science fiction), so I’m willing to give it a try in hopes that this is the genre she is meant to be writing!


Are there any upcoming releases that I’m missing that you’re looking forward to – or is anything on my list also on yours? I’d love to know – the more prepared I can be for upcoming books, the more likely I’ll be to prioritize and actually get to them soon after release!